Mar 16

Prepping a Masterpiece for the Open Championship

James Bledge is at the helm of Royal Liverpool Golf Course’s efforts to prepare the course for the 151st Open, and he’s using modern tools and practices to prepare and bring his members along for the journey.

When the Aquatrols team visited England to meet top course managers and greenkeepers and learn more about them and their practices, we missed a chance to connect with James Bledge at Royal Liverpool GC. So, we decided to join long-distance via the miracle of the Aquatrols TurfZoom.

Bledge is only a bit more than a year into the job at Hoylake. You can find his background here, but the short version is he wasn’t looking for the job, just a visit to play the course with his best friend, Sean McLean, who we also recently profiled. Here’s how he tells the story:

“It was funny how the job came about. Every year, Sean, (then) the Course Manager from Princes Golf Club, and I go on a golf tour together, and we thought, right, let’s do Merseyside. We can play Royal Liverpool and Birkdale, so I texted Craig (the former course manager) saying, ‘Can you get us a tee time, pal?’ And he replied, ‘You’d better prepare your CV because I’m leaving at Christmas.’ And right then, something inside me said, ‘Sounds like a great opportunity.’

It was a great opportunity, and he’s made the most of it, landing well at one of the world’s great courses. Watch this TurfZoom to learn more about Bledge, his priorities for preparation, and how the new championship 17th hole will likely grab everyone’s attention next summer.


About The Author

More than 60 years ago, Aquatrols introduced the world’s first commercially available soil wetting agent. Since creating an entirely new product category to address water management challenges and opportunities, the company has remained a top innovator and producer of high-performance soil surfactants and related technologies. Aquatrols’ advanced product suite optimizes soil-water-plant interactions in agricultural, professional turfgrass, and horticultural industries in more than 40 countries. Headquartered in southern New Jersey, Aquatrols also has offices in the United Kingdom and conducts business on six continents.