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For all sports turf professionals in golf, football, rugby, cricket, tennis, horse racing, independent schools, universities and local authorities

July-August 2018 | £4.95

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RUBBER CRUMB: What do we know?

The danger beneath our feet? OVERSEEDING AND FENCING TO THE RESCUE

ALL SET FOR WIMBLEDON FORTNIGHT

FACTS, FICTION AND SEED MANAGEMENT

32 Renovations and repairs

50 Neil’s finishing touches

42 Chemicals analysis


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WELCOME

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iWelcome

Let’sforget get it right Don’t Sport…

Inside you will see what is the closest thing Turf Matters has ever done to a piece of investigative withbeen our look at rubber crumb infill pitches. The last twojournalism, months have a nightmare for many people in certain

parts was of the country my heart outin to2016, everyone dealing with There quite a bit ofand publicity on thegoes subject much of it stimulated aftermath of unprecedented floodinggoalkeeper, and devastating erosion. by the a diagnosis of cancer for a young Darlington but then it went quiet. The best case scenario for many manypitches is months temporary For During the intervening two years have of been laid, whileliving. at the same others, lives will return what they were. time in other parts of never the world theyto were being removed. While the fate of sports grounds golfthe clubs might Something seemed wrong somehow andand it was goal of Turfseem Matters to try inconsequential in the faceWas of such hardship, we at Turf Matters have and get to the nub of the matter. rubber crumb safe? If so, that fact needed a particular everyone who has seen years agronomic to be shared withempathy those whowith worked with rubber crumb as well asof those who are husbandry washed away in the space of a few weeks. thinking about literally laying such a pitch. It must be hoped that banks – the financial institutions, not the

If evidence suggested there was some doubt, then perhaps we needed to pause things which edge overflown rivers – take an understanding approach for a while, until more up-to-date, more definitive evidence could be assessed.

to sporting facilities which have been unable to service loans as a Unfortunately many minds seemed to be closed to the notinwishing to talk result of them being unplayable and so unable toidea, bring revenue. with As us at or merely referring to websites containing thesport existing weallhave seen with the us recent Winter Olympics, hasevidence such a which did report minimal risks, the caveat being that they also contained galvanising effect on society and can be the catalyst for so much good, recommendations for safe useage. that it is imperative sporting facilities are not forgotten when the However,promised it would appear in many recommendations have been assistance is cases, beingthose allocated. passed over – theOn Health and Safety Executive,sporting for example, don’t seem to be been the issue of improving facilities, we have checking rubberinvited crumb pitches. by Briggs & Stratton to become involved in its Pitch Winthe competition, provides a £3,000 makeover The good news to is that latest reportwhich from the European Chemical Agencyfor is due and there are hintsisthat they to may tighten of the current what judged belook the to Under 18ssome football pitch in most requirements for the level– of carcinogens in rubber are need find out moreallowed on pages 16-17. Icrumb. am onThese the judging currently far higherpanel than the levels for theto plastic grass fibres. andallowable visits will be made a shortlist of deserving pitches soon. We will be not sono much atpeople the Now I’m not an expert – I’m a journalist, notlooking a scientist – so doubt but theour desperate! will look to pick DESSO holes fault with report. What I am, however, is keen that On atofinal note, I not amjust thrilled the reception the– our industry be seen be working to theby highest standardsthat legally but the highest standards stop. first issue offull Turf Matters received. Many people have takendid time saywhen howitmuch likedhealth the look of the One real expert sayto that comesthey to public the mantra magazine how they enjoyed the articles. We’re all should be, “If in doubt,and don’t”. Hopefully the new ECHA report will remove pleased you found it to your liking and we will work hard any doubt. If it doesn’t… to maintain the high standards. Thank you all very much.

Distributed every two months to sports turf professionals, independent schools, universities, local authorities and buyers of turfcare machinery and products. Editor: Scott MacCallum Distributed every two months to sports scott@turfmatters.co.uk turf professionals, local authorities MSc MBPR Executive Laurence Gale and and buyersEditor: of turfcare machinery products. laurence@turfmatters.co.uk DesignScott and Production Editor: MacCallumEditor: Tim Moat tim@turfmatters.co.uk scott@turfmatters.co.uk Customer Manager: Design andRelations Production Editor: Tim Moat Sinead Finnin tim@turfmatters.co.uk sinead@turfmatters.co.uk Sales Manager: Pauline Thompson Sales Executive: To advertise in Turf Matters, Marie Anderson call Pauline on 07720 055676 or marie@turfmatters.co.uk

email pauline@turfmatters.co.uk

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Turf Matters is published by Straight Down the Middle Ltd. Down Turf MattersCommunications is published by Straight the Middle Communications Ltd. All material © Turf Matters magazine 2018. All material © Turf Matters magazine 2014. No part of this publication may be No part of this may be reproduced in publication any form whatsoever, reproduced in any form whatsoever, either for sale or not, without the written either for sale without Information the written permission of or thenot, publisher. permission of the publisher. Information contained in Turf Matters is published contained in Turf is published in good faith andMatters every effort has been in good andits every effort has made tofaith ensure accuracy. Turfbeen Matters made to ensure its accuracy. Turf Matters can accept no responsibility for any error can accept no responsibility for any or misrepresentation. All liability forerror loss, or misrepresentation. All liability for loss, disappointment, negligence or other disappointment, negligence or other damage caused by reliance on information damage caused by reliance on information contained in Turf Matters or in the event of contained in Turf Matters or in the event of any bankruptcy or liquidation or cessation any bankruptcy or liquidation or cessation of trade of any company, individual or firm of trade of any company, individual or firm mentioned is hereby excluded. mentioned is hereby excluded. Printed by by Warners WarnersMidlands MidlandsPLC. PLC. Printed

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Inside Inside this thisissue issue News..........................................................4-13 News .........................................................4-15 RydertoCup in prospect..................14-16 Pitch Win........................................16-17 Tea Break Teaser.......................................18 Mowing .................................19-22, 24-27 Battery power....................................20-23 Tea Break Teaser ......................................29 Rubber crumb investigation......24-29 Gleneagles..........................................30-35 Renovation..........................................32-36 BTME review ......................................36-41 Compact tractors..............................38-41 Diary of a Golfing Nobody.................42 Chemicals............................................42-49 As seen on Twitter..................................43 Tennis.....................................................50-53 Buyers’out Guide. ...........................................57 Check our .website: The majesty of Gleneagles, pages 30-35 FLEXIBILITY: Go anywhere on battery power – pages 20-23 Subscribe FREE to our e-zine: Details at www.turfmatters.co.uk

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David Hart takes reins at Kubota UK

PERFECTING THOSE WORLD CUP SURFACES Head Groundsman and sub-contractors at each World Cup facility are working hard but knowing the really hard work was carried in well in advance, many having turning to Rink Topdressers to perfect their playing surfaces. Head Groundsman Vitaly Belonenko at Kaliningrad Stadium has regularly been using the ultra-light and accurate Rink 1010. The stadium is due to stage a crucial group game between England and Belgium. The Rink 1010 offers a spreading width of up to 1.5m, at a thickness of up to 10mm. the combination of its light weight build and floatation tyres mean ground pressure is minimised. Regular topdressings are taking place at the stadium to firm up the surface, including 10 tonnes spread the week before the inauguration of the stadium in April. It is being used in combination with a Redexim Verti-Drain 7215 aerator to work the sand down deeper into the soil profile.

Kubota UK has appointed David Hart as their new Managing Director. With over 28 years of leadership experience, David brings a wealth of knowledge and experience of the agricultural and construction industries. David has built a strong commercial track record in sales and marketing in the UK and Ireland as well as in Europe, Near Middle East, North Africa and CIS. “Kubota has a deserved reputation as market leader in many areas. We have a big opportunity to grow further and continue to diversify into new sectors, bringing our strong business values and quality delivery to match the demands and rightly high expectations of our dealers and end user clients,” said David. “Kubota’s brand, values and proven quality are facets I have respected as a competitor over many years, and I am excited to be part of the team that will take these to the next level.”

Reesink stalwart Nigel retires after 17 years

APology Turf Matters would like to apologise for factual errors which appear in our World Cup feature last issue. As a publication we always go to reliable sources but on this occasion while our source was reliable it wasn’t the definitive source. The information was provided to us in good faith and we published in good faith. On page 30 we wrote that in 2015 a brand new Desso Grassmaster was installed for the World Cup. The pitch was actually a SISGRASS pitch, one of six laid for the finals. We also named the Head Groundsman as Vladislav Lynensko when it is managed daily by Maxim Radomsky, SIS Contracts Manager for Russia. We apologise for any confusion created by our article.

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NATURAL ABILITY: Nigel Lovatt

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Reesink Turfcare’s Nigel Lovatt has retired after 17 spent shaping the company. Nigel joined the company when it was Lely UK and had already built himself a reputation in the industry, in particular, in the region of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire working for a competitor manufacturer. Taking responsibility for the area as retail sales manager, Nigel grew the golf business from almost nothing to £1million in his first couple of years. A promotion to regional manager followed suit. With that came new responsibilities, and he started working with the Reesink dealer network and retail partners from the north east to the north west. His role expanded to take in sports venues as well as golf, and when Reesink introduced the grounds range to the UK, that too. “Nigel has been instrumental in not only bringing in substantial business, but retaining it. He has a natural ability for sales and a natural aptitude with people,” said Jeff Anguige, National Sales Manager at Reesink Turfcare. “That is a winning

combination, demonstrated by the fact that he grew the business exponentially in his time here, along with the fact that he was there at the beginning of our relationship with some of our biggest customers.” Of course, anyone who knows Nigel will know Jeff is referring to England Golf Union, Royal Liverpool Golf Club, and football clubs Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and more councils than you can shake a stick at. “I have enjoyed every minute working with my dealers and customers and helping in their quest for the best quality grounds and courses. I have always considered it to be an absolute privilege to work with Toro, too. My engineering background means I’ve been able to work closely with my customers to understand their needs and what will suit them best,” said Nigel.

Fresh from his recent success in Australia winning a Team Silver medal in the clay pigeon shooting World Championships, Nigel’s retirement will heavily involve clay pigeon shooting. With his apprenticeship in agricultural engineering Nigel has contributed to the components and mechanics of many of the Toro machines on the market today. He helped secure a third partnership with the England Golf Union and Woodhall Spa before he left and he leaves with many memories too, in particular, his role helping Royal Liverpool Golf Club in its preparation for The Open.


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Mark all set for ‘Wembley’ of crown greens The Dennis FT510 and SISIS Dart are currently helping Mark Audin prepare the green at the Waterloo Hotel, Blackpool, for the biggest national tournament in the crown green bowling calendar. Regarded as the ‘Wembley’ of crown green bowling, The Waterloo Hotel has been hosting tournaments for well over 100 years. The Waterloo Championships has been in existence since 1907 and this year it sees a phenomenal 512 entries from all over the country. Qualifying starts this month and concludes with the final eight competing to get their hands on the famous trophy on 26 September. Mark Audin is Bowls Manager. He has a number of tasks under his remit but Mark’s main priority is to focus on the fabulous green at The Waterloo

– which is a year round job. “Out of season when the green isn’t being played on, I cut down to about 7-8mm. From May onwards I like to keep it at around 7mm and that will gradually go down to about 6mm and possibly 5mm. There is a misconception that you need to take the grass on a bowling green right down and scalp it, but that really isn’t the case as long as you regularly verticut and generally look after it all year.” For verticutting, Mark relies on the Dennis FT510, which is an interchangeable cassette cylinder mower. It offers the operator ultimate versatility by having the option of fitting 12 different cassettes including scarifiers, verticutters, brushes, spikers and slitters as well as 5 or 10 blade cutting cassettes. “In the lead up to the Championships we will verticut

with the FT510 once every four days in four different directions so that the playing surface will be completely smooth. Therefore, going into the Championships the green will become quicker and quicker to play on. “We’ve got the sorrel roller cassette, the 10 bladed cylinder, the scarifier and verticutter Tungsten tipped cassette and it is all we really need here – it’s my complete maintenance tool. The FT510 is fantastic and it is so easy to use – one cassette out, one cassette in and off you go. In the past we have had machines which take half an hour just to change one cassette. “I also really like the click adjustment on the FT510 for the height of cut, it is easy to set-up and is adjusted by 0.25mm with every click. Again, with other machines you will have to get a spanner out but on the FT510

it is adjusted in seconds. The fuel consumption also seems to be better than any others I have used in the past too.” For reducing turf compaction at The Waterloo, Mark uses the SISIS Dart – which is an independently powered vertical action aerator. This popular bowling green aerator has a working depth of up to 100mm (4 inches) which can be easily adjusted from the operator’s position using the balanced depth control lever.

Big event coming up for Mark Audin

Turf Matters | july-august 2018 | 5


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The renovation game Sports surface specialist total-play finds a growing number of clubs and schools looking to refurbish or convert existing non-turf sports facilities rather than build new from scratch. Whatever the sport, the right playing surface is crucial to enable players to work to their full potential and avoid injury; so investing in the best surface you can afford is essential. If your budget won’t quite stretch to the design and installation of an entirely new facility, refurbishment could provide you with a facility that’s not only as good as new – but that is streets ahead of the one that was originally installed. Alternatively, building a new system on the site of an existing, under-used

facility makes sensible use of space and can help make the planning process easier “We’ve been flat out this year installing facilities for a really diverse range of clients, including a number of refurbishment and system upgrade projects. While the majority have been cricketled we’re also installing a number of Multi Use Games Areas; often adapting former standard cricket practice facilities to be more flexible so that they can be used for a greater range of sports - or converting old Macadam tennis courts into new facilities. In many cases, it makes sense to make use of whatever existing infrastructure you have rather than start from scratch, and our approach means that

Project to replace existing cricket nets facility at Furness CC – before and after

we can create a facility far superior to the one that was originally fitted through the use of modern materials, so it’s not a case of cutting quality alongside the budget,” said total-play Managing Director, David Bates. Projects undertaken by total-play include work at high profile sites – such as the refurbishment of existing practice facilities at Essex CCC and upgrading match pitches in London’s The

Regent’s Park on behalf of The Royal Parks authority – as well as overhauling practice facilities at cricket clubs around the country. At Furness CC in Cumbria, the team installed a new cricket practice nets facility to replace existing nets that had developed chronic issues over time; including uneven playing surfaces, drainage issues, subsiding surface levels and advanced rot of the timber framework.

AFT Trenchers’ global reach AFT Trenchers Ltd designs and manufactures specialist sportsturf equipment used by major golf courses, sports facilities and contractors all over the world. Their machines have made invaluable contributions to many outstanding sporting venues including World Cup football, the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games. Ideal for golf courses and small contractors, the AFT45 has been developed as a very versatile drainage trencher for compact tractors and can be supplied with a digging chain or with a slitting wheel, in addition to a conveyor system. To complement the AFT45, the AFT Sandbander is the only machine of its kind which quickly and efficiently can put in a well consolidated sand slit for secondary drainage. The Sandbander can be offered with retractable support wheels, which allow the lightest of tractors to drive around with a fully loaded Sandbander. For larger contractors, AFT trenchers presents the Wizz Wheel 55 and 75, truly professional wheel trenchers where there is practically no limit to the soil conditions they can work in. These trenchers can fitted with soil blades, carbides or bullet teeth. To complement the Wizz Wheels AFT have their professional AFT100, which goes to a maximum depth of 1.2m (or 1.4, 1.6 or 1.8m) and up to 400mm wide. The conveyor system includes a horizontal and vertical conveyor. A wide variety of pipe chutes, reel carriers and laser systems are available with these trenchers.

