Thorpeness course manager Ian Willett is delighted with his prize, “The Scotts iTurf weather station is a very exciting piece of equipment to have on the course. It will enable us to accurately monitor disease, weather conditions, soil moisture and also help us with more effective water management. We can’t wait to put it through its paces.”
The Scotts iTurf weather station is a proactive turf management tool. It can predict turf disease attack before it occurs and can help to manage irrigation applications more efficiently, saving water and costs. It allows the turf manager to plan operations more efficiently, for example the best time to fertilize, aerate, or spray. It also enables historical records to be monitored. This means turf managers can learn from past weather conditions, the effect this has had on turf, and so plan the most effective treatments to prevent problems re-occurring.
Commenting on the award, Scotts’ Dave Steward said, “We are delighted to present our iTurf weather station to Thorpeness Golf Club. They have demonstrated a total commitment to creating a sustainable course, and have a very high level of environmental awareness. I hope the weather station will help them to continue this work.”
The BIGGA competition, which had been running for ten years, provides a platform for golf clubs to demonstrate their environmental credentials and prove that golf can be a positive and sustainable use of land. Thorpeness Golf Club was selected as 2005 winner after attempting to win the top prize for eight years. “It’s been a long road, but we are absolutely delighted to have finally made it,” said Ian.
Over the past eight years, Ian and his small team have put in an enormous amount of work to ensure the course is as environmentally-friendly as possible. This has included composting, controlling water waste, installing bird and bat boxes, closely monitoring flora and fauna on course to ensure minimum impact from course maintenance, and using locally grown turf for repair work.
Involvement in the competition has inspired many individuals at Thorpeness to become more ecologically active in their own homes, while the site’s hotel has also introduced a wide range of ‘green’ measures. These include recycling corks, not serving any fish which is on the endangered list, using returnable crates and recycled pens, and installing environmentally-friendly light bulbs throughout the hotel and bubble showers, which use less water. Staff are also helping to tidy up the beach at Aldeburgh.
Ian is convinced the win is the result of involvement from the whole club. “We are lucky to have a small but dedicated management team, and many of the members have been very interested in what we’ve been doing here. We also recently won the Anglian Business Environmenet Award, so we’re now starting to get recognition for the work we’ve put in – which is very satisfying.
“My advice to other course manger is give the BIGGA competition a go. I got so fed up with people saying that golf courses were detrimental to the environment and wanted to show they are anything but. The competition showcases the great work that’s going on up and down the country.”
Scotts Professional www.scottsprofessional.co.uk
Thorpeness Golf Club www.suffolkcoastgolf.co.uk