Issuu on Google+

The leading business magazine for the pan-European golf industry

Golf Management E u ro p e

promoting your club A professional golf course photograph will generate more green fee revenue than any editorial in any publication, but just how easy is it to come up with the perfect image? page 14

Linking Quality with Style UK ÂŁ5.00 Eur â‚Ź8.00 US $7.50

December 2001 www.portman.uk.com

Link Lockers unlock members expectations at Mere Golf and Country Club


Need money for your golf course? At Textron Financial Corporation, we’ve got money to lend. TFC can refinance your course, provide funds for renovation, and even help you acquire a new one. And you’ll be pleased to discover our knowledge of the golf business is on par with your own. Our dedicated golf specialists take pride developing loan programmes that are right for you. Seasonal payments, earn-outs, longer amortizations, and higher leverage allow you to manage your business today while creating a strong foundation for tomorrow. Need money? Want to talk to someone who knows your business? Give us a call.

Textron Financial Corporation Subsidiary of Textron Inc.

The World’s Leader in Golf Course Finance® European Division

Andrew Snook Golf Course Finance Division Textron Financial Corporation Textron, Ltd. 8 Chesterfield Hill London W1X 7RG Tel: +44 (0) 20 7647 3006 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7647 3036 Mobile: +44 (0) 7940 558284 Email:asnook@tfc.textron.com

Division Headquarters

Ray Muñoz Textron Financial Corporation 4550 North Point Parkway, #400 Alpharetta, GA 30022 U.S.A. Tel: 001 770/360-9600 Fax: 001 770/360-1467


Contents

Is debt the best way forward?

cover story 7

Once again a Plimsoll report into the golf industry will set alarm bells ringing. The latest report shows that one in four companies within the industry is using debt to finance growth. And although the overall conclusion is hardly a death knell, it should act as a further reminder to adopt prudent financial strategies.

issue 22 credits;

For while many companies have increased their market share after increasing their borrowing, they have also significantly increased their debt - and the risk of future hardship.

editor John Vinicombe contributors David Bowers Alister Marshall Rob Wright publisher Michael Lenihan administration Sharon O’Connell print Colourspeed

Almost 150 companies within the industry have been named by the report as ‘chancers’ - companies who are utilising debt to gain market share.

show stoppers 8

Around half of the companies within the UK golf industry increased debt - but more than half of those have benefited. The ‘chancers’ have benefited the most, increasing sales by almost three times the industry norm, with an average nine per cent extra market share.

Golf Management Europe Suffolk Studios 284 Ravenswood Avenue Ipswich IP3 9TQ United Kingdom telephone 0870 241 4678

However, the down side of this is that nine out of every ten companies rated under the Plimsoll system are deemed ‘at high financial risk.’

(overseas +44 1473 274956)

facsimile 01473 274874 email info@portman.uk.com internet www.portman.uk.com All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without written permission from the publisher. Whist due care to detail is taken to ensure that the content of Golf Management Europe is accurate, the publisher cannot accept liability for errors.

So while increasing borrowing may appear a viable proposition in order to build for the future, it is not a decision that should be taken lightly - especially in the current climate.

queenwood 23

As Plimsoll’s senior analyst, David Pattison, observed: “Taking other people’s money and using it to generate a profit is great in the good times. “The dilemma for these companies is that they will need to keep charging a price premium to finance the debt.” And therein lies the problem. If the end customer decides that the recession is biting he or she will baulk at paying an increased price for a product in the leisure sector.

retailing 32

With the ‘chancers’ showing a profit of just 1.5 per cent on sales compared to the industry average of 1.9 per cent, the warning signals are obviously there. There is little doubt that companies will associate this level of market pressure with a recession as the market simply cannot sustain this level of behaviour.

© Portman Publishing and Communications Ltd 2001

You have been warned.

Golf Management Europe December 2001

Page 3


News National Strategy needed to promote UK golf Lead Story The need for a more co-ordinated approach to the promotion of golf to new players was the conclusion of the European Golf Industry Association Conference held at Wentworth in October. The conference was attended by representatives from many of the game’s administrative bodies together with delegates from all sides of the golf business including golf course operators, suppliers, retailers and specialist golf media. Opening the debate Warren Sunderland, chairman of the Sports Industries Federation, explained that the industry had real concerns that, without a national strategy, too many people’s efforts to persuade more people to play golf were being diluted and duplicated. Stephen Proctor of Sports Marketing Surveys said that in the UK, golf was “an industry not achieving the opportunities which seemed to be out there.” Even before recent difficulties caused by last winter's bad weather, foot and mouth disease in many parts of the country and the recent decline in the number of golf tourists arriving from overseas, there was evidence to show that over the last ten years, while the number of golf courses had increased, the average number of rounds played had declined. There had been hardly any increase in the number of people who played the game. The impact on municipal golf courses was particularly severe. The number of rounds played had fallen by 50 per cent since 1990 and the lost revenue amounted to £60m per year. All this was in spite of a general perception that the game was booming. It was true that a large number of people took up playing golf each year but this was only sufficient to balance out the number of people who each year gave it up. The percentage of the population playing the game had remained more or less static at around 6-7 per cent each year. The equipment market was stagnant. In continental Europe the number of golfers has increased at a faster rate than the number of golf courses but the golf market in these countries is still relatively immature. Page 4

The UK has much more in common with the market in the US where the growth in the number of players has also not kept pace with the increase in the provision of golf facilities. Stephen Proctor described Golf 20/20, the US response to this problem. The campaign’s objectives are, over the next twenty years: to increase the ‘fan’ base from 96m to 177m (UK fan base 8m); to increase participation from 35m to 55m (UK participation 3.7m); and to increase rounds played from 570m to 1,000m (UK rounds played 75m). This was a programme in which all sectors of the US golf business were cooperating, and in many ways it was similar to a programme which the US Tennis Association had started in 1998 and which was already showing encouraging results. It was the experience of the promoters of Golf 20/20 that “of every 10 youngsters exposed to the game through a structured programme six will be active adult golfers. Of every 10 youngsters exposed to the game but not through a structured programme three will be active adult golfers.” While many sports in the UK have received considerable support from Lottery funding, golf has lagged well behind the others. Richard Callicott, chief executive of UK Sport, told the conference that this situation would not change so long as “seventeen organisations run golf. It is little wonder that you are fragmented. Golf is always going to have a problem until that is sorted out.” He went on to say that UK Sport has money for “modernising governing bodies.” It was generally accepted that the industry must act together in its own interest, with or without Government or Lottery support, to guarantee its own future. Doing nothing was not an option. “There is huge latent demand,” said Stephen Proctor. “Seven million people say that they want to play golf. “We need to create a user friendly path of entry which guides the way from initial interest through to the driving range, from the range to the short course and from the short course to the full length course.”

Hydroscape expands support team The latest new recruit for Hampshirebased the Hydroscape Group is Simon Squires who joins in the capacity of UK technical support manager. Squires’ brief covers all technical aspects of Hydroscape’s distribution interests and recently worked with St Andrews Links Trust officials as contracts managers responsible for the second phase of the £940,000 irrigation update of the Old, New and Jubilee courses earlier this year.

A new era for Duke’s Dene Duke’s Dene GC, Woldingham, Surrey has been acquired by PGA professional Phil Harrison and his partner, Louise Harrison. The Bradford Benz designed 18-hole course and clubhouse has been sold by Clubhaus plc for an undisclosed sum, and will operate as a proprietary-owned members club. Commenting on the purchase, Phil Harrison said: “We have been looking to buy a suitably located course in the south of England for some time, and Duke’s Dene fits the profile of course, location, membership and clubhouse. “The course is in great condition and has matured beyond its years since opening in 1996. “It is my intention to promote the friendly and welcoming social environment of the club whilst investing in the course and facilities for our members. “We aim to be the most sought after proprietary-owned club in the area.”

December 2001Golf Management Europe


Putting green helps budding pros An indoor putting green from Huxley Golf has been installed within the impressive new Golf Science laboratory at the PGA National Training Academy which is located at The Belfry. The green will be used to help train budding professionals as part of a three-year sandwich course leading to the PGA Diploma in Golf. The Huxley putting green will be used also for practice and the coaching of elite national player squads as well as continuing development programmes undertaken by experienced pros.

BAGCC’s new recruit

Excellence at Brocket Hall The English Ladies Golf Association has confirmed that it shall be training at Brocket Hall Golf Academy throughout the winter while Brocket Hall’s head professional, Keith Wood, has been asked to join a small team of coaches to develop a select group of 14-17 year old girls to elite standards. In an effort to entice beginners to the Hertfordshire-based club, the Academy Membership has been launched which includes full use of the Academy facilities, practice ground and par-three course including unlimited golf balls. Membership costs £600 for six months or £1,000 for 12 months.

After a prolonged application process, John Pierson (SM) Limited has finally been elected as a full member of the British Association of Golf Course Constructors. Pierson has been involved in the golf course construction industry for over 20 years and has recently completed the 27hole Bristol Golf Club. Other projects included Ashdown Park, Stapleford Park, Stockwood Vale and Drayton Park where he is re-building 18 greens. Commenting on his appointment, Pierson said: “It is important that the construction industry focuses on highstandards which is one of the many reasons why I decided to apply for BAGCC recognition. “Not only does membership help to bolster my reputation, but I am also hoping that it will generate increased tender opportunities from architects throughout the UK and Europe.”

