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THE INTERNATIONAL AWARD-WINNING MAGAZINE For all sports turf professionals in golf, football, rugby, cricket, tennis, horse racing, independent schools, universities and local authorities

July-August 2019 | £4.95

www.turfmatters.co.uk

Here come the girls SOLHEIM CUP As Gleneagles marks a special centenary, we talk to the team preparing for the prestigious ladies’ team event WHAT NEXT FOR CHAFERS AND OTHER GRUBS?

COMPACT TRACTORS

IS THE FUTURE CREEPING BENTGRASS?

18 How to use nematodes

41 Versatile, easy to use

44 Weighing up seed options


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WELCOME

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iWelcome

It won’t go to our heads Don’t forget Sport…

I hope me but I want this opportunity for a little toot The you last forgive two months have beentoa take nightmare for many people in certain onparts Turf of Matters’ very own the country and trumpet. my heart goes out to everyone dealing with

Having been just a mere squiggleflooding on a drawing board six years ago the aftermath of unprecedented and devastating erosion. TurfThe Matters is now an award-winning magazine. And not just any For best case scenario for many is months of temporary living. oldothers, awards. Wewill have collected a number of prizes in the International lives never return to what they were. While fate of sports grounds and golf clubs might seem Section of the prestigious Turf and Ornamental Communicators inconsequential inand the among face of them such hardship, we atofTurf have Association Awards was the “Best the Matters Best” prize particular empathy with everyone whowinners. has seen years of agronomic forabeing judged top from all the category husbandry literally washed away thein space a few weeks. That winning piece of writing – “Ainstar any of language” – on the It must be hoped that banks – the financial institutions, not the preparations for last year’s Ryder Cup took the Gardner Award for 2019, things which edge overflown rivers – take an understanding approach while Turf Matters’ Designer Tim Moat proved what we all knew – he’s to sporting facilities which have been unable to service loans as a an excellent professional, with Awards in three categories including result of them being unplayable and so unable to bring in revenue. winning the Best Design in a Publication for a one page design article for As we have seen with the recent Winter Olympics, sport has such a “The Beast on the East”. galvanising effect on society and can be the catalyst for so much good, Without greedy we were also pleased to forgotten pick up three other that it is being imperative sporting facilities are not when the merit awards. promised assistance is being allocated. the issue improving sporting we have To be honest,On it doesn’t sitofcomfortably with me facilities, to shout about ourbeen by Briggs & Stratton become involved its Pitch achievements –invited tall poppy syndrome is builttointo the psyche of in many toitWin which provides £3,000 makeover Scots – but I take as acompetition, rubber stamp for the way wea are going about for what is judged to be the Under 18s football pitch in most things here on Turf Matters. need – find out more on pages 16-17. I am on the judging And I don’t just include Tim on this. I include Sinead and Marie panel and visits will be made to a shortlist of deserving as well, as I oftenpitches receivesoon. feedback from advertisers and potential We will be looking not so much at the advertisers who praise the pair for the excellent manner in which they DESSO but the desperate! deal with people. On a final note, I am thrilled by the reception that the We won’t rest ourMatters laurels.received. We will continue to strive first issue of on Turf Many people have to improve Turf as they a magazine and onof our taken time to sayMatters, how much liked the look the magazine they enjoyed the We’re all website and and how e-zines. Thank you forarticles. your continuing pleased you found it to your liking and we will work hard support. to maintain the high standards. Thank you all very much.

Scott MacCallum, Editor Scott MacCallum, Editor

Distributed every two months to sports turf professionals, independent schools, universities, local authorities and buyers Distributed every two months to sports of turfcare machinery and products. turf professionals, local authorities and buyers ofMacCallum turfcare machinery and Editor: Scott products. scott@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 tim@turfmatters.co.uk Sinead Thacker 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

To advertise in Turf Matters, To subscribe, go to call Sinead 07841 927500

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Turf Matters is published by Straight Down Turf MattersCommunications is published by Straight the Middle Ltd. Down the Middle Communications Ltd. All material © Turf Matters magazine 2019. All material © Turf Matters magazine 2014. Turf Matters was awarded Best Writing and No part of this may&be Best Design inpublication the 2019 Turf Ornamental reproduced in anyAssociation form whatsoever, Communicators Awards either for sale or not, without the written No part of this mayInformation be reproduced permission of publication the publisher. in any formin whatsoever, either for sale or contained Turf Matters is published not, without written of the in good faiththe and everypermission effort has been publisher. Information contained Turf Matters made to ensure its accuracy. TurfinMatters is published in responsibility good faith and for every can accept no anyeffort error hasmisrepresentation. been made to ensure accuracy. Turf or All its liability for loss, Matters can accept no responsibility for disappointment, negligence or other any error or misrepresentation. Allon liability for loss, damage caused by reliance information disappointment, negligence or other damage contained in Turf Matters or in the event of caused by reliance on information contained in any bankruptcy or liquidation or cessation Turf Matters or in the event of any bankruptcy or of trade of any company, individual or firm liquidation or cessation of trade of any company, mentioned is hereby excluded. individual or firm mentioned is hereby excluded. Printed by Printed byWarners WarnersMidlands MidlandsPLC. PLC.

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Inside Inside this thisissue issue News..........................................................4-12 News .........................................................4-15 Tea Break Teaser.......................................14 Pitch to Win........................................16-17 Leatherjackets, chafer grubs.....18-20 Mowing .................................19-22, 24-27 Warwick School................................22-27 Tea Break Teaser ......................................29 Gleneagles/Solheim Cup............28-33 Gleneagles..........................................30-35 Battery powered equipment.....34-37 BTME review ......................................36-41 Toro water management..............38-39 Diary of a Golfing Nobody.................42 Seeds......................................................44-48 As seen on Twitter..................................43 Buyers’ Guide.....................................56-57 Golfingout Nobody’s Blog..........................58 Check our website: Check out our website: www.turfmatters.co.uk

www.turfmatters.co.uk The majesty of Gleneagles, pages 30-35 Next magazine distributed 2 May LIFE ON THE EDGE: The latest compact tractors, pages 41-43 Next magazine distributed September 2019 Subscribe FREE to our e-zine: Details at www.turfmatters.co.uk

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AGRONOMICS LAUNCHES ITS SUMMER STRESS TAP With summer upon us, we all want to protect our skin from the harmful rays of the sun. Greenkeepers and groundsmen and women, want to protect their sports turf and Agronomic Services has released its latest – Turf Action Plan, designed to help in those circumstances. Protesyn is excellent for summer stress relief, all backed by science. It conserves plant energy and directly improves its photosynthetic efficiency. The formulation contains amino acids, simple proteins and carbs, fortified with plant enzymes, vitamins, plant sugars and other simple and complex carbohydrates. This combination enables the grass plant to regulate nitrogen conversion, therefore conserving energy in stressful conditions.

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Twickenham showcase for battery powered Allett and sustainability

ANTS IN YOUR PLANTS Ants cause a path of devastation wherever they go. Nemasys No Ants is a fast, effective and organic ant deterrent which moves the ants away from treated areas. It is best to apply Nemasys No Ants when ant activity is visible. To guarantee the best results for lawns, ensure it is moist and the soil temperature is above 10°C. It’s also important to make sure the lawn and the nests do not dry out for at least two weeks after applying nematodes. Gavin Wood, business development and key account manager for nematodes, said: “Ants are a problem wherever they are found, and by not taking any action to move them along, the damage may be too late to recover.”

