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Golf Management E u ro p e
turkish delight The Gloria Golf Resort is one of the best courses in Turkey, but for how much longer? As Turkey plans to build 100 new courses in the next ten years, INV Golf heads to Antalya. page 23
A Fresh Philosophy UK ÂŁ5.00 Eur â‚Ź7.25 US $9.50
The Value of Timeless Architecture in Europe; Clear thinking from Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest and Associates
March 2005 www.portman.uk.com
Understanding the true value of Public Relations
cover story 7
It was interesting to see the reaction of some to the launch of a sexy calendar by Ladies European Tour (LET) professional Sophie Sandolo. “She’s let her sport down,” said some as they choked on their port and lemons. Others admired her bravery - and to a certain extent her altruism. For one of the main reasons she revealed (almost) all was to help raise the image of the LET. A PR blunder said others. And that may be the most interesting aspect of all. For who in golf knows the power of PR? Many within the industry are only now beginning to appreciate the benefits.
issue 41 credits; editor John Vinicombe contributors Nick Bayly David Bowers Neville Johnson publisher Michael Lenihan administration Sharon O’Connell print Colourspeed
Too many have been closeted in their own parochial little world for too long. The writing was on the wall in the 60s when IMG started recruiting professionals, managing their affairs and promoting them in newspapers and magazines.
course furniture 15
But the golf industry just looked down its nose and waved the suggestion of promotion aside. It was as if the sport said: “We don’t do that; and we don’t need that.”
Golf Management Europe Suffolk Studios 284 Ravenswood Avenue Ipswich IP3 9TQ United Kingdom telephone 0870 241 4678
Even to this day, that attitude still prevails in certain quarters. Take as an example a story told to GME recently by a golf news website which contacted all the county unions and many of the industry’s big players to alert them to the fact there was an opportunity of free publicity.
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Even now many of those contacted still haven’t taken up the offer. Even worse, one of the unions said: “We have a publicity officer - but he doesn’t deal with the press.” An interesting concept: A publicity officer who apparently limits his output to club noticeboards. Sandolo is no blonde bimbo. She knew what she was doing. She has a marketing degree - and allied with a beautiful smile, a fine figure and a twinkle in her eye, she has garnered more column inches for the LET in the close season than any pre-tournament announcement could. Sandolo knows the Tour needs all the help it can get. Even a full-time golf writer recently compared watching the LET to creosoting a fence. The Tour needs publicity, and Sandolo has provided it. And all the courses, sponsors and professionals who will benefit from the increased interest in the LET during 2005 owe her a nod of thanks. Far be it for us to suggest that club managers should get their kit off to promote their golf club, but the next time they sit in on a committee meeting complaining that their neighbouring club is always in the local paper and has a full membership, they should think ‘be pro-active.’
Golf Management Europe March 2005
crown golf 20
News Seventh Heaven for Patterson
Toro strengthens European position with Hayter buy-out Lead Story Just hours before the Golf Industry Show in Orlando started last month, Toro announced that it had acquired Hayter from its parent company Murray. Hayter has a strong brand presence, especially within the UK, and has reported revenues of £26 million last year, compared to Toro’s $1.6 billion. Speaking after the deal was officially signed, Ken Melrose, Toro’s chairman and CEO said: “The United Kingdom is a significant turf market and Hayter’s product line will complement and enhance Toro’s solution set. “Hayter brings us a well-established base of engineering, manufacturing and a similar culture and commitment to product excellence.
“I am confident that the pairing of Toro and Hayter will strengthen our position in this market and provide new growth opportunities.” Under the terms of the agreement, Toro will acquire Hayter’s operating assets, intellectual property, manufacturing operations at Spellbrook, Bishops Stortford and approximately 200 employees, all of which will continue to operate under the Hayter name. Hayter’s managing director, Derek Boulton, who will remain to oversee the company’s operations, said: “This acquisition is very positive news for our employees, suppliers, dealers and customers. “We are very optimistic about the future.”
New signets for Swan Golf
Birkdale sign up at BTME
Swan Golf Designs has recruited three new recruits to compliment its present design team. Connie Ying, who hails from Kunming, China, recently graduated with Distinction from the MSC programme in Golf Course Architecture at Herriot-Watt University. Ying will concentrate on expanding the Practice’s work in China in anticipation of the Chinese Government’s lifting of the current moratorium on golf course development. Norweigan Per-Ove Lysvold and Finn Annika Vehkonen have also joined the Essex-based practice.
Royal Birkdale purchased six 220B John Deere greens mowers at BTME recently to help prepare the course for the 2008 Open Championship. “We had demonstrations of all the main hand mowers on the market, but our seven full-time greens staff preferred the John Deere machines because of their simplicity and user friendly features,” said Chris Whittle, course manager at Roral Birkdale. “We’ve had a John Deere 2500 greens mower here for the last three years, so we know we can rely on good parts and service back-up from the dealer.”
St Andrews Links Trust has appointed a head greenkeeper for its seventh course, which is being created just outside St Andrews. Allan Patterson, head greenkeeper on the Kings, Queens and Wee courses at Gleneagles, will take up the post on April, 4 and will oversee the construction, opening and long-term development of the cliff-top course. The appointment was made following a thorough selection process involving over 70 applicants from as far afield as Australia, Canada and the USA. The decision, as the Trust’s links superintendent Gordon Moir indicates, was based on Patterson’s experience and knowledge. “Allan has the desired greenkeeping skills to develop a golf project of this size and quality. His experience at Gleneagles combined with his ability will help ensure that the new course complements the broad range of golfing experiences available at St Andrews.” Patterson held the position of head greenkeeper at Gleneagles for seven years following an apprenticeship which saw him take on a variety of roles including deputy head greenkeeper and assistant greenkeeper at the resort. His appointment at St Andrews Links is a move that the 38-year-old greenkeeper relishes. “This is a great opportunity to work at the Home of Golf. The course design is fantastic and the location couldn’t be better. It promises to be an outstanding golf course.” Designed by David McLay Kidd, the new course is expected to open in 2007.
March 2005 Golf Management Europe
Al Badia opens for play The 18-hole championship Al Badia Golf Resort at Dubai Festival City, designed by Robert Trent Jones II, opened for play last month. “Great efforts have gone into ensuring the quality of this course, which will substantially add to Dubai’s overall golfing tourism proposition,” said general manager Roger Morris. Al Badia is the first golf course in the Four Seasons management portfolio in the Middle East – the company currently manages 11 courses around the world.
Ransomes close Italian subsidary
De Vere sell The Belfry Sean Quinn, the Irish cement tycoon who was recently outbid for Wentworth, is the new owner of The Belfry, the venue that has played host to the Ryder Cup four times. His Quinn Group conglomerate, with business interests ranging from glass production to motor insurance, bought the hotel and golf club property from De Vere for £186m. The proceeds will be returned to De Vere shareholders and the provincial hotel operator will continue to run the Warwickshire site under a 25-year management contract.
Ransomes Jacobsen, the Ipswich-based turf maintenance manufacturer, has announced the closure of its Italian subsidiary company, Ransomes Jacobsen S.r.l Commenting on the closure, managing director of Jacobsen International, Stephen Chicken, said: “Our preferred method of distribution, wherever possible, is to have strong third party distributors taking our product offering to our valued end user customers. “This allows us to concentrate on our core business, which is the manufacture, wholesale and after sales support of our products. “As such we have instigated the closure of our Italian branch and are in the process of appointing independent distributors for the area. We shall be issuing further information when all contractual matters have been concluded.”
First impressions last... So create the right one with our fresh, new-look scorecards! Think about it. Your scorecard should say a lot about your club. It should reflect your club — after all, it’s used by all who play your course. Above all else, it should sell your club. With prices starting from £995 for 25,000 double-fold scorecards, making the right impression starts here.
0870 241 4678 Golf Management Europe March 2005
News Wake up call for all clubs
Polaris World sign exclusive five-year supplier contract
Despite widespread publicity about the new Licensing Laws, ignorance is rife among golf clubs, report experts. During 2005, the Licensing Act 2003 will replace all existing club registration certificates with a ‘Club Premises Certificate’, and clubs will have six months from February 7 to apply for their new certificate. Michael Shaw, national secretary of the National Golf Clubs’ Advisory Association (NGCAA) urges clubs to act now. “The application forms are long, complicated and extremely time consuming. Clubs have to explain how they’ll fulfil licensing objectives and this can be very confusing. Getting it wrong can put the clubs’ applications in jeopardy. “Many clubs also forget that the licensing laws cover regulated entertainment as well as alcohol. Everything from wrestling to watching films, to listening to live and recorded music is covered by the Act. “If golf clubs are in any doubt about how to complete the forms, they should seek professional advice immediately and we are keeping our members informed.”