The specialist installers of lining systems for golf course water features Lakes, ponds, streams all lined Supply of Enviro Root Barrier™ to contain aggressive tree roots

GOLF SHOP INTERIORS

Drainage channels and ditches also lined A wide variety of materials installed

Call for more information or advice, or visit our web-site at

www.environmentallinings.co.uk ENVIRONMENTAL LINING SYSTEMS LIMITED

Westland Square, Leeds LS11 5SS Tel: 0113 277 5635 Fax: 0113 277 5454 Email: sales@envirolinings.demon.co.uk Golf Management Europe December 2001

New Mill Road, Honley, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD9 6QA. Tel: 01484 666 666 Fax: 01484 666 949 email: replan@replan.com

Page 5


News Survey claims EZGO is number one Golf Car

Kidd declares inaugural success Jimmy Kidd, Golf Courses and Estates director at the world-renowned complex declared the inaugural Gleneagles Turf Care Conference, sponsored by Textron, “a resounding success”. Speaking to over 135 delegates at the conclusion of the three-day conference he said: “The conference has surpassed all my expectations and, without fear of contradiction, I can say that it achieved all of its aims.” “We had a diverse range of delegates from all parts of the globe and it provided the ideal forum for them to expand their knowledge and understanding of the golf industry. “The speakers, many of whom had travelled from across the world, were first rate and question time at the end of each session provided the opportunity for a lively debate on the various issues raised.” Keynote speaker, Fred Green, the renown golf course developer whose projects include Nantucket GC, Eagle Springs in Colorado and more recently the new Queenwood Club in Surrey, expounded his philosophy on golf club development and the impact of modern technology on course design. He was particularly concerned with the advances in club and ball design, suggesting that a review would be necessary to ensure that all the major courses remain challenging to the top professionals. This theme was continued later with course designer David McLay Kidd providing a fascinating insight into designing courses that are challenging for the professional, while remaining playable for the majority of golfing enthusiasts. Page 6

According to an independent study conducted by the Golf Research Group, an organisation providing research and consultancy advice on all aspects of golf, EZGO is the undisputed number one golf car. The third-party study, which involved a course-by-course survey of every golf course in the US, determined that EZGO captured 46.5 per cent of the golf car market in the States in 2000, with its closest competitor registering 37 per cent. The study also showed that EZGO was number one in 1999 with 43.4 per cent of the market. The next closest competitor had 35.3 per cent. From 1999 to 2000, EZGO increased its leadership position, as its market share grew from 43.4 per cent to 46.5 per cent while the closest competitor only grew from 35.3 per cent to 37 per cent. Commenting on the announcement from Augusta, Peter Bell, marketing director of Ipswich-based Textron Golf, Turf & Specialty Products said: “This study simply validates what we have been saying for years.

“We have always maintained that EZGO is the leader in the golf car industry, based on a range of statistics such as number of golf cars manufactured, number of golf courses that use EZGO, the fact that EZGO has contracts with nine of the top 10 golf course management companies in the world, including the top three - and more. “But this study really ends the debate among our competition as to who is the undisputed leader. With almost 47 per cent of the US market and similar penetration around the globe, EZGO is clearly number one in the industry.”

Carraro with a Cat-like Tread Although Seaford Head Golf Club uses its Carraro TRX 8400 tractor to power some heavy grass maintenance equipment, the machine travels over fine surfaces with the light tread of a cat. That’s because the Sussex course specified their machine with Nokia highflotation tyres, which reduce the ground pressure to just 6psi. Head greenkeeper Dustin Houghton is delighted with the machine.

“Even when the TRX is working with one of the larger Vert-Drain deep aeration machines mounted on the back, it still creates less disturbance to the grass than an empty turf utility vehicle moving personnel around,” he said. The Nokia tyres are accommodated easily into the Carraro tractor’s compact frame, and their lifespan is typically equal to or greater than the vehicle to which they are fitted.

December 2001Golf Management Europe


COVER STORY

Link Lockers Link House, Halesfield 6, Telford Shropshire TF7 4LN England Telephone: 01952 682380 Facsimile: 01952 684312 www.linklockers.co.uk

New Lockers for lady golfers at Mere

Cover Story Changing room equipment manufacturer Link Lockers has recently supplied personal storage lockers to the Mere Golf and Country Club, near Knutsford, Cheshire. Mere has a deserved reputation as one of the most prestigious golf courses in the region and when the time came to re-furbish the storage facilities provided for lady members, the club’s objective was to ensure that the new lockers required would fulfil the specification for a superior quality product. The resulting installation of Link Club Range lockers has provided 72-storage compartments for valuables and other personal effects in a run of 18 four-door

units, which feature a warm, natural wood-effect finish and a design style that is neat and space efficient. Club Range lockers and fittings are designed to provide comfortable, secure and attractively furnished changing environments for users of golf and fitness clubs who, like the members at Mere, expect facilities to match their expectations for quality in service and surroundings. Link’s Club Range reflects changes in recent years in what is expected from a locker supplier. Frequently, locker manufacturers are now expected to supply far more than just the ‘storage boxes’ for golfers’ equipment and personal possessions. Garment hanging units, shoe racks, integral benches and seats, vanity units and cupboards, are now frequently required to complement the lockers, to furnish what is now seen as an integrated changing room interior.

The choice of materials in which lockers are available has also developed, in line with the interior design perameters set by architects, designers and the operators of golf and leisure facilities. ‘Conventional’ steel lockers still offer a versatile, cost-effective storage solution, but alternative materials such as aluminium, wood veneers, laminated veneered finishes and decorative solid grade laminates are now frequently desired for lockers in clubs where image and style must be reflected in the changing room facilities. Providing secure storage space still remains as the paramount requirement of any locker. The security features offered in today’s lockers have also developed and ‘traditional’, key-operated locking systems are now complemented by digital touch-pad and electronic key-less locks, such as the systems recently launched by Link Lockers.

We’re here to help you now! Development Situations from concept to delivery Project Management (New and Existing Sites) Operations, Promotions, Marketing and Tourism We have the experience in the above subjects and would like to help you, now - anywhere!

ICEBURG LTD 26A Hartington Road, Chiswick, London W4 3UB Tel: 44 (0)20 8994 1810 Fax: 44 (0)20 8995 0974 email: coachhouse@ukonline.co.uk LEISURE DEVELOPMENT AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT GOLF AND HEALTH CLUB OPERATIONS

Golf Management Europe December 2001

Page 7


EDITORIAL

Exhibition Overload The first few months of the year traditionally see a frenzy of exhibition activity, but 2002 sees a staggering number of events scheduled during the first quarter. David Bowers questions the validity of an exhibition overload.

f you have a commercial interest in the golf industry - and the mere fact you subscribe to this magazine suggests you do - the next few months could prove expensive. Gone are the days when you built up to an exhibition in the Spring in advance of the sport’s high season. Now there are more industry exhibitions than you can safely wave a mashey niblick at. Pardon my grammar and use of colloquialisms - but you get the drift.

I

aspect of the sport has several people vying to be ‘the’ authority on their specialist subject. The non-playing side of golf is becoming as fragmented as the competitive side of boxing with hypothetical belts being handed out left, right and centre by new and established organisations. There is now a need for a ‘unification bout’ to tighten up the industry as a whole and make it far more of a feasible proposition for the man or the company on the ground floor.

Too much? Too right! We understand that attempts last year to link the Clubhouse exhibition with 1 failed, leaving BIGGA to launch their own version - The Golf Club Show. Impact In such times, only the most cash-rich companies and organisations will choose to exhibit at both, thus diluting the impact of both exhibitions and denying the customer the opportunity to see everything under one roof.

LATE JANUARY AND FEBRUARY SEES A STAGGERING EIGHT EXHIBITIONS ACROSS THE GLOBE IN THE SPACE OF JUST 36 DAYS Late January and February sees a staggering eight exhibitions across the globe in the space of just 36 days - and if your company has an international presence which it intends to maintain there are some decisions to be made. Such saturation cannot be good for the sport, even in a so-called ‘boom’ time. When we are on the verge of a world-wide recession it is practically suicidal. So, you would be entitled to ask, why does the industry allow itself to become so fragmented? The answer I’m afraid lies, not surprisingly, in personal interests. Too many people have too much to gain to centralise the industry. Each Page 8

The British Turf Management Exhibition 2002 (BTME) takes place in Harrogate on January 22 and has been expanded with the addition of The Golf Club Show - a direct competitor to Clubhouse 2002 at the NEC in Birmingham just 36 days later! If so inclined, you could catch the first or second day of BTME 2002 before flying to Zurich for the World of Golf 2002 exhibition which runs for four days from January 24. Struggle But if you failed to attend the first day of that it would be a real struggle to fly to Orlando, Florida, in time to catch the massive PGA Merchandise Show which opens on the 25th.

And that customer is unlikely to choose to visit both. Remember this is the time of temporary greens, closed courses and restricted income. The number-crunchers make the decisions as to who goes where and who spends what during the winter months. Having flown to Orlando for the PGA Merchandise Show you might be tempted to hang around a few days to visit the GCSAA Show which is held in the same city from February 3 for one week. That would allow a whole five days’ respite before the necessary flight to Barcelona for the prestigious European Golf Show and another ten days before choosing whether to attend Centre

December 2001Golf Management Europe


Exhibitions’ Clubhouse 2002 at the NEC, Birmingham, or the equally cold and mightily impressive Fairway 2002 at the MOC in Munich - which have incredibly been scheduled for the same time. Fragmenting What possible purpose can be gained by fragmenting the industry to this extent? It certainly does not serve the end user, who is left to make a decision with little or no information to guide him or her. And I haven’t yet mentioned Promo Verde in Zaragoza in March; the World Scientific Congress of Golf at St Andrews in July; IOG Saltex, the PGA International Show and Golf Europe 2002, also in Munich - which all take place in September - and many more until the exhibition overload season finishes in November with China Golf 2002 in Guangzhou, and nobody can really complain about the timing or viability of that particular show. Parties with a vested interest would argue that not everybody would want to visit all shows - which is just as well, as they wouldn’t be able to. In fact some people would wish to see all these shows for the solution to their problem/s could be at any one. Torn However, many people who exist in specialised sections of the industry may often find themselves torn between two or more shows during a short period of time - and in basic economic terms, when anything starts to spread itself so thinly, holes start to develop. And those holes are not easy to patch up once they begin to take hold. There is, of course, a good argument for having similar shows on different continents, for there is a need to service the domestic market as well as the expanding international one. But the timing of the shows could be better. Traditionally, the PGA Merchandise Show takes place a week after BTME - this year there are fewer than 16 hours before one closes and the other opens.