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Allett Mowers invited industry leaders to Twickenham Rugby Stadium to showcase the new Allett C34E battery powered mower and hold informal talks on sustainability. Austin Jarrett, Allett’s Managing Director, gave a talk on the company’s battery machine strategy and the technology behind battery electric power helping to drive the future for professionals. Twickenham Rugby Stadium’s Head Groundsman, Keith Kent, talked about how he maintains a world class pitch, providing the same standards whatever the use, be it international rugby, leisure events or even schools tournaments. The third speaker, sustainability expert Professor David Stubbs, presented on the challenges in the industry, using a case study of the London 2012 Olympic Games. His talk embraced climate change and how sport can help address major global ecological problems. The talks were followed by pitchside demonstrations with everyone allowed access to the hallowed turf and a very green pitch in bright

sunlight. The Allett C34E was well received with its battery packs and futuristic looks combined with the tradition and heritage of the Allett cylinder mower. “We’ll be using the debate and feedback from the customers to form part of Allett decision making in our battery machine strategy,” said Austin. “The industry is rapidly changing and while we aim to be at the forefront we will only be launching 20 C34E this year. When a customer buys one of those machines we

will work with them and their dealer on any developments of the machine before we go into mass production next year. They will become an Allett Pioneer Programme member and attend focus groups and factory visits and will also get exclusive Pioneer merchandise.” The consensus after the meeting was general agreement the industry is quickly learning about sustainability and recognising the need to gain greater momentum in the face of climate change.

KEY LANDSCAPE APPOINTMENT AT ICL For BArRY ICL Turf & Landscape has appointed Barry Browne as its new Landscape & Industrial National Sales Manager. Barry has worked in the industry for a number of years and brings with him a wealth of experience. Prior to joining ICL he spent 14 years working for Green-tech starting as a

product specifier, from where he went on to hold the position of Team Manager. ‘I’m passionate about my work am very much looking forward to the challenge ahead, ICL are a company I have always had great respect for and I’m delighted to be joining the team,” said Barry.


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Turf industry stalwart Nigel Church retires An appreciation of RJ’s Nigel Church by former colleagues, Ian Mitchell and Peter Driver One of the UK’s most respected and valued members in the turf industry, Nigel Church, retired at the end of June after almost 50 years in the sector. We had the pleasure of working closely with Nigel for decades and his knowledge, technical ability, eloquence and downright likeability shone through in everything he did. Nigel joined Ransomes Sims & Jeffries as an apprentice back in the 1970s along with other industry notables such as Bob Buckingham, Bob Bevan, Paul Watson, Richard Bishop, Richard Walne, Graham Dale, Jeff Anguige and Barry Beckett. Readers of a similar age will recognise many of these names demonstrating that

this generation of apprentices were the base for the new Toro European distribution – all built on the Ransomes skills they had been taught by John Wilson, Ken Buckledee & Guy Catchpole. In its day, Ransomes was considered the ‘university’ for the UK turf industry. Nigel fulfilled many roles within the Ransomes’ business and the industry in general. In his time, he has been a demonstrator, technical rep and area rep; had responsibility for export sales, national accounts, regional sales management and training. Included in his impressive CV is an eight-year sojourn, when he left Ransomes to work for one of its dealers, Kingston House Mowers, in a sales role. He was back at the company in 1998, when it was purchased by Textron, becoming Ransomes Jacobsen, and he

played a significant part in providing continuity as the two businesses merged together. Later in his career he joined the new Cutting Edge Training division at Ransomes Jacobsen with a remit to pass on his extensive knowledge and experience to the next generation of sales and technical professionals within the dealer network. This was another area where Nigel excelled and the quality of training delivered by him and his colleagues was arguably the most concise, detailed and effective across the entire industry. In the past few years he has continued to expand this role travelling to all points of the globe delivering training in his enthusiastic, effervescent manner and has recently returned from his final visit to the Far East. Many of us will never forget the long days and

short nights at exhibitions and shows, where we enjoyed the camaraderie of a close-knit team in which Churchy was often the pivotal point … with a beer or gin and tonic in hand. Nigel has forgotten more than many people in this industry will ever know and he will be sorely missed as he rides off into the sunset. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with a man of this calibre – kind, knowledgeable, dedicated, humorous, affable – and who is instantly recognised across the industry. Just try walking with him across the halls at SALTEX, BTME, GIS and any other international event and see how long it takes to get from A to B! The global turf industry’s best wishes go out to you Nigel, to Sylvia and your family for a very long and happy retirement. It is well deserved.

Nigel Church: Fulfilled many roles in Ransomes

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Fynn Valley Golf Club continues course upgrades Fynn Valley Golf Club has purchased a fleet of five new Jacobsen mowers, four E-Z-GO RXV golf buggies and a Cushman Truckster XD from Bartram Mowers as part of their continued improvement of the club. The family owned and run Ipswich based golf club has undergone an ambitious and forwardthinking modernisation process, with their impressive, purpose-built Café Terrace and Club House opening in October 2018. As part of the improvements, the club brought in Ian Lloyd, a graduate of the Future Turf

Managers Initiative, as Head Greenkeeper. The experience he brings to the role will elevate the course quality with the new range of Jacobsen machines an important part of his plans going forward. With his new fleet, he has already started seeing the benefits of the AdaptiShift technology on the AR331, the time saved with the unique swing out centre reel on the two GP400’s and the ease of movement with the HR500’s compact travel width. “The big thing for us is we’ve got quite a few steep and sharp mounds, and there are a few ponds that aren’t

very well positioned and can be difficult for staff to manoeuvre around and that’s where the AdaptiShift really helps us,” explained Ian. “I’ve been using the AR331 for the last couple of days, and it just gives you more confidence that you’re going to cut everything because you don’t have to put the whole machine out there, you can send the unit out and keep the wheels on solid ground, so it really optimises safety. “Being able to do that has saved us time, and the swing out centre reel on the two GP400s is a game changer. No matter what machine you’re on the central unit is

the most difficult to access in terms of cleaning and if you’re trying to adapt something or even just check the height of cut you almost have to be a contortionist to get in there. Another factor that has helped efficiency away from the machines is the customer service Ian received from Adrian Kersey, at Bartram Mowers and William Carr and Robert Hayward at Jacobsen. “We needed investment, and thankfully we have it now. We’re in a position where everything we’re going to be using day to day is brandnew, and it’s nice to have that confidence with this Jacobsen fleet,” said Ian.

INVESTMENT IN PELLENC ‘IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO’ idverde has invested in 20 Pellenc ULiB 1500 batteries and 20 Pellenc Excelion 2000 brushcutters all fitted with City Cut heads. Angus Lindsay, Group Head of Assets and Fleet Management, explained that the purchase reflects the company’s stance on becoming more environmentally friendly. “It is a mixture of being driven by contracts, clients and because ultimately it is the right thing to do. As a company, we have approximately 10,000 pieces of machinery out there and around half of 6 | Turf Matters | JULY-AUGUST 2019

them are all two-stroke or small four-stroke. That is a lot of emissions and we therefore need to start doing something about it.” Since 2015 idverde has been responsible for the management of the parks,

green space and countryside in the London Borough of Bromley and Angus, who has sole responsibility for the vehicles and machinery operated by idverde. “We suffer a lot with thrown debris from traditional

line cutters. It could be grass splatter on head stones or it could be stones flicked towards cars and houses – it is a big issue. “So, when you weigh up the cost, it made sense to look at an alternative.”