Ransomes Jacobsen Ltd has signed a five-year exclusive supplier agreement with Polaris World, the developers of prestigious residential properties and golf courses in the Murcia region of Spain. The agreement relates to a wide range of golf course maintenance equipment, golf cars and turf utility vehicles. It will cover the existing Mar Menor golf course and the projects currently in development including La Torre, El Valle, Hacienda Riquelme and the Polaris Sports Centre. Also included will be utility vehicles for use at Polaris Garden, the horticultural division within the group. Commenting at the signing, Jose Luis Hernandez de Arce, general director of Polaris World, said: “We were very impressed by the Ransomes Jacobsen
proposal. It was competitive and designed around the needs of Polaris World and its residents.” David Withers, managing director of Ransomes Jacobsen, who led the team that negotiated and concluded the agreement commented: “Polaris World is a quality driven organisation. “Their choice of the Nicklaus Design Group, together with Jacobsen and EZGO equipment for their golf courses, not to mention having Jack Nicklaus as a spokesperson for the organisation, makes a clear statement of their intent to offer a strong package to their European customers. “We were committed from the beginning to be associated with such a prestigious Spanish organisation.”
Pump Station launched
Wildlife Trust launches UK awarness campaign
The new advanced RainBird V-3200 Series Pump Station was launched at BTME in January. The major advantage with this new model is that the pump station can be connected through Smart Pump software to the irrigation central control system. “If there are problems with the pump station you can get the irrigation software to re-act accordingly,” said Victor Jamieson, regional manager for Northern Europe. “This is tremendously beneficial in practice, as if the power to the pump station goes down it stops the irrigation programme running for the night.”
The Wildlife Trusts has launched a UK campaign to try and educate golfers and their clubs on how to be more sensitive to their surroundings and the environment. “We want to encourage golfers to look after the birdies as well as scoring birdies,” a spokesman said. The campaign, called Drive the Green which is backed by Volvo - aims to end the decades-old hostility between golfers and environmentalists. As golf courses have proliferated so has criticism from conservationists who blame golfers for damaging wildlife habi-
tat, polluting water supplies with pesticides and fertilisers, over-extracting water for sprinklers and hose pipes, and destroying plants and flowers through ignorance or bad temper. John Everitt, the head of conservation programmes at the Wildlife Trusts said: “There are some individual golfers who don’t treat habitats the way they should, probably because they are not aware of their importance. “But we are also concerned about a bigger issue: the need to design and manage golf courses in a way that helps wildlife.”
March 2005 Golf Management Europe
Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest and Associates 7351 West Bancroft Street, Toledo, Ohio 43615, USA Telephone: 001 419 841 8553 Facsimile: 001 419 841 9600 www.arthurhills.com
Europe the new frontier for Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest
Cover Story Oitavos Golfe at Quinta da Marinha has been selected to host to the 2005 Estoril Open de Portugal Caixa Geral de Depositos, the European PGA Tour event scheduled there at the end of March. Designed by US-based architects Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest and Associates, Oitavos Golfe opened for play in 2001, and quickly hosted a pair of European PGA Senior tournaments, in 2003 and 2004. Golf Digest has already named the seaside Oitavos among the top five courses in Portugal, but the 2005 Portuguese Open will serve as its topflight, competitive coming out party.
“I think the course will hold up well, especially if the wind is up, but it’s difficult to think about scoring on a course this beautiful,” said Arthur Hills, who collaborated with partner and senior design associate Drew Rogers on the Oitavos project. “We try to build our golf courses according to the site and our client here, Miguel Champalimaud, blessed us with one of the finest pieces of golfing terrain anywhere in Continental Europe. “There are six or seven very demanding shots out there, but if the wind blows that figure doubles or triples. Nearly every hole at Oitavos has a view of the Atlantic, so the wind is always blowing.”
Golf Management Europe March 2005
Shortly after it opened, Oitavos was named as a Certified Gold Audubon Signature Sanctuary - the first and only course in Europe to boast Gold Signature status; there are only eight worldwide. “Much of the planning of the golf course involved protection of endangered plant species, maintenance of wildlife habitat, nesting sites and food sources,” explained Drew Rogers. Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest and Associates boasts more than 180 courses to its name with projects under construction on five continents including the firms first course in Bahrain. Recent commissions include the Hills Golf Club just north of Gothenberg in Sweden, which will celebrate its grand opening this September. In addition, Hills/Forrest will soon break ground on its first European renovation project at Golf Vasatorp near Helsingborg, also in Sweden.
News Ernie Els puts his signature on Hangman’s Point
IOM Plans unveiled
Ernie Els is to bring world class status to the €200 million Kinsale Harbour Resort by designing the signature 18hole championship course at this prestigious new development near Kinsale, County Cork in Ireland. The course, which takes its name from an historical local landmark, will be known as Hangman’s Point. It is designed over 260 acres at a spectacular location overlooking the Celtic sea and incorporating breathtaking views of the Kinsale coastline. Hangman’s Point will be a designated PGA course managed by PGA Golf Management. The decision to invite Ernie Els to become its signature designer reinforces the size and the significant investment being ploughed into the resort, as well as its importance in hosting major international events in the future. The combined technical and marketing benefits to Kinsale Harbour Resort of Ernie Els Design and the PGA are considerable. Commenting on his appointment, Els said: “This is truly a fantastic opportunity to combine a passion for the game in Ireland together with my team’s design talents. “It also marks a debut for my team at Ernie Els Design in Ireland and this exciting new international golf resort means that I shall be able to spend more time in this spectacular part of the world.
“In designing the links course we plan to follow the existing and natural contours of the site, which was previously Kinsale racecourse and reputed to be one of the oldest golf courses in Ireland. “I am really looking forward to working with everyone involved in order to transform our joint vision into a golfing reality,” he concluded.
Proposals have been unveiled for a world-class golf course on the Isle of Man. Course architect Peter McEvoy revealed details of the facility to members of Douglas Golf Club and Douglas councillors. The 18-hole course, should it go ahead, would be a replacement for Douglas golf course, which could have homes, shops, schools and recreation and sporting facilities built on it. The Middle Farm course would be just ten metres across the road from the present course and the proposals seemed to receive enthusiastic support from the golfing community. Heritage Homes is behind the scheme and a planning application for the golf course will be submitted this month. The plan for houses and amenities, if it progresses, could also involve Douglas Corporation and the government. Seamus Nugent, managing director of Heritage Homes, said: “If this particular proposal doesn’t have the support of all parties involved it is not going to happen.” He added the idea of building on Douglas golf course is not a new one and “has been around for 20 years.” He said until now no-one has been prepared to put resources or efforts into making it work. Once completed, the course would be handed over to Douglas Corporation and it would be a municipal course.
Counterfeit goods seized
Health and Fitness the way forward at Bicester G&CC
Six golf manufacturers have announced that another blow has been struck against the illegal manufacture, distribution and sale of counterfeit golf equipment in Southern China. Chinese government enforcement authorities launched simultaneous raids over three days against four factories in Dongguan and 18 retail locations in Changan and Guangzhou City. Among the targets raided were a significant counterfeit golf bag manufacturer, a grip manufacturer and three retail stores located in a five-star hotel in Guangzhou City. The raids resulted in the seizure of thousands of counterfeit golf clubs, balls, golf bags, shirts, accessories and production equipment with an estimated value of more than £500,000.
A new health and fitness spa opened at Bicester Golf and Country Club in Little Chesterton last month. Set amidst 145 acres of Oxfordshire countryside, the newly completed 28,000 sq ft complex has been created adjacent to the existing golf club facilities at a cost of £5 million. A key focal point is the 7,000 sq ft gymnasium that features a 12 metre glass wall, affording rural views for those working out in the 80-station exercise theatre. Just as spectacular is the aquatic centre that comprises a 20 metre swimming pool, 16 seater Jacuzzi, pummelling hydro spa and flotation tank. Other facilities include a sauna, steamroom, solarium, flotation tank, hairdressing, and a complete range of beauty treatments and therapies by fully trained Elemis and Caci beauticians.
The health and fitness centre will have a capacity for 3,000 members, but half that number have already joined prior to opening. There is also a special rate for joint golf and fitness membership. The overall concept was the brainchild of proprietor Graham Payne who acquired the golf club five years ago. Further plans include a hotel and guest suite wing.