Hardly beneficial to either visitors or exhibitors. And if visitor numbers are down on estimates during this year’s shows the organisers have only themselves to blame. And obviously such a downturn in numbers has a knock-on effect, as exhibitors decide they are no longer getting value for money and look elsewhere to spend their pr and marketing budget. This sadly, only serves to perpetuate the problem, as there is then a tendency to group together people of similar minds and approach another organisation to host yet another exhibition which is deemed to serve that particular part of the industry better than an allencompassing show. It is, metaphorically a roundabout which is impossible to get off - it merely swings in an ever-extending circle until the wheels fall off. Together Now is the time for all interested parties to come together and agree on terms, conditions and timings for a couple of all-singing, all-dancing industry shows and one or two more specialised events before the customer decides enough is enough. Exhibitions are an enjoyable distraction from the day-to-day drudgery of our normal working lives yet are also a valuable research tool. We all enjoy a once-a-year trawl around 1,000s of stalls and stands learning of the latest advances in all areas of the industry. We can even enjoy a decent lunch and have a drink on the company - let’s face it, who doesn’t enjoy that! But if the calendar of golf industry events continues to grow there will be fewer and fewer people who regard such events as a necessary day out. And there will be more and more people who use internet portals as a virtual exhibition hall. The time has come for clear and sensible thinking - and exhibitors and customers are the people who can force the issue. Over to you.

Golf Management Europe December 2001

Page 9


News Early birds set to tee-off on Old Course

Deep drill receives an encore St Andrews Links Trust recently saw the return of Ecosolve’s Deep Drill 60/18 for further aeration work on the historic greens of the Old Course. Initially work had been carried out on the first green in November 2000, and a year later the second stage of the aeration programme was conducted and also broadened to include an area on the second green. Gordon Moir, links superintendent said: “We needed aeration and extraction of rootzone, and the drilling concept met that requirement. However, it had to be deeper than twelve inches and Ecosolve were able to meet the criteria of exceptional depth and extraction.” Bretton King, Ecosolve’s technical director was delighted to receive the enquiry: “When St Andrews first contacted us and explained what the requirements were, we naturally hoped we could provide what was needed. The factory became involved and a specially designed head was produced.”

Golfers will have the opportunity to play the Old Course earlier in the day for four months next summer following a recent decision by the Links Management Committee. During May, June, July and August 2002, the Old Course will open at 6.30am, half an hour earlier than its usual time of 7am. This will make over 250 extra tee times available on what is probably the most popular golf course in the world. “This decision has been made in the hope that it will help offset the anticipated loss of business next season following the events of 11 September,” said Alan McGregor, general manager at St Andrews Links Trust. “As the largest golf complex in Europe, the Trust is fully aware of its responsibility to golf tourism in Scotland and, given the current exceptional circumstances, is making this move for the 2002 season only.” The new opening time on the Old Course will come into operation on Monday 13 May and end on Saturday 31 August. “The aim is to encourage golfers to stay in the area for a few days and after their early bird rounds they will be able to sample other courses in the area,” explained McGregor.

Deeside re-opens after seven year project

Free Irish hospitality Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links is inviting guests to enjoy an extra night of luxury for free when booking a Links Golfer package before March 2002, when the stay includes a Sunday night. The price of IR£172 per person includes two nights’ accomodation in a standard double or twin room based on two sharing, full Irish breakfast each morning, and one round of golf. Page 10

After seven years in the making, the 27-hole re-development of Aberdeen’s 98-year old Deeside Golf Club has opened, to the design of Aberdeenshirebased architect, Robin Hiseman. The re-development now provides a 6,424-yard, Par 70, 18-hole championship course, complemented by the 9hole, 2,800-yard Par 35, Blairs course. The new course has already been well received by Scottish professionals in a recent Tartan Tour event. The re-development has consolidated Deeside’s reputation as one of the leading parkland courses in Scotland. Meandering through beautiful parkland alongside the spectacular, fast flowing River Dee, the new course is gaining a reputation as a demanding test of golfing strategy. Amongst the many holes, Hiseman picks out the last two as being of particular merit.

“The course builds up to a tremendous finale with the last two holes, a long par four and long Par three respectively. Both holes are brand new and fit beautifully into the mature landscape. “They are both a stern test of strategy and nerve, with water and deep, pot bunkers to contend with. No golfer can relax until the last putt drops.” The project has won plaudits from the Scottish Golf Course Wildlife Group for the imaginative creation of new wildlife habitats, including several large wetland areas and extensive new woodlands.

December 2001Golf Management Europe


Constructor of the Bristol Golf Club

(Specialist Maintenance) Limited

Golf Course and Sports Ground Construction Specialist Vertidrain Hire CONSTRUCTION AND RENOVATION OF GOLF COURSES, BOWLING GREENS, CRICKET SQUARES TENNIS COURTS AND SPORTS PITCHES

Homestead Farm, Ringwood Road Three Legged Cross, Wimborne Dorset U.K. BH21 6QY Tel: Verwood +44 (0)1202 813592 Fax: +44 (0)1202 826447

Golf Management Europe December 2001

Page 11


News Multi-fit roller set to launch BTME will see the launch of an entirely new version of the popular True-Surface Lightweight Vibratory Roller attachments. The American manufacturers will be displaying their totally new ‘Universal’ design of roller unit which fits all popular makes of greens triple mower. The same set of units can be simply converted to fit from one brand to another by changing only the fitting kit. True-Surface rollers are used by golf courses world-wide for a vast range of greens maintenance operations including helping to produce faster, truer greens without lowering heights of cut, restoring surfaces after aeration and top-dressing, and rolling instead of mowing on the day after spraying greens.

New-look website for New Year As the festive period approaches, Portman Publishing and Communications, publishers of Golf Management Europe, has launched its new look website for 2002. Heavily centred around GME, the new look site offers readers additional information concerning the current issue, together with a new section offering access to previous editions via an archive system. The option to purchase on-line has been introduced, and for advertisers, the media section has been expanded. The address of the site remains the same, and anyone interested can take a look at www.portman.uk.com

Cut price compaction

Washed turf establishes year-round play

European course managers and arboriculturalists have the chance to relieve compaction panning problems with the original German designed Terralift machine, at cut price rates, when it travels to Munich for the Fairway 2002 exhibition in March. Terrain Aeration Services - the British company who have bought the sole manufacturing rights to the Terralift design - plan to exhibit the German invention in Munich. The Suffolk-based company will be available to carry out European contracts while they are abroad, cutting normal transport costs. Lynda Green, TAS director urges clients who wish to take advantage of the company’s offer to book now. “We will only be in Europe for a short time, but by planning well in advance we should be able to accommodate all interested customers. “Anyone interested in viewing the Terralift should book early!”

Early retirement trends, climatic changes and the continuing popularity of the game have given Lindum Seeded Turf their largest turf order in the golf market this year. 6,800 sq m of washed, high bent greens turf and 21,000 sq m of the company’s smooth stalk fescue mixture now adorn the 18 new greens and surrounds at Drayton Park GC in Staffordshire, where construction has followed the growing demands for year round play. Jonathan Tucker, the STRI golf course architect who designed the greens and has been in charge of the project says that Drayton Park is one of a growing number of older courses where the need for new sand-based greens has become more urgent as the trend towards continual play has met warmer and wetter winters. “We seem to be working on more and more courses which were constructed before irrigation systems became standard”, said Tucker.

Page 12

“The club was founded in 1897, and the present course designed by James Braid, was constructed in 1935,” said head greenkeeper Richard Lowe. “Half the course is on heavy clay soil and the other half is on gravel. Although the gravel-based section drains well, the greens were all built on imported clay. Over the years, drainage problems have gradually increased.” John Pierson has reconstructed all greens following STRI specifications, laid herringbone pipe drainage systems beneath carpets of uniform hard stone, topped with a blinding layer.

December 2001Golf Management Europe


Vitax appoint Irish Distributor Vitax chose Sportsturf Ireland - the Dublin-based exhibition - to announce the appointment of Goldcrop as their new distributor. Based in Cork, the company which can be traced back to the early 1900s will enjoy sole distribution rights of Vitax products throughout Ireland. “We would like to think that we are a leading supplier of grasses to many golf courses in Ireland,” said John Murphy, sales and marketing director. “Vitax products compliment our own, and increase Goldcrop’s portfolio.”

Employment links at GWG

Rotary Mowers on Show The world’s only practical articulator rotary mowers will be on show at BTME in January. The articulator technique offers a costeffective answer to a worldwide need for a fine finish to turf, cut from 25mm to 150mm over flat, undulating or even steeply banking terrain.

Lastec’s market research led to the articulator’s development in 1991. Also seen as a solution to many practical lawn maintenance problems, it avoids the need to pick up or vacuum leaves by mulching them away. The system works in long or short, wet or dry grass.

Golf World Group (GWG) of Perth, Western Australia, are about to launch a new ‘Employment Fulfilment’ section on their website which can help with all employment requirements. “It will work for both employers as well as employees,” said Stephen Allen, CEO and founder of GWG. “Over the past couple of years and in particular the past six months or so, we have received many calls, emails and faxes from people in the industry asking if we can help them find a job. “I have spoken to golf course superintendents and general managers and the common denominator is for whatever reason, they wish to find alternative employment within the industry.” GWG have managed to build up the largest database of its kind in the golf industry and consists of over 16,000 dossiers. The new employment section can be found at www.golfworldgroup.com.au

THE PROVEN PERFORMER

The sturdy walk-behind 60 trencher from Case Easily manoeuvred in confined areas, yet offering big trencher features like hydrostatic ground drive and hydraulic boom raise and lower Just walk the unit up the trailer ramp and chain to the trailer for ease of transport Also fitted with a neutral safety start system, engine “oil-alert” system and low-effort colour-coded controls

HAWTREE GOLF COURSE ARCHITECTS Since 1912 5 OXFORD STREET, WOODSTOCK, OXFORD OX20 1TQ

To hire or buy... For further information contact: Telephone: 01865 735420 L.D. BOURGEIN OXFORD LIMITED South Hinksey, Oxford OX1 5AZ Fax: 01865 326155 Northern office: Howford Lane, Acomb NE46 4FA Website: www.bourgein.com

Telephone: 01434 608898 Fax: 01434 608898 Email: help@bourgein.com

Golf Management Europe December 2001

TEL: (01993) 811976 FAX: (01993) 812448 E-Mail: golfdesign@hawtree.co.uk Web site: www.hawtree.co.uk Martin Hawtree Fellow of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects

Page 13


PROFILE

The Specialist Some would think that taking a photograph of a golf course is a relatively simple exercise. Not so, as Golf Management Europe publisher Michael Lenihan realised when he accompanied Eric Hepworth on a recent commission. Reporting by David Bowers.

icture the scene. You’ve splashed out five or six thousand pounds on a wedding and you want to remember it for ever. So you speak to a friend who’s got a Kodak instamatic and ask him to shoot off a couple of films to remember the big day. No of course you don’t.

