Scotts seminar gets seal of approval; Top Dresser for speed and efficiency; Course management with 1,000 deer as neighbours; Terra Spike helps turf maintenance regime; Kennemer prepares for the KLM Dutch Open; North Staffs Irrigation on site at two ‘Open’ venues; Strong sales for Iseki tractors in Scotland; Unique lease and maintenance contract
Scotts seminar gets seal of approval
Continuing its programme of working closely with turf professionals, Scotts recently held a Stress Management in Turf seminar at Singing Hills Golf Course, in West Sussex. The aim of the event was to help greenkeepers and groundsmen get the best from some of the company’s new and existing products, with water restrictions in southern England being a major topic.
The seminar was jointly organised with distributor Avoncrop Amenity Bracknell and attracted 42 attendees. These comprised representatives from 20 golf clubs, Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club, Kent County Cricket Club’s Beckenham ground, Adur District Council, Brighton & Hove City Council and Burgess Hill Bowling Club.
Michael Fance, from Scotts, said. “The aim of the seminar was to give this group the latest information about how they can significantly reduce turf stress by using Scotts products. These are specifically Primo MAXX, our revolutionary new turf growth regulator, the new Greenmaster liquid fertilizer range, Greenmaster Blade fertilizer, and H2Pro wetting agent, which is particularly relevant in this very dry year.
“We had some positive feedback from attendees, who said they found the day very informative and interesting. We are keen to organise more of these seminars in the future, not only to keep turf professionals informed, but as part of our programme of supporting our distributors.” www.scottsprofessional.co.uk
Top Dresser for speed and efficiency
Opened in 1993, Wharton Park is a high quality 18-hole championship length golf course, constructed to USGA standards and situated in a parkland setting within the rolling Worcestershire countryside. Course manager Neill Smith has recently taken delivery of a Turfco WideSpin top dresser mounted onto a Cushman Turf Truckster to aid his turf maintenance regime at the Club.
Graham Willetts, a director at Wharton Park who works closely with Neill on all greenkeeping matters said, “Our previous machine wasn’t the spinner-type, which resulted in large quantities of sand being deposited on the greens and sometimes they were out of play for as much as a week. On Neill’s recommendation we have gone for the little and often approach and the WideSpin allows us to do this. It can put down anything from a fine dusting to a really heavy application. With the little and often approach, our golfers don’t really notice that we’ve top dressed.”
“We hired in a trailed version of the WideSpin and while it worked brilliantly, it didn’t suit the terrain here. We contacted our local dealer TH White and they demoed the truck-mounted version and that proved to be ideal for our needs”, added Neill Smith. “We now have the flexibility to get out on the course as and when we want to, quickly and with minimum disruption. The new WideSpin is also less labour-intensive and frees up valuable time for other greenkeeping duties. We’ve improved drainage and certainly increased the rootzone to help promote better grass growth” www.whartonpark.co.uk
Course management with 1,000 deer as neighbours
Unique amongst golf courses in the United Kingdom, Knole Park Golf Club is located within 1,000 acres of outstanding ancient parkland, home to the finest deer herd in the southeast of England. With public access via a myriad of footpaths and the location within National Trust boundaries also being a Site of Special Scientific Interest, head greenkeeper Gavin Kyle and his team of four face some unique problems.
His latest purchase for this season is a Jacobsen G-Plex III triplex greens mower, which was purchased from local dealer, Ernest Doe and Sons. The team tried it out it for a week and agreed that this was the machine for them. This followed the purchase last year of a Jacobsen LF3800 fairway mower, which resulted in striped fairways at Knole Park for the first time.
“We have 800 members here and I think they were surprised at first, because it hadn’t been attempted due to the deer issue. However, I have a supportive committee and they backed my judgment totally. In my opinion the LF3800 is the best fairway machine on the market, the presentation is fantastic and the package from Ernest Doe’s certainly met our needs.” he added.
