Delegates at the recent Barenbrug and STRI Druids Glen Golf Resort open day have given glowing feedback on the event, which revealed the preliminary findings of an innovative new trial taking place at the County Wicklow course.
Over 40 golf course superintendents from across Ireland attended the open day to gain an insight into the recently sown Golf Green Differential Input Trial. Established in partnership with STRI, the leading independent consultancy, the trial is the first of its kind in Ireland and aims to determine the influence of both standard and relaxed input maintenance regimes on grass species for golf greens.
Following a welcoming speech from Druid Glen’s course superintendent, John O’Sullivan, on why the 18-hole championship course decided to participate in the trial, Barenbrug’s research and development manager Jayne Leyland gave a presentation on the company’s global breeding programme, setting the scene for why this groundbreaking Irish trial – which mirrors the Barenbrug STRI trial at Bingley in the UK – has been established and what it means for the future of the Irish greenkeeping industry.
STRI’s Dr Ruth Mann updated delegates on turfgrass protection and the methods and value of thatch reduction for overseeding and interseeding. This was followed by Dr Ian McClements who spoke about the STRI’s new service – STRI Programme – which provides superintendents with an objective assessment of playing quality (PQ), including surface smoothness, trueness, firmness and ball roll.
Neil Pettican, regional sales manager for Barenbrug in Ireland, then took to the stage for an informative talk on the company and its commitment to the Irish market as a whole. After lunch it was outside to inspect the trial and see a practical overseeding demonstration courtesy of Graden’s John Fitzpatrick, which illustrated just how easy it is to implement a species exchange programme with this piece of kit.
Simon O’Hara, deputy course superintendent at Fota Island Golf Club in Cork, was among the delegates at the open day. “This event was well worth attending,” he comments. “It was very exciting to see the trial nursery and I am looking forward to seeing the results as time progresses.
“This initiative is to be commended – at last we may now have some factual data that we can use to determine the best seed varieties/cultivars and the maintenance inputs best suited to our respective climates, budgets and ecological needs. Barenbrug, with this initiative, are demonstrating a serious commitment to the Irish turfgrass industry and are not only showing how great their seed is but also how to get the best results from their seed in the future.”
Neil says that feedback from all parties was overwhelmingly positive. “Everyone we spoke to was impressed by the event and trial as a whole, and went away enthused by our investment in the Irish market,” he reveals. “This open day, together with the establishment of a second Irish trial at Ballybunion Golf Club in County Kerry and the imminent launch of a new 2011 amenity catalogue specifically for the Irish market, shows that we are committed to Ireland in spite of the difficult times ahead of the country in order to find grass seed solutions for its unique climate and conditions.”
Barenbrug UK www.barenbrug.co.uk