March 2005 Golf Management Europe
Close call for John Deere One of the first new John Deere 2500E hybrid greens mowers to be bought by a UK golf club will soon be working at Close House Golf and Country Club, near Newcastle. Close House was bought last year from the University of Newcastle by ex-graduate Graham Wylie, co-founder of the Sage computer software business. The existing 18 hole golf course is to be completely redesigned and extended - subject to planning permission - over the next two to three years.
Fight to save Midlands ‘Oasis’
Penha Longa inspired by 1-up Course Guides A UK company is helping European courses and resorts project a stylish image with its unique, hand-drawn yardage charts. 1-up Course Guides produce guides that combine artistic hole-by-hole illustrations and photography with detailed laser surveying of fairways and greens for ultimate practicality. Among the European resorts to sign-up so far are Carton House, Ireland; PGA Golf de Catalunya, Spain; Penha Longa, Portugal; and Aphrodite Hills, Cyprus.
The hand-drawn guides are the brainchild of golf writer Steve Carr and awardwinning photographer Bob Atkins, both of whom travelled the world for ten years working for Golf World magazine. “It’s a competitive market, but we felt there was something lacking in terms of quality and style,” said Carr. “We felt that a more classic, artistic style would go down better than just computer-generated graphics, particularly for clubs that want to promote an upmarket image.”
A campaign has been launched to fight plans to sell off a 100-acre golf club described as “Wolverhampton’s oasis.” Oxley Golf Club would land up to £200m in a housing deal, netting members hundreds of thousands of pounds each. But the club has been told it would face overwhelming opposition from members of Wolverhampton Council who have already vowed to fight a bid from club officials to overturn restrictions meaning the course has to be kept as green belt and for leisure purposes. The golf club’s management has already met with city planners in a bid to change the rules regarding the course, but a decision is not due until later this year. The club was once owned by the council but was sold off in the 1980s for £150,000 and is now owned by its members.
HAWTREE GOLF COURSE ARCHITECTS Since 1912 5 OXFORD STREET, WOODSTOCK, OXFORD OX20 1TQ TEL: (01993) 811976 FAX: (01993) 812448 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web site: www.hawtree.co.uk Martin Hawtree Fellow of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects
Golf Management Europe March 2005
Golf course construction and renovation Supply and installation of irrigation systems Design and installation of land drainage schemes Sports ground construction and maintenance Design and installation of water supply and distribution systems Bratch Lane • Dinton • Salisbury • Wiltshire SP3 5EB
Tel: 01722 716361 • Fax: 01722 716828 Web site: www.mjabbott.co.uk
News Twenty’s plenty for YMI
Lobb teams up with former Open Champion Peter Thomson, the five times Open Champion, has opened a new London branch of his golf course design business to target the growing European market. The practice (Thomson Perrett), which is best known in the UK for the Dukes Course at St Andrews - has also taken on a new partner, 34-year-old golf course architect Tim Lobb.
Lobb, originally from Melbourne, was previously employed by European Golf Design for whom he worked alongside Mark O’Meara on the layout of the acclaimed O’Meara Course at Carton House, Ireland. He will now manage Thomson, Perrett and Lobb’s European business, as well as projects in the Middle East and Africa.
The names of York and Martin have been associated with the design, inspection and analysis of irrigation system installations on many of the finest golf courses around Europe. It was 20 years ago that Philip York first established what was then known as Philip York and Partners in 1985. When Mike Martin joined the practice in 1990 the company became known as York and Martin and entered the second chapter of its life. After many years service to the industry Philip York retired in 2001 and now provides some consultancy services to the company. Stuart Tate joined the company in 2001 opening chapter three of the business and his arrival brought about the renaming of the company to York Martin International. York Martin International have provided consultancy services in 30 countries including the UK, Ireland, Finland, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, China and Dubai and have completed projects and designs for over 300, 18 hole golf course projects. Although golf historically provides the vast majority of the business, the company works on other sportsturf and landscape projects, and are irrigation consultants to Manchester United.
Porsche’s new Cayenne Porsche has delivered two very special open two-seat golf cars to a client in Majorca. The unique golf car not only bears the Porsche logo on its front lid, but is reminiscent of Porsche’s Cayenne sports utility in many further features albeit at a scale of 1:2. The car comes with an exact rendition to the last detail of the Cayenne’s engine compartment lid, front wheel arches, headlights, front section, and 20-inch wheels and is powered by a 3.2-bhp electric motor. The cruising range of the Cayenne golf car is approximately 30 kilometres or a bit less than 20 miles, without the headlights switched on. They will be used by Hans-Peter Porsche, who commissioned the vehicles in the first place, on the Alcanada Golf Course. No decision has been taken yet as to whether Porsche will be building further golf cars. Page 10
Barenbrug continues to grow In a move to provide customers and distributors in Scotland and the North of England with a more local and easily accessible service, Barenbrug has announced a significant investment in warehousing and staff for the area. The company has recently opened a new, purpose-built blending, packing and distribution centre in Falkirk, and has also brought together a new team for the area that, together, has over 50 years’ grass seed experience. Billy Nimmo (pictured right) is operations manager for the Falkirk facility and has overall responsibility for the amenity business in Scotland. March 2005 Golf Management Europe
Flexibility. Easily accommodates varying application requirements. • Part and Full circle adjustability in every sprinkler. • Back nozzle capable. • Trajectory adjustment from 7 to 30 degrees • Adjustable pressure regulation • Ratcheting riser for ease of installation Lowest cost of ownership. Improves your bottom line. • Fewer parts save time and money. • Operates at lower pressures and amperage to reduce power and wire costs. • Durable stainless steel valve seat and communication tube. Performance. Superior coverage. • Precise pressure regulation— the right amount of water, where you need it. • High pop-up clears tall grass. • Unidirectional rotation ensures uniform coverage.
Flexibility. Lowest cost of ownership. Performance. Durability. Reliability.
©2004 The Toro Company.
Introducing the 835S and 855S Series Sprinkler with TruJectory™. You know that bunker that’s always getting wet? Or that tree branch that’s always in the way? Now you can address trouble spots with Toro’s patented TruJectory feature. Simply adjust the trajectory of the spray from 7 to 30 degrees and get better head-to-head coverage. Plus there’s part- and fullcircle operation in one sprinkler. Add these new features to the great ones already standard on the 800S Series sprinklers and you’ll gain the flexibility you need for better results. And you’ll get it all for the same value as your current part-circle fixed trajectory sprinklers. For more information, contact your local authorized Toro distributor or visit www.toro.com.
Durability. Built to last in tough conditions. • Debris-resistant nozzles eliminate clogging. • Riser seal protects against debris contamination. • Debris traps prevent contamination and damage. Reliability. Works every time. • Smooth rotation for extended drive life. • Greater lightning protection keeps your system working. • Internal parts are protected to maintain sprinkler operation.
News GPS acquistion set to change the map of Europe The acquisition by GPS Industries Inc of the International GPS golf management patents has gained the company control of patents in the UK, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany and Austria. “This enables us to further cement our position as the global leader in GPS business solutions for golf facilities, resorts and communities,” says Bob Siltzer, CEO of the Canadian-based company. European distributors, Gepsco, are excited about the opportunities that lay ahead for the Inforemer GPS golf management system. “We are currently showing the systems to courses and resorts throughout Europe with incredible feedback and signed sales in less than three months of first showing the products,” says Phil Lewin, director of Gepsco. “We have installations currently going ahead at Abama (Spain), Golf de Sainte Maxime (France), Seignosse (France) and Le Golf Parc de Nantilly (France), with five more planned for installation soon.”
As well as high quality colour graphics giving precise distance information to the pin, the system also has many more features including an electronic scorecard, advertising, two-way messaging, food and beverage ordering and tracking of all buggies from the clubhouse or proshop. Ben Porter, fellow director of Gepsco said: “We are presenting our systems at not only affordable pricing but also we assist clubs in managing the new revenue centres that this product creates. “Advertising can play a massive part in reducing the cost of the system, even paying for it in full. We work with an advertising agency that allows a course to earn revenues from this service without the club having to get involved. “As part of the installation process we set the course up as a Wi-Fi network (Wireless Internet) and as such we can even offer an opportunity for their guests to be able to access this wireless broadband facility creating additional revenues for the club.”