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Doncaster council makes big savings The extraordinary levels of savings in time, resources and therefore money forecast by the investment in Rigby Taylor’s robotic TinyLineMarker line marking machine will not only see Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council’s Street Scene team achieve a return on investment measured in months, but the new-found efficiencies will also enable the operation to offer ultracompetitive line marking to sports facilities currently outside of the council’s remit. With the maintenance of 92 pitches under their care, the Street Scene team – led by Operations Manager Darren Bisby – was formerly taking four man-hours to initial line mark each pitch each week with the conventional 3/4/5 triangle method and string, using a total of eight men in four vehicles. Now, with TLM, one man is able to deliver the boroughwide service for line marking, taking just 20 minutes to mark a pitch – and Darren even suggests that a standard pitch can now be mowed and

marked in less than an hour. So, with 2,392 scheduled overmarkings across the pitches, 797 man-hours will effectively be put back into the Street Scene operation. With teammates released to perform other incomegenerating duties, the TLM operator can also now get on with other tasks during his visit – such as litter picking, goalpost strimming and divoting – while the robot is in action. In addition, one vehicle has been removed from the fleet – saving several thousands of pounds on lease costs and around £900 on annual fuel plus any maintenance and repair costs. Lightweight and easy to transport, TLM utilises the latest GPS technology with RTK receiver and antenna that connects with global satellites and mobile network connections. It takes the input of pitch line dimensions and multiple pitches via an App and re-positions them to best fit the site using Google Maps. Once stored, the lines are never lost, even if they

Darren Bisby, Street Scene Operations Manager; Andy Rutherford, Head of Street Scene and Highways Operations; and Doncaster CC councillor Joe Blackham meet with staff from Doncaster Council

disappear if a pitch is not used for any length of time. Initial marking of a standard size football pitch, by the Street Scene operator, takes less than 20 minutes, including all perimeter lines, penalty boxes, the ‘D’, centre circle, corner angles and penalty spot all with just one touch on the tablet control. Even pitches with fixed post sockets can be marked. TLM is able to mark any length or width of football pitches, and rugby union and league pitches as well as multi-lane athletic tracks, tennis, lacrosse and American football pitches.

Today, each Street Scene pitch is marked every fortnight, with the paint being applied to grass rather than a burned-in line. “Because with TLM the lines will never be lost, a pitch can be rested or a line can be ‘mowed out’ without the need to re-string and measure from scratch,” says Darren. “Another benefit of TLM is that we tick an environmental box by not having to burn-in lines and with one less van in the fleet have reduced our carbon footprint, too. Also, the robot does exactly what you ask it to do, without tea and lunch breaks!

How to track turf pests this summer The new Turf Pest Tracker will follow the timing and movement of the adult life cycle stages of key turf pests this summer, to get a better picture of when and where the pests are flying. The GreenCast website enables all turf managers and agronomists to report activity of the main chafer species and crane fly, using their phone, tablet or computer. Sightings are instantly recorded on maps, giving the chance to visually check out the level of pest presence reported in any local area. 8 | Turf Matters | JULY-AUGUST 2019

Turf Pest Tracker is supported by an on-line pest identification and lifecycle guide, along with information to tailor an effective Integrated Pest Management programme. Chafer grubs and leatherjacket soil pests can result in severe damage to turf roots and surface quality, along with extensive damage from their predators uprooting turf. “Accurate identification and knowing your target soil pest life-cycle is essential for an effective integrated control programme and optimum timing

of controls.,” said Syngenta’s Technical Manager, Glenn Kirby. Glenn believes live tracking of adult pest activity will give a valuable early warning of potential soil pest activity and where problems may strike. “Changing climatic trends have blurred the historic east/ west split, which typically saw chafers more prevalent the east and leatherjackets more common in the west. “Also, changes in weather patterns – along with the adapting life-cycle of the insects – have further complicated

predicting pest activity.” Glenn pointed out that last season, for example, the intense heat and dry conditions appeared to delay the emergence of crane fly – the adult stage of leatherjackets – for up to a month later than the July/August norm. Crane fly were even reported emerging and on the wing in October, making it difficult to target control of resulting larvae. “The more people that get involved with Turf Pest Tracker, the clearer the picture the industry will have to tackle the issues,” he added.


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H2Pro makes a difference Stuart Hogg, Course Manager at The West Lancashire Golf Club, believes that ICL’s H2Pro TriSmart provides him with everything he requires from a wetting agent. Founded in 1873 and featured in the top 100 golf courses in Great Britain, The West Lancashire Golf Club is one of England’s truest seaside tests. There are few golfers who come away from this revered links course, midway between Liverpool and Formby, in any doubt that every aspect of their game has been suitably examined. “The West Lancashire Golf Club is an amazing place to work. It is steeped in history and very well respected. You don’t appreciate how close the course is to the sea until you come and see it,” said Stuart. Stuart, who has been in greenkeeping for just over 30 years, has been the Course Manager for four years and has worked exclusively at Links courses throughout his career. “Does the sea bring challenges? No, because having grown up on Links courses I’m used to it. However, we probably dry out a lot quicker, we get wind burn, we get salt burn and we have to be

more mindful of height of cuts. “Choosing products that can work to fit our circumstances is the key. I’ve had a lot of experience with different products and I believe in finding an optimum product range. For me, that is predominantly ICL.” The most recent addition to Stuart’s range of ICL products is the H2Pro TriSmart wetting agent, but it was a decision that he did not take lightly. “I used to use a different wetting agent and there was nothing really wrong with it except I felt it was perhaps just holding a bit of moisture in the top. The decision to change to TriSmart could have come back to bite me but Phil Collinson (ICL’s North West Technical Area Sales Manager) had every confidence in it.”

Containing three water management technologies consisting of surfactant and polymer blends, TriSmart is renowned for providing great water penetration and an even water spread through the rootzone. Stuart starts the programme at the end of February and applies TriSmart at a rate of 10L/ha every four to five weeks, depending on weather, until the end of July. Last year, he applied

TriSmart to all of the greens and surrounds, which equates to an area size of 4 hectares, but due to the successful results the areas for treatment is set to significantly increase. “With TriSmart I believe I got everything I was looking for in a wetting agent,” said Stuart. “Considering the season we encountered; we had improved rooting and I believe that was due to the fact that TriSmart was pulling the soil moisture down a little bit more. I also didn’t have to hand-water those areas at all which really helped in reducing irrigation and labour. “This year we will be increasing the applications of TriSmart to use it on the greens, surrounds and now the fairways – which is a big jump for the club considering that we will be going from using it on a unit size of 4 hectares up to 16 hectares.”

Improving water quality Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club has invested in two Otterbine High Volume aerators to improve the water quality of its reservoir. The club in Deal, Kent has a 13,000m3 reservoir, the water from which is used to irrigate the 18-hole Championship Links course, but with no aeration to keep the water clean and clear James Bledge, Course Manager, was noticing a significant deterioration in water quality. To solve the worrying problems the club opted to have two Otterbine aerators installed at the same time as a new Toro irrigation system and a renewal of its Toro fleet, all delivered by distributor Reesink Turfcare. The Otterbine aerators were suggested by Robin Hume Associates

when designing the new irrigation system. With success at similar clubs in the same application, the irrigation design consultancy was confident Otterbine would help to solve the issues. “We’re seeing a substantial difference since the installation of the new Otterbine aerators. The water doesn’t smell anymore and we’re already seeing an improvement in the water quality,” said James. The Otterbine High Volume aerator adds 3.3lbs or 1.5kg of oxygen per horse power, every hour and is constructed from marine-grade, 316 stainless steel, thermoplastics and a rugged, energy efficient, low speed motor to withstand even the toughest of aquatic environments. Turf Matters | JULY-AUGUST 2019 | 9


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Synthetic turf innovation produces best-performing pitches

Matthew Mears presenting the ClearWater Cup to Managers Captain Jane Harfield 2019

ClearWater Cup winner Bishopswood Golf Club was the venue for this year’s CourseCare Cup held recently when the South Coast Greenkeepers played the Wessex Managers. Bishopswood, a challenging 9 hole par 72 course receives very good reviews and nine holes is certainly no indication of it being easy! Lee James and his greenkeeping team had ensured that this pleasant course was at its best. With an ideal day weatherwise for play, both teams set off with the Managers keen to prise the trophy away from the Greenkeepers. The Managers, captained by Burley’s Jane Harfield, did prevail and enjoyed an emphatic three matches to one win! Matthew Mears, General Manager of Acumen’s ClearWater Division, presented the ClearWater Cup to Jane Harfield and the day was rounded off by drinks and a meal for all with thanks given to Acumen for their sponsorship for this ever popular event.

