Greenkeepers and golf club managers can now find out exactly how much money they could save on their course from taking advantage of the Primo Maxx Ultimate Fairway Programme. A new interactive calculator on the GreenCast website enables them to enter their current costs and routine of fairway mowing, and gives an instant answer on the cost savings.
A recent independent survey of fairways on a range of golf courses revealed the average area was 14 hectares – taking just under 11 hours for each cut. For courses cutting fairways three times a week, the use of Primo Maxx to eliminate one cut per week through the season would see a cost saving of over £3650 per year.
The calculation takes into account details of the individual club’s costs including mower operator and mechanic’s wages, machinery repairs, fuel and depreciation, along with their replacement policy for fairway mowers. Fuel costs at the time of the survey averaged 74p/litre, but a 20% rise in the intervening time now equates to an additional £51 a year saving from Primo Maxx use on the fairways alone, reports Syngenta Business Manager, Rod Burke.
He highlighted clubs are spending, on average, over £5650 a year on spares and parts for fairway mowers. Typically they are changed at just over seven years old, at a new cost of over £29,000 per machine. “Using the Ultimate Fairway Programme to reduce mowing will reduce the wear and tear on machines and potentially extend their working life, which all helps to lower operating costs and save money.
“Fairways are the largest areas of playing surface on the golf course, and for many take the greatest amount of labour to cut and manage. The calculator enables club’s to look more closely at new techniques to reduce costs and improve the turf quality – which are both elements essential for financial viability and to enhance the playing experience,” he added.
Over the past year, Syngenta and Everris have provided greenkeepers with an integrated offer of Primo Maxx growth regulator and Sportsmaster WSF High N 35-0-14 water soluble fertilizers, along with the knowhow that has allowed them to cut the time and cost of fairway management, as well as enhance the turf health and the playing conditions. Furthermore, this season-long offer includes a choice of either a set of the unique Syngenta Turf Foliar Nozzles or a Calibration Kit, to ensure accurate application and the best possible results.
At Gaudet Luce Golf Club in Worcestershire, for example, Andrew Laing, Group Head Greenkeeper of Little Lakes Leisure, reported that with Primo Maxx the turf growth rates had effectively been controlled to a point whereby mowing had usually only been necessary once a week, which would previously have been unheard of on the site that he describes as a ‘grass factory’.
“We did notice a thicker sward and better water utilisation during the dry periods, which I can only attribute to the Primo Maxx,” said Mr Laing. “I can honestly say that, since using it in combination with the Everris Sportsmaster WSF High N fertilizer, our fairways have literally been transformed. I hope that the offer continues to run, as I will definitely be looking out for it next year.”
In Essex, Robert George, Course Manager at Thorndon Park Golf Club, manages 10 hectares of magnificent, non-irrigated fairways. Last year he really appreciated the reduced mowing requirement and turf quality benefits delivered by Primo Maxx in preparation for a high-profile women’s tournament held over six days in mid- September.
He made the programme’s three applications Primo Maxx, tank mixed with Everris Sportsmaster WSF High N, in the three months running up to the event. “I needed to enhance presentation and control growth patterns, and both the Sportsmaster WSF fertilizer and Primo Maxx gave excellent results.
“Long after the event the products continued to work and improve our fairways. As conditions suited the products, the more they seemed to boost recovery and aesthetics.”
For greenkeepers the offer is a highly cost effective way to further satisfy demands of today’s players for consistently better playing quality; “I was the golf club hero this year for producing fairways like that,” said a greenkeeper from Ireland. And it’s a transformation that has not gone unnoticed by the players. “You feel like taking your shoes off to feel the turf,” commented a player at one club that had taken advantage of the offer.
Rod Burke believes that the turf quality enhancements that greenkeepers have seen will be equally as important as the cost savings. “Our survey of over 300 golf players identified that having their ball sit proud on a consistent fairway surface was the single most important factor that they want; the turf density and consistency created by Primo Maxx and appropriate nutrition can make a significant difference in delivering that objective. And satisfied golf players are most likely to come back for more, which is essential for every club.”
Readers can try out the Primo Maxx calculator at: http://www.greencast.co.uk/uk/news/general/news-2012/primomaxx-calculator
For turf specific agronomy and product information go to www.greencast.co.uk