The Phoenix Sports and Social Club in Rotherham was originally established to provide sports facilities for the employees of the nearby steelworks. Now open to the public, the site boasts an 18 hole golf course, football pitches, a cricket square with 10 wickets and a bowling green. Head Groundsman Graham Pickin has been at Phoenix Park for 3 years and explains how he’s turned the multi-sport facility around, on a limited budget, with the help of Headland Amenity.
“Before I joined, the money wasn’t very well spent and the golf greens had extremely high organic content which brought with it all sorts of disease and problems. On top of trying to improve standards, I had to show sensible cost savings.” Graham contacted all of his suppliers, including Alex Hawkes at Headland Amenity who went in to assess the requirements with a view to creating a simple, cost effective feeding programme. “Alex is a very knowledgeable, helpful chap who based all recommendations on the results of a soil analysis. He took into account not just the money available to manage our multi-sport areas but the available labour – with a team of 6 we’re all kept busy!”
Alex recommended Xtend 46-0-0 slow release granular fertiliser for fairways and sports pitches with applications spread across the year and a low rate of Multigreen temperature controlled release fertiliser for strong, but not excessive growth on the tees. C-Complex 4-3-4 is used for multi-sport renovation whilst C-Complex 7-0-7 is applied mid-summer as a way to reduce plant stress. Headland’s 20:20:30 tank mix, which has helped to create disease-free greens, is additionally applied to the bowls and cricket squares. Finally, Graham is now using Tricure Granular wetting agent to spot treat specific areas that Graham knows will dry out to cut down on labour intensive hand watering.
“We buy our products in bulk which proves to be more cost effective than buying small units and avoids the separate carriage charges. I can then dip into it when the application window, and fixtures, permit and can carry excess product over.” Similar products were tied into the programme so that, where possible, they can be used on multiple areas. Graham also relies on Headland’s WeatherCheck service so that applications are timed to growth potential, therefore maximising the effect of the product.
“The golf course in particular is doing exceptionally well, attracting over 100 new members in the last few months. We’ve got a guy, now well into his 80’s, whose been a member at Phoenix Park for 70 years and he commented that he’s never seen greens looking as good as ours have this spring. As a team we’ve turned the place around, which makes all the hard work worthwhile.”
Headland Amenity www.headlandamenity.com
Phoenix Sports and Social Club www.phoenixssc.co.uk