SIS pitches has enhanced its diverse product range, following a £1.8m investment in a new factory and technology. Based in Cumbria, SIS has developed its products to extend the life of its 3G pitches and improve overall player experience. The improvements could see pitches last up to 10 years – two years more than the industry standard. The SISTurf Xtreme and SISTurf Xtreme Ultra products features a new premium yarn. The yarn is made in the UK with specially developed polymer to create a natural look and feel. The new technology makes the product more resilient, improves performance and increases durability. Both products use SISGrade infill made from Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer. It is both fire resistant and odourless, making it ideal for indoor use. The product is highly resistant to ageing, weathering and UV. It also conforms to the strictest

REACH and EN safety standards. SIS Pitches is a full-service provider in specialist sports pitches and landscaping grass. Last year, they designed, constructed and installed SISGrass hybrid pitches at six 2018 World Cup venues, including the Luzhniki Stadium pitch for the opening match and the final. “We have evolved our product range and are excited to offer our best-performing yarn to date,” said Luke Edwards, SIS Pitches Technical Director. “Both SISTurf Xtreme and SISTurf Xtreme Ultra include our premium infill and backing systems, and deliver outstanding performance, durability and resilience. “Our synthetic pitches are being used all around the world in a variety of sports and we are vey proud to be able to make these products available to our customers.” Last month, SIS Pitches reaffirmed its commitment to UK manufacturing when it announced its new turf production facility in

Maryport. The new factory, which covers an area of more than 2,100 square metres, is one of the most technologically-advanced production facilities in Europe. The factory utilises the latest technology in thermal insulation, LED lighting, laser-fire detection and advanced cladding systems, while the new backing plant will be the most advanced turf backing system in the UK. “Our new state-of-the-art factory features world-leading turf production technology and provides us with the platform to increase our production volumes,” said George Mullan, SIS Pitches owner and CEO. “We can produce pitches six times faster than before which equates to more than six million square metres of turf every year. “We are always looking at ways to stay one step ahead and these recent improvements in innovation and technology reaffirm our position as the market leader in the manufacturing of synthetic turf.” Luke Edwards, Technical Director, SIS Pitches and George Mullan, CEO, SIS Pitches

Andrew Rodwell, SCH founder and larger than life character, has died SCH (Supplies) founder Andrew Rodwell has died. In 1986 Andrew recognised that the ordinary lawn mower tractor was capable of a lot more than merely mowing grass. With the help and encouragement of Malcolm Vandenburgh at Wests Engineering Ltd, the pair set about designing and 10 | Turf Matters | JULY-AUGUST 2019

manufacturing a range of grass care machinery. Before long, SCH (Supplies) Ltd was created. Through sheer hard work and determination the business flourished and expanded, and now has a catalogue of over 200 products. Andrew spent countless hours thinking of every possible need for the

keen gardener, groundsman and gamekeeper, with the popular product range constantly evolving. The business now employs 25 people who design, manufacture and deliver the machinery. In December 2018, Andrew and his family decided to hand over the running of SCH to two

of his long term employees John Free and Ian Holder. Andrew has been described as a larger than life character, he was gregarious, often hilarious and a great British eccentric. He had a passion for anything mechanical from vintage tractors to classic cars. He will be sorely missed.


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What’s known as a chip off the old BLEC Three years on since the announcement was made that BLEC was to become a division of the Redexim Group, industry press were invited to an update event at BLEC dealer Acorn Tractors, in Derby. Hosted by Division Manager Curtis Allen, representatives from the industry learned how the new and enhanced range of specialist landscaping and turfcare equipment had been consolidated into an attractive package for end users. Under the guidance of the Redexim Group the streamlining of the product ranges and their manufacture, along with the appointment of a network of dedicated dealers nationwide, represented a new beginning for the well-known brand.

Among the machines shown were the Blecavator, Laser Grader and MultiSeeder. Of note was the number of mechanical adjustments made to the Laser Grader range including new twin Danfoss proportional valves and heavy-duty finger tines, that both now come as standard. The all-new Power Box Rake 1800 was another highlight as the first Redexim designed and engineered addition to the BLEC offering. During the presentation and demonstrations, it was evident how machines from across the BLEC range can be used in conjunction with one another. With a comprehensive selection of pedestrian and tractor-mounted units, each available in a variety

of working widths, they’re suited to applications from landscape gardeners, golf course construction, sports pitch preparations to large-scale groundworks. “Despite its best efforts, the rain didn’t dampen spirits on what was a fantastic opportunity to

update the media on all of the improvements we have worked hard to deliver across the portfolio,” said Curtis. “We have come a long way with the range already and with further innovations in the pipeline we’re entering a very exciting period in the BLEC story.”

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Success for Advance Grass Solutions

Phil Garrod

Since July 2017 Advance Grass Solutions have established themselves as a major player in the sports turf supply market. The strapline of the business is ‘SupplyConsult-Support’, to recognise the evolution of the market and the appetite for not only high quality, technically innovative products but the need to provide a comprehensive support package via an in-field team of turf specialists. This support package includes analysis work (soil, leaf tissue, water, nematode identification) as well as performance testing via the use of the latest exclusive Turf-Tec agronomy tools. In 2015 Countrywide, with an established business already within the golf sector, had a strategy to enter specifically the IOG arena, recruiting Phillip Garrod to the role of UK Sports Turf Manager. A former Head Groundsman, Phillip’s brief was to raise business profile and develop a suite of products suitable for specifically the maintenance of professional football pitches, schools and grassroots sport. Via this process exclusive key lines such as Growth Products liquids,

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Sustane Natural Fertilisers and Polyon (Controlled Release Technology) have been introduced, all of which have raised the bar in UK sports turf quality. These standards were recognised at the recent English Football League Annual Awards where three of the four winners were on full AGS agronomic programmes. Swansea won the Championship pitch of the year award with AGS UK Sales Manager, Peter Holmstrom working very closely with Head Groundsman, Anthony Harry. Bristol Rovers were successful in EFL League one on the back of a very difficult 17/18 campaign where issues with renovation proved problematic for the duration of the season. “To win pitch of the year is a fantastic achievement for me and my colleagues. The products that we use from AGS have supported the plant in not only surface growth but equally as important, improved rooting,” said Head Groundsman Daryle Sullivan. Swindon Town scooped the League 2 trophy after another impressive season from Marcus Cassidy and his team. Marcus is no stranger to awards having won may accolades in his

extensive years as a Head Groundsman. He adopts a holistic approach where possible managing his pitch in a sustainable fashion. AGS suppliers have been carefully selected based on their ability to support the business for years to come. They invest heavily in R&D to ensure a pipeline of new technology and products is maintained, while being sympathetic with the ever-changing backdrop which is advancing with a pesticide reduced (if not free) turf and amenity marketplace. They have been at the forefront of this change utilising composted organics, low salt liquids, beneficial fungi and bacteria, to focus on, not only plant health, but the soil profile and long-term sustainability. This is opposed to some dated industry practices that are still adopted, such as the overuse of cost-effective sources of nutrient, which can lower pH and create inhospitable environments for soil microbial life. n The winner of Agronomic Services competition for a weekend at Goodwood has been announced as Andy Grabham, Course Manager of Farrington Park Golf Club, in Bristol – many congratulations, Andy!