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Agronomic Services to keep working with Wolves Following on from Wolverhampton Wanderers FC’s incredible season, culminating with being promoted to the Premier League, Agronomic Services is delighted to be continuing its working partnership with Head Groundsman Wayne Lumbard and his team. “We are thrilled for Wayne, his team and the club, it has been fantastic to follow this season and the quality of the pitch has been superb. We have been particularly pleased with feedback from industry colleagues and Groundsman, it is a testament to Wayne and his team,” said David Snowden, of Agronomic Services. The combination of Eon Bio, which gives rapid establishment and mass rooting, in particular during renovations, combined with Floratine foliar nutrition and excellent Groundsmanship has been the recipe for success at the Molineux and Training Grounds. Wayne commented that the most difficult part of his job in the last season had been the installation and the renovation of the Desso pitch but by September the pitch “just got better and better.”

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Highly-regarded dealer joins network AJ & R Scambler & Sons Ltd has been appointed authorised Polaris dealers. Established in 1974 and based in spacious rural premises in the village of Bourn, between Cambridge and St Neots, Scamblers are now regarded as a market leader in turfcare and grounds maintenance machinery. The dealership specialises in supplying compact tractors, utility vehicles, bank tractors, mowers and turfcare and groundcare machinery for every aspect of turf and grounds maintenance. “We’re very pleased to have such a highly regarded dealer join the Polaris dealer network and we’re looking forward to working together to meet the demands of Polaris customers in the area,” said Ben Murray, Polaris UK and Ireland National Sales Manager, Scamblers cover Cambridge, Norfolk and Suffolk and whilst their main market had traditionally been groundcare and horticulture they have expanded

to meet the needs of agricultural businesses, gamekeeping and golf courses in their area. “It was after setting up demonstrations with Polaris to existing customers we reached the agreement to become authorised Polaris dealers,” said

Scamblers’ Director, Ed Scambler. “The customers said how much they liked the Polaris Rangers and were impressed by what they saw as superior quality in the ATVs and UTVs. We’re very much looking forward to selling the product.”

Welcome: Scamblers are now authorised Polaris dealers

No more Eaton mess Eaton Golf Club Course Manager, Rob Ransome, pictured, has only been at the Norwich club for less than a year, but he has alread recognised that the club’s “fantastic membership gives the club a thriving, upbeat, feeling”. However, what didn’t leave such a positive feeling in previous years was the leaf-fall from the course’s extensive tree population! Before he even began his position at Eaton, Rob purchased an S3 (below) from Trilo, which has transformed the task of leaf collection at the club.

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“I started at Eaton in September last year and it was evident right from my interview that the club had a big problem with leaves. The team were getting a lot of negative feedback on the conditions and players were frustrated with losing their golf balls! It was something I was keen to tackle straight away,” explained Rob. He arranged for a demo of a Trilo S3 collector with local dealer Ernest Doe. “We were instantly impressed and you could see how it was going to transform the task for us so I placed the order so that it arrived in time for my arrival at the club. We found that we could run the unit with the brush attachment just above the height of the grass to collect the leaves into a high capacity hopper, without having a

detrimental effect on the grass. The overall weight and compression tyres also help, leaving a minimal footprint on the ground, meaning we could get out everyday without the risk of causing any problems.” The S3 was in action as soon as the leaves started to fall in October, for anywhere between three and seven hours a day, until the end of the fall. “I delivered a presentation to the members in December and was apprehensive when I got to the topic of leaves, but people were so complimentary of what we’d achieved. It has transformed the winter presentation of the course so much that members are now going out on the course looking for leaves – and can’t find any! We can’t ask for better than that.”


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NEWS

sMOOTH: Ernie Els plays into the 18th at Wentworth

Wentworth’s newly-designed West Course has come of age, says Ernie Els The ‘Big Easy’ reflects on a successful first year A little over 12 months on from the official unveiling of the renovated West Course, an Ernie Els Design-led project, the world of golf has never been richer in its praise for the iconic golf course. The four-time Major winner, World Golf Hall of Famer and chief architect of the long-term renovation and modernisation of this Harry Colt gem, was speaking ahead of this year’s BMW PGA Championship, the European Tour’s flagship tournament, which has long made its home at Wentworth Club. “There has been added anticipation to come back for this year’s event,” said Els, who won a record seven World Matchplay titles on Wentworth’s West Course. “Obviously, this club and this golf course have always had a very special place in my heart, right back to the start of my career. But I must say, the sense of pride for us as architects of this renovation, seeing the course presented the way it is this week, makes it even more special than before. The ‘new’ look debuted last year, we’d heard it was in incredible shape and I just really wanted to see it for myself. It’s great to be back.”

Els went on to say: “You know, this was the dream, this was the vision we had in our minds way back when Greg Letsche [senior design associate at Ernie Els Design] and myself got the ball rolling on this renovation project. This was the blueprint, so to speak. The whole strategy, the core shot values, the construction and the look of the greens’ complexes, the bunkering, literally everything is now just as we envisaged it. And seriously, these must be the best putting surfaces in the country. They are incredible! It’s so nice to see and, of course, it’s great to hear the positive comments from the players this week and from the members who love it, too.” Els also expressed thanks to Jeremy Slessor and his team at European Golf Design, and the advisory panel at the European Tour, for their input on the final phase of the renovation works. There was high praise, too, for Kenny Mackay, Director of Golf Courses & Grounds at Wentworth Club, and an acknowledgement of the invaluable role played by the Club’s owners, Reignwood Group. “The owners, Dr. Chanchai } Turf Matters | july-august 2018 | 9


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West Course has come of age, says Ernie Els from page 9 } Ruayrungruang and his team, have given all of us their full commitment to help push this project to its successful conclusion and, just as importantly, the budget and the resources to enable Kenny and his team to maintain this wonderful golf course to the absolute highest standards,” said Els. “And it shows literally everywhere you look. The conditioning of the playing surfaces, and the overall presentation, is as good as I’ve ever seen it.” Els concluded: “Right at the start I would say our goal, everyone’s goal, was to make Wentworth the leading venue for Championship golf in Europe and we believe that is what we’ve got here. It’s the perfect championship venue.” Kenny Mackay added: “The whole team has worked very hard over the winter and in the buildup to this week. We’ve put our heart and soul into it, so obviously it’s very gratifying for us to hear Ernie and a lot of the other top players giving the course such high praise. From day one, the aim has been to make improvements to enhance playability for all. “This has been achieved through wide-ranging changes and installing industry-leading technology that allows us to control how the greens play. “We’ve called on a vast amount of design and playing experience and we believe this is Wentworth’s best ever course.”

Glenn Kirby becomes Syngenta’s Technical Manager NEW APPOINTMENT: Glenn Kirby joins Syngenta

Highly-regarded Course Manager, Glenn Kirby, has been appointed as Syngenta’s new position of dedicated Technical Manager for the UK Turf & Landscape business. Glenn brings 25 years’ experience of practical turf management skills from

both downland and parkland environments, along with experience from both corporate and members’ golf clubs. He has held the Course Manager’s role at Hockley Golf Club in Hampshire and, prior to that, as Head Greenkeeper on the Heritage course at

The London Club in Kent. He has also been through the Ohio State University programme in the US, including championship preparation at the prestigious Oak Hill Country Club, along with a wide range of other tournament experience. “Syngenta has been at the

forefront of helping me to achieve that on the golf course. This exciting new role gives me the opportunity to support more greenkeepers and to help the industry to adapt to the changing picture of products, pressures and integrating technical innovation on a wider scale,” explained Glenn. Glenn will be working alongside Syngenta UK Business Manager, Daniel Lightfoot, to give an understanding of issues facing the UK turf industry, and together utilising the company’s R&D capability to develop solutions for an effective integrated turf management approach. “The new Syngenta role of a Technical Manager dedicated to the UK continues the company’s commitment and investment in the turf industry. Glenn will have an important role to launch several new products and science based innovations over the coming months and years, including a programme to provide information and support for their best use and to achieve the optimum results in practice,” said Daniel. Turf Matters | july-august 2018 | 11

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Greenfields’ Sedulo partnership Sports turf specialist, GreenFields, has announced a new partnership with financial funding experts, Sedulo. The collaboration was officially announced at a Stadium Development seminar hosted by GreenFields on 17 May at Hyde United FC. As Official Pitch Partner of the EVO-STIK Northern Premier League, GreenFields hosted the seminar in which ten member clubs attended and were supported by Sedulo who presented ways in which they could support with financing new development plans. This was also supported by the leagues architectural partners, Frank Whittle Partnership. With offices in Manchester and Leeds, Sedulo will work with GreenFields on a national basis to

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support potential clients who have aspirations to obtain new sports pitches but who require financial advice, financial planning and sometimes funding opportunities to be able to attain their goal. “We’ve been looking for a financial partner to meet the growing demand from our clients for financial advice

so pairing with financial funding experts Sedulo is an excellent step forward for us to be able to offer this guidance to potential clients,” said Paul Milton, Director of GreenFields. “We realise that the aspirations of clubs and educational establishments to install a new sports pitch can sometimes seem

financially unrealistic, but now working with Sedulo more of these dreams will be able to become a reality.” Jack Christian, Senior Funding Manager at Sedulo, presented at the seminar and has already received a number of requests from attending clubs for one to one meetings to discuss their financial plans to secure a 3G pitch. “We are always looking to support new clubs across the UK. Sport is a specialism for Sedulo and we have a lot of experience in advising on the funding and finances for sports clubs. “We are keen to work alongside GreenFields to enable more sports clubs to develop their facilities and increase their longterm revenue streams.”


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Wildflowers bring swathe of value-for-money colour As part of Course Manager Matt Aplin’s strategy to improve the ecological footprint of the Goring and Streatley Golf Club, the “amazingly colourful results” of sowing Euroflor wildflowers “attracted as many complimentary comments about the outstanding display of colour as about the quality and performance of our greens”, he explained. “That was in a year when the course was magnificent – it was looking immaculate and was playing very well – so the display of wildflowers obviously made a massive impression on everyone who saw them,” he added. “The news travelled fast about the swathe of colours and we even had non-playing visitors coming to see the display!” Since Matt was appointed Course Manager at the Berkshire club in 2015 – after joining the greenkeeping team as an apprentice 20 years ago – he has constantly been looking for opportunities to improve the course’s ecological footprint and last year identified a rough area adjacent to the 14th hole that he wanted to improve. “I was bouncing my thoughts about the possible use of wildflowers off Gareth Acteson, Rigby Taylor’s Area Sales Director, and he suggested that the Euroflor mix (rather than native species) might work better in that spot. “The Sarah Bouquet mix of annuals was chosen on the advice of club member Joyce

Gustard, who is renowned among the membership for the quality of the floral display in her own garden, and that was definitely a wise move because a few months after sowing the area was awash with colour.” Sarah Bouquet is a mix of 30 different species, including Anethum Graveolens, Borago Officinalis, Callistephus Chinensis, Helianthus Annuus, Helichrysum Bracteatum, Lobularia Maritima, Lupinus Nanus and Rudbeckia Gloriosa, and has a flowering height of 70-90 cms. “We didn’t do too much preparation for sowing the wildflower seeds and we undoubtedly over-sowed in terms of seed ratio, but the impact was tremendous from June right through to October,” said Matt. “That success, and the number of favourable comments we received, has spurred us to double the overall amount of space sown with Euroflor wildflowers this year and because we have used less seed (perhaps just 65% of what we sowed last year on a similar-sized plot), we will effectively have double the amount of colour for a relatively low additional cost.” Another way in which Matt recovered some of the cost of the outlay on seed was to re-sell small Discovery packs (also supplied by Rigby Taylor) of the wildflower seeds. “After seeing the flowers a number of members wanted the seeds for their own

gardens,” explained Matt. The cost savings to the club have also been aided by the fact that at the end of last season Matt cut down the plants and left them where they fell, to encourage natural seeding.

“Already now [in May] some of last year’s seeds are 45 cms high”, he adds, “and that is as a result of using an annuals mix. That equates to real value for money.”

Turf Matters | july-august 2018 | 13


LOOKING AHEAD TO THE RYDER CUP

Quick-fire questions to Alejandro What’s your golfing handicap? I’m not a great golfer. It’s 21. I wish I could play at that standard, but I don’t practice enough. It’s officially 21, though! What annoys you most? Unprofessional people. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be? At Le Golf National! With a few months to go until the Ryder Cup, why would I want to be anywhere else?! If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? I would love to complete the certification programme of the GCSAA. It’s something that is on my to-do list. I told myself I would do it one year before the Ryder Cup, in 2017, but I just didn’t have time. I’d also like to re-read all my turf books, there are plenty of them! Do you have any hidden talents? I don’t think so! But who knows, maybe we’ll find out soon… What job would you be terrible at? Working with kids. When they are running around and screaming… it’s not for me. I am somebody that needs to keep control and that’s difficult with kids. What skill would you like to master? I would love to be a pro-golfer. To even have a single figure handicap would be amazing. What motivates you? I use my role as a leader of a team to motivate myself. Sometimes during tournaments, you are very tired and there are lots of long hours, but I think of the team at the course and everyone smiling and proud of the job they are doing. So that really gives me motivation when I need it most. Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? When I took this job, someone said to me, “Alejandro, work every day like it is your last day working.” This meaning to give maximum effort every single day. This really stuck with me. Most admired sports person? Rafael Nadal. His character, his power, everything. 14 | Turf Matters | july-august 2018

Get ready The Ryder Cup is looming. Turf Matters pitches some questions to key people in the run up to the big event – look out for our in-depth feature next issue

I’m looking forward to Sunday afternoon of the Ryder Cup, onCe the last putt has been made ALEJANDRO REYES Golf Courses and Estate Manager, Le Golf National What is the biggest compliment you have had about the venue? I don’t know if it is the biggest compliment, but I remember one during the 2014 French

Open. Sky Sports were talking about long putting on the first green, and the commentator said, “these greens are as pure as they can be.” I saw this and took a video of it with my mobile phone, which I still have to this day. I was very proud of that comment!

What will be the most rewarding thing for you regarding hosting the Ryder Cup? I’m looking forward to Sunday afternoon of the Ryder Cup, once the last putt has been made. Everyone will be happy with the set-up and hopefully we will have a good week. The main thing is that our staff, the organisation and the players are all happy and proud of the job that we have done – that will be the most rewarding thing.


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PAUL ARMITAGE General Manager, Le Golf National What brought you to Le Golf National and how long have you been here? I got the job at Le Golf National in May 2014, and started in September 2014. When I saw this job come up, I couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by, so I decided to apply for it; it’s the kind of job that comes up once in a blue moon. I’ve been working in France for more than 20 years now, mainly in the golf industry. This role seemed like a natural career progression, and the prospect of being involved in hosting the 2018 Ryder Cup, and the Olympic golf competition in 2024 is very exciting.

Biggest challenge you’ve faced during your time here and how did you overcome it?

Paul Armitage, left, and Alejandro Reyes

How do you cope with the pressures of hosting such a prestigious event? At this point in time, I don’t have too much pressure. As I always say, I sleep very well; I don’t get under pressure easily. Any pressure I do have is usually not to do with the tournament, so I just try to enjoy every moment here with the team.

What helped you make the decision to pick Jacobsen over the other big names? Service, tournament support and the security that we already had with Jacobsen. This course was Jacobsen since 2011, and when we were doing the bidding process for the Ryder Cup in 2015, security and trust were the biggest factors. We receive fantastic tournament support from Jacobsen every year for the French Open, and that’s what we wanted for the Ryder Cup. We were just delighted with the quality of

the mowers, and we trust in them to produce top quality surfaces. For us, it was an easy choice.

