The management of any links course is a complex, on-going endeavour. Resolute action by green staff is required to keep greens, tees and fairways in top condition for all-year-round golf. Inevitably such action will involve measured control of nature’s encroachment. On the macro-scale this involves installing and maintaining the course perimeter with coastal defences. The boundary would otherwise give way to the natural dynamic of the elements. Similarly, without the management intervention of re- planting swathes of marram grass and re-turﬁng where required, the dunes would simply disintegrate and reform elsewhere. Re-seeding on and around the greens can be important where salt-burn has destroyed growth or the balance between the growth of natural grasses and mosses renders the surface irregular.
Animals large and small can also cause problems. Goats are notorious for eating grass down to the roots or damaging bunkers. On the micro-scale insect larvae such as those of chafers, click-beetles, or leather-jackets can destroy the roots of grass over large areas. Birds such as starlings, aware of the food source will feed voraciously on them, often causing further damage in digging them up. However, since starlings predate a wide variety of mini-beasts considered ‘pests’ they certainly do more good than harm.