P

You approach a professional who specialises in wedding photography to ensure everything is done correctly and you get the best possible photographs of your big day. So why is it then, that with a business head on you are prepared to spend thousands of pounds producing and printing corporate literature only to see

it let down by watery pictures the office junior took at the last moment because it had been previously overlooked. A picture paints a 1,000 words, so it is said, and a well-lit scene from your course may be the difference between a corporate booking or not, irrespective of how flowery the prose on the brochure. !

WHEN I PRESENT A CLIENT WITH PICTURES OF HIS COURSE I WANT HIS JAW TO DROP AND HIS EYES TO POP OUT. Page 14

December 2001Golf Management Europe


Golf Management Europe December 2001

Page 15


TO CATCH THE REAL BEAUTY OR DIFFICULTY OF A COURSE YOU HAVE TO BE PREPARED TO WAIT. AND WHEN THE TIME ARRIVES YOU HAVE TO KNOW EXACTLY WHEN TO TAKE THE PHOTOGRAPH.

There are times when magazines like this have to use contributed pictures or - even worse - pictures taken by the reporter himself and at first glance they may not look too bad. The advances in ‘quick-snap’ photographic technology in the last few years have been a phenomenal advantage in this direction. Artistic But they cannot compensate for the artistic eye possessed by a professional; the person who sees an award-winning photograph when you and I see a muddy rugby player or a ball in a bunker. Eric Hepworth has been a golf specialist for more years than he cares to remember. His reputation is such that whenever possible, we at Golf Management Europe and many other publications will use his pictures. And because pictures are better than words - or so Eric tells me - we have illustrated this feature with pictures taken at Seckford Golf Club, Suffolk, by Golf Management Europe publisher Michael Lenihan alongside Eric’s portraits from the same scene. Difference Bear in mind these pictures were taken on the same day and while our publisher’s efforts are not bad in their own context, I am sure you will agree the difference is only too noticeable when placed alongside those of Eric Hepworth. Patience is a virtue so they say and it certainly is in the case of Hepworth, who has been known to sit in the same spot for hours - and occasionally days just to get the right lighting for the picture he wants. Page 16

For six years he was the photographer for the Royal & Ancient’s hole by hole analysis of the Open Championship providing unparalleled views of some of the most beautiful or difficult holes in the sport. And in 1999, Carnoustie tested not just the abilities of the world’s top golfers, but also the patience of the country’s number one golf course photographer. Hepworth explained: “I was after the hole by hole series as normal but I was up at Carnoustie for about a month until I got all the pictures I actually wanted. Carnoustie “I must have the best selection of Carnoustie pictures in the country!” It can be a lonely life out on the course in the early hours of the morning as the sun rises over the clubhouse, but Hepworth can often be seen lugging his ladders around looking for the one shot which will capture the full beauty of a given course. “When I present a client with pictures of his course I want his jaw to drop and his eyes to pop out. “There have been several who have known their courses like the backs of their hands but who struggled to pinpoint the exact hole I’m showing them because it’s often not the way a golfer would view a hole. “Quite often, unless yours is a really wayward approach shot you would never get the view of the course that I produce.” The affable Yorkshireman started taking photographs as a hobby, while employed as an electrician in the coal industry.

But he was aware the way the wind was blowing in relation to that particular industry and started taking commissions before he eventually took redundancy so well thought of was his work. No sooner was he out of full-time work than he was back in it again as first a Yorkshire newspaper and then a sports photographic agency snapped him up on the back of a burgeoning reputation. He was soon able to branch out on his own and is now believed to be the only specialist golf course photographer operating in the UK. The quality of his product is second to none - and patience and experience are the key aspects. “To catch the real beauty or difficulty of a course you have to be prepared to wait. And when the time arrives you have to know exactly when to take the photograph. “You also become a bit of an amateur meterologist, looking out for the weather signs that indicate when the time is right - and that may necessitate a very early start in the morning to ensure you get it right. “When I was in the mining industry, it was like the military - if you weren’t sure of something there was always someone to refer to for guidance or a decision. “Out there I’m on my own; there’s nobody else except me to press the button. You have to have faith in your judgement and that comes with experience.” His client portfolio reads a little like a Who’s Who of new and prestigious courses - clients who have realised the need for top quality photography within their corporate literature or marketing strategy.

December 2001Golf Management Europe


Golf Management Europe

Indeed he has just completed a commission for The London Club and recently added Burhill Golf Estates and Mannings Heath to a list of clients that proudly features the English Golf Union as one of his most regular. Angle He likes to provide unknown angles of views on a course - or ‘the definitive view’ as he prefers to call it. His ability to capture Mother Nature in all its beauty and/or cruelty can be seen in his portfolio - or even the small selection accompanying this feature. The course manager at Kings Hill, Duncan Kelso, has asked for Hepworth to visit the course throughout the year to capture it during all four seasons - a delightful idea for a calendar if the club’s marketing people were so inclined. So if you see a man wandering through your club’s rough carrying a couple of ladders don’t tell him ‘there aren’t many windows to clean out here mate’ - as he’s heard them all before. Simply ask your club secretary when the photos will be available. Chances are you won’t be disappointed.

eP

Eric Hepworth Golf Photography

1

1

7

7

11

11

13

13

17

17

18

18

rH iO c T

hO

The 10th, Ballybunion Old Course, Ireland

eG pR wA oP rH tY h

ERIC HEPWORTH

GOLF COURSE PHOTOGRAPHY TELEPHONE +44 (0)1302 3226 74 FAX +44 (0)1302 3436 10 72 APLEY ROAD • HYDE PARK SOUTH YORKSHIRE • UK

Golf Management Europe December 2001

• •

DONCASTER DN1 2AY

Page 17


january 2002 Mon

february 2002

7

14

21

28

Mon

4

11

18

25

8

15

22

29

Tue

5

12

19

26

Tue

1

Wed

2

9

16

23

30

Wed

6

13

20

27

Thu

3

10

17

24

31

Thu

7

14

21

28

Fri

4

11

18

25

Fri

1

8

15

22

Sat

5

12

19

26

Sat

2

9

16

23

Sun

6

13

20

27

Sun

3

10

17

24

22-24 BTME/Golf Club Show Harrogate 25-28 PGA Merchandise Show Orlando, Florida

3-10 GCSAA, Orlando, Florida 27-28 Clubhouse, Birmingham 28 Fairway, Munich

may 2002

june 2002

Mon

6

13

20

27

Mon

3

10

17

24

Tue

7

14

21

28

Tue

4

11

18

25

Wed

1

8

15

22

29

Wed

5

12

19

26

Thu

2

9

16

23

30

Thu

6

13

20

27

Fri

3

10

17

24

31

Fri

7

14

21

28

Sat

4

11

18

25

Sat

1

8

15

22

29

Sun

5

12

19

26

Sun

2

9

16

23

30

the power Dealing with the UK’s Number 1 golf car and utility vehicle distributor combines all the benefits of medium and long-term operational leases with freedom of choice on market leading brand names.

Competitive Terms

13-16 The US Open, Bethpage State, New York

Supplying and maintaining a rental fleet in excess of 2000 golf cars confirms our ability to offer the most comprehensive and flexible finance packages.

Immediate Delivery

september 2002

october 2002

Mon

2

9

16

23

Tue

3

10

17

24

Tue

Wed

4

11

18

25

Thu

5

12

19

Fri

6

13

Sat

7

14

8

15

Sun

1

3-5 IOG Saltex, Windsor 9-11 PGA International Show Las Vegas, Nevada 27-29 Ryder Cup, The Belfry

30

Mon

7

14

21

28

1

8

15

22

29

Wed

2

9

16

23

30

26

Thu

3

10

17

24

31

20

27

Fri

4

11

18

25

21

28

Sat

5

12

19

26

22

29

Sun

6

13

20

27

1-2 Golf Europe 2002 Munich

Currently holding the largest stock of both new and refurbished petrol and electric golf cars - including utility vehicles, anywhere in the United Kingdom.

Freedom of Choice Market leading brand names including Club Car and EZGO. The choice is yours!

A

Intern

Mox Gol

Cobweb Farm Building, Manor Farm, L Telephone 01235 867550

Portman Publishing and 0870 241 4678 ww


Yearplanner 2002 march 2002

april 2002

Mon

4

11

18

25

Mon

1

8

15

22

29

Tue

5

12

19

26

Tue

2

9

16

23

30

Wed

6

13

20

27

Wed

3

10

17

24

Thu

7

14

21

28

Thu

4

11

18

25

Fri

1

8

15

22

29

Fri

5

12

19

26

Sat

2

9

16

23

30

Sat

6

13

20

27

Sun

3

10

17

24

31

Sun

7

14

21

28

1 Fairway, Munich

11-14 The Masters, Augusta National, Georgia

july 2002

of to one Service and Parts Guaranteed nationwide call-out service including maintenance programmes supported with the largest stock of spare parts in the UK.

Immediate Decision No delay credit facilities and assessment for rental contracts, hire-purchase and lease buy back.