What is your favourite Jacobsen machine and why? My personal favourite is the Eclipse 2 greens mower, the 122 model (pictured left). We use 15-blade cutting units, and I really like the groomer attachment. We are also able to easily adjust the frequency of cut with just one button, and the reliability is fantastic- great mower. I am also a big fan of the Jacobsen fairway mowers. We are going to have the new SLF530 super lightweight fairway mowers for the Ryder Cup; I am impressed with what I have seen so far and the team is looking forward to mowing with them this summer.

What has been your career’s biggest challenge

before you came to Le Golf National? Without a doubt, it was when I was 25 years old. I got my first golf course superintendent position at a Jack Nicklaus signature course in the south of Spain. I had a lot of education and experience, but it was a huge challenge. It’s hard when you are so young and you have to make your own decisions for the first time, that was a lot of pressure! Managing a team for the first time was difficult as well, it’s very easy to make mistakes when you lack experience of management, but it was a great learning curve and it made me a better person for it. Are you keeping the blanket cut or going back to the diamond cut on the fairways for the Ryder Cup? We are going to cut the fairways all one way. It will probably be tee to green.

The biggest challenge was to change the culture and the mindset of the club. Le Golf National is 25 years old now, and there were a lot of habits and routines to shake up when I arrived. I wanted to focus the staff on the fact that we are a Ryder Cup destination, the fact that our customers expect high standards and the fact that we have one of the best golf courses in the world. I needed them to realise that we had to achieve those high standards every single day.

What does it mean to Le Golf National and to France to be hosting the Ryder Cup this year? For Le Golf National, it’s an honour and a privilege to be hosting the Ryder Cup. However, without the tenacity of the French Golf Federation throughout the bidding process and all }

Turf Matters | july-august 2018 | 15


LOOKING AHEAD TO THE RYDER CUP

Quick-fire questions to Paul What did you want to be when you were a kid? I wanted to be a golf TV camera man! Who is your role model? My dad is my role model. He’s a very honest and hardworking man and has been a great source of advice throughout my career. Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Work hard, play hard. Most admired sports person? Not everyone’s favourite, but Nick Faldo. What annoys you most? Jealousy. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be? Le Golf National! Where else would you want to be?! If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? Cook. It takes so much time to do it well! Do you have any hidden talents? Singing. It’s hidden because I don’t sing often, but put me in front of a karaoke machine, and I’ll sing all night. What job would you be terrible at? Working in a hospital and seeing sick people – I would be awful at that. What skill would you like to master? I’d love to learn to play a musical instrument; either the piano or even to be able to read music. One thing you do to motivate yourself? Think about bananas. When I used to play bad golf, I was introduced to sophrology, which is the idea that when things aren’t going your way, you should think of something that makes you feel happy… so I think about bananas!

The miracle at Medina is my favourite ryder cup moment… to see the european team turn things around was amazing } the way now, we couldn’t do

it alone, so all credit must go to them. For the country, it is a huge deal. Pascal Grizot, who is the president of the France 2018 Ryder Cup committee did a fantastic job of accomplishing his vision of bringing the Ryder Cup to France and gaining support from the government as well as local support. Pascal made it into a nationwide bid. You can feel the excitement in the media around the event. With the announcement of Tiger Woods as the US team vice-captain, there’s an even bigger buzz, and the enormity of the event really hits home. It’s very exciting, and a huge honour to be involved.

What is the best piece of advice you could give to anyone wanting to become a General Manager at a golf club? You must love people. It’s not enough to be a passionate golfer, you must have the customer service skills and the ideas and drive to grow the business. It’s important to communicate well with staff, and to motivate them, and it also helps to take time out to speak with

16 | Turf Matters | May-June 2018

customers and ask if they’ve enjoyed their experience.

How does your relationship with Jacobsen benefit the club? What is your attitude when it comes to turf maintenance equipment? We have a very long and happy relationship with Jacobsen; we have used the brand at Le Golf National for a very long time. To be able to keep the agreement in place, and develop it even more, throughout the Ryder Cup is a huge bonus for us. The golf course is the most important thing, and if you look at some of the remarks on social networks, the standard of the greens, tees and fairways comes out on top, and is commended time and time again. Without the correct resources, we can’t do that. The turf maintenance equipment is key, and we are very happy with the Jacobsen kit, and so are the greenkeeping team we have here.

Can you describe a typical day for a General Manager? No. Every day is different. That’s what makes it so much

fun. At Le Golf National, we have three different courses, which offer a diverse offering to our customers. In turn, there is a lot of variety a nd different aspects to my job. With the Ryder Cup, the 2024 Olympic Games, the French Open, Paris Legends, and other events like that, it adds another dimension, so no two days are the same!

What do you do when you’re not working? I love eating, sleeping, drinking red wine, spending time with my family, and cooking!

What’s your favourite Ryder Cup moment? The miracle at Medina. I got to the golf course early on Sunday morning, slightly depressed about the scores and the task Europe faced. However, there was something about the golf course that morning – it was chilly, windy, and there was nobody there. There weren’t many Americans there, and everybody was supporting Europe. To experience that day at Medina and see that European team turn things around and win the Ryder Cup was amazing.


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NEWS

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SALTEX 2018 visitor registration is now open Event organisers have announced that visitor registration for SALTEX 2018 is now officially open at www.iogsaltex.com. SALTEX 2018, Europe’s largest annual event for groundscare professionals, takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, on 31 October and 1 November and visitors can now register their attendance for free via the newly-designed website. The new website has been built to provide the ultimate user-friendly experience, allowing both visitors and exhibitors to access all the information they need. The site is compatible with many browsers and all mobile devices to keep up to date with the latest show news and exhibitor event previews. With over 230

exhibitors signed up to date, visitors to the website will see an exhibitor list complete with individual profiles – each containing relevant information on products, services and show offers. Visitors will also be able to find out more about new and exciting show attractions as well as popular features such as Learning LIVE – SALTEX’s free and all-encompassing education programme; Outdoor demonstrations – which take place directly outside the SALTEX halls 6, 7 and 8; the SALTEX College Cup – a national studentled sports-turf challenge; Pathology & Soil Science LIVE – allowing visitors to look in detail at the symptoms of some common turfgrass fungal disease problems; Ask the Expert – a team of

10 IOG regional pitch advisors providing free pitch care advice; the Job Clinic – a chance to receive specific career advice and find out all the latest job opportunities from industry expert Frank Newberry, and the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) 10th annual Industry Awards celebration. SALTEX exhibitors will notice some improvements to the portal, which is an indispensable tool for maximising event presence and making connections with potential customers in advance of the show. All of the exhibitor forms, such as the Health and Safety

Declaration and the Risk Assessment Form, have now all been digitalised, meaning that exhibitors can fill out the relevant forms online without having to print them off. Visitors can register to attend SALTEX via www.iogsaltex.com.

Turf Matters | july-august 2018 | 17


Tea Break teaser

Tea Break Teaser The Fed up of Football Quiz: had your fill of football over the last month? Well this is the antidote. A non-football sports quiz! 1.

In The Open at Carnoustie in 1999, Paul Lawrie won and everyone felt sympathy for Jean van de Velde, but who was the third man in the play-off?

2.

Who is the leading Test match run scorer?

3.

Name the horse who won this year’s Derby.

4.

In which year did Andy Murray lead Great Britain to Davis Cup success?

5.

Who was the cyclist who held the Pink Jersey for the longest time during this year’s Giro de Italia?

6.

In which year did Sir Jackie Stewart win his first Formula 1 World Championship?

7.

To the nearest 100th of a second what is Usain Bolt’s 100 metre world record?

8.

Which rugby union player has amassed the most Test caps with a grand total of 148?

9.

It was back in 2010 but can you remember the two players involved in the longest tennis match in history – lasting 11 hours and 183 games?

10. How many Olympic medals did Michael Phelps accumulate by the end of his career? 11.

ow many snooker world titles H did Stephen Hendry win?

12. Name one of the two classes of boat in which Sir Ben Ainslie won Olympic Gold. 13. W hat do you call the periods which make up a Polo match? 14. W ho did GB&I women’s hockey team defeat to win Gold at the Rio Olympics? 15. Football – American though! Who are the current Superbowl holders? Answers on Page 59

18 | Turf Matters | july-august 2018


BATTERY POWER

Batteries char EGO’s commercial cordless garden tools offer power and performance to ground care professionals To meet the needs of ground care professionals in terms of power, performance, convenience and wellbeing, EGO Power Plus is launching its first dedicated range of commercial cordless garden tools. Powered by the patented design of the 56V Arc Lithium battery system, which delivers the power of petrol without the petrol, the range comprises three high-spec tools – a hedge trimmer, a commercial line trimmer, and a blower. All offer super tough, low maintenance construction to help grounds care professionals work harder all-day every day, even in the most challenging conditions. EGO has spent a lot of time talking with professional users to better understand what is required from them of their tools. All three new tools are packed with innovation.The hedge trimmer, for example, has blades that are made from laser-cut steel with diamond-ground edges to ensure a sharpness and cleanness of cut. In an industry first, the brush cutter has a carbon fibre shaft which makes it more lightweight for ease of handling, but, even more importantly, it makes it extremely strong. Where standard aluminium shafts bend or 20 | Turf Matters | july-august 2018

get damaged, this shaft stays strong to meet the day-to-day routine of handling, transporting and storing. EGO is already renowned for producing extremely powerful blowers but the new professional blower takes performance to a whole new level. At its maximum, the blower can blow at a rate of 1079m3/h with a speed of 212km/h and a force of 20 newtons. This level of performance is up there with the

“backed by the EGO Arc Lithium battery – matches and even exceeds what can be achieved with conventional petrol-powered tools.”

very best petrol backpack blowers. However, unlike petrol blowers, operational volume is incredibly low at just 80 decibels meaning it can be used in even the most sensitive of areas without causing disruption Additional to these three tools EGO will also launch a new backpack battery, which once again, takes cordless performance to a whole new level. With an IP rating of 56 this new battery is suitable for all weather conditions. There’s no need to stop and place a plastic cover over the top of it like some other manufacturers because its 1500-watt hour capacity will just keep on working. “Reliability is a must for ground care professionals, but comfort is also essential when people are working every day. The development of our battery technology is matched by a commitment to high-spec construction, giving users a suite of tools engineered for their needs,” explained Steve Roskell, of EGO. “The range is comfortable and convenient to use, delivers exceptional results and – backed by the EGO Arc Lithium battery – matches and even exceeds what can be achieved with conventional petrol-powered tools.”


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ge ahead Experts share the consensus that li-ion batteries improve the performance and longevity of golf cars compared to traditional lead acid batteries. Consumers have also been quick to adopt the new technology with Golf Club Managers and purse string holders realising that the benefits of li-ion golf cars ultimately outweigh the initial up-front costs. A recent report by Technavio forecasts that the global golf cart battery market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 5% between now and 2021. E-Z-GO has capitalised on the trend in the market and believes it has taken the lead in this field. “Vendors are expanding their current production capacities for lead-acid batteries. Samsung SDI has a contract with golf car manufacturer, E-ZGO to supply its cylindrical battery, which is based on the li-ion battery technology,� said Thanikachalam Chandrasekaran, a lead analyst at Technavio for energy storage research. This collaboration has resulted in the E-Z-GO ELiTE golf car series where the vehicles are powered by hundreds of Samsung SDI lithium cells that are loaded into a single battery pack. The battery pack is controlled by an advanced Battery Management System that monitors efficiency, temperature, state of charge and the health of the batteries. It is no surprise that clubs are looking to enhance the golfing experience, given the competitive nature of the industry. A golfer will spend approximately 85-90% of their time in a golf car in many cases, so it seems that investing in golf cars is key. The cost of an E-Z-GO ELiTE golf car is approximately 20% dearer than the cost of an equivalent vehicle with a lead acid battery. This may seem like a hefty difference in price, but if you study the long-term financial savings as well as the time saved on maintenance and charging, the former soon becomes the more appealing option. The benefits of li-ion technology have been broken down in the categories below to fully understand the myriad of benefits and the areas that have the most potential for

making significant cost savings. A golf car with a li-ion battery has a significantly enhanced power-toweight ratio. Li-ion batteries are half the size of lead acid batteries and a fraction of the weight. To put a figure on this, a standard li-ion battery in an E-Z-GO ELiTE golf car weighs 23kg, compared to a standard leadacid battery which weighs around 150kg. This dramatic reduction in weight and size of the battery means that the golf car can reach higher speeds with less effort and carry more weight without the power fading and the performance diminishing. This huge weight saving allows the lithium-powered car to carry the equivalent of an additional two average-sized adults and their equipment before reaching capacity. This is made possible because lithium batteries maintain the same voltage outputs regardless of the battery’s charge. As a result, the golf car

continues to perform after its leadacid counterpart has shown signs of fatigue. This ultimately results in saved man hours and the extra costs of maintenance tools and products. Golf cars need to be able to maintain consistent power and speed on a range of terrains. On average, it takes eight hours to fully recharge a lead-acid battery. However, a li-ion battery can be recharged up to 80% its capacity in just one hour, and 100% in less than four hours.

New Pellenc 1200 battery and harness enters UK market The new Pellenc ULiB 1200 battery and harness has entered the UK market with battery life increased by 20% compared to the to the ULiB1100 battery. The new harness associated with the ULiB 1200 battery reduces the risk of musculoskeletal disorders considerably by a better distribution of the weight and leaves the user free of their movements. The battery is also waterproof to IP54 standards. The new battery has the highest capacity on the market and is equivalent to 5640 litres of petrol. The ergonomics and lightness of the new Pellenc harness offer an optimal level of comfort in use. Its weight is perfectly distributed on the essential axes of back support. 70% of the mass rests on the hips and only 30% on the shoulders. The intuitive adjustment of the entire carrying system, from the straps to the backbone, adapts to any working habits of the user. The battery is also reversible on its

harness to facilitate work closer to the ground with the Airion blower. An HMI display managed by an intelligent processor optimises the use of the battery. It indicates a lot of information such as working time per tool, maximum power delivered by the battery or any fault alerts. In addition, the blinking mode of the screen and reflex reflectors allow the operator to view the display at all times even in dim light. Technical Specifications of the Pellenc ULiB 1200 battery: l Energy: 1221 W/h l Weight: 6.3kgs l Water Resistance: IP54 rated l Autonomy: up to 5 hours l Guarantee: three year commercial warranty All Pellenc batteries and tools come with a three-year commercial warranty and are distributed in the UK and Ireland exclusively by Etesia UK. Turf Matters | july-august 2018 | 21


BATTERY POWER

Versatile battery powered irrigation controller In many situations a standard mains powered irrigation controller cannot be used or is impractical. This includes applications where power is unavailable or hard landscaping make it is impossible or too costly to run mains cable. Alternatively, there may be instances where only a temporary solution is needed. Rain Bird’s new 9v WPX battery operated irrigation controller is ideal for all such situations and the company says it is a more versatile and user friendly solution than many other similar battery or mains controllers. IP 68 compliant, 100% water and dust proof, the WPX is fully submersible and ideal for installation in a valve box. With its solenoid mounting bracket, it locates easily on top of a solenoid valve. It can be used anywhere, including wet or muddy conditions. A tightly sealed dual battery chamber and

22 || Turf Turf Matters Matters || JULY-AUGUST july-august 2018 2018 22

waterproof case keeps water out, even in the harshest outdoor conditions The highly versatile WPX can perform the same functions as a wired controller and available models can provide irrigation over 1,2,4 or 6 zones. They can offer multiple run times by zone with all common programming functions accessed on one larger than average LCD screen with easy to read icons. The mode button is used for quick programming of start times, watering days of the week and run times for each zone. For fast initial set-up, Contractor Rapid Programming™ automatically copies the start times and watering days from the first zone to all other zones. The automatic zone-stacking feature ensures that only one valve irrigates at a time. If zones are scheduled to water at the same time, the lower number zone will be automatically irrigated

first. A dedicated manual watering button can be used by the owner to start an irrigation cycle manually and a separate button enables all or single zones to be watered on demand. Dependent upon usage, the WPX will operate for about one year, using a single 9 volt battery, or up to two years with two. When the batteries are changed, all stored programming information is retained in the memory of the controller thanks to the Contractor Default save/restore feature.