NEWS


TEA BREAk TEASER

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Tea Break Teaser g n i t r o p S ! s e m a n nick

u Who can yo om recognise fr es? m their nickna 1. The Eagle 2. Chariots 3. Thorpedo 4. Bites Yer Legs 5. Whispering Death 6. One Size 7. The Turbanator 8. The Golden Bear 9. The Juice 10. Nobody 11. Tugger 12. The Refrigerator 13. The Rocket 14. The King of Spain 15. Sicknote Answers on page 57

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INDUSTRY AWARDS

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RYDER CUP

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MAKING TURF MATTER

READ ALL ABOUT IT: The ‘Best of the Best’

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A star in any la nguage

Scott MacCallum chose English to conduct his interview with Alejandro Reyes , the Spanish Head man at Go lf Club Nationa - France’s flagsh l ip golf course and Ryder Cup venue

Turf Matters scoops TOCA Awards Turf Matters would for their support in like to thank Ransomes Jacobsen producing this feature

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TURF MATTERS |

PRIZE GUYS: Scott MacCallum, right, and Tim Moat

Turf Matters won the top award, and a clutch of other prizes, at the prestigious TOCA International Awards ceremony, held in Charlotte, North Carolina. “A Star in Any Language”, written by Turf Matters’ Editor Scott MacCallum, on Ryder Cup preparation, picked up the award for Best Writing in a Publication, while it also won the Gardner Award for the “Best of the Best”, selected from all international category winners. Scott also picked up a Merit award in the same category for his article entitled “Demain’s the Name”. In addition, Turf Matters’ Designer Tim Moat won Best Design in a Publication for a one page design article for “The Beast on the East” and a Merit for “All eyes on Paris” in the same category while he also collected a Merit for Best Design in a Publication for a Full Magazine Layout for his work on

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“Improving on a Masterpiece”. “Tim and I are absolutely delighted with our success at the TOCA Awards. It is the first time we have entered and it has given us affirmation that the work we are doing on Turf Matters, and presenting to our readers, is of the highest quality,” said Scott. “It is particularly pleasing to be the Gardner Award winner for 2019

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BER 2018 | 31

as it is an international competition. Coming out on top against the rest of the world is very humbling,” he added. It wasn’t just Turf Matters which did the UK proud: also experiencing the sweet taste of success in Charlotte was Forte Marketing, with Ellie Parry and Helen Wilson collecting two Merit Award for their work with Lawn Master and Rain Bird Europe.


LEATHERJACKETS AND CHAFER GRUBS

The agronomic elephant in the room Dr Minshad Ansari, left, discusses the Leatherjacket and Chafer Grub problem with Scott MacCallum

The agronomic elephant in the room over the last 15 years has been what on earth will we do when chemicals we’ve relied upon for decades to ensure our turf can fight back against attacks from pests and diseases are removed from the authorised lists. We have benefited from the great

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work being carried out in laboratories across the world to replace those active ingredients, which are no longer with us, with alternatives which have often been more effective and better than what they have replaced. However, there is one area in which the loss of the recognised

chemical has had a major impact on the quality of turf greenkeepers and groundsmen have been able to prepare. Leatherjackets and Chafer Grubs are relishing the freedom that a chemicalfree playground has given them and the damage they are inflicting on turf is enough to reduce the most stoic of turf managers to tears. It has got so bad in recent times that an Emergency Summit was held by Dr Minshad Ansari, Founder and CEO of Biomena, to pool all necessary expertise and look at what could be done to counter the Leatherjack and Chafer Grubs infestations. “I’ve been in the industry for 10 years now and seen the widening problem of Leatherjackets and Chafer Grubs but even I was surprised when I saw the damage caused by Leatherjackets at a golf club in Kent. Five greens were completely destroyed as a result of the damage,” Dr Ansari, told Turf Matters. “Whereas it was very easy to put the chemical pesticide into a tank and go off and spray the recognised active ingredients came off the lists in 2016 and there has been no alternative. The problem is going to accelerate if few don’t do anything,” he explained, of the imidacloprid and chlorpyrifos which have now been banned. A short term sticking plaster solution has been found with Syngenta receiving emergency authorisation }


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LEATHERJACKETS AND CHAFER GRUBS

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“Nematodes do produce results but we have to learn how to use them properly otherwise people will be dissatisfied with the results.”

} for Acelepryn reapproved for turf for the 2019 season. It has been permitted for use in situations where there is an acknowledged instance of economic damage, or risk of bird strike on airfields and where the product has been recommended by a BASIS qualified agronomist. The approval will be in place until September 30 of this year. The Emergency Summit has a host of influential speakers including Professor John Moverley, of the Amenity Forum; Dr Kate Entwistle, and Dr Colin Fleming, and covered topics including Major turf pests and disjeases; the rising threats of plant parasitic nematodes in turf; the biology of Chafers and Leatherjackets; the role of Biostimulants in turf

management and root development. Dr Ansari is working closely with Swansea University on biological solutions using nematodes and ensuring that they are utilised to best effect to bring about the most effective outcomes. “Nematodes do produce results but we have to learn how to use them properly otherwise people will be dissatisfied with the results. There is a way to apply them to get the best results. We are looking at the Leatherjacket and Chafer Grub lifecycle, at which stage they cause damage and at which stage are they most susceptible to nematodes. Learning about the pest is important in order to get the control we are looking for,” said Dr Asari.

Sprayer unveils its green credentials As part of a drive towards developing environmentally friendly and sustainable products Cambridgeshire based manufacturer Techneat Engineering offer the Acuspray, a pedestrian sprayer, aimed at the professional groundsperson and keen gardener. “It’s a major step forward in design technology and one we are justifiably proud of,” said Techneat’s

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Technical Support Manager, James English. “There’s no battery or engine so the application rate is controlled by a unique wheel driven pump that remains consistent throughout the day and produces zero carbon emissions. The machine’s plastic construction makes it lightweight, durable and completely recyclable. The Acuspray is an extremely quiet machine with very low decibel noise emissions. Its lightweight construction means it is also very easy to push. Output varies according to forward speed ensuring the correct application rate is always achieved. The Acuspray’s 25l tank enables it to cover up to 625M2 before refilling is required.

“The nematodes can do the job if they are applied in the proper manner – without a problem.” If there was a key headline to have come out of the Emergency Summit it was that Integrated Pest Management was the solution going forward. “Whether you have a chemical or biological product you have to use it in such a way that you can get the best control of the pest. There is no single solution,” explained Dr Ansari, who added that better results are achieved by using a wetting agent in conjunction with the use of the nematodes. Should the status quo remain, more golf courses will be rendered unplayable, or less enjoyable to play, and the work being carried out to find means to resolve the problem is welcome and necessary.

TRIBUTE TO EDDIE SEAWARD There are some people who leave a mark. Eddie Seaward was definitely one of those people. He was the man in charge of the All England courts at Wimbledon from 1990, until the London Olympics in 2012 - fittingly taking his final bow as Andy Murray was taking the applause and a Gold Medal. It is a mark of the esteem in which he was held that his bosses had requested that he put his retirement on hold until after the Olympics, knowing that there was no-one better to peak the iconic courts twice within the space of 20 days. However, while he shone on the greatest tennis stage of them all – he picked up the monikers of the “Guru of Grass” and the “Grass Whisperer” among others - it was behind the scenes, with his work at the IOG, helping aspiring groundsman, that really marked him

out as a special person. You often find that the people with the biggest jobs have the biggest hearts and no-one epitomised this better than Eddie. His lasting legacy are all the young, and now not so young, Head Groundspeople, who he mentored and who went on to achieve great things within the industry. Indeed, there are many others, who didn’t have the good fortune of meeting Eddie in person, but who have been able to witness what is possible, through hard work, dedication and by a genuine willingness to help others. You can be sure that Eddie will be looking down on the great work that Neil Stubley and his team have continued to produce during his year’s Championships, proud that his legacy is being continued. Eddie. Thank you for all that you did for groundsmanship.