Dedicated Team Our dedicated sales team ensure that they offer a personalised service with the impartial advice necessary to maintain a smooth and functional operation. The recently established Technical Service Platform administers all aspects of sales, service, parts, aftercare and support programmes through ONE telephone number 01235 867550.

national Company

f Car UK yford, Wantage Oxfordshire OX12 0EE Facsimile 01235 867410

Communications Limited ww.portman.uk.com

august 2002

Mon

1

8

15

22

29

Mon

5

12

19

26

Tue

2

9

16

23

30

Tue

6

13

20

27

Wed

3

10

17

24

31

Wed

7

14

21

28

Thu

4

11

18 25

Thu

1

8

15

22

29

Fri

5

12

19 26

Fri

2

9

16

23

30

Sat

6

13

20

27

Sat

3

10

17

24

31

Sun

7

14

21

28

Sun

4

11

18

25

18-21 The Open Championship Muirfield

14-18 PGA Merchandise Show, Sydney 15-18 US PGA Championship, Hazelton National, Minnesota

23-26 World Scientific Congress St Andrews

november 2002

december 2002

Mon

4

11

18

25

Mon

2

9

16

23

30

Tue

5

12

19

26

Tue

3

10

17

24

31

Wed

6

13

20

27

Wed

4

11

18

25

Thu

7

14

21

28

Thu

5

12

19

26

Fri

1

8

15

22

29

Fri

6

13

20

27

Sat

2

9

16

23

30

Sat

7

14

21

28

Sun

3

10

17

24

8

15

22

29

12-15 Premiere Golf, Marbella 29-30 China Golf, Guangzhou

Sun

1

1 China Golf, Guangzhou


ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

On Par with Nature Golf courses need to work in harmony with nature, especially in hot climates such as the Algarve where water is a valuable commodity. Tracey Green reports on how Portuguese courses are balancing ecology with profitability.

ith over 3,000 hours of sunshine every year, a coastline of staggering beauty and more than 18 of Europe’s finest golfing resorts, it is hardly surprising that professional and holiday golfers alike flock to the Algarve all year round to enjoy a life of sun, sand, sea and golf. From Sagres, the western most point in Europe, the Algarve stretches along 150 km of exceptional coastline, ending at the border with Spain. Where a rustic life and fishing community once prevailed, the Algarve has now become a mecca for golf and tourism which are the mainstay of its economy. Golf first came to the shores of Portugal in the early 1960s. The late and legendary Sir Henry Cotton recognised the potential of the Algarve’s spectacular scenery when he designed and built the very first courses, including the Penina and Val do Lobo. Today, four decades later, golf is big business. It has brought enormous revenue into Portugal and the prestigious resorts such as Vilamoura, Quinta do Lago, Val do Lobo and San Lorenzo are recognised the world over. But as business continues to boom, the balance between profitability and preserving the environment is a delicate one. Golf courses are there to make money, but they also have to work in harmony with the environment. And in the hot climates of southern Europe

W

Page 20

perhaps the biggest issue in terms of profitability and ecology is water conservation. Here, Portugal, and particularly the Algarve, has shown a forward-thinking approach, embracing new technologies with vigor in an effort to keep water consumption to a minimum. Ahead Irrigation consultant, Ray Shinn, whose company Aqua Nova has been advising on pumping and irrigation on golf courses in the Algarve for over ten years, believes Portugal is a long way ahead in this area. “Compared with our Spanish cousins who have a golfing market ten times that of Portugal, percentage-wise we are seeing a far greater number of resorts in Portugal turning to the latest technologies to minimise water consumption and maximise profits,” he said. “There is great awareness of the importance of controlling water consumption - and although the Algarve has good water reserves, it is recognised that this is not a limitless supply and cannot be taken for granted. “Sophisticated pumping, environmental monitoring and irrigation systems, coupled with sound and practical approaches to recycling, are being widely adopted throughout Portugal.” In terms of pump systems, one of the most welcome newcomers to the Algarve is Flowtronex Europe.

The UK-based company is building up a large portfolio of work in Portugal and this summer opened an Algarve office in the Vilamoura area. Flowtronex is one of a few pump experts to have taken advantage of the booming European golf market by creating a sophisticated pre-packaged product tailored specifically to the demands of turf and golf irrigation. These sets employ advanced technology to control pumping and irrigation with scientific precision, using automatic control and monitoring of pressure and flow. The company’s European sales manager, Kevin Shaw, believes Portugal is one of the most buoyant and rapidly growing markets. “In the last few years we have supplied seven of our top of the range Smoothflow pump stations on resorts in the Algarve as well as a couple near Lisbon,” he said. Planned “Over the next five years my understanding is that there are up to another 35 courses planned throughout Portugal, providing the biggest concentration of golf courses for any country in Europe. “With the average 18 hole course needing 2,000 cubic metres of water every day during the peak summer months - the equivalent to 40 petrol tankers - water consumption and getting the best of any irrigation system has to be of prime importance.”

December 2001Golf Management Europe


One such course to benefit from state of the art pumping technology is Quinta do Lago. Like many courses on the Algarve, Quinta do Lago previously operated a pumping system that was assembled on site using products from many different manufacturers. Known as ‘stick-build’ in the industry, this rather dated way of operating a pump station, although good enough for the job, has many disadvantages. “Getting spare parts, working out who is responsible for servicing - or simply finding engineers knowledgeable enough about the products and the way the system operates as a whole can be difficult in this type of scenario,” explained Shaw. “Today’s pump experts can provide a pump station as a complete package ready to be housed on site, and this is the best option in spite of what may initially seem to be a large financial outlay.” “Top of the range sets can involve an investment of up to £40k, but for this you should be getting an all round package, including after sales servicing, training and repairs.” Benefits As for economies, Quinta do Lago’s head greenkeeper Paulo Viegas, is delighted with the benefits that modern pumping technology has brought to the resort since the course’s two pump stations were replaced with new sets last year. “Our new pump stations incorporate monitoring software called Pumplog, which means I can monitor every aspect of the system from my desk via the computer and a modem,” said Viegas. “It has given us a truly reliable, more powerful and controllable approach to our irrigation, which in the long run saves us time and money.” Excessive irrigation is a common occurrence in hotter climates and many courses are also opting for environmental software systems that can measure water content in the soil, or evaporation rates, so that pump systems can be programmed and monitored to deliver just the right amount of water to the irrigation system.

“Sometimes you can easily get away with two thirds or possibly even half the water thought to be necessary,” said Ray Shinn of Aqua Nova. But however careful you are, water is a commodity that needs to be respected. On the Algarve in particular, there are some areas where over-pumping from deep underground wells has induced saline intrusion. Irrigating with saline or high conductivity water can cause severe problems with the look of a course, the condition of the grass and the structure of the soil. Faced with this situation, both new and existing courses potentially are considering the advantages of the newly released Paspalum series of turfgrass which originates from salt marshes and is much hardier than the more commonly used Bermuda grass. Salt tolerant Paspalum is likely to play an ever-increasing role in sustainable irrigation strategy. Alternative water sources can also provoke similar problems to those caused by saline intrusion within underground reserves. For example, although recycled effluent has to receive tertiary treatment before being used for sports-turf irrigation due to potential human contact, there are other quality issues to be addressed. Control of pH is important, principally alkalinity, and this can be pursued either by direct acid injection (from a concentrated source) or by generating sulphurous acid by way of a sulphur burner on site (less hazardous). Attention should also be paid to the daily swings in salt concentration likely to be experienced in recycled effluent. These salts, often nutrients, cannot be economically removed, as the only viable process (reverse osmosis) is too costly. Conductivity monitoring, accompanied by occasional lab analysis, can track these variations. These same nutrients also pose problems for the water storage facility (lakes or reservoirs) in that they promote the growth of slimes and algae.

This gives rise to a need for aeration of the water source and sometimes filtration of the water drawn off by the pumping system. Already, a few courses on the Algarve are preparing to use recycled water for irrigation purposes. Quinta do Lago is one of them and has invested heavily in building a treatment plant. “This doesn’t exactly pose problems for pumping although pump stations do have to be adapted to cope,” said Shaw. Regulations As for the many new courses due to be built in the next few years, regulations are becoming tighter. According to Dave Young, projects director for golf course design consultants, Dave Thomas Ltd, extensive ‘environmental impact’ studies are required by the Portuguese authorities for any planned development. “Water - where it comes from and how much is going to be used - has to be a major part of these studies. And if the authorities are not satisfied they can prevent the project going ahead,” said Young, who has been involved in many projects in Portugal. Here again, we see the importance of accurate and reliable pumping and irrigation. Philip York, an irrigation consultant who has been involved in numerous projects throughout Portugal believes that high-tech in pumping systems and irrigation controls and monitoring is the way forward, particularly in view of European pressure to conserve water. Future For the future, pumping manufacturers such as Flowtronex are working on techniques to increase efficiencies even further by developing ways in which the pumping and irrigation systems can communicate intelligently with each other. “At the moment you can find out exactly what a pump station is doing, but there is not full communication between the facilities. I am keen to see the leading names in pumping technology working with irrigation experts to bring this to reality in the future,” concluded York.

HOUSE BROS & BAILEY Ltd. Golf Course Construction — Design to completion - Modifications - Improvements —

HILLSIDE MILL . YEOVIL . SOMERSET . BA22 9TP TEL: 01935 433358 . FAX: 01935 432937 www.lakesandgolfcourses.com

Golf Management Europe December 2001

18th Hole CASTLE COMBE

Page 21


ELLIOTT GROUP LIMITED DELTA WAY CANNOCK STAFFS WS11 3BE TELEPHONE 01543 404040 FACSIMILE 01543 572710 INTERNET WWW.ELLIOTT-GROUP.CO.UK

The Elliott Group was formed in 1963 and for over 35 years we have provided building systems to meet our customer requirements. Our success in matching customer needs to products and services has resulted in Elliott directly employing over 700 people operating from over twenty locations around the United Kingdom. We are delighted to have supplied the developers with a temporary clubhouse during construction of the Queenwood Golf Club, Surrey, and we look forward to being of equal service to other golf clubs throughout the United Kingdom and Europe.

Building the Future of Golf Barrelfield Golf Limited has probably developed more golf clubs on behalf of clients and landowners than any other company in the last ten years. We pride ourselves on developing golf courses to time, to budget and which are the right product for the right marketplace. Barrelfield Golf Limited assembles the right team of experts for each project and manages all planning aspects, design, construction and growing-in. We can be appointed as project managers, contractors or consultants. Barrelfield Golf Limited has wide experience of the latest design, construction, drainage and irrigation methods. We can offer expert advice and service for new built projects, clubhouse construction, alterations and course improvements.