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So many plus points sing praises of battery power

STIHL launch a cordless kombiengine for all kombitools STIHL has launched a new cordless KombiEngine, the lightest in the entire range, that is compatible with not only all current Stihl KombiTools, but also four new Kombi attachments, as the manufacturer continues to broaden its cordless product offering to the professional user. Weighing only 3.2kg for the powerhead and shaft, the new KMA 130 R is a powerful and lightweight cordless KombiEngine with high torque, low vibration and is 800 grams lighter than its petrol alternative (KM 94 RC-E). Used in conjunction with the AR backpack batteries or the AP battery belt, the KMA 130 R utilises three power levels to enhance energy efficiency, is ideally suited to work in applications in noise-sensitive areas and can be comfortably used for a prolonged period of time due to its low vibration levels. In addition to the existing seven KombiTools the new KombiEngine can be used in conjunction with,

the KMA 130 R is also compatible with four new lighter weight Kombi attachments. These include the HT-KM pole pruner, HL-KM 0o hedge trimmer, HL-KM 145o hedge trimmer and FH-KM 145o scrub cutter, all of which have been enhanced to reduce the overall weight of the tool and are suited for domestic and professional use. The new STIHL AR 1000 backpack battery is ideal for use with the powerful KMA 130 R, with a FS KM grass trimmer attachment being able to run for up to 100 minutes on a single charge, or up to 500 minutes with a HL KM hedgetrimmer attachment. When used in conjunction with the AL 500 charger, the AR 1000 backpack battery can be charged in as little as two hours, cutting down the time expenditures usually necessary for charging. The KMA 130 R, combined with the AR 1000 backpack battery and AL 500 charger, has a recommended retail price of ÂŁ1,070 including VAT.

The revolution in battery powered equipment continues to sweep through the groundscare industry and it is easy to see why – no emissions, low noise, low vibration, easy operation, reduced risk of fuel spills and fires, and much, much lower maintenance requirements. Etesia UK was one of the first manufacturers to bring battery powered equipment to the marketplace, which enabled professional users to work for a full day on a single charge. As it stands, the company invests more money in green technology research than it does in any other department and this, in turn, enables Etesia to continue to offer ever improving grass cutting machines. The Duocut range of green technology pedestrian mowers give professional users a means for efficient, environmentally friendly and profitable mowing. The Etesia Duocut 41 NACS battery-powered pedestrian mower is a self-propelled three-in-one mower with a 41cm cutting width. This versatile machine is capable of mowing with or without collection in all conditions, or high-quality mulching which is thanks to the perfect combination of 100 % collection and 100 % mulching decks. The Duocut 41 NACTS boasts the same great features as the NACS and is a push mower; providing the operator with the choice according to their preference. For those looking for a wider cutting width, then both the Duocut 46 PACS and PACTS will offer a solution through their 46cm cutting widths. Again, both models excel in mowing, mulching and collection and provide self-propelled or push options depending on preference. Turf Matters | july-august 2018 | 23


rubber crumb

The danger beneath our feet? 24 | Turf Matters | july-august 2018


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I

A number of media articles regarding possible health risks linked to artificial pitches have prompted Turf Matters to investigate further – and as Scott MacCallum suggests, we must avoid burying our heads in the rubber crumb

’m going to tell you a very sad tale from my childhood so don’t be embarrassed to have a tissue close at hand. I must have been about ten and I got my first pet. A lovely grey rabbit which we named Bilbo Baggins, after the character in The Hobbit, which my dad was reading to us at the time. Bilbo was great. He ate lettuce, twitched his nose, ensured that my weekly task of cleaning his hutch was a worthwhile pursuit and generally became a member of the family. Bilbo died. A second rabbit. Slightly more robust, and white this time, took up residence. He too was named Bilbo Baggins. Having taken time to learn one name there didn’t seem much point in deploying a new name for the family pet. Bilbo died. It was only many years later that something occurred to me. Bilbo’s hutch, a splendid bespoke affair of which I and, I assumed both Bilbos, were extremely proud, was, as I remember, fireproof! And the reason that it was fireproof was that it was made from asbestos. At that time, the early 70s, asbestos was some sort of wonder material. However, since then some of its more deadly properties have become widely known and now the word “asbestos” sends shudders down the backs of anyone conducting a home survey or a home report, while commercial premises are shut down, or cordoned off, if even a small amount is revealed. The Bilbos’ sad demise came to mind recently with reports of a young goalkeeper who had died from cancer. He had played on 3G pitches for a considerable period of time and his father had expressed his fears that the rubber crumb could have contributed to his condition. Indeed his father had previously

Health concerns relating to artificial playing surfaces written to the Government asking for a moratorium on the building of 3G rubber crumb infill pitches. A less tragic incident saw a colleague of mine end up in hospital after rubber crumb got into a cut received while making a tackle on an artificial pitch. It got me thinking. Rubber crumb is regarded as key to making artificial pitches perform in the same manner as natural pitches, revolutionising maintenance costs and increasing volumes of play. In that regard it is superb, but the nagging thought in my head is – is rubber crumb the new asbestos? Now there is no blame attached to anyone who felt that rubber crumb was the perfect solution to make artificial surfaces as good as they could possibly be. After all it was recycling – which can’t be bad, and all it was was a deconstructed Michelin Man, wasn’t it? But we’ve moved on and we must ensure that what we are producing for the the sports lovers, from school children up to the recent phenomenon of walking football, needs to be safe. Period. Turf Matters has spoken to a number of experts in the field of rubber crumb: independent scientists, Government agencies and the European body tasked with producing the report into all aspects of the subject. Sadly, the people most reluctant to discuss the matter openly with us were those involved in the industry itself – often } Turf Matters | july-august 2018 | 25


rubber crumb

Health concerns relating to artificial playing surfaces

The danger beneath our feet? } just referring us to websites or existing

}

reports, which have said that any health risk resultant from contact of involvement with rubber crumb is minimal. Elsewhere, there is continued work being done into the subject and there are other countries – the United States and the Netherlands to name but two – who are being more proactive and are already moving away from rubber crumb pitches. And as one respected scientist, who has done much work on the subject, told us: when it comes to public health, the precept should be “If in doubt, don’t”. It is a key time for the industry as ECHA, the European Chemical Agency, will be going public with its latest findings later this month. It may be they will come to the conclusion that health concerns are minimal, then we have nothing to worry ourselves with. However, if evidence of genuine health concerns are reported, well… Take time to read the following pages – a lot of it is technical and highly specialist in nature, but we’ve tried to take the relevant information and, without dumbing down, highlight both sides of what is a very important issue – and then consider the questions I’d like to pose to those involved in the production, installation and maintenance of rubber crumb sports surfaces – those we have spoken with and those who declined to discuss the matter with Turf Matters. Are you 100% sure that your rubber crumb is safe? And if the first answer is only “Pretty sure” or “Not really” – what are you, or will you, be doing about it? Turf Matters’ promise to you is simple: Whatever you are doing to make your artificial surfaces safe, we shall give you space in our magazine, and on our website, to enable you to highlight your work. Remember, Turf Matters, but lives matter more.

Scott MacCallum 26 | Turf Matters | july-august 2018

making the The Headlines The Huffington Post 14/4/2016

Worries Mount Over Potential Link Between Artificial Turf And Cancer The federal government launched a new effort in February to study health concerns related to synthetic turf, as worries grow about possible cancer risks to the millions of athletes who play on artificial fields across the country. Now, a former top soccer player who helped convince the feds to investigate the issue says more than 200 athletes have reached out to her after being diagnosed with cancer. Amy Griffin, a goalkeeper for the U.S. national team that won the first women’s World Cup in 1991, has been informally tracking American soccer players with cancer since 2009, when she noticed a “stream of kids” who’d played soccer on artificial fields were getting sick. Griffin, now an associate head coach for the University of Washington women’s soccer team, told NBC in 2014 that she’d heard from 38 soccer players who’d been diagnosed with cancer. That tally has climbed to 220 athletes – 166 of them soccer players. Of the soccer players, 102 were former goalkeepers like Griffin. They spent more time on the ground and were more exposed to crumb rubber – the tiny rubber pellets found in artificial turf – than their teammates. “I am not making any claims about what is happening with these players,” Griffin said. “But this problem isn’t fading. It’s going the other way.” It hasn’t been scientifically proven that athletes exposed to crumb rubber have higher rates of cancer than the general population, and the synthetic turf industry insists its product is safe. Research shows that crumb-rubber pellets, made of recycled tires, can contain toxic chemicals, metals and carcinogens, but not necessarily at levels that threaten human health. But the current lack of scientific consensus on the issue underscores why additional federal research

is important. The last time the Environmental Protection Agency studied crumb rubber in 2009, it found potentially harmful substances in the material, but only enough to merit a “low level of concern.” This year, the EPA said it could no longer stand by that study – which was limited to four crumb-rubber fields – and announced a follow-up study with other federal agencies that will evaluate existing research, test different kinds of tire crumb and involve outreach to the public, including athletes and parents. Existing studies by federal, state and local government agencies “were not designed, nor were they sufficient in size or scope, to draw conclusions about the safety of all fields across the nation,” EPA spokeswoman Laura Allen told The Huffington Post. “They cannot fully answer questions about what if any potential risks might be posed from exposure.”

The Daily Telegraph 15/10/2016

Why 3G pitches are being ripped up in Holland over health fears Sam Wallace, Chief Football Writer The parents of boys at the Ajax academy De Toekomst in Amsterdam received letters last week to reassure them that from now on, not only would their children not be playing on any of the club’s 3G pitches with rubber crumb infill, but those pitches were being removed. It was a swift response to the findings of a documentary on the Dutch public broadcaster NPO which revealed serious shortcomings in the governmentsponsored research in 2006 that had declared the rubber crumb to be safe, thus beginning a 3G boom. From 300 3G pitches in Holland 10 years ago there are now more than 2,000 of them, in a country where artificial turf and the 120 metric tonnes of rubber crumb used on each one – equating to 20,000 shredded tyres – is big business.


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The attitudes uncovered in Holland by Zembla have been shocking, to say the least. Last year the Dutch government was lobbied successfully by the artificial pitch and tyre industries not to apply new EU standards for toy safety to rubber crumb. The fear in Holland is that the legacy of rubber crumb 3G pitches will only be known years from now. On Friday, the Fifa president Gianni Infantino urged an investigation into the carcinogenic properties of rubber crumb and said that, on balance, he would rather Fifa invested the $4 billion set aside for football development over the next 10 years on natural surfaces. Many clubs across Holland are now faced with the difficult decision of closing 3G rubber crumb pitches to children, especially with parents worried by the evidence against the 2006 report. The same question will be asked of the Cruyff Foundation, launched by the late, great Johan, which funds “Cruyff Courts” in neighbourhoods all over Holland – 3G pitches, with the laudable aim of giving children a place to play. One Dutch contractor, whose company lays 3G pitches, told Zembla journalists that there was a safer compound that could be used in place of the rubber crumb, an infill made from cork and the fibre of coconut shells. The problem was that it cost 15,000 more per pitch, which made it unpopular. It also does not have the backing of the tyre and rubber lobby, under pressure to recycle millions of old tyres every year. The Zembla investigators took their findings to the Dutch FA, the KNVB, who have accepted the 2006 study was as good as useless as a scientific document. At the KNVB’s headquarters in Zeist near Utrecht, a St George’s Park equivalent, they also have a 3G pitch. Out of interest, the Zembla journalist Roelof Bosma asked, what kind of infill did they use on it? The man from the KNVB took a moment and replied that they preferred the cork infill to rubber crumb.

next steps Turf Matters tried to speak with a number of people involved with rubber crumb, either the installation, the maintenance, or the testing of it, by telephone or via email. Some didn’t respond at all and most who did were reluctant to discuss the matter, either telling us that all available evidence had shown it to be of minimal risk, or referred us to the Frequently Asked Questions pages on websites or advising us to speak to recognised experts in the field. So we did…

Professor Andrew Watterson Professor Andrew Watterson, of Stirling University, has been researching the subject of rubber crumb for a number of years. “Surprisingly, after decades of use, we still lack detailed knowledge about possible uptake of chemicals – some known carcinogens – from crumb rubber in 3G pitches and their mixtures,” he told Turf Matters. It is also not known how the chemicals break down in the rubber crumb and the impact on the ‘safe’ thresholds for these chemicals, and their effects over the medium and long term, that might have, nor, indeed, how they might combine with a range of other chemicals to which people may be exposed. “There have also been issues in the past about the accuracy or comprehensiveness of some of the crumb rubber data Safety Data sheets,” revealed Dr Watterson. He also cast doubt on the quality and quantity of the inspection processes which are meant to ensure that those who work with rubber crumb or play on it do not experience health issues. “There are real questions to ask about the protection of those making crumb rubber and those installing and maintaining 3G pitches. I am not }

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Turf Matters’ promise to you is simple: Whatever you are doing to make your artificial surfaces safe we shall give you space in our magazine, and on our website, to enable you to highlight your work. Remember, Turf Matters but lives matter more.

Turf Matters | july-august 2018 | 27


rubber crumb

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY } aware that either trading standards’ officers or environmental health officers have carried out any health checks on users or workers on 3G pitches and crumb rubber children’s playgrounds. “I put in a Freedom of Information request to the Health and Safety Executive about crumb rubber and they told me that since REACH came into force in 2007, it had carried out no inspections, monitoring or enforcement action on REACH chemicals present in crumb rubber and artificial turf,” he revealed. “A good precept in public health is ‘if in doubt don’t’. When you could get large populations exposed to even small doses of what are known to be dangerous chemicals, especially at vulnerable points in human development, over a long period of time, that is a real concern. “If products with lower levels of these dangerous chemicals in crumb rubber are available, then it would make good sense to use them. If alternatives like cork and coir are available that don’t present any risks of exposure, then that is even better. Both options may be available now.” A government spokesman told Turf Matters, in a comment which mirrored the advice that was being given by Health Protection Scotland. “Participating in sport and physical activity has significant health benefits, both physical and mental. However, it is also important that those taking part adopt basic hygiene practices. “The most recent European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) report stated that there was a very low level of concern when playing

Alternatives? Cork is regarded as an alternative infill with similar performance levels without the health concerns of rubber crumb. It is more expensive and doesn’t fulfil the brief of being a recycled product. However, there is another option and, perhaps unsurprisingly, it comes from one of the few companies that were happy to talk to Turf Matters on the subject. 28 | Turf Matters | july-august 2018

on artificial pitches that contain rubber crumb. It recommended that people take basic hygiene measures when playing on those surfaces, as they would when playing sport on grass or any other surfaces. “Sports governing bodies are working on providing general hygiene advice in the coming months in consultation with Public Health England,” said the spokesman, who was speaking on behalf of a range of bodies – Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport; Public Health England; The FA; Premier League; Football Foundation; Rugby Football Union and Sport England. However, that ECHA report also listed a number of other recommendations including the following: n Consider changes to the REACH Regulation to ensure rubber granules were only supplied with very low concentrations of PAHs and any other relevant hazardous substances n Ask owners and operators of existing (outdoor and indoor) fields to measure PAH and other substances’ concentrations in rubber granules used in their fields and making such information available to interested parties in an understandable manner n Ask producers of rubber granules and their trade organisations to develop guidance to help all manufacturers and importers of (recycled) rubber infill test their material n Ask European sports and football associations and clubs to work with the relevant producers to ensure information related to the safety of rubber granules in synthetic turfs is communicated

Murfitts Industries have been in the tyre recycling business since 2002, and it was around five years later that Mark Murfitt became aware of the whispers emanating from the United States regarding the associated health concerns. “My response then was to bring in the best expert I could and ask him what he could tell me and much of that, at that time, was anecdotal evidence,” recalled Mark, who subsequently worked to develop an alternative infill that is genuinely safe. He admires the work of ECHA, whose remit he describes as “basically to protect

in a manner understandable to the players and the general public n Have owners and operators of existing indoor fields with rubber granule infills ensure adequate ventilation public. Dr Watterson is not aware of any of these recommendations which have been carried through.