Lynwood joins Crown
First year success for Pete Richardson Communications
Crown Golf has announced that it has appointed Matthew Lynwood as property director, following the recent acquisition of American Golf UK. Lynwood joined Crown Golf in November 2004, and will be responsible for overseeing property development in an organisation which is now Europe’s largest golf club owner operator.
The Leaderboard Golf Group has appointed Hampshire-based Pete Richardson Communications (PRC) to handle its public relations. Leaderboard - which owns The Oxfordshire, Dale Hill, Chart Hills and Sandford Springs - is one of many companies in the industry to appoint PRC since the company was formed last year.
Redi-Rock; The new kids on the block Golf course owners and developers in North America are using Redi-Rock big blocks for permanent solutions for tee boxes, bridges and other landscaping projects. With a look of natural cobblestone or limestone, weighing up to 750kg these concrete blocks are quick to install, need no maintenance and have engineered strength for a lasting solution. The blocks are locked together using a knob and groove system which requires no mortar to fix them in place. As the blocks are laid dry, they can be dismantled, moved or stored with ease. Currently under construction on the banks of the River Hudson in New York, The Liberty National Golf Course is using Redi-Rocks. “We wanted a wall solution that would suit our golf course design, and could be installed in limited space close to the Hudson river shoreline,” said Robert Cupp of Kite/Cupp Design. “Redi-Rock provided the traditional stone look we wanted at a fraction of the cost of natural stone, and no future maintenance costs. The wall has great strength, was installed very quickly as it was just like building big lego blocks.”
Since the turn of the year Old Thorns Golf Hotel and Country Club near Petersfield in Hampshire, golfing website Golfalot and European Tour pro Sophie Sandolo have joined the International Pairs, the London Golf Show, the Saint Andrew’s Day Greensomes, Samantha Head and Ignacio Garrido as PRC’s golfing clients.
March 2005 Golf Management Europe
Hayter awards success Held yearly on the first day of BTME, the Hayter Dealer Awards Dinner is eagerly awaited by distributors both in the UK and abroad. The dinner is also an opportunity for Hayter to thank all of their dealers and distributors for their efforts throughout the previous year. The Top Dealer of the Year Award for 2004 was given to Lister Wilder Agriculture Ltd (pictured) and Outstanding Dealer of the Year Award was awarded to Carrs Billington Agriculture.
£8m boost for English golf
Lilleshall turn to Classic Lilleshall Hall Golf Club in Shropshire has been working with contract supplier Classic Furniture, to create the perfect interior for its newly built clubhouse. The venue for many national and regional amateur golf tournaments, Lilleshall Hall enlisted the help of Classic Furniture to select the furniture for its bar lounge, dining room and outdoor balcony to create an impressive clubhouse.
Golf Management Europe March 2005
Golf has won the UK government’s backing with the announcement that Sport England is to receive an £8 million boost over the next four years for the development of the game. The 88 per cent increase of its annual grant to £2 million represents a major leap forward for the England Golf Partnership, which aims to increase the number of golfers by ten per cent by 2009 and grow the active members of affiliated clubs by 50,000. Under this new umbrella the three major governing bodies, The PGA, EGU and the English Ladies’ Golf Association will be working with Sport England to maximise opportunities and meet the challenges facing the game. Norman Fletcher, manager of The England Golf Partnership said: “This is a welcome fillip for the game and sees the start of a new era for golf in England and the chance to widen participation levels.”
Construction Remodelling Water Features Tel: 01604 468908 Fax: 01604 474853 www.deltagolf2000.co.uk 180 Ruskin Road, Kingsthorpe Northampton NN2 7TA
March 2005 Golf Management Europe
A Clear Message How often does a course neglect it’s signage? Only a couple of miles from our offices in Ipswich, there’s a course whose information signs are so bad, you literally end up walking into a wood instead of the par-3, 13th. David Bowers suggests a few ideas.
s there anything worse for the average hacker than finding yourself lost on a course when in the middle of a good round? Just when you think you’re in the groove, a lack of decent signage sees you wandering up to the nearest tee only to find that it’s actually a front nine hole on the second course. Sound familiar? Most golfers will have played a course where they’ve struggled to find their way to a tee after completing a hole – and it’s incredibly frustrating. From a club’s point of view, that visitor may leave with a bad impression and not return. And all because somebody wouldn’t sanction a relatively small investment. It’s often the little things that live long in the memory: the view of the distant hills from the bench by the 12th; the beautiful hardwood signs which display the hole in colourful relief; or some mightily imposing granite tee markers. And with the technology available today such additions to your course do not need to break the bank.
Golf course signage is known to be a particularly strong element in creating an appearance to attract the visitor. All signage should be easy to read, aesthetically pleasing while being both impressive and comfortable – professional people don’t want to feel they are in their offices while playing golf. In addition they should be very low in maintenance so that once they are installed they can be virtually forgotten by the golf course staff, and at worst be quick and easy to repair. And they can also bring in revenue. Investment ‘Speculate to accumulate’ is often the motto for successful entrepreneurs – and it is difficult to argue against an investment which promises a substantial return. Even less argument if it costs your club absolutely nothing at all. And that’s exactly what Tee Box Advertising claims it can offer. Its new, three-in-one tee box advertising display can raise more than £7,000 per year for your club according to the company’s sales manager, Noel Fernando, who admits he’s a ‘madkeen’ golfer.
Golf Management Europe March 2005
He explained: “Our patented tee box advertising also acts as a course guide, with a map of the hole, stroke index, yardage – all the normal facilities, but at no cost to the course. We do it all. Revenue “And in return, over a five-year period the golf club can earn £35,000 through advertising revenue which we generate. It’s as simple as that – and it costs the club nothing. That sort of revenue can prevent membership fees being increased.” He continued: “Members obviously know their course pretty well. But our material is aimed at the 15-20,000 visitors who pay and play. It provides all the necessary information while raising revenue by way of advertising to all players.” The West Sussex-based company patented the idea only last year – and didn’t launch until early 2005. But three local clubs – Hassocks, Paxhill and Burgess Hill Golf Academy – have all signed five-year deals. “We initially started locally, but we had feedback from all over: Scotland, Ireland, right across the country. ! Page 15
“MEMBERS OBVIOUSLY KNOW THEIR COURSE PRETTY WELL. BUT OUR MATERIAL IS AIMED AT THE 15-20,000 VISITORS WHO PAY AND PLAY.”
“We’ve also started doing similar things with course signage: GUR or ‘trollies this way’. It’s bright and clear and people can’t claim they didn’t see it.” The tee box advertising replaces the normal white, blue, red and yellow tees but is designed in such a way that it is still a simple task for the greenkeeping staff to mow around them. Fernando confirmed the company can also produce the tee box advertising displays for sponsorship, one-off events or corporate days. Seoul Nassau is a familiar name to most in the industry but since the company moved to Birmingham it has undergone something of a restructuring. It still provides all the products for which it became well known, but the sales force has been restructured and has increased the number of reps selling from vans. Comprehensive Sales director Gerard O’Driscoll explained: “We have a very comprehensive range of certain products from a regular van visit. It is a significant investment but we feel it is worthwhile in the interest of good service levels.” The company has recently introduced a new automated tee system for ranges, following design and material changes from the original model. O’Driscoll explained: “Stuart Henderson has been employed to travel the country giving demonstrations of the new unit. Participating clubs will have the opportunity to have the unit installed while Stuart remains on site throughout to record reaction and satisfaction levels.” Seoul Nassau also has another new product which is sure to prove a hit on the range: the Pareto Tee-up System, an automated system which tees the ball up to a height specified by the customer. The benefits are easily apparent. There is a possible two-fold increase in the number of balls hit – because of the time saved by doing away with the need to bend over. The hopper can hold up to 125 golf balls, which are then released individually down a chute to the submerged teeing area. Once the ball arrives in the correct spot, the tee then elevates it to the desired height. Page 16
Installation is also very simple. The mat is bolted on to a flat surface and the hopper plugged into an electrical supply – and even that is unnecessary if the battery-powered version is the style of choice. But enough of these new-fangled gadgets to make life easier on the range – my bugbear is still a lack of signage and direction on the course. It was interesting to read in a recent survey that a third of golfers would be interested in switching to a more environmentally-friendly golf club – see feature on page 32. It came at a time when a course close to GME Towers was installing recycled plastic marker posts and tee markers. They came from Whitchurch-based Links Leisure. The marker posts will never rust or rot, come with optional coloured caps and spikes and are available in two sizes: 660mm or 1000mm. A spokesman for Links Leisure explained: “Our ‘Augusta Markers’ are manufactured from the same hardwearing recycled plastic as the marker posts and come in two diameter sizes, either 50mm or 70mm. “The ends of each Augusta are painted in the same hard-wearing paint as our outstanding tee signs, making them exceptionally durable.” Links is also marketing what it describes as ‘the world’s first revolutionary 2-in-1 golf ball and club-head washer’. Designed and manufactured in the UK, from a high-impact polymer, it is – somewhat surprisingly - aesthetically pleasing. It’s ease of use lies in the fact it has so few internal moving parts and a simple rotary cleaning action – the simplest ideas are often the best. Links’ attractive cast signs – made from durable, weatherproof resin - can also include a detailed map of the hole by Premier Plan, one of the UK’s leading hole planners. Which brings us back to the earlier thought that good signage – whether instructional or directional – need not cost the earth. There are many companies out there who will produce bespoke signs to your budget. Keeping your course signage fresh and accurate might not cost a fortune; but failing to do so might cost you the patronage of an unhappy visitor.
