Global Edition

Groundbreaking trial at Ballybunion

12.42am 11th January 2011 - Courses - This story was updated on Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Pictured at the sowing of the Ballybunion trial are, from left, course superintendant Mike Hartney, and Barenbrug’s Jayne Leyland and Neil Pettican.

Specialist grass seed breeder Barenbrug continues to demonstrate its support for the Irish greenkeeping industry by establishing a second groundbreaking golf trial at Ballybunion Golf Club in County Kerry.

The Ballybunion greens and fairways trial complements a golf green differential input trial underway at Druids Glen Golf Resort – Barenbrug’s first regional trial investment in Ireland. This second trial is investigating the performance of 24 current and in-development mixtures and monocultures on greens and fairways under the influence of a links management programme and environment in indigenous sand.

Excitingly, the vastly contrasting locations of the two trial sites – with Ballybunion an exposed links course on the southwest coast and Druids Glen in County Wicklow a classic parkland course on the east – are expected to yield valuable data on the differing course and climatic conditions across the country.

While Druids Glen is a bents-based trial, Ballybunion – with its sand loam and windswept location – will focus on finding the ideal fescues to cope with these challenging conditions. The outcomes of the two trials promise to be of great use for Ireland’s course superintendents seeking grass seed solutions to cope with individual course requirements as well as the country’s increasingly adverse weather.

Commenting on the trial, Ballybunion’s deputy course superintendant, Mike Hartney, says: “As a club keen to remain at the cutting-edge of links golf course development, we’re pleased and proud to be a part of this important research. I wanted to prove to myself that you can grow quality turf in a sand rootzone provided you supply it with adequate levels of nutrition and water. Judging by how the trials are faring so far, the benefits for Ballybunion can already be seen on the ground. I also take great pride in knowing that the findings of this and the Druids trial are set to benefit the wider Irish greenkeeping industry.”

Barenbrug’s investment in Ireland doesn’t stop there, though. The company is also launching a Sports & Amenity Grass Seed 2011 catalogue specifically for its Irish customers. Packed with product details and expert advice, the star of the catalogue is a new mixture for Ireland – BAR Medal. Part of the new BAR Range, this innovative blend of 60 Bargold perennial ryegrass and 40 percent Viktorka slender creeping red fescue promises to bring superior wear tolerance and establishment combined with a very fine-leafed appearance to tees and greens.

Neil Pettican, Barenbrug regional sales manager in Ireland, says he’s delighted to launch these latest initiatives: “Times may be tough, but we continue to show our commitment to Ireland with a pioneering trials programme together with our new catalogue, a new mixture for Irish customers – as well as our attending the GCSAI show in March. This significant investment shows we’re serious about finding grass seed solutions for Ireland’s unique climate and conditions, and helping course superintendants get the best from the their seed.”


Ballybunion Golf Club


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