Management & Maintenance Design & Construction Marketing & Membership Sales Finance & Feasibility Barrelfield Golf Limited 302 Ewell Road, Surbiton, Surrey KT6 7AQ Telephone: Facsimile:

Page 22

020 8390 6566 020 8390 8830

Internet: www.barrelfieldgolf.co.uk Email: melvin@barrelfield.co.uk

December 2001Golf Management Europe


CLUB INSIGHT

A Modern Classic Queenwood Golf Club in Surrey opened in October without the usual publicity hype normally associated with a new development. John Vinicombe was invited to take a look behind the scenes at one of Europe’s most secretive clubs. very golf architect dreams of being given a patch of Surrey heathland with instructions to create a course. Now David McLay Kidd feels much as Willie Park, junior, did a century ago when commissioned to lay out Sunningdale’s Old Course. Just as Park was handed a brief to shape what became a masterpiece, followed 20-odd years later by Harry Colt, the architect of Sunningdale’s New, so Kidd has achieved a work of distinctive retro style at Queenwood. Hailed as the brightest star to appear in his field in recent memory, Kidd, 33, has already been showered with praise for his course at Bandon Dunes, Oregon. And when judgement is passed on Queenwood the reputation of this workaholic Scot will surely be further enhanced. Queenwood is but a few miles from the clutch of classic Surrey courses and may be admired, but not played by nonmembers at its Ottershaw location where the resort of Foxhills lies just across the road. But there any similarity ends. The concept of Queenwood was born in America by Fred Green, a 61 year-old former graduate of Stanford University who used to practise law, specialising in real estate, but more recently became a successful course developer and best

E

Golf Management Europe December 2001

known for the creation of Nantucket and Eagle Springs at Vail, Colorado. Secret Fred Green breathed life into Queenwood from a distance of well over 3,000 miles on the strict understanding that membership, which they insist must remain secret, is by invitation only. The figure is limited to 350, plus up to 50 original members who convert to international status entitling them to play only occasionally. The cost to each individual is well into six figures (US dollars) embracing a full membership equity structure. !

Page 23


Fred Green reasoned at the outset that business people who play golf in America would find an attractive proposition in belonging to an exclusive club in the UK of which their professional and social counterparts would also like to be associated. In other words, Queenwood is designed to be one happy family drawn from both sides of the Atlantic. The chief stipulation had to be a course within easy reach of Heathrow and uncluttered by housing or any form of commercial involvement, not a whiff of corporate interest and absolutely private. “The concept of Queenwood is not merely to create a golf course but one of the finest golfing structures in the world and perhaps the best heathland course in England,” says the introductory brochure. Fred Green, who is an avid golfer, knows just how high he was aiming when talking about the cream of UK courses and just what was required from his hand-picked team. Construction by a group of acknowledged experts began in February, 2000 and the course opened for play in October. Members may be accompanied by guests and while a Georgian-style clubhouse is being built, there is temporary accommodation that would earn a fivestar hotel billing. An important member of the team paving the way for Queenwood is Mel Thomas, managing director of Barrelfield Golf Network of Surbiton. He was introduced to Fred Green with the object of finding the right site. The success or failure of the operation depended on Thomas doing his stuff. “We got on very well indeed and I came up with the right place. It was a redundant tree nursury that had been partly used as a farm with a livery stable. Page 24

“The 289 acres was owned by an offshore company and had planning permission for a golf course and clubhouse and was about to be marketed.” Mel Thomas re-negotiated planning permission and got in touch with David Kidd while Barrelfield Construction Ltd did the course building work that entailed shifting over 1m cubic metres. Barrelfield had previously been project managers for 12 other developments and got the Queenwood job on tender. Successful “I see Queenwood as the most successful golf club in Europe on a financial basis,” said Thomas. “The club is not there for an ongoing profit nor does it need to advertise. “Already 283 memberships have been sold and there is an average of 12 new enquiries a week and at the moment (late October) about three are being sold each week. All this is in the aftermath of September 11.” One of the attractions of membership is that it includes spouses. Currently about 40 per cent of members are from the US with an average age in the mid-40s. It is not necessarily policy to avoid people in the public eye or showbiz celebs, but the emphasis on invitations is the business world and Fred Green vets every name with absolute care. He is known never to compromise on detail however small. He visits Queenwood every five or six weeks from his home in Colorado and May, 2002 is set aside for the opening of the clubhouse which includes eight letting suites for members use only and from a distance looks as though George III slept there. All insist on one point. There will never be a tournament, or indeed any competition, to be played there. “It wouldn’t matter if it was the Open Championship, Queenwood is a private members’ club and Fred Green is adamant on that score,” said Thomas.

And while there is not a ban in writing on golf buggies - only two are available - only walking the 18 holes (6,831 yards from the gold tees, par 73), is encouraged. Caddies There is a team of caddies available, the most senior and experienced available for £40 a round. As only members and accompanied guests may play, there is no congestion and consequently no tee times. Rubber neckers from the leafy road will not be able to proceed beyond a prestige entrance and imposing drive through the pines as you might expect security arrangements are on a par with the SAS. The initial impression is of unlimited space and, on closer inspection, how David Kidd has been influenced by the past. He is the son of Jimmy Kidd, golf course manager at Gleneagles, and steeped in an atmosphere of classical golfing architecture. Bandon Dunes in 1997-98 was what Kidd describes as his maturing as a designer. It was his fourth project and in Oregon he says all the pieces fell together. “Queenwood was another amazing opportunity and one that I’m even more proud of. I was thrilled at the chance to build in pine and heather country and was aware that not every attempt in the area has been a success although Surrey is where there are great courses. Chatted “Fred Green and I chatted for a few weeks after he had heard about Bandon Dunes and I got a call one day from Mel Thomas. Until then I had done nothing of note in the UK. We put a team together and I bought in my shapers with Jimmy Haley who was the top guy working with me at Bandon Dunes. “I had given the matter much thought. The US has enjoyed a renaissance of classical golf architecture

December 2001Golf Management Europe


“I HAD GIVEN THE MATTER MUCH THOUGHT. THE US HAS ENJOYED A RENAISSANCE OF CLASSICAL GOLF ARCHITECTURE DURING THE 1990s, DRAWING INSPIRATION FROM THE EARLY MASTERS. WE HERE HAVE THE SAME RICH HERITAGE AND COULD ALSO ENJOY SUCH A RENAISSANCE.”

during the 1990s, drawing inspiration from the early masters. We here have the same rich heritage and could also enjoy such a renaissance. “Great designers of their day like Willie Park, J.F. Abercromby, Harry Colt and Herbert Fowler proved that exciting and beautiful courses could be crafted from heathland. “Ottershaw offered the best opportunities to pay homage to the best of those architects in creating a modern classic in the traditions of Wentworth, Sunningdale, Woking and the rest.” At Queenwood the first heather topped, and sometimes revetted, bunkers to be designed in the UK for years are among the many features. The course is on Bagshot Sand and while this greatly aids drainage there is 10 miles of piping out of sight and any surplus water goes into four lakes. Each teeing area consists of four separate swards. There is a drinking water dispenser on every three holes together with a fruit locker. Any dry spell will cause no alarm bells to ring as there are 1,500 sprinkler heads.

An abundance of pine, silver birch, oaks and chestunuts plus stunning hawthorns and rhododendrons lend a timeless character to the panorama. The greens, of course, are so perfect that it seemed an intrusion to roll a ball on them let alone putt. While those invited to membership must remain anonymous we do know that the professional is Mark Roberts from Sunningdale and Ian McMillan from Hankley Common is course manager. The house manager is Mark Yates and he came from Horsted Place Hotel, Uckfield. As for the state-of-the-art practise area, it has just been provisioned with special winter balls by Titleist. I’ve run out of superlatives and am not likely to play the course, which raises the question of what do you say about a recipient of the Victoria Cross when all praise has been exhausted? The answer must be a respectful silence in the presence of an art form and allow the privileged members of Queenwood to enjoy their good fortune much as those lucky friends long ago of Lord Derby who built Swinley Forest for an equally exclusive coterie.

Fact File Club:

Course Info:

Queenwood Golf Club Stonehill Road, Ottershaw, Chertsey Surrey KT16 0AQ England Telephone: Facsimile: Email: Website:

Number Withheld Number Withheld N/A N/A

Manager: Pro:

Mark Yates Mark Roberts

18-hole plus practice ground Par: Par 72, 6831 yards (Opened 2001) Members: Green Fee:

350 N/A

Golf Management Europe December 2001

Page 25


BTME 2002 There are plenty of reasons to adjust your schedule and make room for BTME 2002, as some of those reasons are appearing for the very first time. Rob Wright has managed to win a sneak preview of the newcomers and highlights a few of them.

he BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition (BTME) has been held in Harrogate each year since 1989. About to enter its fourteenth year, this indoor exhibition and educational event has grown to assume the mantle of Europe’s largest show of its type. Hosts as ever are the British and International Golf Greenkeeper’s Association (BIGGA) whose driving ambition is to help co-ordinate a greater understanding and awareness of turfcare and golf greenkeeping. As such, the BTME show serves as their showcase event for fostering the skills, knowledge and training needed to get the best out of the greenkeeper’s profession. Selection Running alongside the show is an extensive selection of educational forums, including a national two-day conference, accompanied by seminars and workshops.

T

HighCRAFT Total solutions for club management

Highcraft Services Limited 313 Regents Park Road, Finchley London N3 1DP tel: 0870 321 3119 fax: 020 8343 4942 email: info@highcraft.co.uk

Page 26

This programme runs from Monday 21 to Thursday 24 January 2002, whilst the exhibition takes place from the Tuesday of that week to the Thursday. The educational programme attracts speakers who are experts in their particular fields and includes international academics and UK professionals with extensive practical knowledge on many of the top golf courses. The workshops, for example, cover a wide variety of subjects from golf course design, plants and soil science to machinery maintenance and computing for greenkeepers. All of which helps explain why BTME successfully draws a crowd of golf management delegates and exhibitors from all over the world. Last year, more than 7,800 visitors attended the show - an impressive 25 per cent improvement on the previous year. The majority of these will be key decision makers in their field. And this year, with new developments to the event, the figure looks set to rise again. !

Your Club: who’s minding it? Running a golf club is no easy task. Your members expect a well run club, reasonable prices, and a secure but pleasant club environment. At a time of escalating costs and rising crime against property, you may wonder how you can provide all this and keep the club’s finances in the black. ClubMINDER is an integrated club management system, based around a membership card, which has been designed to give better control in the areas of security and financial management. ClubMINDER lets you control access to the club’s premises, keeping out thieves and unwanted visitors. It can tell you who is where at any time, and can make your premises secure at the touch of a button. ClubMINDER enables you to offer discount to members whilst charging non-members the full price. Its comprehensive information system helps you make better decisions about your prices and stock. And what is so good about ClubMINDER is that it actually does all these things in accordance with your instructions. This means that the person minding the club is always with you.