March 2005 Golf Management Europe
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A Bolt from the Blue Lightning has always been a major problem for golfers, but just how many of you reading this have taken seriously the threat of Mother Nature? Roger Morland examines a system designed to detect lightning strikes.
ightning may not be the first hazard confronting golfers in Europe that springs to mind but it is very easy to forget just how dangerous and potentially lethal it can be. The lightning rod effect of tall trees and people exposed in the open is well known but often overlooked when considering health and safety issues on a golf course. In the US The National Severe Storms Laboratory estimates that lightning kills about 100 people and seriously injures a further 500 each year. Dramatic In the UK weather patterns may not be as dramatic as those in some areas of the US but the loss of only one life through a lightning strike highlights the dangers and, in this litigious age, is it not time club management looked more closely at their safety procedures to keep both players and staff safe and protect themselves against potential liability? For many years both The R&A and the PGA European Tour have recognised lightning as a threat to players and spectators alike. As tournament organisers with considerable resources they can rely on experienced staff to decide when to suspend play and when it’s safe to re-start. Most golf facilities have to rely on more basic resources, such as the club pro or secretary, to decide when conditions are such. Human observation and judgment is fine but depending entirely
on golf course personnel to watch for bad weather or to interpret other available weather information is no longer acceptable and certainly unfair to those given that responsibility. Safety So what can you do to improve safety at your course? Firstly, investigate new and now affordable lightning detection technology and, secondly, adopt lightning safety procedures as part of the working practice. The first requirement is that people need to be warned about an approaching storm in sufficient time to seek shelter, so a system with proven reliability should be used. According to the US National Weather Service, relying on visual signs of thunderstorm development is hazardous due to the limits of human observation. These limits become obvious when threatening conditions are just outside the observer’s ability to hear thunder or see storm clouds over trees, buildings or hills. Natural sight and sound senses may only extend for possibly three to four miles, which is not far enough when considering an incoming storm may be traveling at 100 miles per hour. Much of the lightning research comes from the US and there it has been determined lightning detectors do enhance warning time during the initial storm stages and forecast the storm’s arrival. Early warning allows course staff time to prepare and follow safety procedures.
Lightning detectors are also invaluable when deciding if play and course maintenance can be resumed. Cloud-to-ground lightning strikes have been detected as far as ten miles from the storm’s cell edge. Lightning detection equipment can pick up and report thunderstorms and lightning activity at a stage that may be outside the human observers sight and sound range, whilst blue skies may still be directly overhead. Some clubs in the UK have already acted to deal with this potential danger, The Wisley Golf Club has installed Hydroscape’s lightning detection system that employs state-of-the art technology to address the most demanding of lightning safety and equipment protection applications. The system, under the brand name of Strike Guard, continuously monitors an area up to 30 miles distance from the golf course in all directions, looking for either cloud-to-cloud or cloud-toground lightning and providing lightning contact signaling at user-set activity thresholds. Patented optical signal processing and proprietary optical-coincidence technology prevent false alarms. Sensor data is communicated via lightning proof fibre optic cable to an independent lightning data receiver with system status and both visual and audible alarms. Data can also be routed to a PC, where historic information can be accumulated.
March 2005 Golf Management Europe
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American Pie Bye, bye, American Pie. Just before Christmas, Crown Golf acquired American Golf from its US parent company in a deal worth £42 million. John Vinicombe met with Crown’s chief executive John Weir, to discuss the future for Europe’s largest golf club operator.
rom controlling just eight clubs four years ago, with a turnover of £8m, Crown Golf has now become the premier golf course owner and operator in Great Britain, following the recent acquisition of American Golf UK. The £42m deal means there are many more jewels in this particular crown, with management rights over 55 courses spanning 31 properties with 27,000 members and 1,500 employees. This makes Crown Golf Europe’s largest golf club owner/operator. Market It was last year that American Golf UK put its 23 clubs on the market with a price tag in the region of £50m. The group, which operates over 200 clubs in the USA, decided to sell the UK business following the purchase of its Santa Monica-based parent company by a consortium led by Goldman Sachs and Starwood Capital. Crown Golf was established in 2001, when the Bennelong Group in Melbourne decided to move into the UK golf club business.
The Bennelong Group also made acquisitions in the health and fitness sector, creating the leisure group Crown Sports plc. In 2003 Crown Golf become a wholly owned private company, eager to expand in the UK market. Overseeing the acquisition activity was John Weir (pictured above), Crown’s chief executive, with a wealth of experience in a range of golf operations. Weir began his career as a golf professional in his native Harpenden, before moving to Ashridge. His career developed in the business sector and in 1984 Weir joined the Champions Golf and Country Club in Houston, Texas. This club, which was owned and operated by two legends of the game, Jack Burke Jr. and Jimmy Demaret, gave him the schooling in golf club management that he was looking for. After three years under Jackie Burke’s wing he returned to Sunningdale in England and from there was head-hunted to run the Hyatt La Manga Club golf resort in Spain.
“For five years I ran the golf and eventually all the sports within the resort and was left with an option to continue working for Hyatt International or starting my own company. “I recognised that there was an opportunity to put together a group of courses on the back of the course building boom and formed the existing company in 1993. A year was spent researching the industry funded by consultancy work. “We looked at over 350 proprietary clubs in the UK as potential acquisitions and felt comfortable that the opportunity existed, raised finance in twelve weeks and made our first acquisition.” Further growth via acquisition and merger continued until Bennelong’s arrival in 2001 provided the springboard into the big time of multi-site ownership in Britain. “We have great admiration for what American Golf has achieved in the UK, and recognise that this acquisition provides a tremendous opportunity to combine two of the industry’s leading operators and set a new bench mark for golf management.
March 2005 Golf Management Europe
“THE COMBINED GROUP WILL BE VERY STRONG FINANCIALLY, CREATING AN EXCELLENT PLATFORM FOR FUTURE ACQUISITION AND CONSOLIDATION AND ALLOWING US TO CONTINUE TO INVEST IN AND IMPROVE THE CURRENT PORTFOLIO OF COURSES.”
“The consolidation is exciting news for many parties including our employees, club members, suppliers and the industry as a whole. As well as growing the business, we will become recognised for our operational excellence and the combined group will provide new opportunities for our current and future employees. “We already have a pipeline of talent with both businesses and will further enhance our management training programme to become one of the foremost employers within the leisure industry. “Other areas of focus for the new business will include the continuing development of grass roots and junior golf, the expansion of the members’ benefit package, and the roll out of structured academy coaching across the estate. Strong “The combined group will be very strong financially, creating an excellent platform for future acquisition and consolidation and allowing us to continue to invest in and improve the current portfolio of courses.” Weir adds that the game plan is to continue expanding the group through further acquisitions. Not all the clubs under the Crown umbrella are freehold. Weir doesn’t like to single any out for special mention, although he wouldn’t argue that the Jack Nicklausdesigned St Mellion is probably outstanding among a very good crop.
Whilst being the largest group in Europe, the new Crown Golf estate accounts for less than 30 per cent of the total UK golf club market. Proprietary While one-third of UK clubs are now proprietary, the grand total is 2,485 of which 1,367, or 55 per cent, are run by the members. Municipal ownership has stabilised over the years and numbers just 233 or nine per cent of the whole. Commenting on the make up of the market, Weir would like to see more open data sharing and best practice. He has shared his views with the other leading operators and believes only good can come of sharing information. “The aim for Crown Golf in the short to medium term is to integrate these two businesses and apply the combined practices across the enlarged estate. Our view of commercial success is to drive all of the ancillary spends in the business, to ‘weather proof ’ the individual operations. “We will continue to provide best value and all the clubs in the group are important. We are strong believers in clubs retaining their own identities; no wall-to-wall logos or anything of that sort. Modern golf has a broad base and we don’t want to see traditional members’ clubs disappear.” Weir, 43, is still a PGA card holder but rarely gets time to play. “My game is in remission. Working in the golf industry does not necessarily mean you play lots of golf!”
