DESPITE arriving just before the Covid-19 lockdown, Wilmslow Golf Club course manager Nigel Colley has still managed to achieve plenty.

Indeed, he saw the shutdown of the course as the perfect opportunity to make some improvements.

As he explains, the feedback since members returned has been positive.

“I began at Wilmslow at the start of March 2020 three weeks before Covid-19 lockdown,” he said.

“Even though we had reduced staff numbers during lockdown from seven to four we achieved a massive amount and it was a perfect opportunity to work on the course without disrupting the members.

“We were able to overseed the greens on two occasions with bent grass seed.

“Due to lockdown, we cut at higher heights of cut which allowed a greater percentage of seed to germinate and survive.

“This set us in good stead to produce some decent green surfaces throughout 2020 when the course reopened.

“The members so far have enjoyed playing the course since it reopened and I have been received very well, with lots of positive comments coming from the membership to date.

“The main criteria is to improve the playing surfaces throughout the site, creating smooth true putting surfaces that are consistent all year round – easier said than done with the north west climate!”

In Colley, Wilmslow have appointed someone who has three decades of experience with golf clubs around the country and even abroad.

Now, though, his aim is to improve existing facilities while adding others to make the experience of playing the course all the more pleasurable.

“Longer term, I would like to add colour to the course, whether that be from patches of heather, wildflowers or gorse and broom to enhance the natural habitats and encourage wildlife across the site.

“In general I want to improve what we have, whether it be the irrigation system, machinery, staff knowledge and educate members through communication as to why we do the work we do to improve the playing surfaces.

“The club have a good strategy and a good base to build and go from strength to strength during these tough economic times.

“I want to play my part and enhance what we already have at Wilmslow, which is a great golf course layout with some fantastic holes, especially the par threes.

“Extra work and projects will be agreed in conjunction with relevant committees at the club, as will long term plans.

I have my own ideas of where we need to go to progress and move forward.

“Hopefully all our ideas combined will move Wilmslow in the right direction and further enhance the course that the members cherish playing.”

Over at Alderley Edge, the men played over two rounds for the Captain’s Prize.

Gary Johnstone came out on top in the first round after a card play-off with Edward Lawton and Mike Easton, all of whom scored 68.

Round two was clearer cut with Michael Davies leading them in with 66, two shots clear of Peter Wood while Drew Roberts finished a further two back.

Roberts was the overall winner with 139 points, one clear of Wood.

At Styal, Division One of the Saturday Stableford was topped by Graham Blower on 38 points from Simon Suhr-Henriksen and Ken Mayoh, who both scored 37.

Division Two needed a card play-off, with Mark Robins edging out Lee O’Connell and Brian Donohue after all three scored 39 points.

There were some good scores in the Sunday Stableford, with Luke Core winning on 43 points – two clear of Jonathon Dorsett.

The Styal women were also in Stableford action as junior Erin Parker cruised to an impressive win.

She totalled 35 points to finish six clear of Sue Grange, with Pat Chadwick and Enid Laverty a further point back.