A surprise watery test awaits golfers at Aboyne’s sixth hole.
Head greenkeeper Colin Forbes and his staff were busy throughout the pandemic by re-establishing the historical Grants Lochie on the right of the sixth fairway.
The work entailed felling 23 spruce and hardwood trees as part of an ongoing tree management programme.
Greens convenor David Munro said: “We started during the winter months, but the onset of the coronavirus outbreak meant we went into lockdown and had to furlough some of our green staff during the project.
“It is down to the hard work and dedication of Colin that we were able to complete this project in time.”
Colin said: “It was a challenge.
“Key equipment and supplies were caught up in the lockdown, meaning we had to constantly adjust our planning and timeline.
“However, I have to say I’m delighted with the outcome.
“Previously, players who sliced their tee shot to the right were not really penalised.
“Their ball usually landed at the base of the trees and was playable.
“However, some of these roots had become exposed and we considered them dangerous to players.
“So we decided to reshape the hole during the repairs.
“Removing the trees now offers a tighter target off the tee.
“We also altered the contours of the ground so that the land falls and rolls towards the loch.
“After tidying up the bankside and raising the canopy of the remaining trees, it now offers a real challenge to players to avoid the water.”
Club president Nigel Bradburn said: “We wanted to strengthen the front nine and the re-establishment of Grants Lochie has done that. A felling licence agreement with the forestry commission gave us the extra benefit of planting replacement trees elsewhere to further define the course.
“We have created a real ‘risk-and-reward’ hole requiring players to think carefully about their club selection.
“It will be interesting to see the scores on this hole this season and how many balls end up in the water.”