Golf Management Europe March 2005
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March 2005 Golf Management Europe
Glorious Gloria Turkey may not be one of the world’s most popular golfing destinations, but things are about to change. David Bowers takes a closer look at the Gloria Golf Resort, venue for the forthcoming INVgolf Investment Forum which will be held in April.
t our last editorial meeting, the editor says to me: “I want you to pen a feature on Gloria for the next issue.” Never one to turn down a job I nod in agreement. But which Gloria? Gaynor? Classic disco diva of the 70s. Or Hunniford? Perhaps her overuse of hairspray in the 80s has been blamed for global warming and is having a detrimental effect on golf course irrigation in the Pacific basin. As a last resort, I admit ignorance and ask. “The Gloria Golf Resort, in Belek, Turkey,” he explains. “It’s hosting the 2005 INVgolf Investment Forum.” Time for raised eyebrows. General consensus is that if it’s hosting the INV then it must be a little special. I would not be alone, I would imagine, in knowing little about golf in Turkey. In truth, like many Brits I would have to say I know very little about Turkey, other than it was home to the
Byzantine and Ottoman empires, it’s a holiday destination, has some of the most passionate football supporters on the planet and is about as close to Africa as you can get without losing the right to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest. Time then for a bit of hard-bitten journalistic research. Istanbul Apparently, golf was introduced to Turkey at the end of 1800s. The first golf club was founded in the Maslak district of Istanbul in 1895 and was named, somewhat unimaginatively, Istanbul Golf Club. It featured a ninehole course. But that didn’t exactly start a clamour for following suit. Other clubs did spring up: Izmir Bornova in 1905; Bogaziçi Bebek in 1911; and Ankara in 1949. But it was hardly a burgeoning industry, especially as these clubs had no course of their own. They all had
Golf Management Europe March 2005
close ties with the country’s tennis federation and the sport struggled to expand. The enormous strides taken by Turkish golf since 1895 have mostly been taken since 1990. Indeed, looking back to the 1975 edition of Donald Steel’s International Encyclopedia of Golf, gives a good idea of the state of golf just 30 years ago. It says: “Golf in Turkey is scarce. Istanbul, the country’s largest and most colourful city, has one 18-hole course. Ankara, the nation’s capital in Central Anatolia, has one; and so has Izmir, formerly Smyrna, on the Aegean Sea in the southwest. “…they are not sufficiently developed to be classed as tourist attractions.” How times have changed then. In the early 1990s affluent Turks and ex-pats - moved to the outskirts of Istanbul where they could easily commute to work while benefiting from the greenery and open spaces the area provided. ! Page 23
Developers recognised the need to create leisure activities and sports to draw more residents out of the city. Hence the first professional golf course in Turkey was completed in 1994 at the Klassis Country Club, again in Istanbul, followed by Kemer Country Club shortly after. While plans were being drafted for Kemer and Klassis, the Turkish Tourism Ministry acknowledged the combined importance of promoting the sport to the Turkish people and the potentially lucrative golf tourism sector. In 1990 they set aside land in the Mediterranean resort towns of Izmir and Antalya to be developed into golf courses. Today the land is occupied by several high-quality courses making Antalya, in particular, a modern, attractive destination for golf tourists. And that of course is what the INVgolf Investment Forum has at its heart. More courses are still being planned for Turkey’s Mediterranean region and membership figures at Istanbul’s clubs continue to climb. Page 24
It would have taken a leap of enormous faith from those compiling Donald Steel’s 1975 tome to imagine the progress made in Turkey in those 30 years - let alone half that time. The country now has an ambitious plan to boast 100 golf courses by 2010. Currently there are five 18-hole, one nine-hole and three 27-hole courses in the country, while a further 11 are under construction or in the pre-development stage. And that brings us rather neatly back to the Antalya region, home to Gloria Golf Resort. Sitting in the wonderful pine forest of Belek at the foot of the Taurus Mountains, Gloria’s access to the Mediterranean Sea offers visitors the best of all possible worlds. It was designed by the French architect Michel Gayon and JNC International of Belgium, hand in hand with Turkish consultants. It is an 18hole, par-72, 6,296 metre-long course, with a three-hole academy. Construction started on the project in July 1995 with the official opening in September 1997.
Architect Michel Gayon rates the course highly. In an interview, he told Golf Management Europe: “It is a pleasant course in a pine forest giving a good challenge for all players. It is certainly one of my best courses in Europe. Interesting “Turkey is becoming an interesting country for golf tourism and is not too expensive at the moment.” Gayon practises what he preaches, for he is working on a new project in Antalya at the moment. Gloria features his trademark deep bunker and seven lakes - the largest of which covers around 30,000 square metres. It is as a fitting venue, in an appropriate country, for the discussion of golf as a billion-dollar industry. For Turkey is a perfect example of what can be achieved in a nation not renowned for its golf infrastructure. The second INVgolf Investment Forum, (www.invgolf.com) will be held on April 22 and 23, and will look to build on the tremendous success of the inaugural event in 2003.
March 2005 Golf Management Europe
INVgolf’s previous forum in Athens - the 2003 European Golf Investment and Real Estate Conference and Exhibition - attracted high-level delegates from 17 countries. More are expected to attend this year’s event as INVgolf continues its aim: “to marry the concepts of tourism, real estate and golf development with sustainable development to produce multi-faceted complexes that combine resorts and leisure facilities with residential and holiday housing.” But it’s not just golf course owners or real-estate speculators attending this event. It attracts all manner of decision makers and has established itself already as the largest and most wideranging conference of its kind on the planet. Through the organisation of highlevel investment forums throughout the world, INVgolf seeks to bring together leaders from the sectors of hospitality, leisure, golf and real estate with politicians, investors, financiers, developers, business professionals, owners and entrepreneurs. Delegates have the opportunity to exchange ideas and opinions on the future of golf - and also to be educated. This year, the Texas-based Golf Research Group is conducting a special survey on behalf of the INVgolf Investment Forum which will be presented exclusively to the delegates and launched in tandem with the conference in Belek. Conference director Peter Michel Heilmann explained: “A press release on this will go out one month before the
INVgolf Investment Forum 2005, which gives potential delegates time to read about it and decide to come to the conference. “The topic of this unique report will be golf resort development and associated hotel and real estate activity within the geographic area of the Forum Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Eurasia - over the past five years. “Apart from examining the past five years of development activity, the report will make some predictions for the next five years, which I believe would be of considerable interest. Ambitious “Without being too ambitious, the survey will try to identify changing trends in residential real estate, hotels, retirement communities and office parks that are associated with golf,” explained Heilmann. “Certainly the scope will include the real estate development associated with golf. The survey will also attempt to quantify the scale of investment in golf and associated real estate.” Golf Research Group’s founder and president - and a member of the Forum’s steering committee - Colin Hegarty, will deliver the keynote speech on April 22. Running alongside the Forum is The Future Is Green exhibition, where some of the most innovative, technologicallyadvanced, environmentally-friendly products, services and solutions will be on display to accredited visitors, with its focus on the EMEA - Europe, Middle East, Africa - and Eurasia regions.