ClubMINDER: better information, better control. To find out more about ClubMINDER, visit our web site at www.highcraft.co.uk December 2001Golf Management Europe


Swan Golf Designs Limited Golf Course Architects TURF GROWERS AND INNOVATORS OF TURFGRASS SYSTEMS

Everything Inturf

EUROPEAN INSTITUTE OF GOLF COURSE ARCHITECTS Telfords Barn, Willingale, Ongar, Essex CM5 0QF, England

INTURF The Chestnuts, Wilberfoss, York YO4 5NT Telephone 01759 321000 • Facsimile: 01759 380130 E-mail: info@inturf.co.uk • Web page: www.inturf.co.uk

Telephone: +44 (0)1277 896229 Facsimile: +44 (0)1277 896300 E-Mail: SwanGolfDesigns@btinternet.com Website: www.swangolfdesigns.com

®

Get a Headstart ... Headstart

®

is a revolutionary biological seed

treatment that can speed up germination by 20%. Headstart® helps greenkeepers and groundsmen establish new turf or repair key playing areas when under pressure against time or weather conditions. It also helps prevent disease and is used on the highly successful ‘MM’ range of grass mixtures from Advanta.

...beat the Competition! Call today to find out how on +44 (0)1529 304511 Advanta Seeds UK Limited . Sleaford . Lincolnshire . NG34 7HA . Fax: +44 (0)1529 413137

email: amenity@advantaseeds.co.uk

Golf Management Europe December 2001

Page 27


For the first time, BTME will run the Golf Club Show alongside BTME. Whilst BTME is traditionally pitched as an essential event for all those connected to the turfcare and, in particular, the golf greenkeeping industry, the addition of the Golf Club Show looks like developing this hardy annual into one of the most comprehensive golfing-management-crowd-pullers in Europe. Golf Club Show The addition of the Golf Club Show means that secretaries, managers and club owners have even more reason to attend and explore how their additional equipment, furnishing and service needs can be met, not just the ones needed for their golf courses. And they’ll have more to see, too. An even greater number of exhibitors are able to showcase their wares at BTME 2002 due to increased floor space, which should help ensure a healthy increase on the 200 or so exhibitors showing at the last event. But regardless of how many attend, there’s often a glut of new products and services all under one roof to review for the first time anywhere. And this year, again, looks to be no exception. For the more traditional BTME-er looking at turfcare issues, a selection of new machinery solutions are making their presence felt at BTME. Equipment manufacturer Hardi are presenting a new variation on their Big Boss package, a demount sprayer designed for use on utility vehicles, primarily for golf courses. What’s special about Big Boss is that it has full 3-star LERAP approval, which means that it can safely administer treatment chemicals to turf within one metre of a water feature, without fear of contamination. What’s significant about this package at BTME, though, is that the basic elements, which combine to complete the system, Page 28

are now available on the Hardi stand at a special package price, offering considerable cost savings. Meanwhile, Lewis Equipment’s new kid-on-the-block, Steerkid - a mini-loader/handler with four-wheel steer and skid-steer modes - is about to make its BTME debut. The plant hire and landscape sectors have managed to grab a sneak preview of what looks to be quite a unique machine and are so far said to be making lots of positive noises. Looking away to more cerebral offerings, STRI will be releasing a long-awaited revision to their 1996 Golf Greenkeepers Training Manual, now on CD Rom for the first time. The new multimedia format provides an interactive training programme approved by the Greenkeepers Training Committee and is ideal for supporting NVQ undergraduates in Amenity Horticulture at Sports Turf Level 2. Advisory Exhibitors STRI are specialists in a string of golf advisory and project management services. They also retail a wider selection of course-care titles, including the best-selling Turf Management for Golf Courses. More commonly known as Beard’s Bible (written, as it is, by Dr James Beard) the book covers every practical and technical aspect of turfgrass management, maintenance and operation. The good news is that a second edition, with completely revised text, hundreds of new photographs and illustrations to underline Beard’s researchproven techniques, has now been released. And STRI have just managed to secure sufficient supplies of the new edition in time for BTME. Which is just as well, as the man himself, Dr James Beard (also speaking at the conference), will be signing copies of his groundbreaking tome on BIGGA’s stand at BTME. The book’s available from the STRI stand, so make sure you run by them to pick up your copy first before dropping in on the turfcare oracle. As you’d expect, intriguing developments continue apace in the science of turfcare.

December 2001Golf Management Europe


Vitax are launching their new Ultraflo tablets at BTME. Containing the same active ingredients as the Ultraflo wetting agent, the new tablets fit all hose-end applicators currently on the market, making it ideal for spottreating dry areas of fine turf, giving greenkeepers more flexibility to treating the problem. Meanwhile, looking to offer a permanent answer to soil and irrigation water problems, the Hydroscape Group are UK-based distributors of the unique Sweetwater Solution Generator (SSG).

What’s impressive is that the technique is said to be completely safe, whilst destroying algae on water surfaces, improving the soil structure and eventually reducing the need for fertilisers, wetting agents and water for irrigation. Bargold Which should complement new products from seed merchants such as Barenburg UK, the specialist grass seed breeders. Their new Bargold variety is said to be exceptional, and will be unveiled for the first time at BTME.

But if you can’t wait and need turfto-go for your golf greens, Lindum are launching their first fine-leaved ryegrass on their BTME stand, called Ryegreen. Seeded in May 2001 and cultivated at the company’s specialist turf nursery near York, England, Lindum’s new sward looks to be particularly hardwearing, with a good recovery rate, and the capacity to withstand mowing down to 7mm. Judging by the amount of enquiries Lindum are said to be getting, this new

“THE ADDITION OF THE GOLF CLUB SHOW MEANS THAT SECRETARIES, MANAGERS AND CLUB OWNERS HAVE EVEN MORE REASON TO ATTEND AND EXPLORE HOW THEIR ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT, FURNISHING AND SERVICE NEEDS CAN BE MET, NOT JUST THE ONES NEEDED FOR THEIR GOLF COURSES. AND THEY’LL HAVE MORE TO SEE, TOO.” The SSG tackles the symptoms of high pH levels by producing diluted sulphurous acid, which when absorbed into soil through the golf-course irrigation system, improves acidity whilst encouraging healthy growth of acid-loving species like fescue and bent grasses.

It’s a very fine-leafed perennial ryegrass, which means that it can withstand quite a severe degree of close mowing - down to an eye-opening 5mm. This makes it ideal for mixtures containing traditionally fine, but less resilient fescues and bents.

The SSG system is ‘added-on’ to existing water resources, storage tanks, ponds, lakes or reservoirs and effectively neutralises the effects of alkalinity found in soil and water.

Resilient to robust wear and disease-resistant, if it performs as well as its manufacturers say it will, greenkeepers and groundsmen will grow to love it.

Golf & Turf Maintenance Products Wholesale Distributor for Export

variety is already creating a great deal of interest. It becomes available in Spring 2002. Stand K12 So you’re coming to BTME 2002 now, right? Then do pop by and say hello to us at Golf Management Europe on stand K12 in the King’s Suite. You can let us know what you think of some of these innovations. Looking forward to seeing you there!

The Original and the Best...

PARTS & EQUIPMENT

2 Hours Later

IRRIGATION & DRAINAGE SUPPLIES TURF SUPPLIES & ACCESSORIES Supplying golf courses and contractors worldwide. We’re handling shipments as small as one box of parts to complete irrigation packages, with many finance options available.

9960 Indiana Avenue, Suite 12 Riverside, California 92503 USA Phone (909) 343-2100 Fax (909) 343-2110 Visit us at www.agripacific.com Golf Management Europe December 2001

" One stop shop for all aeration needs

" An effective alternative to drain installation

" Deeply penetrative aeration Established design and " performance

" The ideal solution for sports ground compaction

" Offers remedial treatment to stressed trees

" Full engineering back-up from staff with over 10 years experience

Terrain Aeration Services Ltd, Aeration House, 20 Mill Fields, Haughley, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 3PU Tel: 01449 673783 Fax: 01449 614564 Email: Lyndadgreen@netscapeonline.co.uk

Page 29


Building a new club house? Buying extra land? Purchasing your club’s freehold? Restructuring your borrowing? TALK TO THE GOLF CLUB MORTGAGE SPECIALISTS FIRST! For more information on straightforward, tailor-made and competitive solutions for your Golf Club capital requirements contact Freephone 0800 225567

One Step Ahead in Golf Club Mortgages Farming & Agricultural Finance Ltd, PO Box 4115, Hornchurch RM12 4DF. Tel: 01708 464023 Fax: 01708 464109

Page 30

December 2001Golf Management Europe


COMPANY PROFILE

Firm Focus

Family business that sets the standard E & E Ely Ltd is a family run business which was established in 1961 initially working in the commercial landscape and sports construction environment. At the core of the business are the three directors John, Mark and Nigel (chairman of the British Association of Golf Course Constructors). The directors believe in personal service from the initial consultation through to completion, from daily site decisions to overall project management.

J

E L Y Y

In that time the company has built up a reputation of being able to carefully shape the architects vision into natural landscaped artistry with a singular commitment to excellence in all aspects of the construction project. With qualified and experienced personnel in all areas of surveying, earthmoving, shaping, drainage, irrigation, agronomy and grassing, J&E Ely work to ensure that the clients and architects needs are met in an environmentally conscious manner.

“THE DIRECTORS BELIEVE IN PERSONAL SERVICE FROM THE INITIAL CONSULTATION THROUGH TO COMPLETION, FROM DAILY

Our projects include: Brocket Hall Golf Club England Aroeira Golf Club Portugal Stoke Poges Golf Club England Cotterell Park Wales

Victoria Golf and Country Club Sri Lanka The Kintyre Course at Turnberry Scotland Royal Liverpool Golf Club England Bridgedown Golf Club England

SITE DECISIONS TO OVERALL PROJECT MANAGEMENT.” A S SO CIATI

OF

BR

IT

O

N

I

SH

ORS

CT U

U

O

Golf Management Europe December 2001

J&E Ely 49 Woodlands Road Sonning Common BAGCC Reading RG4 9TD C

Constant reinvestment in plant and machinery have enabled the company to resource earthmoving, shaping and finishing equipment in-house. The team includes dozers with PAT blades, excavators with power-tilt buckets, dumptrucks, tractors with stone buriers, stone pickers and seed drills through to bunker hogs and dimpler culti-packs. J&E Ely claim to be one of Europe’s premier golf course construction companies and their work comes mainly from architect and client recommendation.