WARWICK SCHOOL

Talk of the Toon

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Scott MacCallum meets Duncan Toon, who has hit the ground running in his new role at Warwick School Turf Matters | JULY-AUGUST 2019 | 23


WARWICK SCHOOL

“Working for top end football, at the elite end of sport, was rewarding but the focus was always football. The challenges and the rewards of moving to a multi-sport environment are massive…”

Grounds Manager Duncan Toon

In meeting a host of people from the industry over the years, it’s not unusual to hear someone say they wished they’d moved into their role earlier in their career. So, when Duncan Toon uttered those very words during a visit to Warwick School it didn’t come as a complete surprise. What was surprising, however, is that Duncan, who was appointed Grounds Manager at Warwick Independent Schools Foundation in June of last year, had come from an excellent job at one of the country’s top football clubs – and he is yet to dip his toe into his 30s! As Deputy Head Groundsman at Birmingham City’s Training Ground, Duncan was dealing with highly skilled footballers, managers and coaches, and experiencing the buzz of Saturday afternoon home games or midweek matches under the lights at St Andrews. But it is the challenge of preparing eight hectares of natural turf and a brand new 3G rugby pitch for children of all ages which is now really getting his juices flowing. The Foundation comprises King’s High School for girls aged 11-18 (incorporating Warwick Preparatory School for boys and girls aged 3-7 and girls aged 7-11) and Warwick School for boys aged 7-18. I met with Duncan at Warwick School, which is reputed to be the oldest boys’ public school in the world, having a history stretching, remarkably, back to 914. The focal point of the Warwick School’s sporting facilities is the truly magnificent sports pavilion, one that would do credit to many a County Cricket Ground. The Halse Pavilion was revamped and modernised in 2013 and was opened by Lord Coe, just year after being Mr London Olympics. “Working for top end football, at

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the elite end of sport, was rewarding but the focus was always football. The challenges and the rewards of moving to a multi-sport environment are massive,” said Duncan, as he showed me round his impressive place of work. “Also, the investment levels schools now make in their maintenance facilities means there are fewer differences to football clubs than you might expect.” In that regard, Duncan found himself to be very much the right man at the right time because his appointment coincided with a decision by the Foundation to invest significantly in its sports facilities. As a result, Duncan has benefited from being given the freedom to restructure and expand the team and to purchase a range of new machinery to enable the highest standards to be achieved. Prior to Duncan’s arrival the small team was battling gamely, with minimal and aging machinery, to prepare pitches and keep the grounds under control. The schools were achieving huge successes in sport and winning national

competitions, but the strain on resources was beginning to show and investment was needed to ensure pupils could continue to enjoy high quality sporting provision in the long term. “When I first started, time frames for preparing pitches were tight, making us hugely vulnerable to weather disruption,” recalled Duncan. “I came for my interview during last year’s heatwave and the grounds were burnt up and not in the best of shape. The team was doing a great job, but it was clear additional resources were going to be needed. If it had been a wetter summer, with the grass growing, it would have been a real challenge to keep on top of it.” That heatwave did, however, prove to be the silver lining around the rainless clouds – it’s a stupid meteorologicallybased metaphor, I know, but run with it – as it was the catalyst for the first of the School’s major investments at the start of Duncan’s time at the school. “The first thing we did was put in a borehole – it basically sold itself. I got in a specialist to advise us and within two months it had been approved and then drilled and it has helped us enormously. We have a license for 20,000 litres a day and we are no longer running static sprinklers off taps. That was expensive, so in the long run our borehole will save us money as well as make our lives so much easier.” With that solution in place, next in line was the machinery. “The school had invested in a Toro Sidewinder which is great, but we still needed bigger machines and our tractors were very old. I sat down with the Deputy Head of Estates & Operations, Sam Hanson in early March 2019 and we prepared a presentation to ask the Governors for additional investment, which they agreed. It has allowed us to purchase a number of carefully-selected machines to ensure we are fully resourced


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going into the future,” revealed Duncan Among them is the Dennis PRO 34R which has been a huge benefit on both presentation and clean-ups. “We use it to clean the pitch up after rugby matches and also after training sessions and the brush on the front is a big bonus as it enables you to really get into the sward. “You’re achieving two key maintenance tasks with it – you are cleaning up all the debris and you are also getting that amazing finish. I’m really impressed with it. “They have been arriving over the last few months and everything should be here in time for the start of the } next academic year in September.”

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WARWICK SCHOOL

}

With the machines coming on stream, Duncan then had to ensure that there was a quality team to utilise them. His first recruit was Scott Danter, who came from West Warwickshire Sports Centre and started at the same time as Duncan. “He’s a brilliant worker with a real work ethic and bought into everything we were doing here,” said Duncan, who seems to have a magic touch when it comes to building a strong team, with both existing staff and the new staff recruited over the last 12 months being fully committed to the new regime. Duncan’s new Deputy, Matt Barnes, was the second appointment, bringing experience in the independent schools sector. He was enticed by the Foundation’s “Project One Campus” which will bring all its schools together in one location by building a new home for King’s High, currently

located in the town centre, on the same site as Warwick School and Warwick Preparatory School. King’s High is moving across this summer, with the final elements of the project delivered in September 2020. Warwick School has historically been a noted rugby school, having produced many fine players in its time, but in reality offers outstanding opportunities in a range of other sports, as does King’s High. The site’s sporting provision allows for cricket, hockey, netball, athletics, rounders and more. It has meant a significant learning curve for Duncan, but he is making full use of the wonderful knowledge-sharing opportunities across the industry. “I’ve been asking questions of everyone – left, right and centre – and having taken on staff with experience has been important too.” Those whom Duncan has been

“A healthy sense of expectation is what we all need to give of our best. The whole team wants better, and we have been empowered to achieve it. We’ve got a fantastic team and some great machines. The only way I can see us going is up.” 26 | Turf Matters | JULY-AUGUST 2019

grateful to learn from include Gary Barwell, of Edgbaston, current Groundsman of the Year, and Andy Richards, Head Groundsman of Shrewsbury School. “Before getting the job and starting, I did a lot of reading up and Andy Lee, Head Groundsman at Birmingham Training Ground, helped me to get in touch with various people which was extremely helpful.” Since taking over, Duncan has brought some of the approaches adopted for a regular match days at a top football club into life at the Foundation. “Working at the training ground involved a busy schedule; there was a non-stop nature to the job and an awareness that you have to finish your job before someone else can start. That approach really helps a team to thrive and is one the revitalised team here has fully embraced.” he explained. Ah, that team. It has doubled in size and is now six strong: it says much for the endeavours of the team before Duncan’s arrival that even now they have to work flat out to maintain a site measuring 11 hectares all in. Having received everything he has asked for over the first year of his time in the job, Duncan has put himself under pressure to deliver on all fronts. “A healthy sense of expectation is what we all need to give of our


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best. The whole team wants better, and we have been empowered to EQUIPMENT achieve it. We’ve got a fantastic team and some great machines. The only • Vicon Ps335 spreader way I can see us going is up.” • Triple adjustable frame The 3G rugby pitch, with its bright with brush, tines + slitter blue border, sits at the heart of the • Infinicut FX 262 Floating facility and Duncan has ensured that Head with cylinder, ultra some of the new machines purchased groomer and power were made to ensure that expensive brush cassettes new pitch was cared for throughout its • Infinicut FX 34 lifespan. “You must invest in machines • Husqvarna battery tomaking maintain the 3G because they aren’t products: grass trimmer, turf matter making www.turfmatters.co.uk turf matter www.turfmatters.co.uk maintenance free. A lot of hours go hedge trimmer, pole into keeping it up to a top standard.” saw, leaf blower, “With the industry growing so fast, backpack battery and I like to take advantage of the new portable battery technologies coming out. Our initial • 4x dennis pro 34R athletic and rugby markings are done • Sisis Combirake by GPS, saving time and making • Sisis Flexibrush sure the markings are perfect.” Listening to Duncan, he comes over as unflappable and organised and when he says that his ambition for where the school will be in five year is to have standards as high as is possible – “I really think we will be up there” – you can’t help but believe him. The good news for Duncan is that when it comes to ambition – being on the desirable side of 30 – he will have plenty of time to fulfil them.

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Demand for British sprayers leads to team expansion • Sisis Rotorake tm1000 • Sisis Osca 3 • 2x John Deere 4066r Tractors (one with front loader) • Amazone LTD GHD 180 • Team sprayer club 600L • John Deere Gator TE (export) • Charterhouse Vertidrain 2220 • 1 Dennis PRO 34R and the other three are arriving in September. • Toro Reelmaster 3575-D Ultra-Light Fairway Mower.