Fact File Club:
The Gloria Golf Resort Acisu Mevkii, Belek Mail Box 27 Serik, Antalya Turkey Telephone: Facsimile: Email: Website:
0090 242 715 1520 0090 242 715 1525 firstname.lastname@example.org www.gloriagolf.com
Golf director: Greenkeeper:
Frederick Hanssen Mouirak Kiaz
Par 72, 6885 yards (Opened 1997)
Members: Green Fee:
Golf Management Europe March 2005
Duty of Care Far too often the un-sung hero, good greenkeepers can be worth their weight in gold. David Bowers takes a closer look at turf care matters, and examines some of the new machinery which your greenkeeper might be asking for in the very near future.
reenkeepers at BTME always come out of the exhibition hall looking like the kid who has the key to the sweet shop. So many goodies; so many new things. Where do we start? Well, how about something that was sure to send a shockwave through the industry? You’ve seen it coming haven’t you? Shockwave of course is the brand name of one of Imants BV’s rotary decompactors - and the company has launched a new re-designed MkIII version called the Shockwave Revenge. It might sound like something your kids would drag you on at Chessington World of Adventures, but this could be a real boon for the industry. Not least because Imants have bucked the trend by slashing retail prices by around 30 per cent at a time
when other manufacturers are raising prices because of escalating steel costs. Imants’ John Reynolds explained: “We have concluded it was time for Imants to break the mould and create a new generation of patented rotary decompactors. Costs “To reduce costs without sacrificing quality or efficiency, we have had to work extremely hard in streamlining our production costs and have invested heavily in state-of-the-art machinery,” said Reynolds. “In September 2004 our design engineers began to produce drawings for a completely new world-beating design. “At the same time we reviewed our buying policy and began forward purchasing of large stocks of high quality special steels. We also placed substantial orders for the special new
gearboxes, which are manufactured in Germany to Imants specifications. “We can buy Italian gearboxes for 60 per cent less money, but in our experience they just don’t compare in terms of engineering quality and we wanted the very best for our new baby.” The Shockwave Revenge models will replace the products currently known as ‘The Shockwave’ in the UK and ‘Earthquake’ elsewhere and will initially only be available in the UK. The new Shockwave Revenge models incorporate numerous highly innovative and imaginative engineering solutions. Imants claim the design changes result in a new highly advanced concept giving hugely increased durability and reliability in every respect. “Our decompactors have always been renowned for their legendary reliability, said Reynolds. !
March 2005 Golf Management Europe
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Golf Management Europe March 2005
“Producing a substantially better product at significantly less money is a difficult test for any manufacturer. However, we have achieved just that and the latest machine is without doubt the ultimate rotary decompactor and the last word in reliability.” In seeking to improve upon the Mk II Shockwave, Imants have departed from the previous well established chain drive system, utilising instead a central all gear drive to the rotor shaft powered directly from the gearbox via the pto shaft. “This is excellent engineering practice at it’s very best and typical of the thoroughness that has become the Imants hallmark,” added Reynolds. “Central gear drive guarantees perfect torque characteristics and optimum balance throughout the machine and results in a drive train at least 30 per cent stronger than before. “With no chains to adjust or replace, we have absolutely minimised the likelihood of breakage or failure through metal fatigue or wear. Next on the agenda was the thorny subject of shear bolts which had previously been fitted to every blade and the pto. “We found that local authority health and safety officers in particular, disliked the idea of their personnel replacing broken shear bolts in the close proximity of hot and razor sharp blades when working unsupervised on site. “In addition, there is the question of down time to consider when changing several broken shear bolts, which are often rusted and seized up. To resolve this problem the Imants engineers have opted for the fitting of a torque limiter (slip clutch) on the pto set at normal shear bolt breaking pressure. “When encountering an underground obstruction such as a large rock or brick this device immediately disengages the pto, thus preventing the blades from rotating until the offending obstacle has been passed, it then instantly re-engages to enable work to continue without hindrance, stoppage or breakage.” Golf courses feature high on the list of potential customers for Imants, so therefore, the Imants designers were given a brief of ‘virtually zero maintenance’ and were determined to make the Revenge models as reliable and maintenance free as possible. To this end all new models use sealed-for-life ultra heavy-duty bearings throughout. This means that the only maintenance now required is regular routine checking of the gearbox oil level, plus an annual gearbox oil change, together with daily common sense checks for bolt tightness and accidental damage when in use. Page 28
From a third, to a first: Club Car’s Carryall 294 All-Wheel Drive (AWD™) is the first 4x4 truck in its class to receive pan-European homologation certification, approving on-road use of this new breed of utility vehicle. Rated against its direct competition, the Carryall 294 came out as no 1 in all key performance categories. It is aluminium framed, corrosion resistant and three times stronger than its steelframed competitors. Utility It is unique in that it is the first ‘plug and play’ utility in its class. All that is required is to put the transmission lever in ‘forward’ or ‘reverse’ and the onboard IntellTrack system automatically determines whether it needs to be in two, three, or four-wheel drive. This ensures maximum traction when it is needed and reduces drivetrain component wear. ClubCar’s Neil Woodfin explained: “By offering the first diesel 4x4 truck of its type that can be licensed throughout Europe for on-road use, we hope to reach new customers and expect to attract a lot of interest from other industries.” We wouldn’t be approaching spring if Toro was not launching an addition to its range - and 2005 is no exception. The company’s new Fairway Groomer is an attachment that fits on to Toro Reelmaster mowers with seveninch-diameter cutting units - the RM5500, 6500 and 6700. Its secret is that it stands up the turf so it’s cut more cleanly and uniformly, resulting in improvement of appearance and health while delivering a truer, more consistent playing surface. It also minimises grass clumping and helps the dispersion of clippings by knocking off the morning dew. Jeff Anguige, from Toro distributor Lely, said: “Golf courses are always under pressure to produce fairways that not only look flawless but deliver a consistent playing surface. The new Fairway Groomer delivers all this with one simple attachment.” Another benefit of the new attachment is that it encourages re-rooting and regenerative grass growth by cutting some stolons and runners within the turf. When set at full depth - 3/16” below the height of the cut - it can also help control thatch. When Bayer Environmental Science launched its new residual total herbicide for soft and gravel surfaces it wasn’t a ‘shot in the dark’. Admittedly, Pistol isn’t strictly ‘turf management’ - but it warrants a mention because weeds on gravel paths and car parks are a continual problem for golf courses. !
March 2005 Golf Management Europe
The Turf Strength People David Snowden email@example.com Peter Stromberg firstname.lastname@example.org
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Golf Management Europe March 2005
“THESE TESTS WERE UNDERTAKEN IN BOTH THE UK AND EUROPE, WITH THE FIRST PRE-PRODUCTION SERIES SOLD WITHIN WEEKS. WE ARE CONFIDENT THE RECENT WEATHER WILL FURTHER ASSIST TO MAKE THIS LAUNCH OUR MOST SUCCESSFUL TO DATE.” The non-selective, residual herbicide is designed for control of annual and perennial weeds on land not intended to bear vegetation or in amenity situations. Available in five-litre packs, Pistol is easy to mix, has easy fluid-flow water-based solution - as it does not fall out of suspension and is non hazardous. Bayer is, of course, renowned for its preventative produce - and at this time of year, products such as Chipco Green are particularly useful in the control of disease, while Mildothane Turf Liquid and Crossfire 480 can keep worms and Leatherjacket larvae at bay. The AFT Sandbander was launched at last year’s Saltex - and is still raising eyebrows. It can install 25mm-wide drainage slits quickly, filling them at the same time with consolidated sand up to a depth of 250mm. The unique blade design and fast oscillation create minimal heave and permit even moist sand to be used. AFT Trenchers see it as the ideal tool for rapid drainage of excess surface water to free draining subsoil or existing drainage systems. Using sand, rather than gravel, ensures essential moisture levels are retained in the root zones and that no harmful spills can damage mowers or players. It is designed for tractors from 20hp and works safely on sensitive areas like greens. If required, the Sandbander can also be used with gravel or similar back-filling materials and has been designed for use in both moist and very moist soils. Page 30
AFT sales manager Nigel Wilson said: “The new Sandbander was extensively tested by both contractors and golf course managers - and the initial response has been most encouraging. “These tests were undertaken in both the UK and Europe, with the first pre-production series sold within weeks. We are confident the recent weather will further assist to make this launch our most successful to date.” The Sandbander was well-received at the Land Drainage Contractors Association Conference last October and5at BTME in January 2005. Stylish An eagerly-awaited new range of compact tractors has been launched in the UK and Ireland by Kubota. The three-model range of stylish, yet highly functional compact machines is known as the STV Series. The STV32, STV36 and STV40 tractors are powered by Kubota watercooled diesel engines rated at 32hp, 36hp and 40hp respectively. Renowned for its low levels of noise, vibration and fuel consumption, Kubota’s three-vortex combustion system (E-TVCS) engine offers consistent output and a high torque rise for exceptional working efficiency, even at low-speed applications. The engine’s design also produces a very thorough burn with resulting cleaner emissions. As befits a tractor of this size and performance, Kubota’s unique Bi-Speed Turn system is standard on the STV Series, speeding up the front wheels on tighter turns to help “pull” the tractor through corners without scuffing the tyres or the surface.