The deer herd comprises of between 800 and 1,000 Fallow and Japanese Sikka deer and they range freely across the park. In winter they nibble at any new growth on the greens and this can be an issue. Also, the use of fertilisers and similar products has to be limited due to their presence.
“I wouldn’t want to change anything regarding the deer; we have to live with them and manage the course accordingly; they’ve been around long before the golf course was built here”, he concluded. www.knoleparkgolfclub.co.uk
Terra Spike helps turf maintenance regime
Scott Purdy, head greenkeeper at Ashbourne Golf Club, has purchased a Wiedenmann Terra Spike XP6 to help with his turf maintenance regime at the 120-year old club. The new machine will be used extensively on greens, tees, fairways and approaches to help improve drainage and relieve compaction.
Scott, who heads a team of four, has worked at the club for 16 years, the last 7 as head greenkeeper. Speaking recently after the installation of the new machine he said,
“We looked at what was out there and plumped for the Wiedenmann after a demonstration from our local dealer, Henton & Chattell. The XP is a universal machine, very solidly built and we can use it all around the course. Initially, we will use the 19mm and 25mm diameter tines at around 300mm depth on the fairways to get in as deep as possible to improve water dispersion and relieve compaction. We’ll use 12mm and 19mm tines on the tees and 12mm on the greens.
“Having our own machine we have the flexibility to get out when conditions are right. The XP is very good; easy to adjust both the depth and heave and the tine retention system is so simple. Also, the support from the manufacturer has been superb; they are very hands on and really understand the principles, mechanics and benefits of deep aeration.”
The course at Ashbourne was extended to 18-holes in 1999 and is now a 6,365 yard par 71 set in rolling parkland with clever use of the natural terrain and water hazards. It has spectacular views into Dovedale and the Peak District. www.wiedenmann.co.uk
Kennemer prepares for the KLM Dutch Open
Originally designed by Harry Colt in 1920, the course at Kennemer Golf & Country Club, situated on the coast at Zandvoort, is one of the oldest in the Netherlands. The links course comprises three loops of 9 holes, the first is known as the Van Hengel, the second is the Colt and the most recent is the Pennick developed in 1985 by Frank Pennick.
The original 18 hole Colt design is a classic links course requiring much accuracy especially when the wind blows off the sea. The course is typified by its sand dunes, pine trees and gorse which can lull golfers into believing there are no real hazards but with strategically placed bunkers throughout the course and the unpredictability of the links terrain, the course is a real challenge.
In August the Club will be hosting the KLM Dutch Open, one of the European Tour’s major events, and in preparation have taken delivery of two Jacobsen LF-4675 light fairway mowers complete with turf groomers and rear roller brushes.
Cess Wolters, Product Manager with Ransomes Jacobsen’s Dutch distributor C van der Pols & Zon BV commented.
“We won this supply contract mainly as a result of the quality of cut achieved by the 5” (130mm) diameter cutting cylinders with their patented turf groomers. The Club want the best possible playing surfaces on their fairways and will be reducing the height of cut from 12mm to 9mm for the tournament. The Jacobsen 5” cylinder with groomers is the only unit on the market that can achieve this without scalping. As part of this agreement we will support the Kennemer Golf & Country Club at the Dutch Open with an LF-3400 fairway mower with the turf groomers and two sets of Turfworks vibrating rollers for their greens mowers.”
Ransomes Jacobsen www.ransomesjacobsen.com
North Staffs Irrigation on site at two ‘Open’ venues
The irrigation and drainage specialists have been carrying out alterations to the irrigation system at Royal Liverpool Golf Club for more than five years in preparation for the Open Golf Championship.
In a project requested by the R&A, they have installed a new stand-alone system on the practice ground which has been designed to allow single head control, as the area will house a tented village during the Championship. Its Logic 2100 controller can shut off any one of the 360˚ Hunter G90 sprinklers if an obstruction is in its path while continuing to irrigate the remainder of the area.