Team Sprayer has extended its Ely factory to cope with the increase in demand for their British-built sprayers. The Cambridgeshire-based factory extension has increased the overall internal space for production and storage by almost 3000 square feet and includes a mezzanine level which is dedicated to the assembly of pedestrian sprayers for the groundcare market. “We have experienced a big increase in demand for our groundcare sprayers over the past few years and we are producing larger numbers of our trailed and mounted agricultural sprayers, quite simply we require more production and testing space,” said Managing Director Danny Hubbard. “The expansion has enabled us to increase our assembly, fabrication and storage areas within the factory and alter the flow to increase efficiencies and also, importantly, enabled us to recruit two new members of staff who have joined the production team,” revealed Danny. “We design all our sprayers to be efficient and robust and with excellent boom stability and as a UK manufacturer, we have the ability to react quickly and build bespoke sprayers for our customers. I believe this is why we have experienced this growth in sales and in people asking us for a sprayer to meet their exact requirements, hence the need to expand the factory. It’s a very exciting time for the business.”

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GLENEAGLES/SOLHEIM CUP

Here come the girls

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The Sugerbabes memorably made the proclamation “Here come the girls” in 2008 but it is equally applicable for this year’s Solheim Cup which is being held at Gleneagles, just five years after the Ryder Cup was played over the same Perthshire course. In a huge year for Gleneagles, one in which the famous Resort celebrates the centenary of its King’s and Queen’s courses, Scott MacCallum caught up with Scott Fenwick and Craig Haldane, who will be ensuring that the ladies enjoy the same stunning conditions as their male counterparts.

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GLENEAGLES/SOLHEIM CUP

the ladies will be playing a shorter version of the course which means spectator viewing areas will be different.

Scott Fenwick

One of the finest sporting events in 2014 was The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. Paul McGinley led the best ever prepared team from either side to ease to victory against Tom Watson’s USA. The weather played ball and the golf course proved to be a wonderful stage, showing itself and Scotland off to their finest. Five years on it is the turn of the ladies with the Solheim Cup being played over the same PGA Centenary Course. It makes Gleneagles the first European venue to have played host to both iconic team events and joins an exclusive club along with Muirfield Village and The Greenbrier to have Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup on their CVs. Neither of the two American legendary courses, however, had such a short

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time between the two events. That has been a great help to Gleneagles as much of the infrastructure put in place for The Ryder Cup is still there and being fully utilised for this September’s event. “Going into the Ryder Cup there were so many things to be done – remodelling holes, changing greens, installing the SubAir System while much of the hard standing which was put in for hospitality units is still under the ground so those are things that don’t have to be done for the Solheim Cup,” explained Scott Fenwick, Gleneagles’ Director of Agronomy and Estate. That’s not to say that work has not been carried out in preparation for the Solheim Cup. “We’ve made some small tweaks here and there. Some more swails around a couple of the greens, a new dry stone wall in front of the 5th while we’ve rebuilt a bridge to the left of

the 16th,” said Scott, who has been at Gleneagles for 39 years, having started as a young apprentice greenkeeper. One of the elements to which the team is giving some thought is the fact that while the Ryder Cup men played the course from its tips, the ladies will be playing a shorter version of the course which means spectator viewing areas will be different with some of the back tees being used to allow spectators to be as close to the action as possible. “We have targets for firmness and green speed but we will be looking at that closer to the tournament. We worked on getting the highest numbers we could for the Ryder Cup but it will be slightly different for the ladies as they will be playing longer irons and we want to give them a chance of holding the greens. We are working with Catriona Matthew (Europe’s Captain) on this.” One major change since 2014 is that The Gleneagles Hotel has changed


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ownership between times. Up until 2015 it was owned by the giant drinks company Diageo but it was then bought by Ennismore for around £150 million. “Ennismore took what was already an iconic and luxurious destination, and – through a multi-million pound investment programme which has transformed the hotel and estate over the last three years – have reignited the sense of fun, glamour and excitement that was associated with Gleneagles nearly 100 years ago,” said Scott. New investment into the golf courses has enabled another change to be enacted, one which had shown its worth during the Ryder Cup. Traditionally Gleneagles operated two greenkeeping teams, one for The King’s and The Queen’s, and the other for The PGA Centenary course but for the Ryder Cup everyone operated as one team, working out of the central compound. “Part of our motto was ‘One Team’ and

it worked really well for the Ryder Cup, so we wanted to recreate it for our on-going practices but having to operate out of two compounds was difficult. However, we are now in the middle of redeveloping the central compound which will be large enough to take the entire team of 45.” Key to this unification exercise is Craig Haldane, who joined the team as Golf Courses Manager last year. “We wanted one person to control the whole team and went out into the marketplace to find someone and we were very fortunate to get Craig, who came here from Dubai, with experience of managing and building big teams and the guys have really taken to him. It’s a different climate for him but he is learning quickly.” The new compound will be a home for a different brand of machinery with Gleneagles signing a deal to run with John Deere equipment. Double A, from Cupar, in Fife, is

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the supporting dealership. Having found himself promoted out of the role which saw him become a greenkeeper in the first place Scott has found another way to keep his hand in. “A neighbour’s gardener passed away and I went over to give him a hand and have carried on. He’s got a Toro 3250 so I use that,” smiled Scott. As for the Solheim Cup, Scott is really looking forward to what should be an excellent and busy week. Busy because the Junior Solheim Cup will be played on the Monday and Tuesday on The King’s Course so it will need to be prepared to the highest standards while The Queen’s course will also be open for play throughout the week too. “We have a new team for the Solheim Cup as there has been quite a bit of change since 2014 and the Ryder Cup, we have sent quite a few of the current team off for tournament experience at various events,” he said. }

In recreating this photo from Gleneagles 100 years ago, you’re struck by the number of similarities

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GLENEAGLES/SOLHEIM CUP

“We want to create a structure whereby we could have individuals come through the Gleneagles system and then pass them back into the industry as better professionals and people.” } When Craig Haldane stepped through

Craig Haldane

the gates of Gleneagles to take up his new position he knew he was also stepping out of his comfort zone as part of his new challenge. “In terms of maintaining turf I’ve always said that agronomy is agronomy and you adjust to your site specific areas. As long as you have a good grasp of the core principles (soil management, irrigation, nutrition and irrigation) you can apply this to your site specific situation. I have obviously been involved in warm season grasses for the majority of my career. We overseeded with cool season grasses on an annual basis but this is off course a different scenario with managing an entire facility with cool season being the primary grasses, and off course in a very different climate” said Craig, who admits that this was a key reason for taking the opportunity and to step out of a comfort zone and take on a new challenge. “I felt I’d done everything I could where I was and needed a new challenge,” said Craig, who had been

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Director – Golf Course Maintenance for Dubai Golf, overseeing the day to day operations at Emirates Golf Club and overseeing operations at Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club immediately before Gleneagles “I’d already had a conversation with my leadership team two years before and we had a great succession plan in place so it was a case of finding the right opportunity. So when this one popped up it was one of those rare moments in your career when you think. Hang on a moment – that’s special.” Craig had heard by word of mouth and then spotted the advert. “I left it for a while to begin with and had a long discussion with my wife to make sure that it was what we wanted to do. We thought let’s put my hat in the ring and see what unfolds. This led to a few conversations and ultimately an invitation to visit the site and meet some of the leadership team for a formal discussion about the opportunity.” What had attracted Craig in the first place was the talk of

change and restructuring. “Change management, and leadership, are passions of mine and that is where I thought I could make a difference at Gleneagles – reshaping the team and developing people is what I’m all about,” said Craig, “We want to create a structure whereby we could have individuals come through the Gleneagles system and then pass them back into the industry as better professionals and people.” Craig’s first experience of Gleneagles was in 1999 while he was Deputy Superintendent at Fancourt Hotel and Country Club Estate in his native South Africa. “Gleneagles Golf Developments were consulting there at the time and through my relationship with their consultant Jimmy Kidd I was invited to visit Gleneagles as a young aspiring greenkeeper. I did so during one of my holidays and was blown away back then at the facility as a whole. As superintendent in Bahrain, I was fortunate to be invited to play in the Scottish PGA Championship Pro-Am by one of my distributors so got to experience the facility in and around 2002 for three consecutive years.” Much has been achieved in the last year with Craig working hand in glove with Scott Fenwick to put the new working processes in place, as well as to learn from each other. “I’ve taken the chance to learn as much as I can from Scott on the history of the site. He knows every blade of grass and knows to the year, to the day even, when something changed and my job has been to get as much of that information out of him as I can so that I can learn each aspect of the property as quickly as possible” “We haven’t agreed on everything which is healthy. We haven’t argued but we’ve had good debate and he’s convinced me to take a different path on some things and I’ve convinced him to take a different path on others. As a team it works really well.” It is fair to say that it is the people aspect of the job which makes Craig tick. “My mantra is 80% people, 20% turf