Operators will appreciate the tractors’ new engagement system for the single-speed mid and two-speed rear pto drives. In place of a floor-mounted lever, Kubota has fitted a simple twiston, push-off electromagnetic switch positioned to the right-hand side of the seat. The STV series is available fitted with turf or agricultural tyres and a choice of rollbar or deluxe ‘Q’ cab. Floratine claim to have launched a revolutionary new range of liquid foliar feed products, specifically designed to improve nutrient up-take in cooler temperatures. The new Carbon Power Range are based on the most biologically active carbon compounds, includes three formulations, a high phosphite 3.22.28, high potassium 3.0.15, and a balanced nitrogen 20.0.4. All have glucoheptonates as a carbohydrate source and proprietary Crenic Saprins, to maximise nutrient utilisation, (translocate nutrients around the plant). Advance Bill Byrnes, Floratine’s president, who arrived from America to launch the new range said that Crenic Saprins represent a major advance in N P K formulation technology. “We’ve been testing the efficiency of Crenic Saprins at a Swedish university, and putting them through extensive field trials in Scandinavia and the States since 2004,” he explained. “The fact that their inclusion enables us to provide nutrients which can be taken up by the plant at lower soil temperatures means that this new range will prove invaluable for turf managers in early spring.”
March 2005 Golf Management Europe
The Sands of Time Over recent years, there has been a distinct rise in the number of golf courses taking a more proactive approach to environmental issues. However, there is much more the golf industry could be doing as WRAP’s Bronnie Allen, explains.
t WRAP (an acronym for the Waste and Resources Action Programme), we have been working closely with the golf industry to increase awareness of the environmental issues affecting golf courses, as well as provide information on the performance benefits ‘green’ products can offer. In addition to being fit for purpose, recycled products offer a quality alternative to using extracted primary resources giving golf clubs the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to environmental sustainability. Many leading golf organisations, such as the R&A and BIGGA are also encouraging their members to take a greener approach to their purchasing decisions. This collaborative approach is starting to show results as greenkeepers are becoming more and more aware that implementing small changes such as recycling their own waste and buying recycled products can significantly reduce the course’s impact on the environment. Cautious Greenkeepers can be naturally cautious when it comes to new products, often preferring to stick to the same products that they know perform to high standards. Therefore, many will be pleased to learn that a wide variety of recycled products have now been tried and tested by golf courses throughout the UK, and
all have been found to demonstrate significant performance and environmental benefits over more traditional products. One such example is processed sand. Made using 100 per cent recycled glass; processed sand has proved itself, through a two-year trial with the STRI and its use at De Vere Carden Park to be an ideal and more sustainable alternative to conventional sand. Alternatives Problems in the supply of certain grades of conventional sand have already been reported, and it is probable that the supply of high quality grades will reduce significantly in the next few decades. For golf courses, which are one of the heaviest users of sand in the sports and leisure industry, WRAP predicts this could be a problem in the future if courses don’t begin to look at alternatives. Golf courses can use processed sand in many applications such as top dressing, root zone material, in bunkers and for divot repairs. Following feedback from greenkeepers who raised the issue that players could be disadvantaged by the processed sand’s natural green colour, the STRI are currently running trials comparing different blends of processed and conventional sand. Tests have already shown that blending just 25 per cent conventional sand gives a much more natural colour.
Overall, the aim of the trials is to demonstrate how processed sand can be used as a quality and sustainable alternative to conventional sand but, at the same time, satisfy greenkeepers’ desire for a traditional sand colour. Conversely, the slightly green colour of processed sand can be advantageous for courses that host televised tournaments as it helps disguise areas undergoing turf maintenance, which could appear unsightly for filming. Processed sand offers a range of performance benefits when used in bunkers, including firmer underfoot conditions for players and less plugging of the ball on impact. The sand’s natural angularity allows it to rest at a steeper angle, thereby reducing raking for greenkeepers. The sand is also available in a number of different grades, making it suitable for root zone construction, provided a suitable regime is in place to monitor and manage pH levels. Processed sand is not the only recycled product that is suitable for the golf course. WRAP has been supporting the development of a wide range of recycled products, including plastic for furniture and signage, and wood chip for pathways, landscaping, and compost. The demand for processed sand in the golf sector has encouraged an increasing number of turf suppliers to
March 2005 Golf Management Europe
consider adding the product to their portfolio. It is likely that some of the better known suppliers will be making it available to their customers over the next six months. Research WRAP has carried out research into the attitudes of players towards their course’s environmental commitment and the results indicate that members would like to see their club take a more proactive approach to the environment. A staggering 95 per cent of respondents said that they would like to see their club using recycled products and other results showed that this has the potential to impact on a player’s loyalty. Almost one third of those questioned, stated that they would consider switching golf clubs if another (with equal facilities and membership fees) had better environmental policies in place. Using recycled products is one easy way to demonstrate to members that the course is taking a more sustainable approach and, it really has never been simpler to include ‘green’ products in course management. Greenkeepers can find more detailed advice and information on purchasing recycled products on WRAP’s website, where there is access to a range of information on using compost and recycled products made from glass, plastic and wood.
Further information can also be sourced from the R&A, where greenkeepers can visit its best practice website (www.bestcourseforgolf.org) which is a highly informative tool for all who work in the golf industry. Club managers can find advice on best practice and sustainability for golf course management, greenkeeping, environment, planning and development and advice and research. There is also a great deal of information on the environmental issues that should be taken into consideration when designing, constructing and maintaining golf courses. This is not just an issue that relates to the UK, and the R&A is keen to promote to courses around the world that they must take more responsibility for the impact courses’ have on the local environment. At BTME recently, greenkeepers from Europe, the USA and as far away as Australia showed a great deal of interest in the range of recycled products available WRAP believes it has never been easier for the golfing sector to take steps to improve their environmental credentials with the wide range of alternative products on offer. These products allow greenkeepers to take a more sustainable approach to course management without compromising course quality, play performance or increasing man-hours.
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Golf Management Europe March 2005
Portfolio Dramatic improvement
New mower for Holmes
Remarkably, in just five weeks since taking delivery of a new Wiedenmann Terra Spike XF deep aerator, Dean Jones, head greenkeeper at Flackwell Heath GC in Buckinghamshire, has seen a dramatic improvement to the rootzone on the greens and fairways at his 18-hole, par-69, 6,211 yard course close to the M40 motorway.
David Holmes, head greenkeeper at Great Yarmouth and Caister GC has recently taken delivery of a new lightweight fairway mower. “Our aim is to provide the best possible playing conditions, and this new machine, which we purchased from Bartram Mowers, copes admirably with the severe undulations on many of the fairways,” he said.
0141 814 3366
Hunstanton take stock
Golf Tags for the TSP1000
Jim Read, head greenkeeper at Hunstanton GC has taken delivery of more Ransomes Jacobsen turf maintenance from Bartrams Professional. This latest delivery includes a Ransomes Frontline 728 rotary mower for maintaining the rough; an MPT 1200 golf utility vehicle and another Greens King IV ride-on triplex greens mower.
Versatile, heavy duty multi-purpose tags can now be printed on demand thanks to the new TSP1000 from Star Micronics, and special paper stock from DED. The tags are manufactured from highly durable polyethylene with a thermal coating which can be printed using the TSP1000, with text, graphics, barcodes and more.
Super Quick XF
Caldecott choose Jac
Sales of Wiedenmann’s deep aerator, the Terra Spike XF, launched last year have exceeded all expectations. Maidenhead GC is one of the clubs that have purchased an XF, and according to head greenkeeper, Chris Mitchell, speed is the major benefit. “I’d heard that that the XF was quick, but I must admit that I was sceptical until I saw a demo.”
Caldecott Hall, the family-owned hotel, golf and leisure complex in Suffolk, has upgraded its turf maintenance machinery through Bartrams Professional. The course has a reputation for its immaculate condition, which was the driving force behind the purchase of two new mowers from the Jacobsen brand; a Fairway 405 and AR250.
0141 814 3366
Rough going at Eaton
Clear Vinyl Label Printing
Last year, head greenkeeper at Eaton GC in Norfolk, Mick Lathrope and his team took delivery of a Jacobsen AR250 articulated rotary mower and a Fairway 305 from local Ransomes Jacobsen dealer, Bartrams Mowers. Bartram’s have been supplying equipment to Mick Lathrope for ten of his 32 years at the club.
Printed using the new Zebra P330i from DED, these clear vinyl labels are suited to a wealth of applications in environments from security car parking and warehousing to retail. Manufactured from a highly durable vinyl duty adhesive, they are suitable for use in environments where a conventional paper label would not survive.
March 2005 Golf Management Europe
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