American Research Rubber crumb is something which is exercising some of the finest minds, not just in the UK and Europe but across the pond too. Yale University chemists, Gaboury Benoit and Sara Demars, examined nine household mulches made from crumb rubber and six crumb rubber samples from sports pitches in the US to find out what was present. They tested for a larger number of chemicals than in any previous research and found 92 compounds and a range of cancer-causing chemicals and irritants. Some of these results may be relevant to the UK, others not because the sources, processing, treatment and use of crumb rubber in household mulches and artificial sports pitches can vary a great deal. Professor Benoit is Grinstein Professor of Environmental Chemistry at Yale’s Environment School. They estimated that up 20 cancercausing chemicals might be leached out from the crumb tested. They noted, a point often neglected elsewhere, the lack of research on the very small particles that might be produced in crumb rubber and absorbed through the human skin. They had further concerns about the range of chemicals

humans and the wider environment from the chemicals we use”. “What they have done is to set limits for consumer products, and these are one milligram per kilo for eight specified polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) found in ‘Articles’ and half that, 0.5 milligrams per kilo, for children.” Any product adhering to these restrictions is classified as an “Article”. As an example, the plastic on an artificial pitch, i.e. the fibres which make up the strands of artificial grass, is classed as an ‘article’ and subject to the tight


that could be produced in the crumb rubber manufacturing process. They found health hazards information existed on only about half the 92 compounds identified with the rest untested. They further found “human exposure pathways in relation to shredded tires are poorly known, and almost impossible to simulate or test”. The findings of these researchers therefore add to our knowledge of the potential human risks from known crumb rubber hazards and highlight the continued need for great caution in their use for all who may be exposed.

proposing that the Commission should decide a stricter limit for PAHs in rubber crumb it could possibly mean that in the European Union the same threshold would apply that is already used in restriction concerning e.g. toys. Currently the concentration limit in mixtures, such as rubber crumb is either 0.1% or 0.01% depending on the specific type of PAHs. PAHs occurring in recycled rubber used in articles, such as toys, have a concentration limit of 0.0001%.

Health concerns relating to artificial playing surfaces

ECHA Comment In June 2016, the European Commission requested that ECHA carry out a preliminary evaluation on whether the presence of certain substances in the recycled rubber granules used as infill on artificial turf sports grounds could pose a health risk. In February 2017, based on analysis of published scientific literature, ECHA published its assessment and the conclusion was that “recycled rubber infill causes a very low level of concern”. Since then ECHA and the Dutch authorities (RIVM) have continued looking into this due to the uncertainties raised, to determine if further action is required. In particular, the Netherlands, in cooperation with ECHA, are investigating whether to restrict the placing on the market of plastic, rubber and other granules containing PAHs above a set concentration limit.  If it is concluded such a restriction is required, the proposal is expected to be published this summer (20 July 2018).  In short, if the authorities end up

regulations. Rubber crumb infill is categorised as a ‘Mixture’, which has a very different set of acceptable limits. “We thought this was a bit odd. A ‘Mixture’ has a PAH limit set which is several thousand times higher than an ‘article’, which means the rubber crumb you take home in your socks, shoes, ears is legally allowed to have higher PAH levels than the plastic fibres on the pitch,” explained Mark. “On the one hand, 3G pitches are brilliant and assist in the campaign to get people more active but on the other hand, parents and coaches were having concerns about

“If products with lower levels of these dangerous chemicals in crumb rubber are available, then it would make good sense to use them. If alternatives like cork and coir are available that don’t present any risks of exposure, then that is even better. Both options may be available now.” Professor Andrew Watterson, Stirling University

letting their children play on artificial pitches. “How could we alleviate those fears? We know that our rubber crumb is a brilliant infill for performance, but it doesn’t meet the criteria as an ‘Article’ – although by the existing legislation it doesn’t have to. So how could we take that material and make it better and safer?

The answer? “We developed a polyurethane coating that releases no PAHs or heavy metals, and we encapsulate the rubber crumb granules so

that the hybrid infill meets the criteria as an article. It’s called PRO-gran,” said Mark. “Launched in November, PRO-gran is generating interest from around the globe. We are seeing a significant need for a high-performance infill that delivers exceptional performance benefits, lasts for the lifetime of the pitch and meets the EU’s toxicology criteria as an article. “It’s perfectly natural that standards keep rising, that’s the way it should be. There is no point in society going through the ages and not becoming a little bit smarter. We’ve only got one crack at this place!” he added.

Turf Matters | March-April 2018 | 29


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RENOVATIONS

Three-step approach to Charles Gobie, Grounds Manager at Churcher’s College, left, and Sandy Pentecost, of Germinal

32 | Turf Matters | july-august 2018

Improving the physical performance and aesthetic appearance of 6.5 hectares of sports fields and lawns at Churcher’s College in Hampshire has been achieved via the introduction of three simple sward management practices: regular soil aeration, application of a slow release fertiliser and over-seeding with a combination of perennial and creeping perennial ryegrasses. Charles Gobie joined Churcher’s College as Grounds Manager in 2016. Along with a staff of four groundsmen, he is responsible for maintaining 6.5 hectares of multi-purpose playing fields and lawned areas across three sites. With 880 pupils at the senior school and 225 at the junior school, Charles and his team face two key challenges: ensuring the multi-purpose playing fields – which include rugby, football and rounders pitches, as well as a cricket square and athletics track – can cope with a demanding, year-round workload, and preventing


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improving pitches the heavily trafficked lawns from becoming excessively worn or eroded. “All our grassed areas are in use throughout the year, including at break times when the children are free to use the playing fields and lawns as they please,” Charles explains. “With so many pupils we need to create hard-wearing swards which are easy and economical to manage. On top of that, they need to look good all year round as the lawns and sports fields play an intrinsic part in the overall appearance and ambience of each of the College’s sites.” One of the key problems facing Charles and his team is the issue of waterlogging on the senior school’s sports fields, with rain water from the school buildings, car park and hard surfaces running onto the pitches where it pools and causes localised flooding. “There are no land drains to carry the water away from the sports fields, so they are constantly prone to waterlogging,” Charles explains. “We recently purchased a verti-drainer which we

try to use seven to eight times per year, and apply a lot of sand to improve the structure of our soils. By vertidraining and top-dressing each pitch with 60 tonnes of medium-coarse sand at Easter, and another 100 tonnes later in the summer, we’ve seen huge improvements in terms of the site’s ability to cope with heavy rainfall.” Charles has also introduced a new fertiliser regime to the three sites: “Prior to 2016 the grounds received very little in terms of a structured fertiliser programme,” he explains. “As such, the sports pitches were under-nourished and didn’t look their best. We’ve subsequently invested in a pedestrian fertiliser spreader which, despite meaning a lot of walking for the team, has made a huge difference in terms of the ability of our playing surfaces to grow vigorously and to recover from excessive usage.” The spreader is used to apply two applications of a slow release compound fertiliser as recommended by Sandy

Pentecost of Germinal. “Charles needed a fertiliser which was affordable, easy to administer and which would provide a consistent supply of nutrients over a long period,” Sandy explains. “I recommended NovaTec Premium 15-3-20 because it is easy to spread, disperses rapidly into the sward and provides up to 12 weeks’ worth of nutrients and trace elements from a single application.” “We use the NovaTec Premium as a base fertiliser by applying 30-35g/ m2 at Easter and a similar amount at the beginning of September,” Charles explains. “When possible, we’ll also }

Erecting temporary fences and overseeding with Germinal’s A30 seed mixture enables the College’s heavily trafficked lawns to be repaired quickly and easily

Turf Matters | july-august 2018 | 33


RENOVATIONS

“We over-seed using several different seed mixtures to introduce a variety of ryegrass cultivars” } apply an iron-enriched liquid fertiliser

The playing fields are overseeded with two applications of Germinal’s A30 Rapid Sports Renovator Plus seed mixture

to top up the sward’s nutrients. Unfortunately, the senior school is quite a windy location which means we have to think twice before applying the liquid feed, especially when the pupils are on site during term time. That means liquid applications are often delayed, but it doesn’t matter too much as the NovaTec Premium provides a lost-lasting supply of nutrients which means, even when conditions are against us, we can still maintain a strong, vigorous sward.” The third element of Charles’ sward improvement programme has been the introduction of new grass cultivars. “We over-seed using several different seed mixtures to introduce a variety of ryegrass cultivars,” he explains. “We’ve been using Germinal’s A30 Rapid Sports Renovator Plus mixture for a number of years and have used it again this year because it now contains Zurich, a creeping ryegrass variety, which should help the playing fields to recover more rapidly from

34 | Turf Matters | july-august 2018

any damage incurred during the wet autumn, winter and spring months.” Two applications of A30 are applied during the year: “We overseed at 30g/ m2 at Easter and again at the end of July using a hired-in Vredo seed slitter which places the seeds at a depth of 5-6mm. We’ll typically see lines of new seedlings emerging a week or two after we’ve over-seeded,” Charles describes. “The inclusion of Zurich, which has

excellent wear tolerance, persistence and recovery traits makes A30 ideal for school pitches where a quick establishing, hard-wearing sward is needed,” Sandy Pentecost adds. “Zurich’s ability to creep also enables damaged sports pitches to recover rapidly with minimal intervention, and it grows well in cooler temperatures which aids sward performance at both extremities of the growing season.”


Turf Matters | july-august 2018| 35


RENOVATIONS

Share and share alike Sports administrators are closely watching a revolutionary project which if takes off has potential to be rolled out country-wide. An innovative pilot scheme offering sports clubs access to affordable quality pitch maintenance advice, labour and machinery is up and running in North Yorkshire. The ‘machinery bank’ with eight pieces of maintenance equipment will potentially assist 100s of eligible sports clubs in a 20-mile radius of Thirsk. Qualified greens staff will carry out the work at affordable rates. The joint project between the IOG and Sport England has been coordinated by Ian Powell, Grounds & Natural Turf Improvement Plan Regional Pitch Advisor for Yorkshire & North East. “Essentially it’s a mechanism to help least resourced club teams play on a better surface for more of the playing season. But it’s not just for golf; football, rugby and cricket can all get a boost,” said Ian. “It’s radical because conventional thinking has been turned on its head. It’s not one contractor or a club that’s behind it. Guided by consultants, Sporting Assets, who have considerable expertise in the area of community sports funding, they advised a company limited by guarantee was set up to run the scheme separately from the golf course. The new company is called Hambleton Sports Improvements

Project helps give least resourced club teams access to equipment which enables them to play on a better surface

36 | Turf Matters | july-august 2018

after the district where it operates. The solution is a win-win for everyone playing on natural turf locally.” Purchased equipment concentrates on essential processes which coincide with the tried and tested GaNTIP programme reports. “Decompaction, over seeding, spraying, scarification and fertiliser applications are what’s most required to rejuvenate an existing surface,” continued Ian. “It’s about getting versatile kit, suitable for routine maintenance at different levels of sports clubs which also withstands the rigours of golf course duties. “With this in mind the equipment purchased includes a John Deere 4066R, a Charterhouse Verti Quake, a Star Green sprayer from Vale Engineering and from Wiedenmann a GXi8 HD Terra Spike, a 2.1m Terra Rake, a Super 500 towed flail mower/ collector, Terra Float over seeder and a double sized Terra Brush with folding wings.

“At the heart of the scheme is the greenkeeping team of Thirsk and Northallerton Golf Club led by Course Manager, Roger Mackerell and his deputy, Simon Todd. They are the project champions if you like. A formal service level agreement is in place which will be reviewed regularly to enable the club to use the equipment on its own course.” Machines are stored and maintained at the golf club. “We’re very happy to play our role,” said Roger. “This has brought an amazing opportunity for our greenkeepers. Not only do they access a wider fleet of machines year round but their turf knowledge and experience will be significantly enhanced. Tending different types of turf stressed by team sport just broadens their skill set. I’m hopeful that as more work is commissioned then we’ll be able to offer additional greenkeeper apprenticeships. It would be really good for the area and the club.” The scheme has been designed for maximum take up. “We’ve put a competitive pricing structure in place based on square meterage. If a club has funds to only do the 18-yard box, or the centre circle that’s good enough for us. Same goes for rugby or cricket. We won’t insist they do low traffic areas just for the sake of it as well. Importantly the essential areas are treated and that’s where improvements will come.”


In other irrigation news


Compact tractors

Kubota helps volunteering team transform Handsworth pitches Kubota has helped a team of dedicated volunteers transform the sporting facilities in one of the most deprived areas of the country. Led by 72-year-old Philip Swann and his team of six volunteers they have given up their time to dedicate countless hours to make huge improvements to the state of the grounds for Handsworth Old Boys FC and Handsworth Old Boys Cricket Club in Birmingham. Philip has been a Handsworth Old Boy member for over 55 years, started volunteering at the ground following his retirement. “When I volunteered to be groundsman, I had absolutely no experience, it was more because I had a passion for the club and wanted to help in any way I could. However, I soon realised the magnitude of the issues I faced, which even experienced groundsman might have seen as a challenge! “The main issue at the site is access. The grounds are enclosed by railway lines on all sides, with only one access point over the tracks that also has a very steep and dangerous incline. This makes it almost impossible for any larger machines to be able to access 38 | Turf Matters | july-august 2018

the site safely. To compound this, the driveway down to the facilities is only seven feet in width, which means the maximum size of a vehicle that can fit down the drive is a transit van. “ “What’s more, when I first started, everything was done on the seven-anda-half-acre site by hand, the cricket square was in terrible condition and too many football matches were being cancelled because of water logged pitches as a slitter was needed.” Philip knew that he needed the right machine to help him start tackling these issues. Due to budget restrictions of this amateur club, it needed to offer excellent value for money, be versatile and durable, but also be easy to operate for the volunteers that would be using it with limited to no machinery experience. The final requirement was

to ensure all the retired volunteers could carry out their work comfortably. Kubota’s STa-30 was the ideal choice, with the ability to handle a range of tasks with quick and powerful performance, a large hydraulic pump capacity to operate a wide range of attachments and excellent comfort for operators. “The Kubota machine has been invaluable in helping us carry out a wide range of jobs with ease. During the summer months, the grass is cut twice a week (which takes roughly four and a half hours to complete each time) and it also allows us to use other key attachments for aeration and scarifying. The tractor also enables us to move and transport all sorts of materials around the site, as well as load up the trailer when we are tending

Kubota’s STa-30 was the ideal choice, with the ability to handle a range of tasks with quick and powerful performance


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The right tractor

to the 160 trees around the perimeter. “So much of the work on the playing fields is carried out by the tractor, that in the event of it breaking down, all work on the grounds would come to a standstill. But it never does, it’s an absolute workhorse, clocking thousands of hours and it’s still going strong, a real testament to the reliability and durability of Kubota machinery.” The result of all this hard work, commitment, and hours and hours of volunteering time by Philip and his friends – success on the pitch for Handsworth Old Boys. This season, three out of the five football teams are top of their respective divisions and the cricket team has been promoted in three of the last four seasons. “My aim over the years has been to gradually improve the sports pitches. I’ve taken advice from turf specialists and also had advice from groundsman Ian Allmark, at Handsworth Grammar School for Girls, to help us achieve this. Today, the satisfaction the volunteers get seeing a beautiful sports ground being maximised to its potential makes me extremely proud and is a validation of all the hard work and effort that has been put in over the years.”

