Glasgow City Council’s Project Management & Design team was determined to have the best quality bowling greens ever played on at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. The team was very keen that the greens should have two years at least to establish and, importantly, to experience competitive play to bed them in.
Specialist turf grower Lindum was involved in a long process which began in April 2010 when it signed an agreement with Glasgow City Council to grow 10,000 square metres of a bespoke greens turf on a special rootzone for the Kelvingrove Lawn Bowls Centre.
Working with John Hacker of PSD Agronomy, a fescue/bent seed mixture based on Barenbrug Bar 2 was ordered, along with 400 tonnes of Levenseat medium coarse rootzone - the same rootzone that was to be used in the construction of the greens. Spreading of the rootzone and seeding was completed at Lindum’s nursery in the Vale of York in May 2010, with progress monitored closely throughout the growing period.
The weather in June and July 2010 was extremely hot making it challenging to supply enough water to young plants in a very free draining rootzone. Eventually the turf was mature enough for harvesting and deliveries began in July 2011, with the final loads going in at the beginning of September.
Local PSD agronomist Bill Gilespie oversaw the establishment of the turf during one of Glasgow’s wettest winters, but a combination of good groundsmanship and sound agronomic advice finally produced a surface that was receiving praise from professional bowls players well in advance, but most importantly, resulted in a winning surface in July 2104 for all the world to see.
Stephen Fell, Managing Director of Lindum said: “It has been fantastic to be involved with the Commonwealth Games. The turf looks wonderful and it is a pleasure to see that the City Council’s ambition of the best possible bowling surface has been achieved – a real team effort.”
Bill Gilespie said “The greens look magnificent and have received praise from all parties. The greenkeeper Craig Collins has done a great job and they look and play superbly well. What better result could there have been than a Gold Medal for Scotland in the men’s pairs.”