They’ve also provided irrigation to the grassed areas alongside a new pathway linking the clubhouse and the first tee using Hunter ProSprays.
Just prior to the main event at Hoylake, many of the world’s finest young golfers will take part in the Junior Open Championship at nearby Heswall Golf Club. Whilst the biennial tournament will take place on the original 18-holes at the parkland course, it’s currently being remodelled to include five additional holes designed by Tom Mackenzie, which are being built by constructor John Greasley on newly acquired land. Under the guidance of irrigation consultants 2ic, North Staffs will then install an independent system, providing irrigation to the greens, tees and approaches on the five new holes and one hole of the existing course. www.northstaffsirrigation.co.uk
Strong sales for Iseki tractors in Scotland
Sales of the Iseki tractor range are particularly buoyant in Scotland for Fairways GM, the Ransomes Jacobsen dealer that has depots in Inchinnan, Kinross and Aberdeen.
One of the latest organisations to favour the Iseki brand is Lenzie Golf Club, situated at the east end of Gadloch and just 15 minutes northeast of Glasgow city centre.
Gary Burns is head greenkeeper and he has spent his working life, all 24 years, at the 700-member club having joined straight from school in 1982.
“The TG5390 is an excellent compact tractor, competitively priced and just right for our needs here at Lenzie”, he said. “We had it on demo for a few days, which gave all the staff the chance to put it through its paces. The consensus was that it was undoubtedly the best machine for the job.”
The Iseki TG range was introduced at SALTEX last year with the 5390 and the slightly more powerful 5470. Both feature a new ‘intelligent’ transmission system and a quieter, smoother starting engine.
“We had an Iseki TK538 previously, but the new TG range is another step forward”, Gary added. “We’ll be working it quite hard with our aerator and using it for general towing and mowing duties around the course.” www.fairwaysgroup.ltd.uk
Unique lease and maintenance contract
A golf club in Lancashire which has risen like a phoenix from the ashes is now groundbreaking in an operational capacity. It is only five years that Leyland Golf Club was totally destroyed in a devastating fire in which everything was lost.
The club rapidly recovered and built a £1.5 million replacement facility which was opened in 2002. It is with similar enterprise and forward thinking that Leyland Golf Club has signed a unique new contract with Burrows Grass Machinery to lease and maintain equipment.
Under the rolling agreement Burrows Grass Machinery – which is less than a mile from the golf club – will respond to any breakdown within an hour. They will also replace all five frontline machines at the rate of one a year.
The club, which has 750 playing members each paying £670 a year, has a Jacobsen LF3800 fairway mower, Triking for tees and surrounds, Green King 4 for greens, HR5111 rough cutter, Cushman Turf Truckstar and E-Z-GO workhorse.
Said club director and treasurer Danny Winstone, “We understand we are the first customer of Burrows to sign such an agreement which took effect this month. Burrows has always been very positive and proactive over the years and we were impressed with their ability to be able to respond to our needs within such a short timescale.
“I believe we now have the best of both worlds – our five major machines will be replaced one by one over the next five years which in itself will reflect the standard of equipment that Burrows sell.
“The machines will be serviced and maintained under the contract which allows our course manager and his team of four green keepers to concentrate on what they do best. The benefit of the relationship is that we now have five people looking after the course over the busy summer months rather than looking after machines which is the best utilisation of our resources.”
Greens chairman Eddie Tickle said reducing downtime was vital to the club. “When we are having a machine serviced, Burrows supply us with a replacement so that work on the course continues without delay and at no extra cost.
“We had to do something about our machinery and we graded each machine in the order of priority in which it should be changed. We are happy that we have come up with a solution which is extremely cost effective.”
Danny Winstone added, “We can now budget for the year in the knowledge that we won’t end up with egg on our face. It is straight line accounting which takes out all potential problems. Golf clubs who are unaware of such an arrangement will want to research it and when they do the benefits will become increasingly apparent.” www.leylandgolfclub.co.uk