“The reverse drive of the Antonio Carraro tractor is ideal for my line of work. Turning the seat round means I watch where I lay the turf without straining my neck giving me optimal vision,” Grasslands are one of the largest turf growing experts in the country completing jobs for the Natural History Museum, Kew Gardens, Bluewater and most recently, Leicester Square & the Tower of London! They have been using Antonio Carraro Tractors since 1985 and have recently brought a brand new TTR 4400 from UK ImporterKirkland UK. The multi-functional tractor comes with a 38hp engine and hydrostatic transmission. Head Landscaper, Paul Farmer, has been working for Grasslands for over 15 years. He is ecstatic with their new TTR 4400. “The reverse drive of the Antonio Carraro tractor is ideal for my line of work. Turning the seat round means I watch where I lay the turf without straining my neck giving me optimal vision,” he explained. Simon Baxter, Manager at Grasslands, has dealt with Kirkland UK for years. “I chose to buy from Kirkland

because they offered the right tractor at a good price and the sales service was excellent. Their after sales has been good, and we have always received the right advice plus our parts orders are all on time.” Paul also said how the hydraulics on the reverse drive tractor are ideal for their jobs as it easily picks up their big rolls of turf measuring 12-15 metres and weighing 500kg allowing them to complete their tasks efficiently and quickly. Specially designed for ground care, the TTR 4400 can be fitted to a variety of attachments such as mowers, shredders, hedge cutters, sprayers and many more. Paul is pleased with the versatility of the tractor. “I would definitely recommend Antonio Carraro Tractors. as well as laying big roll, we also do prep work such as rotavating, levelling, ploughing- any job a big tractor can do, mine can do as well!” Turf Matters | july-august 2018 | 39


Compact tractors

making turf matter

Good to have David back David Withers, who became one of this country’s most successful exports when he rose to the position of President and CEO with Jacobsen after 24 years with the company, has taken on the role of Managing Director of Iseki UK with the task of building a British arm for what is a very well known and respected Japanese brand. David, for all his high flying career based in the United States, never lost either his love of his real home or contact with his British friends and associates, and being able to reignite with both sees him entering his new challenge with characteristic vigour. He took time from building his new company infrastructure – and shouting at photocopiers and printers – to chat with Turf Matters. It must have been pretty full on since the decision to create Iseki (UK) towards the end of last year and your appointment as Managing Director shortly after that. December and January was a really busy time. We had to find premises, hire people, put a computer system in place and pick up the inventory from Ransomes. It’s a big deal starting something from scratch in a very short space of time, ensuring all the legalities are in place etc, but we’ve been able to do it. You were obviously very well aware of Iseki as a company, and their products, having worked with them while at Ransomes yourself. Yes, I knew about the company from my time with Ransomes and Textron and that’s why I’m involved in all honest,y and being able to work with a company that I wasn’t in competition with while at Textron. Did your relationship with Ransomes assisted with the hand-over? Very much so. The transition from Ransomes to Iseki UK was handled very well by both sides and done in a very friendly and co-operative manner. There are also five people who have transferred from Ransomes to Iseki. Our new premises are 40 | Turf Matters | july-august 2018

literally 400-500 yards away from Ransomes so in terms of transferring inventory it was relatively easy because we were so close. How many staff do you have at present? As we speak we have eight full time employees while we have three more who have agreed to join us and three temps. In total we will end up with between a dozen to 15 which should be enough to get us through this year and we’ll probably add some more after that. Where does Iseki currently sit in what is a fairly crowded market? It varies with tractors and mowers. We’re probably third or fourth with tractors at the moment and first or second when it comes to cut and collect mowers, which I believe are second to none when they come to build quality and performance. What ambitions do you have for the company in the short, medium and long terms? The task we’ve been given by our colleagues in Japan is to double business over a five year period. That’s what we are working towards and I think that it’s eminently doable. As things stand right now, golf is very important to us and local authorities are also very important to us but there is no doubt a lot of opportunity for us with contractors, homes with acreage, the bottom end of the agricultural market, so that is where we will be putting our effort. If I compare us to our colleagues in France, Germany and Spain, their sales are 50-50 on agricultural or turf tyres. For us it is probably 90% turf and 10% agricultural tyres. It’s not that the market doesn’t exist, it’s just that we haven’t focussed on it yet. We often find we end up not doing the job for which we came into the business – Course Managers end up in front of computer screens rather than cutting greens for example. Are you looking forward to getting back to a more hands on role to the one you had latterly at Jacobsen? Yes I am and no I’m not is the truth of

it. I’ve been doing this for about four months and there are bits which I really love – out there meeting dealers, selling things etc. We’re a small team and if we’re really busy in an afternoon I’m out there picking parts something I’ve not done for many years. But then I find myself having to work a photocopier or a printer and I’m completely out of my comfort zone. It will be nice to get all the infrastructure in place so I can focus more on the business strategy side of things. With all the experience you have gathered over the years you must be uniquely suited to your new role? It was because of the experience and training that I picked up at Jacobsen that Iseki approached me and we started to talk about this role. To be honest it would be tough to find someone who has better experience and qualifications, based on the job I’ve done over the last 25 to 30 years. Did you ever thing about sitting back and enjoying the fruits of your labours? It probably took two or three months to get around the fact that I wasn’t at Jacobsen any more. I’d been there such a long time and it had been so much a part of my life. I was still waking up in the morning thinking about work but by the time I’d got the summer I was bored. There is only so much golf you can play and it was too early for me. I still feel like I’ve got something to offer. We’ve got the five year plan to double the business and I’ll see how I feel when we’ve achieved that. I’ll be edging towards 60 by then so I’ll see then what I want to do then. So exciting times ahead? Very much so. I have to say too that we are working with dealers but we have gaps to fill so there will be opportunities for dealers who are out there and who are interested in becoming an Iseki dealer. Well, David, we are delighted to see you back in the UK. The industry will be better for having you back involved and we’ll just let you get back to working out how to put toner in your printer.

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making turf matter

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Easy does it with John Deere’s new compact tractor John Deere’s new 3038E compact tractor is an economical and versatile machine suitable for a wide variety of customers, including landscape contractors, groundscare maintenance service providers, sports turf managers, rural property owners and equestrian operations. The 3038E is equipped with a powerful, emissions-compliant Stage IV diesel engine developing 37.3hp. A hydrostatic transmission with Twin Touch foot pedals provides the operator with simple, comfortable controls to select exactly

the right speed for the job at hand. Combined with power assisted steering, the Twin Touch pedals are intuitive and easy to use and enable the operator to maximise productivity. The tractor’s independent pto can be engaged on the go, eliminating the need to stop and use the clutch. The 3038E also features an easy-lift bonnet that provides wide-open access to the engine bay for maintenance. A new 300E front loader has been designed to complement the 3038E and features a curved boom and durable components. Together with the tractor’s tight turning circle, this offers a highly manoeuvrable combination for materials handling, whether

working indoors or outdoors. Fourwheel drive is available as standard for more demanding applications and difficult ground conditions. The 3038E compact tractor also offers telescoping draft links as a factory or field installed option. This makes attaching and removing rear implements very easy and increases overall performance in the field. This option is compatible with a wide range of implements, including mowers, rear blades and posthole diggers. “This new tractor is easy to operate, easy to maintain, easy to own and easy to buy,” says Carlos Aragones, John Deere’s European turf segment manager.

“No matter what the task, the 3038E compact tractor delivers John Deere quality and reliability at a budget-friendly price.” Turf Matters | july-august 2018 | 41


chemicals

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making turf matter

In an environment of everincreasing fake news, Turf Matters keeps it real – with a series of solutions to tackle the thorny issue of weed management…

W

e live in a world of instant communication and 24 hour news. The power of social media means any story can be transmitted instantly by the press of a button. It is exciting and fantastic technology. Yet it holds dangers. It has created the phenomenon of fake news enabling one individual to release a fact or facts without any real verification and, in an instant, what subsequently turns out to be fiction, becomes fact. Speaking recently, Professor John Moverley, Independent Chairman of the Amenity Forum, linked such danger in

the context of weed management. Best practice is founded on an integrated approach to weed management in amenity, ensuring correct cultural and design practices, making use of mechanical and biological control where appropriate and using approved and authorised chemicals. In keeping our amenity areas safe, clean and healthy – whether that’s on our streets, railways, sports surfaces, or parks – chemical control often provides the most economic and effective approach. The herbicides that are used go through extensive approval processes and are constantly monitored. Indeed, the authorisation is far tougher and rigorous than for many other everyday products. In wide scale operations, not using approved chemicals for weed management comes with significant cost. Research undertaken by Oxford Economics last year showed that a ban on weed killers would add at least £228 million to the UK’s council tax bill each year. The additional requirements for funding the alternatives would require an increase in the average household council tax bill of £7.80. Recently there has been a particular media ‘discussion’, if that is the word, about herbicides and their safety. This is welcomed provided it is based upon

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proper science and evidence – fact not fiction. Stories featuring headlines such as “killer pesticides” within such discussion do nobody any good. They can cause unnecessary fear and are generally accompanied by information far removed from verification. No professional amenity operator would advocate using any product that could danger nor would it be allowed. The Amenity Forum welcomed news that from June 25-28, the organisation Sense about Science, in collaboration with the House of Commons Library, the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, held the first ever evidence week in the UK parliament. It is set to bring together people from all walks of life with MPs, peers and parliamentary research services to talk about why evidence matters. Managing weeds in amenity situations is a vital task – it impacts on every UK citizen every day providing safe and healthy environments. It really keeps Britain moving. As we move forward in this continually changing world, the need for decisions to be based upon proper evidence and science has never been so important – real news not fake.

A Reliable, Biological Pest Control that is Always Effective Choosing the best pest control product can seem like a daunting task; lists of unrecogniseable ingredients and various warning symbols mean you cannot be sure what you are applying to your garden or if it will work. BASF, from its specialist production facility in the UK, produce a biological pest control that contains only one ingredient; beneficial nematodes that do not lose efficacy. BASF grow six different products, each containing a different species of nematode, all of which are simply mixed with water and either applied from a watering can with a coarse rose or sprayed onto the foliage and soil, depending on the variety. Pests are not able to develop a resistance to the nematodes, which means the treatment never loses effectiveness, so you can get back to growing and planting safe in the knowledge that the product is working! Unlike pellets and chemical-based alternatives, the product is not harmful to use around pets, children or garden wildlife and the whole programme is entirely biological so that all the Nemasys products can be used by organic gardeners.

Nemasys products are a simple, reliable method to ensure your plants are protected throughout the growing season, as one treatment lasts up to six weeks and entire season’s worth of nematodes can be ordered in one go from BASF’s online stockists, which is then delivered to your home as necessary every few weeks, so no more trips back and forth to the garden centre and more time to spend in the garden!

Effectively Treat Leatherjackets Leatherjackets are the soil-dwelling larvae of the flies commonly known as daddy longlegs. Daddy longlegs appear towards the end of August and lay their eggs within days. Once they hatch, around two weeks later, the inch-long, legless creatures begin to feed on grass roots and stem bases, devastating lawns and plants. Nemasys Leatherjacket Killer is a safe and effective way to deal with a leatherjacket infestation, which can only be treated using biological methods.

So, what is Nemasys Leatherjacket Killer? Nemasys Leatherjacket Killer is a natural product containing microscopic worms (nematodes) which seek out and kill leatherjackets. Nematodes attack the pest by entering natural body openings, releasing a bacteria which quickly and safely kills it. The nematodes then reproduce inside the dead pest and release a new generation of hungry nematodes, which disperse and search for further prey. Follow these tips to make sure that you get the most out your nematodes: n Apply between August and the end of October n Mix the Nemasys with water (following the pack instruction) and apply immediately using a watering can or hose, to already moist lawns, when the soil temperature is above 10 degrees centigrade. n Straight after application, water the grass well so that the nematodes are washed into the soil where the leatherjackets will be. n Keep the lawn well-watered for at least two weeks after application. Turf Matters | july-august 2018 | 43


stadium chemicals of light

MM60 is key for leeds rhinos Ryan Golding, Head Groundsman at the Emerald Headingley Stadium – home to Leeds Rhinos rugby league and Yorkshire Carnegie rugby union clubs, believes that Limagrain’s MM60 grass seed has been integral to the success of the pitch. Ryan has been working at the stadium for 15 years and has occupied the position of Head Groundsman for the last four. With two deputy’s underneath him – Dan Connor and Leon Pearson – Ryan and his team tend to the stadium pitch, two first team pitches, four academy pitches, a 3G pitch and the Stanningley rugby league club – where the Rhino’s academy teams play. “On average with both first teams and academy games we host around 50 – 60 games,” said Ryan. “In addition to that we also have

44 | Turf Matters | july-august 2018

under 19 games, community games, disabled rugby games, and also events. This year when in mid-season the pitch was transformed into a Bollywood film set as a 1930`s hockey pitch. It is a very intense work place and it never stops but it’s interesting, challenging and enjoyable.” With such a heavy fixture list, renovations largely depend on available windows but Ryan tends to aim for June each year. However, where many groundsmen may have extended periods throughout preseason, Ryan has as little as 26 days to get the pitch up and running again. “Getting the right seed is key and that is why I use Limagrain’s MM60. We had been with another seed supplier for a number of years but I felt we needed a change to keep on improving. I looked into it and spoke with other groundsmen who use Limagrain and received nothing but excellent feedback.

“As a groundsman I’m very open to what I use and I don’t mind taking a risk but I’ll do my research first. Before I did anything I got some samples of MM60. We trialled it in a tough area in the North East corner which is consistently in the shade and we saw great recovery rates,” revealed Ryan. Limagrain’s MM60 grass seed is renowned for producing an excellent playing surface in a stadium environment. It is a 100% Ryegrass formula which is perfect for renovation and divot repair, has a high disease resistance, fantastic aesthetic qualities and offers extremely fast germination – which is boosted by the inclusion of Headstart GOLD. Developed using the latest scientific findings and field experience, it is a natural revolutionary grass seed treatment that ensures rapid germination and is perfect for enhancing performance on grass


making turf matter

seed coatings for sports fields, golf courses, lawns and amenity turf. “The germination is incredibly fast and I’ve noticed a particular improvement in the centre spot,” says Ryan. “You would not believe the hammering that area gets. A lot of the time you find that kick off’s go straight out which means that there are scrums straight over the centre spot. It was always a problematic area in the past but MM60 has made a noticeable improvement especially when combined with sheets and lighting rigs. “I’ve also noticed that it doesn’t fray the leaf edge when compared to our previous seed so we tend not to get as much disease – we hardly encounter any leaf spot as a result from stress and there is no yellowing of the leaf either. “I think my priorities have changed as I’ve got older and wiser. It’s all very well wanting the pitch bright green throughout the year but you are stressing the pitch in doing so and is it really needed for a game that isn’t televised? I’m not so sure. For me, aesthetics isn’t my

oars key to ryder cup success Golf Courses and Estates Manager, Alejandro Reyes, was appointed to his position in 2013 and was tasked with creating a Ryder Cup landscape using the 7,331 yards of The Albatros course, and extensive product testing was carried out to find the best programme possible. Following recommendations from those within the industry Alejandro was supplied by his local dealer Jacques Laborier of Celtic

priority sometimes, it’s all about the recovery and germination and MM60 provides me with this.” Furthermore, Ryan was quick to praise the customer service he receives from Limagrain. “Suppliers have to understand the needs of the pitch and the Limagrain team know the standards here

France and tested the OARS PS for himself and has been using it ever since as part of a programme that had the course in spectacular championship condition through 2017. “I first heard about OARS PS in Spain, but I didn’t use it until I came to Le Golf National. I’d had good feedback about OARS PS from different colleagues and had quite few telling me to test it because it was working very well for them,” said Alejandro. “With OARS PS we saw a reduction in dry patches and what I really liked the most was that I had the feeling, and still have the feeling, that it works and the water moves better throughout the profile, and for me, that’s the key. Alejandro Reyes, Golf Courses and Estates Manager at Le Golf National and Hans de Kort, Managing Director of AQUA-AID EU

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which certainly helps – the back-up is great. I can call them whenever I want and we will normally start with a general discussion about rugby before going into the technical side of things. Personally, I think that Limagrain treats each and every customer the same – and that is a fine art if you ask me.”