GO LF

The first golf works were undertaken in the summer of 1961 at Henley on Thames and Reading Golf Clubs. The amount of golf work ebbed and flowed with British economy until the golf boom of the 1980s. From 1985 onwards at least 90 per cent of company turnover has been golf generated. The company specialised in shaping and finishing golf courses in the 1980s, with complete golf course construction projects being managed and constructed in-house from 1985.

TR

T: 0118 972 2257 E: ely@btinternet.com W: www.elygolfconstruction.com RS

E CONS

Page 31


OPINION

Making Retail Pay It is often remarked that pro shops have a love-hate relationship with retailing but can and should make retailing pay. With 15 years experience as a retail director, David Stickland explains in his opinion, how it can be done.

ro shops have an ambivalent relationship with retailing. This is my conclusion after joining Replan three years ago from the position of retail director of a chain of sports shops. I see the golf market from the outside in, and the mixed fortunes of golf retailers is evident, but it is also clear that those in the market are not on a level playing field. In many ways high street retailers seem to have the upper hand. For golf shops in the high street retailing is obviously the key objective, whilst for pro shops retailing is often seen as an ‘add on’ to the business of offering first class playing facilities for golfers. Golf professionals also have the competing functions of taking bookings, green fees and teaching to distract them from the business of retailing. The general standard of store design on the high street has improved dramatically in recent years and with it public expectation of how a shop should look and feel, particularly when offering high value goods. In contrast many ‘on course’ shops have not yet caught up in terms of creating the atmosphere necessary to tempt the customer to make a major purchase. Volume retailers on the high street often heavily discount hardware prices, forcing clubs and pros to follow suit; large sports chains and clothing stores

P

Page 32

compete fiercely for the golf clothing market with both branded and own brand goods. On both these fronts, club revenue is under attack and profit margins are squeezed. I completely understand the competitive pressure facing the pro shop, and can see why many give discounts because they feel they have little else to fight with. But why should this have to be the case, when profit margins are already so tight? Compete The fact is that pro shops can compete effectively with high street retailers and can resist heavy discounting if their customers are encouraged to place a value on the benefits of buying ‘on course’. A well stocked shop fitted out to create a welcoming atmosphere increases the perceived value of merchandise, allowing room to sell at a more profitable price point. For example, just as a pair of Nike trainers for sale on a market stall will never command the price charged in a well known sports store, a £150 metal wood will look better value on a well lit attractive display than hung on slatwall under fluorescent lighting. Whilst it is true that it may be hard to compete head-to-head on price with the high street, the pro shop can offer strong competition if it plays to its own key strengths.

The people behind the counter in a pro shop are likely to both know and love the sport of golf. They have specific expertise and can offer one-to-one advice matching purchases to the needs of the golfer. Relationships Personal relationships build up between the staff of a pro shop and its customers; how many high street retailers would know which sweets Mr. Jones prefers? These relationships are a strength that the high street retailer cannot count on. Merchandise on display in a pro shop is selected based on the individual experience of the golf professional, giving customers the benefit of a range of hardware and clothing, chosen for its performance and value, as well as more choice than the ‘standard range’ available on the high street. Pro shops offer specialist services to their customers such as professional tuition, custom fitting of clubs, trolley service and repairs. Having such services on site is convenient for golfers, saving them time, whilst bringing them right into the pro shop. Support These are all positive points that can work in favour of most pro shops. Most importantly, golfers would rather support their club and their own golf professional than shop in the high street.

December 2001Golf Management Europe


Replans experience is that pro shops can be hugely successful, both here in the UK and in Europe. Feedback tells us that 99 per cent of pro shops that have invested in retailing are rewarded by increases in turnover and profit margin, improving income for whoever owns and manages the shop. Let’s take an example. Chris Steele of Minchinhampton Golf Club in Gloucestershire is making retailing pay. Appreciate “ I’ve been at the club for 18 years and know that members appreciate a well run, well stocked pro shop,” Steele told me. “With a major extension of the clubhouse taking place, I saw the chance to increase the size of my shop by 50 per cent and took the opportunity.” Steele is investing in good design and projects that the new shop will return handsome dividends. Further from home, Dave Harding has just opened his latest Golfer’s Paradise store at Sotogrande in Spain. He is someone who knows his market and plays to his strengths. Good service is vital, and so are the “add-on” services he offers such as an in-store test-driving facility and a club fitting service. He chose to work with Replan because he saw shop design as a vital part of the retail mix, and wanted a professional job.

Dave has not come out of business school, but is an ex-pro who seized the opportunity to make retailing work. With four stores in two countries and a healthy turnover, it seems he’s made the right decision. Outlay It is a common fact that many “on course” golf retailers are deterred by the initial capital outlay involved in creating a well fitted, well lit shop, yet the cost of a professionally designed pro shop is usually less than just one good quality turf maintenance machine. For club pro’s who want to improve their income there is an excellent business case to be made. A typical refit costing £15,000 would only cost £2.00 per hour for a forty hour week and it will work unlimited overtime and weekends for free! Even a school leaver would cost more than twice as much to employ and may not be so reliable. Look at it this way; with many successful on-site retailers in the golf world turning over in excess of £500,000 per annum from less than 1,000 square feet, it is motivating to imagine how pro shops could greatly increase existing revenues by focussing on the opportunities of retailing more effectively to the golfers passing through their shops. Retailing can pay big time - so isn’t it time it was paid a lot more attention?

Are you missing out on golf’s leading business magazine? Golf Management Europe is the leading business magazine for the pan-European golf industry — the undisputed market leader! For subscriptions and back issues call 0870 241 4678 or visit our website at www.portman.uk.com

Title

Forname

12/01

Golf Management Europe Subscriptions Suffolk Studios 284 Ravenswood Avenue Ipswich IP3 9TQ United Kingdom

Surname

Club/Company Address City

Postcode

Email

Country Telephone

I enclose a cheque made payable to Portman Publishing Co Ltd, or please debit my credit card Expiry

One Year

Signed

(6 issues);

UK £ 30

Europe £ 36

World £ 42

Two Years (12 issues);

UK £ 50

Europe £ 60

World £ 70

www.portman.uk.com Golf Management Europe December 2001

Page 33


Portfolio Textron sign-up with Iseki

College renews Toro deal

Textron has been appointed as the distributor for Iseki compact and mid-range tractors for the Middle East and South Africa. Before this extension to their territory, they held the franchise for the UK only. The Iseki range is an ideal workhorse for numerous applications on golf courses and for general duties with greenkeepers.

Europe’s premier seat of golf learning, Elmwood College in Scotland, has renewed its five-year exclusive partnership agreement with Toro for golf course maintenance equipment in a deal valued at £350,000. Director of Elmwood Golf Developments, John Quinn said: “Toro machinery is perceived as the highest quality, and Elwood too is of the highest quality.”

01473 270000

01480 226800

Fold away Flexibility

Loctite achieve winning stroke

In golf clubs around the country, folding partitions are becoming a popular and cost effective way of increasing the flexibility of function rooms for extra business. Folding partition specialist Building Additions offers a wide range of high quality fabric folding partitions and operable walls that have recently been specified by a number of golf clubs.

The engineers at Henkel Loctite are used to dealing with unusual problems. Even so, they raised an eyebrow when golf club manufacturer Snowdon Golf needed advice on suitable adhesives for an innovative new golf putter it was developing. The high performance club features a specially made glass head, which is bonded to a graphite or steel shaft.

01373 454577

01707 358850

Kings Hill choose Turfco Kings Hill Golf Club in Kent has taken delivery of one of the most versatile items of golf course maintenance equipment with the purchase of a Turfco CR-10 combined material handler, loader and top dresser from Textron Golf and Turf. The CR-10 provides a range of material handling options for golf course managers as it has various functions.

01473 270000 A close shave from Toro Greenkeepers now have a new and very different kind of ‘flexible friend’ - the revolutionary Greensmaster Flex 21 pedestrian greensmower from Toro. This highly innovative unit being launched at BTME shaves greens closer than anything before, underlying Toro’s position as still the world’s number one manufacturer of pedestrian greensmowers.

01480 226800 Page 34

Greater flexibility for clubs A hand-held electronic payment device that allows leisure facilities, including golf clubs to accept credit and debit card payments at different points around their premises has been launched by Barclaycard Merchant Services. The portable point of sale can accept and authorise payments up to 60 metres away from a normal till location.

0800 61 61 61 Jacobsen set to stop the show Textron’s stand at BTME Harrogate will include the restyled Jacobsen Fairway 405. Joystick control has been introduced, which simplifies the lifting and lowering of the seven cutting units. Control of the 26” cutting reels is simple and easy, contributing to a productivity of up to 3.7 ha/hr at an operational speed of 12 km/hr.

01473 270000 December 2001Golf Management Europe


the power of to one Dealing with the UK’s Number 1 golf car and utility vehicle distributor combines all the benefits of medium and long-term operational leases with freedom of choice on market leading brand names.

Competitive Terms Supplying and maintaining a rental fleet in excess of 2000 golf cars confirms our ability to offer the most comprehensive and flexible finance packages.

Immediate Delivery Currently holding the largest stock of both new and refurbished petrol and electric golf cars - including utility vehicles, anywhere in the United Kingdom.

Freedom of Choice Market leading brand names including Club Car and EZGO. The choice is yours!

Service and Parts Guaranteed nationwide call-out service including maintenance programmes supported with the largest stock of spare parts in the UK.

Immediate Decision No delay credit facilities and assessment for rental contracts, hire-purchase and lease buy back. Our dedicated sales team ensure that they offer a personalised service with the impartial advice necessary to maintain a smooth and functional operation. The newly established Technical Service Platform administers all aspects of sales, service, parts, aftercare and support programmes through ONE central telephone number 01235 867550.

Mox Golf Car UK A

International Company

Cobweb Farm Building, Manor Farm, Lyford, Wantage Oxfordshire OX12 0EE


GMé | December 2001