Fortrose & Rosemarkie Golf Course

Welcome to Fortrose & Rosemarkie Golf Course

Links Golf Since 1793



December 18th 

Winter this year has yet to arrive with only a couple of very light surface frosts to date. Will it bite us in the new year? as seems to be the case in recent years, we’ll have to wait and see! Sept/Oct/Nov rainfall readings were 50mm, 120mm and 41mm and 82mm for December so far. October was dreadfully wet and the biblical rain a couple of weekends ago rendered the course unplayable. It would be nice to get some settled and clear weather, good winter golfing weather through the holiday period, fingers crossed.

The golfing season this year extended into November and we had a wee break to get the greens verti-drained and rolled during late October. This deep aeration helps the greens drain and develop strong roots which in turn favour the better grasses. A follow up deep slit was completed lately which is an alternative form of aeration which also root prunes through the tines slicing action.   Micro hollow tining is planned for around mid February. Fairways and greens surrounds have also been slit with some fairways receiving a sanding also. In November we sprayed Iron to all areas apart from the longer roughs in our combat against moss and this will be done again in the spring along with some Ammonia (Nitrogen) and wetting agent.

Bunker work is ongoing and four have been completely revetted so far this winter. Up turned turf is used in the bases to both provide a firm base and also to keep stones from coming through. These will be topped up with sand around early March and brought into play for the first competitions. Proposal – The twin bunkers on the 15th fairway have been earmarked for a redesign into one large bunker. Back in the early 90s this was to be the case but while digging out the bunker we came across the irrigation pipe and had to split the bunker into two. The new irrigation line now runs past the right hand side of the bunkers therefore allowing these bunkers to be improved and made into something more aesthetically pleasing.

4th hole sand scrape.

The large obtrusive section of gorse has been removed to open up the fairway view from the tee. The natural sand base has been exposed to create an in play sand scrape and this will both help speed up play and allow you to see where your ball goes.

Gorse removal.

We have cut back the bushes behind the two bunkers right side of the 18th fairway. Intention here is to remove the stumps and return to a grassy bank as this hole is penal enough without more trouble around the green. Last winters planned removal of sections of gorse along the ridge between the 3rd and 13th holes did not happen but we will hope to get this done over the next couple of months when some frostier weather appears?

Enjoy your winter golf and keep those winter fairway mats and pitch forks to good use. Thank you.

George Paterson

Head Greenkeeper

Course notes 29th July 19’

Periods of heavy growth this summer with 82mm of rain this month and plenty of warm days thrown in. Therefore it has been difficult to keep up with high level of grass growth and in turn taking longer to complete each task. Normally going into July/Aug growth has slowed down as soils become drier but not so this year! Staff are beginning to take there summer holiday week off and this further puts pressure on us to get jobs done. The weather has benefited the partial recovery of the fairways but also brings with it turf disorders (fusarium/fairy ring/nematode) markings and plenty of nuisance mushrooms popping up everywhere.

Greens –

The greens have performed well this summer being reasonably firm (not too many pitch marks) very true and decent speed. Automatic irrigation has only been applied on 4 nights since the early May installation so this highlights the amount of rain that has fallen this year. They have had a couple of liquid seaweed sprays with very little nutrient and have been ticking along nicely. A verti-cut was given last week which has cleaned up some surface debris accumulation and the height of cut has remained constant at 3.9mm which combined with some rolling is providing good surfaces to putt on. Comparing our greens with Lahinch, Portrush, Renaissance and Lytham we are definitely leaner and equally as fast it would seem. Heading into autumn maintenance week (mid Sept) I would like to Graden scarify the greens and introduce some bent grass seed. This will create a bit of mess while doing the work with plenty of debris to scrape up but after a couple of cuts should get back close to normal.

Some Fairy ring disorder is re appearing therefore a cluster hollow tine will be required early winter plus a 3/4” tine with verti-drain rather than early Spring in order for getting into shape sooner next year.

Aprons and approaches

As with the greens performing well and getting cut twice weekly but could do with three cuts (all time consuming)


Lots of grass on the tees following the summer feed which went on a bit later this year. Two cuts per week (could do with three) and we are only just keeping on top of them but generally looking healthy with no real problems.


Throughout May and June the fairways were getting a fortnightly cut and since start of July it has been each week (twice before BI Open) therefore much more manpower for this compared to last year. Lots of thin areas from last year have now filled in with Meadow grass and divoting mix grasses and are slowly recovering. The rain this year has certainly helped. Ideally late Autumn, recovery would be enhanced following a hollow core and drag and clean up with the Super 500 flail/collector machine. This would be a very labour intensive job taking probably a couple of days to complete one fairway therefore we could try the 2nd,3rd and 4th and see how we go from there. The 1st fairway is too stoney to hollow tine although the diamond spiker may help it.


The tall roughs will be cut and collected later part of August

We have removed the centre fairway pot bunker and created a swale in its place. In addition to this a new right hand side fairway bunker has been created some 35 yards past the first one. The reasoning behind this is to reward a good drive that holds the fairway in a prevailing westerly wind and in turn tighten up the landing area for the longer hitters. The depth has been kept fairly shallow to offer a longish recovery shot should you go for it. 

The splash bunker between the 6th and 12th fairways has been largened with a small grassy island installed within.


The approach to the green has been tightened up with the re introduction of the left side approach bunker. This has been set a little closer to the green than previously and the front lip lowered to allow easier access. 



The coffin bunker to the left of the green has been removed and a grassy swale developed in its place. This will be cut at fairway / surround height and allow for a variety of recovery shots from within and through it.