“We use it every other week all around the course. We have two kinds of tank mix with a pure foliar, so we have all the package we need to give to the plant. Then on the alternate weeks to that, we are spraying an irrigated mix where we are using bio stimulants that we are mixing with the OARS PS. “We have very little issues with dry spot on the course now but if we do we’ll use OARS Pellets for hand watering to fix local dry spots. “We’ve been testing many different products and 2017 was the last year for us to test anything, and it was a very good year for us when it came to maintaining the golf course. We were very happy with the condition, and how it was looking at the end of September was awesome.” OARS PS is a combination of the university researched, field proven and patented organic acid redistribution system, OARS, and multi-branched penetrant chemistry. OARS PS controls soil water

The Emerald Headingley Stadium – home to Leeds Rhinos rugby league and Yorkshire Carnegie rugby union clubs

repellency while providing uniform soil moisture for a longer period of time, providing a firm, fast surface. The OARS pellets used at Le Golf National to combat localised dry spots work as a corrective approach and remove the buildup of organic acids that coat the surface of sand particles, which cause water repellence and localised dry spot conditions. For AQUA-AID EU Managing Director Hans de Kort, having the opportunity to work with Alejandro alongside distributors Celtic France is a fantastic chance to see OARS PS in use. “We are very proud to support the greenkeeping staff at Le Golf National in the lead up to this year’s golf events and like all golf fans we look forward to watching the 2018 Ryder Cup in September.” The regular team of 30 increases to 80 for a French Open but for the Ryder Cup it will grow to 180 with the full support of Official Ryder Cup Supplier Ransomes Jacobson.

Turf Matters | july-august 2018 | 45


chemicals

qualibra is ‘perfect’ for royal cinque ports

right: Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club following dry patch treatment with Qualibra wetting agent

James Bledge (left), Course Manager at Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club, in Deal, Kent, says he has successfully treated Dry Patch with monthly applications of Qualibra wetting agent. With the course being so close to the coast, one would think that James and his team would spend most of the time trying to get water off the course, but situated in the driest corner of England, and with the aid of an artificial sea wall, Royal Cinque Ports has no such problems. However, the course has repeatedly suffered from Dry Patch even with previous wetting agent programmes and as a result, last year James trialled Syngenta’s Qualibra – which is distributed by ICL. “I’ve used a number of wetting agents before but I’ve always had

a problem with Dry Patch, we are situated on sand with only around three inches of of topsoil so infiltration rates are pretty high,” said James. “We also lose a lot of moisture – Sometimes up to 10% Volume water content in a day. Therefore, I decided to look at Qualibra and trialled it last year to see how it performed. I’m a big believer in doing a full year’s trial with products, especially a wetting agent, because I think you are wasting your time if you do anything less than that. You need to see it consistently throughout every month to see how it is performing and also just give it a chance. – not just apply it on a turf nursery in June and see how it performs in one month,” he said.

Sherriff Amenity announced as UK distributor of Turf Improver Sherriff Amenity has been appointed exclusive UK distributor of Carbon Gold’s Enriched Biochar Turf Improver. Carbon Gold’s aim is to increase soil fertility and improve turf health through the use of biochar-based products and projects. Its blends are approved by the Soil Association for organic growing and are certified by the FSC. This important alliance significantly widens Carbon Gold’s market reach and improves the availability of enriched biochar to the UK sports turf industry. 46 | Turf Matters | july-august 2018

“Because I haven’t had much luck with wetting agents in the past, I was thinking that if it didn’t work out then we would just try something else next year. However, at the end of the year I remember telling Darren Hatcher, ICL Technical Area Sales Manager for the South, London and the Channel Islands, that it was perfect.” James applied Qualibra to his greens, tees, approaches and fairways at 20 L/ha in March and continued with monthly applications until October. His goal was to optimise the use of water resources and move surface water down to maintain, firm, fast conditions, as well as improving the playing surface quality for members.

Biochar is a highly porous, high carbon form of charcoal used to improve soil nutrition, growing conditions and turf health. It is made from untreated waste woody biomass that has been charred at a low temperature with a restricted supply of oxygen, a process called pyrolysis. Biochar improves the physical nature of soils by increasing their water holding capacity and improving aeration, lessening the risk of drought and waterlogging. It also improves the cation exchange capacity of the soil, influencing its ability to hold onto essential nutrients. Thanks to its microscopic honeycomb-like structure, biochar provides the perfect habitat for beneficial soil microorganisms – such as mycorrhizal fungi and actinomycetes bacteria – to flourish, encouraging increased root growth and plant vitality.


making turf matter

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making turf matter

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“We wanted the greens to play firm and fast and Qualibra has been a big part of that. I also wanted to avoid the unsightly burnt off crests and lush valleys on the fairways and if you irrigate them the water just runs off the top.” However, Qualibra reduces the surface tension and goes in from the very top. In June they were the perfect colour, consistently that transition between green and brown. “I’ve got a guy who has been working here for 40 years and every morning he comes in at 3.30am and hand waters all of the greens before the golfers come out. He absolutely loves Qualibra and he says that throughout his time here it is by far the best wetting agent we have ever used. I really value his opinion as he’s seen it all so we discuss at length what products would make his life easier when it comes to moisture control, on a links course it’s one of the most important factors to success and that’s why we don’t sacrifice on quality. “We are also definitely using less water now and we didn’t have any Dry Patch last year – which was the first time in years. To me that was a huge success because it was one of the driest years on record,” concluded James.

Carbon Gold’s Turf Improver enriches biochar with optimum levels of beneficial fungi, bacteria and trace minerals for optimum soil and sward health. Where prevention rather than cure is key, adding enriched biochar to soil provides the foundation on which to build resilient, attractive, playable turf, as recent sports turf trials have shown. The growing popularity of enriched biochar in the professional and amenity turf sectors signifies a positive shift to a more biological approach, as part of a wider movement away from harmful chemical inputs and towards soil health.

ABOVE: The ‘Turf Improver’ team from Carbon Gold and Sherriff Amenity

Turf Matters | july-august 2018 | 47


chemicals

Making Light Work New Ryder turf pigment technology from Syngenta offers the chance to instantly enhance the colour and visual appearance of turf, along with exciting properties to protect leaves from the harmful effects of excessive sunlight. Not all energy emitted by the sun is useful for turf grass growth. In fact, some of this energy can be actually harmful to the plant – effectively causing damaging sunburn to plant cells. Ryder enables plants to manage light more effectively, and to make light work more efficiently for turf. Launching the new Ryder pigment,

Syngenta UK Turf Technical Manager, Glenn Kirby, highlighted greenkeepers’ experiences had demonstrated the instant visual effect to produce a lasting deep, desirable green colour, along with lasting effects to counter damaging light waves. “Ryder is a highly concentrated and stable green pigment designed for use on managed turf to improve its appearance and to help protect against UV radiation and high light intensities” he said. “Photosynthetic Active Radiation (PAR), includes all the ‘colours’ of the light spectrum, of which turf plants use blue and red light most efficiently

to support growth and development. “However, plants can only absorb so much light; too much light stresses the plant and can lead to reduced photosynthetic activity (photo-inhibition) and even harmful damage within pant cells.” Glenn pointed out that cool season grasses typically reach saturation point at light intensities of just 300 to 500 micromoles. However, on a summer day, sunlight could reach in excess of 2000 micromoles – bombarding plants with up to four times more light than they can physically use. In winter, when plants are growing more slowly, the light

theory and practice: Examining the science behind photosynthesis and mixing the chemical application for field trials

RIGBY TAYLOR LAUNCHES PROJECT POLLIN-8 TO ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF POLLINATING INSECTS Rigby Taylor has launched Project Pollin-8, a major initiative aimed at reversing the national decline in pollinating insects, by introducing the new Euroflor Banquet urban flower seed mixture containing the best species for pollinators while also delivering high visual impact. A key factor in the continual reduction of pollinators is likely to be loss of habitat, and the use of urban flower mixtures for landscaping projects will prove vitally important in arresting the decline. The introduction of the 48 | Turf Matters | july-august 2018

Banquet mixture is the result of information obtained from independent research by the Urban Pollinators Group (UPG), a national research programme run by Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds and Reading Universities (2010-2013). The research revealed that no one mix would meet the complex ecological demands of the diverse pollinator groups throughout the different stages in their life cycles – from early to late flowering, native and horticultural species, plants for egg laying, nectar for

energy and pollen for protein. With this in mind, nine other Euroflor mixtures (as well as Banquet) have been identified as meeting the demand for a longer seasonal supply of nectar and pollen, as well as a more diverse range of habitats, while also providing incredible flower displays. The nine other Euroflor mixtures are Flora Britannica, Fragrant Lawn, Green Roof, Honey, Native Pollinator, Rainbow Annuals, Rainbow Perennials, Spring Flower and Super Blue Bee.


saturation point could be as low as 100 micromoles, when they are subjected to 1000 micromoles being produced on a bright day. “Plants that are already stressed, from nutrient or water deficiency or physical damage from mowing, for example, would be more susceptible to increased stress from photo-inhibition,” he added. “Ryder mimics the plant’s natural pigment defences, when it produce carotenoids, anthocyanins, flavonoids, and cuticle waxes,” he said. “However, with Ryder, you get to control the green colour, compared to leaf purpling of anthocyanins, for example.” The intensity of colour produced by Ryder can be selected through adjustments to application rate, frequency and integrated fertiliser programmes, he advocated. “Unlike existing water soluble turf

dyes, Ryder is a concentrated 70% pigment, formulated such that, once dry on the leaf, is not washed off by rain or irrigation and is stable in light. It stays in place on the leaf surface, which retains its colour and effects for longer.” Extensive user trials in the UK this spring had demonstrated Ryder could

Monitoring results from extensive application testing

bring an important benefit to all areas of the golf course, along with other sports surfaces, including cricket fields and winter sports pitches. “Over winter and early spring, the Ryder colour quickly gets turf looking great and ready for play. The enhanced colour of treated turf can increase canopy temperature and initiate spring recovery. Application following renovations, sand topdressing or over seeding has been shown to instantly recover appearance.” Ryder application rates at cutting heights below 12 mm – eg. greens, tees and cricket fields – have typically been at 0.75 to 1.5 l/ha, increasing to 1.0 to 2.0 l/ha on longer fairway turf or sports fields, for example. Users have experimented with application rate and frequency to find a colour intensity most attractive to their own situation.

Turf Matters | july-august 2018 | 49


Tennis

A Championship in safe hands

Laurence Gale managed to grab a few minutes with Wimbledon head man, Neil Stubley, as he put the finishing touches to his courts ahead of the Championships

T

he Championships, Wimbledon will take place this month at The All England Lawn Tennis Club – fondly known as SW19. The Grounds are owned by the All England Lawn Tennis Ground plc, and the total area, including the Club’s car parks, covers over 42 acres with capacity for 39,000 spectators. Wimbledon is world renowned

50 | Turf Matters | july-august 2018

for the immaculately manicured 38 natural grass tennis courts (18 Championship Courts and 20 Practice Courts). The management and maintenance of these courts is the responsibility of Neil Stubley – Head of Courts and Horticulture: With Neil now working at his 23rd Wimbledon – seven as Head Groundsman since his predecessor

Eddie Seaward retired in 2012 – he is now very well versed with the expectations and the challenges that The Championships bring. The grass courts are generally in play from May to September (except Centre Court and the other Show Courts, which are used only for The Championships). The courts are actually lent to a number of }


Tennis

The renovation of the grass courts usually starts in September when all the courts are fraise mown, relevelled and re-sown with over nine tonnes of Perennial rye grass seed. } clubs and organisations for the

staging of various events. Neil has a permanent team of 16 who help him throughout the year, with an extra complement of 12 experienced Groundstaff joining his team for the summer. The preparation of each year’s tournament starts in earnest as soon as the last Championships are completed, with Neil and his staff doing an appraisal of the courts’ performance and then putting together a renovation and maintenance plan. The key objective is to ensure all the courts are renovated in the same manner, a tried and tested regime that has been in place for many years. The only real change has been the introduction of more efficient machinery that has sped up the renovation programme. A prime example of this has been the use of the Koro Fraise mower, which cleans off the surface vegetation much more efficiently and quickly. The renovation of the grass courts usually starts in September when all the courts are fraise mown, relevelled and re-sown with over nine tonnes of Perennial rye grass seed. With favourable soil and air temperatures, the new seed will soon be up and ready for its first cut. These newly sown courts will be maintained at a winter sward height of cut set at 13mm. In recent years the All England Tennis Club has invested in a number of lighting rigs to help maintain a healthy grass cover during the winter

52 | Turf Matters | july-august 2018

months. These rigs are taken down in April in preparation for the onset of spring renovations for the courts. These renovations consist of some pre-season rolling of the courts, reseeding, fertilising and the application of both wetting agents and growth retardants. Cleg hammers are used to measure and keep in check the hardness of the courts leading up to The Championships. It is then a case of increasing the mowing frequencies and reducing the height of cut down from 13mm to tournament HOC 8mm by May when the grass courts come into play. The courts during the growing season are cut every other day using the innovative Cub Cadet Infinicut™ battery powered mowers, which were trialled in 2016. Last year, the Club were so pleased with the performance of these mowers they duly ordered fifteen 21” models and three 30”

variants. They also took delivery of a number of SMARTUltraGroomer cassettes to go into the 21” units. Neil, like most top professional grounds managers, spends a lot of time keeping an eager eye on the weather, responding quickly to the effect it may have on theplaying surfaces. I was keen to know how Neil and his staff had coped with this year’s challenging weather fronts beginning with the long cold prolonged winter, a very wet cold spring and then latterly the recent hot weather front. A recent call had Neil explaining it had been a very challenging start to the growing season with the adverse weather delaying his pre-season rolling programme and a reduction in growth for the time of the year. “However, it is surprising how resilient our grass court surfaces are; they are able to respond and recover quickly. Thanks to the dedication and


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commitment of our Groundstaff, we are now back on track and looking forward to this year’s Championships in July,” he commented. While British success on the courts this year is unlikely, given Andy Murray’s extended recuperation from injury, we wish Neil and his team every success and good fortune in the management of the courts for the Wimbledon Fortnight. TurfMatters Matters||july-august july-august2018 2018||53 53 Turf


Schools

SISIS success at

Shrewsbury School Andy Richards, Grounds Manager, has reported excellent results from using a range of SISIS equipment to maintain his school’s widely praised sports pitches

Shrewsbury School is one of the country’s leading co-educational independent schools for 13-18-yearolds and attracts boys and girls from all over the country. It is one of the original seven public schools as defined by the Public Schools Act 1868, and its impressive list of previous pupils boasts a certain Mr Charles Darwin. In line with the work of its most famous “Old Salopian”, the school continues to evolve in a dynamic way, achieving both outstanding academic and sporting results. “We have a good blend of academics and sports at Shrewsbury School. Sport is a massive part of the School and there is a very strong house sport system – in fact the students are willing to run through a brick wall for their school and their house in sporting competitions!” said Andy. It is for this reason that Andy and his team leave absolutely no stone un-turned when it comes to preparing and maintaining sports pitches of the highest standard. In fact, cricket-writer Sir Neville Cardus once famously described them as “the most beautiful playing fields in the world, spreading and imperceptibly mingling with the pasture land of Shropshire”. However, these truly wonderful facilities don’t come easily. Andy and his team work throughout the year to provide sports pitches of the highest quality, and when it comes to his cricket wickets he puts his faith in the SISIS Auto Rotorake MK5 54 | Turf Matters | july-august 2018

“We use the Auto Rotorake specifically for cricket because it does such a good job,” said Andy. “The amount of material you can take out of a wicket with the brush reel and the verticutting reel sometimes needs to be seen to be believed. We use it all the way through the cricket season. In summer we do 30 match wickets a week and it will be part of the preparation for every one of those.” The SISIS Auto Rotorake MK5 is a powerful self-propelled heavy duty scarifier designed for the removal and control of thatch on fine turf. It features a contra-rotating reel with specially designed tipped blades for clean, consistent cut and maximum thatch removal. As Andy says, a variety of maintenance tasks can be carried out due to a selection of seven different interchangeable reels. In further discussing his maintenance procedures, Andy pin-pointed aeration as one of the most vital. “We have one of the highest pitch usages in the country. On each pitch we average 10-15 hours per week and we’ve got limited drainage. Therefore, one of the most important things we do is aeration and we aerate pitches all of the time. Grass lives and needs air like anyone else,” he said. Breathing life into Andy’s grass is his newly purchased SISIS Javelin Aer-Aid tractor mounted aerator, and he had no problem in running it past the School’s bursars – as he explains.

