Peter Bishop worked for Miller Bros & Buckley 47 years ago on a 1 year contract helping to create the original Golf Course from a sugar plantation and quarry, he was involved in the design / installation of the irrigation system. Peter and his wife Sandra re-visited the Club for the first time last week after all these years. This is what Peter had to say about his time working at BGC:
“My tour of your course with the Green Keeper and Shawn Kinch helped rekindle my memories, it was good to see some of the original TORO equipment still in place.
I arrived in Barbados 1970 to design and install the irrigation system and a lake during the construction of the new Golf Course designed by Robert Trent Jones.
When meeting the Miller Bros & Buckley Team and walking the old sugar plantation and Quarry site for the first time I realised this was going to be a big challenge as there was very little soil available for the fairways after the greens and tees were being created, which meant we would have to trench through the rock to install the pipes and sprinklers.
I was able to get the pipes and sprinklers on site in 4 weeks, the main pump and rubber lining for the lake after measuring took a few more weeks.
It was a good job I had ordered 10% extra of all parts to cover possible change of design.
I recruited a team of local Bajan plumbers and labourers including 1 electrician to complete the installation total number 10, when they knew my standard of workmanship required we all became a very strong team.
First job was to install a wheel move sprinkler system to feed the Bermuda and Georgian grass in the nursery.
We were soon up to speed pushing the main contractor hard to complete their part to allow us to do ours, the pipe work on greens and tees were easy due to plenty of soil.
We could not get a Trencher to dig the fairway rock, there for we had to do this by using hand held air breakers which was very hard work.
The design of the course around the lake changed a few times also the creation of a concrete ditch through the course to feed more water to the lake caused extra work.
When the Quarry was clear of sharp rocks we were able to cover with sand and fit the liner which I notice is still there ,this took about 3 weeks to complete we were then able to install the main pump incorporating a fountain in the middle of the lake.
We were all very excited the day starting the pump to test the system for the first time, it took about a week to correct a few problems and making sure the sprinkler coverage was satisfactory in line with the prevailing wind.
I always encouraged good humour amongst my team, this paid off when asked to work weekends to get the contract completed in 12 Months, hence my comment (when it rains last one to the rum shop buys the round) always me.
Good luck to you and your team in making your Golf Course one of the best in the Caribbean, special thanks to Shawn Kinch and your green keeper for showing us around the course also Richard your ball finder who remembers delivering lunch to some of his family working on the course.”