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Andermatt Swiss Alps

Tee time for the greenkeepers

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Exactly one week to go, and then the little white balls will be flying through the air again at Andermatt – provided, of course, that winter does not stage a surprise comeback. From May 24 and well into October, the course will be open for guests staying overnight in the region.

Even as the 18-hole par 72 golf course was still covered with snow, our Head Greenkeeper Daniel Speer had already begun preparing for this season. Together with external specialists, the lengths of the 18 holes were precisely measured. “At the same time I adjusted the golf course equipment based on what we learned during the trial phase in 2013 and placed the necessary orders”, explains Daniel Speer. Since the beginning of May he has been heading a team of four, which will be augmented with another greenkeeper on June 1.

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A look at the team’s long to-do list shows that the weather-resistant men will not run short of work. It begins with signage and marking for the entire golf course, which includes marking the tees, green flags, driving range distances, marking the fairways, and more. The first preparation rounds also include snow clearing, or so-called “drying the course”. Then the team frees the terrain from any mould. Winter naturally leaves its trace. “We clean up the fairways, remove rocks that have rolled down, groom the grass, and weed and trim the edges of the bunkers”, tells Daniel Speer about the work. The ground temperature is constantly monitored. As soon as the soil has warmed up enough, fertilizer is added, promoting uniform and healthy growth of the grass.

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Last week the greenkeepers were back in the classroom. The Rainbird company trained them exactly how to operate the giant sprinkler system for the 1.3 million square meter golf course. Because not only golf balls will be flying through the air but soon water drops too – but hopefully not at the same time!

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