“It was the machine I wanted because I had previously trialled it and had good results. I know that the Aer-Aid had recently undergone extensive Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) trials and it came out with excellent results – which always gives you confidence and makes it easier to explain to the bursars why you want to purchase it.” The Javelin Aer-Aid gained rave reviews from the STRI following a three month period in which extensive trials led by Dr Christian Spring were carried out. With 10mm diameter ‘tipped’ tines working at 75mm (3ins) spacing, air is introduced from the Aer-Aid at a rate of 88 litres per minute. These air injection tines are specially designed to use the maximum air available from the compressor and produces clean, fresh air, while also ensuring that surface disturbance is kept to a minimum. The cam trigger mechanism ensures that the air is always expelled at the bottom of the tine penetration, enabling treatment to be targeted precisely and consistently. “It’s a really good machine. It’s easy to use and we can see significant improvements since using the Aer-Aid. “For me, SISIS signals simplicity and reliability. It may be a cliché but the equipment does what it says on the tin and that’s what I expect. “The machines are built to last and I’ve never had any problems with SISIS equipment.”


making turf matter

Safeplay helps Zaun break new Norwegian turf

Norwegian artificial turf experts have turned to a British steel fencing manufacturer to support their move into installing Multi-Use Games Areas. Safeplay, of Torvastad, has become Zaun Limited’s dealer in Norway after it won the order to install a MUGA at a new upper secondary school in Bremnes. Bremnes is a small town of 4,500 inhabitants on the west coast of Norway due west of the capital Oslo. The town has a strong culture for sports and especially football – one in 4.5 inhabitants is a member of the local sports club – and has fostered several top-level players despite its small size. The MUGA is 24x12m and incorporates specialist sports fencing with basketball overpanels at either end. Zaun’s Duo8 Super Rebound forms a robust play area that is highly durable, low maintenance and ‘graffiti-proof’, with great rebound properties similar to a wall and rubber inserts between panels and posts to keep ‘rattle’ during play to a minimum. “The MUGA was an obvious addition to the new school – with really quiet fencing that rebounds well yet allows teachers to see what’s going on on-court,” said Safeplay Sales Manager Eivind Furlund. “It’s been a really encouraging first collaboration with Zaun and we see a real market opportunity: according to the Norwegian Football Federation there are 2,632 MUGAs in Norway.” Safeplay was founded in 2007 and boasts the Playtop agency for the playground market and decades of combined experience in artificial turf. It has already ordered a second MUGA from Zaun for installation in Norway.

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How to reduce wear and tear When it comes to sports ground renovations, areas that are subject to heavy use and erosion have caused headaches for greenkeepers and groundsmen for years. From sidelines and goalmouths in football, to walkways and paths in golf; public parks, playgrounds and festivals – the list goes on. Hybrid surfaces are a new and innovative solution which are ideal for areas that suffer from heavy use and erosion. Greenacres’ hybrid surface, Coverlawn, is available in multiple pile heights which makes it suitable for various applications. With over 1,000 installations worldwide, it has benefitted golf courses, sports pitches, children’s playgrounds, music festivals, public parks and many other high traffic area As a knitted construction hybrid, Coverlawn works in tandem with natural grass, encouraging natural growth while reinforcing and protecting the root zone with its honeycomb structure. Coverlawn allows the natural turf to grow through and integrate completely, therefore providing a surface that is resistant to wear and tear. Coverlawn is manufactured to allow maximum drainage, is exceptionally strong and longlasting, and boasts anti-slip properties. As you can see, Hybrid Surfaces remove the need for entirely artificial surfaces, or the use of gravel or rubber crumb alternatives. The popularity of Coverlawn stems from the ability to retain the use of natural turf, which is a preference for

most greenkeepers and groundsmen. Coverlawn is easy to install. Simply begin by measuring the area required, using as few seams as possible. Prepare the area for installation by mowing the existing grass to 20mm. Clear any debris and weeds, fill in any uneven holes with soil and seed any bare patches. Then lay the rolls of hybrid grass and, if necessary, cut them to size. Anchor the hybrid grass in place by burying the edges into the ground and inserting the decomposable anchor pins provided. Finally, apply a layer of top sand to the surface, and water to even out any inconsistencies. The new surface is ready to be used immediately after installation, but allow two to three months for complete integration.

Hybrid Surfaces remove the need for entirely artificial surfaces, or the use of gravel or rubber crumb alternatives

Turf Matters | july-august 2018 | 55


Schools

SISIS Flexicomb extends pitch life Lee Ballard, Senior Groundsperson at the University of Kent, in Canterbury, believes that his new SISIS Flexicomb is the perfect tool to help extend the life of one of the University’s synthetic sports surfaces. The University of Kent has a reputation for academic excellence, but it also has outstanding sports facilities, which includes two grass football pitches, two grass rugby pitches and synthetic sports surfaces. Overseeing the maintenance of the sports pitches is Lee Ballard. “We’ve had one of the pitches for nearly 12 years now,” he said, “and that houses full-size football games, four five-a-side pitches and lacrosse games. It gets a lot of usage and is used from 5pm until 10pm seven days a week. The common misconception is that synthetic surfaces are maintenance free. Just like natural turf surfaces, synthetic surfaces require maintenance

56 | Turf Matters | july-august 2018

as soon as they are constructed if they are to perform to the standard expected of them. Regular brushing is required to ensure that the playing surfaces, and to help Lee with this task he chose to purchase the SISIS Flexicomb. “Previously we were using a machine which just had tines on it and it never seemed to do a very professional job. So, we started looking around and I saw an online video of the Flexicomb being used at Tottenham Hotspur. It looked great.” Designed primarily for use on synthetic surfaces, the Flexicomb ensures even distribution of infill materials and lifts the pile. The adjustable setting ensures the effect of a rake, but with the softness of a brush, reducing the risk of damage to the fibres. Furthermore, it can be used with SISIS Singleplay, Twinplay or Quadraplay mounting frames,

which can all be connected to any tractor with 3 point linkage “We tend to use the Flexicomb three times a week depending on the maintenance schedule and make sure we give the surface a good brush after every ten hours of usage,” says Lee. “Sometimes we will double brush it both ways if time allows. “It has so many good features – I like how easy it is to set-up and how simple it is to use. It does such a good job and leaves you with a great finish which is important because presentation is key. I also like how you can be slightly more aggressive on the ground and get in and move some of the crumb about and get rid of some of that compaction. “The pitch is our front window so we try to look after it as much as possible and the more you put into it the more rewards you reap. The SISIS Flexicomb plays an integral part in helping us to achieve this.”


f

making turf matter

BUYERS’ GUIDE Statistics reveal scale of

To advertise contact Marie Anderson Email: marie@turfmatters.co.uk

BUYERS’ GUIDE ENGINESSEED GRASS

FERTILISERS AND PESTICIDES

AERATION

GRASS SEED GRASS SEED

ENGINES TRANSMISSIONS The 70th SALTEX exhibition exceeded all PARTS expectations after an independent audit

over 70% of visitors said that there was an excellent mix of products on display. Table 1 shows what visitors were looking for. confirmed the exhibition as the largest turf www.campeyturfcare.com TEL: 01371 875331 Exhibitors at SALTEX 2015 reported management event in the UK with a total Telephone: 01260 224 568 huge3914540 success at the show, suggesting that of 8,714 unique individuals attending. Now, www.uni-power.co.uk 0118 Email: info@campeyturfcare.com the visitors were a very powerful group of the visitor surveys have been flooding in –jamie@advancegrass.com buyers. With deals being done there and revealing a fascinating and in-depth insight AGRONOMY SERVICES MOWERS then on the show floor, it’s no surprise to see into the visitor profile of the show. that over 80% had purchasing responsibility. With visitors traveling from every corner Over 75% of all SALTEX visitors also had of the UK as well as every continent around the ability to sign off purchases of up to the world it was encouraging to see that n Agronomy £100,000. over 70% of theAudits visitors rated their overall WETTING AGENTS n Advisory Services as being good, very As for the type of facilities that the SALTEX experience SOIL SURFACTANTS n Project Management visitors were responsible for, it was great to good or excellent. n Construction ORGANIC seeFERTILISERS such a wide array of visitors (table 2). Over 65% of visitors said that they n Budgets Visitors also found the more central attended SALTEX to source new products, www.gregevansmg.com 01233 633267 location of the NEC to be more accessible services or suppliers, 20% wanted Call: 07951 157208 while or email: UK.aquatrols.com with 70% stating that the new location was to make the most of the free educational gregevansmg@gmail.com either good or excellent. Within the halls of LEARNING LIVE seminars and to receive MARKING Fer�lisers | Bios�mulants | We�ers the NEC, visitors favouredLINE the more compact one-to-one advice through the IOG’s Ask setting with over 70% rating the layout of the Expert feature. With so much on offer over 50 professional products GOLF COURSE TYRES the event either good or excellent. atMANAGEMENT SALTEX, there was something for Overall the visitor survey has everyone and over 80% said that they were demonstrated just how good the was the successful or very successful in meeting quality of attendees – further enhancing their objectives. SALTEX as the must attend event of the With such a large number of visitors Golf Course Management Fleet Line Markers Ltd year. attending SALTEX to source new products Consultant SALTEX 2016 will be held atWorld the NEC, and services; they certainly came to the leaders in the field of line marking paints Golf The Course Advice; is a great way Birmingham on 2 and 3 November 2016. Forand machinery. right place. exhibition Locum and Greenkeeper Tel: 01684 573535 more information visit www.iogsaltex.com to launch showcaseService; new products and Project Management; Practical www.velvit.co.uk sales@flmuk.com www.flmuk.com Solutions for Genuine Problems Available through your

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GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT Bringing technical excellence and service to turf and groundcare Golf Course Management www.wiedenmann.co.uk Consultant 0141 814 3366

Golf Course Advice; Locum Greenkeeper Service; SPORTS TURF Project Management; Practical Solutions for Genuine Problems CONTRACTORS www.billymcmillanassociates.co.uk One632747 of the UK’s Tel: 07774 leading natural and artificial sports turf specialists. From MACHINERY initial concept and Agripower planning through Toro Reelmaster 5010-H with PowerMatch Contractors to construction, Horsepower Good Grounding in Sport drainage, renovation and maintenance. on Demand

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EQUIPMENT

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TC1038 Turf Matters Buyers Guide.indd 1 Leading by

ble 2

BUYERS’ GUIDE

uni-power of Saltex 2015 success

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ble 1

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design 21/12/2015

• Turf Cutters • TurfBringing Aerators technical

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Table 2

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Bringing technical excellence and service to turf and groundcare www.wiedenmann.co.uk 0141 814 3366 Turf Matters | july-august 2018 | 57 Turf Matters | February-March 2016 | 33


COMMENT

The R&A has recently announced that “golf needs to change its culture and that it must become more modern and relevant to today’s society”. Well done you, but it’s a bit like David Beckham complaining about too many tattoos in the world. In other words – you’ve been instrumental in creating the problem and you’ve only got yourself to blame! Yes, it’s great that the R&A has finally seen that the fuddie duddie image which acts as a lead weight to our game must go, but they themselves are the living embodiment of that very image and should have

58 | Turf Matters | july-august 2018

changed years ago. Remember it was only recently that women members were allowed entry into the hallowed portals and I still don’t see the results of the R&A Ladies monthly medal being printed in the St Andrews Citizen. As for a junior section… Blazers and soup-stained ties are still the order of the day at the R&A Clubhouse and while I have a collection of those very same garments in my closet I, at least, know that I’m yesterday’s news. So how is the R&A going to implement these welcome but radical changes? The European Tour has already introduced walk on music for one event and tried to create the small ball equivalent of Twenty20 cricket with six hole shoot outs. Now I’m not totally comfortable with that although I’ve got my very own walk on music. It’s Led Zeppelin’s Fairway to Heaven. Geddit? No, I think there’s a few things that should take precedence over those gimmicks. Speeding up play is the main one – with proper shot penalties for those who transgress. How can it be that someone who takes two thirds as many shots as me takes two hours longer to get round? It doesn’t make sense and turns what can be a very exciting spectator sport – witness numerous Ryder Cups - into an exercise in watching beautifully manicured grass grow. So that’s one thing.

Then, regulate the golf ball so that fantastic golf courses from yesteryear can still be used for big events without turning into pitch and putt courses. A top pro now clatters drives 350 yards which makes 500 yard par-5s nothing more than a drive and a 9-iron. If a ball can be produced to limit drives by the top guys to 250 yards those par-5s would revert to being two and a half shotters for them and still be four and a half shotters for me. It would mean we’d see those classic old courses back on telly – and not just on Sky of course to let more people watch – which would again create interest. Who can forget a youthful Bernhard Langer up a tree at Fulford in York? That was in the early 80s when the European Tour visited regular members’ clubs. Can’t we get back to that? More Germans up trees. That’s what we need. Other ideas. A ban on caddies. We have to carry our own bags, why not the pros? No yardage books. Play by feel. This would also speed up play without the need for the phaffing around with endless calculations of distances. Do it by feel like I do when the battery on my aged GPS gives out on a regular basis on the 15th fairway. Anything else? How about simplifying the Rules themselves? Even guys who make a living playing the game fall foul of them so how on earth can the rest of us get by. I’m sure most of us inadvertently break a rule most times we go out and getting back to a “Hit it, find it and hit it again” philosophy would help. If you can’t do any of those things, it’s a one shot penalty and a restart within one club length. Two shots for two club lengths and so on. Is that the phone ringing? I’m sure the R&A and the USGA will be looking for a new innovative-thinking guru to carry new plans forward! Guys. I’m your man! *As told to Scott MacCallum


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Turf Matters July/August 2018  

In this issue: Rubber Crumb - what do we know? Battery power Ryder Cup Sports ground renovation Compact tractors Chemical update Plus all of...

Turf Matters July/August 2018  

In this issue: Rubber Crumb - what do we know? Battery power Ryder Cup Sports ground renovation Compact tractors Chemical update Plus all of...

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