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and the reason I say that is that without the right people, culture and engagement you can’t achieve anything on the golf courses. Allowing the teams ideas to flourish is a key part of what I am about and giving them the opportunity to share and implement is empowering” He has met with each of his colleagues to establish strengths, where there is potential to develop and identify targets and options and Craig is delighted that they have made several internal promotions within the team, with more to come. “We have a really good core group here now and have managed to recruit some additional team members who have come in and complemented the guys who are already here,” said Craig who is a great believer in making the team members feel valued. “Everyone on the team needs to feel valued and important. Sitting down with someone and giving constructive feedback and sharing with them how you believe they have what it takes to succeed goes a long way. Asking them where they see themselves in three or four years and giving them the comfort that we can work towards giving them the skills, training and development needed to make it happen, creates a sense of belonging and ownership to their journey. We are a part of their career journey and our jobs are to help develop them into future turf managers, if that is what they desire to be.”

What excites Craig is the potential over the coming years. “It’s far from perfect and we have so much room to grow, improvements to make within our own structure, role profile and standard operating procedure enhancements included, but the wheels are in motion and now with a full year under my belt I feel confident to push the “go” button and watch this team blossom! The ‘One Team’ ethos was something which Craig was particularly keen to put into place. “Because of the nature of the two compounds you did have situations where greenkeepers would pass and not know each other particularly well or fully appreciate what the others were perhaps doing on their golf courses. That was foreign to me having previously managed our 45-hole facility at Emirates Golf Club under one roof so to speak and as a single unit. We had dedicated teams per golf course, but were certainly all working towards a common goal irrespective of which golf course was being worked on” The new system sees each First Assistant taking ownership of a course while reporting to Craig, supported by Assistants, Senior Greenkeepers, Greenkeepers, Apprentice Greenkeepers and Seasonal Greenkeepers who work throughout the property to deliver to expectations. Craig has prepared courses for a multitude of European and Ladies

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European Tour events but the Solheim Cup will be a higher profile event than any he has been involved with before. “I’m excited for the team! There will be a lot of eyes on the property that week and it has given us a specific target to aim for this season. With our dedicated team being supported by 50 volunteers to assists us in preparing not only the PGA Centenary for the Solheim Cup, but also the King’s Course for the Junior Solheim Cup and our Queen’s Course being open all week for corporate guests and members alike, I am confident we have the resources required to pull it all off. “We will have prepared for all eventualities and trust that the weather plays ball so that everyone can enjoy what promises to be a special week. “We are already making a few tweaks when it comes to presentation and have some ideas on how we want to present the golf courses. We look forward to finetuning a few innovations as we prepare to deliver our entire facility to the highest standards possible for all to enjoy!”

“There will be a lot of eyes on the property that week and it has given us a specific target to aim for this season.” Turf Matters | JULY-AUGUST 2019 | 33


BATTERy POWERED EQUIPMENT

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Endless possibilities with cordless technology

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ECHO’s new HT-58V2AH offers petrol performance from a battery powered hedgetrimmer. The 58V hedgetrimmer has the same professional build quality as ECHO’s petrol models and is both powerful and tough. The power the Lithium-ion battery powered motor produces is equal to a petrol model’s output. No effort is required to get started. There’s no mixing of two-stroke, filling a power tool’s tank or storing fuel. Low noise, no emissions at the point of use and low vibration make this hedgetrimmer ideal for working in areas such as schools and nursing homes, parks, nature reserves and organic gardens. The hedgetrimmer is lightweight and yet with enough power to tackle tough hedge cutting jobs. There’s a run time of 90 minutes and it comes with a quick charger to help reduce down time. The standard 2Ah battery is fully charged in just thirty minutes. The battery powers a robust, brushless electric motor that promises to be long lasting and maintenance-free because only non-wearing parts are used. ECHO’s awareness of how their products will be used is reflected in the hedgetrimmer’s design, with its ergonomic front handle for greater manoeuvrability and user comfort. Vibration in this model is also exceptionally low compared to petrol powered machines. The 610mm double reciprocating, precision cut blades make light work of trimming and cutting. They give a cleaner cut, regardless of the angle, and are self-sharpening due to the action of the double-sided cutting teeth. Anti-jam technology also ensures continuous cutting. The extended reach of the blades }

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BATTERy POWERED EQUIPMENT

part of the new 58V range } reduces user

effort and the need for frequent repositioning, which means greater productivity for the operator. The ECHO HT-58V2AH hedgetrimmer is part of the new 58V range which also comprises a lawnmower, chainsaw, power blower and trimmer, with two battery types: 2Ah or 4Ah for greater run time. The hedgetrimmer uses an interchangeable Lithium-ion battery system which enables one battery to fit multiple tools.

A force to be reckoned with by Paul Hicks, Product & Marketing Manager at STIHL GB Battery powered equipment is emerging as a force to be reckoned with within the groundscare industry. Although petrol and diesel engine powered equipment is very popular, cordless technology is evolving at a rapid pace and is becoming more and more sought after. And it’s simple to see why. For professional users, perhaps one of the greatest benefits of cordless technology is the reduced vibration. Extensive use of handheld power tools can cause HandArm-Vibration syndrome and cordless tools lower vibration levels can help reduce these risks. With this in mind, an increasing number of groundscare managers are moving towards battery powered machinery due to its lightweight nature and reduced vibration during operation, making tools more comfortable to use. In addition to being comfortable to use and having less vibrations, battery technology also offers noise reduction benefits. For many, groundscare and the loud noise of equipment in operation

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go hand in hand. However, when a hospital or a school requires mowing or other grounds maintenance work to be completed with minimal disturbance caused, this can become increasingly difficult for contractors to manage. This is where cordless technology separates itself from petrol and diesel alternatives. Some manufacturers have developed cordless technology so quiet in operation that no ear defender protection is required, keeping any disruption to an absolute minimum and allowing ground maintenance work to be carried out in any location at more convenient times. There are also huge maintenance benefits to be gained through the use of cordless technology. A batterypowered system keeps things very simple and removes the possibility of significant machine downtime that can occur on petrol or diesel engines through servicing or general wear and tear. With cordless technology, there are fewer components to go wrong - all you need to do is make sure the battery is fully charged and you’re ready to go work. Some manufacturers even offer interchangeable batteries between products, so every last drop of battery power is put to use and allows the

highest levels of machinery uptime. Furthermore, the use of battery technology eradicates the need to store and use costly petrol. With fuel prices ever on the increase, professional users are feeling the financial impact of a constant need for petrol, whereas with battery power this is less of a concern. In addition to noise reduction and simple maintenance, cordless technology can go along way in helping reduce carbon footprint. The UK maintains strict engine emission guidelines on Non-Road Mobile Machinery to limit air pollution from the likes of chainsaws or mowers. With this in mind, the use of battery-powered products can have a significant impact on the long-term environmental protection of your surrounding work environment and ensure even the toughest emissions regulations are met. The time has arrived where battery powered products rival that of petrol or diesel alternatives, so cordless technology is here to stay and its popularity continues to rise. Offering exceptional performance, ease of maintenance and use, quiet operation and carbon footprint reduction, cordless technology offers the groundscare industry more options than ever before.


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Pellenc UK launches new and interactive website Pellenc UK has launched a brand new dedicated interactive website which showcases its vast range of market leading battery powered equipment. The new look website is available to view on all desktops, laptops and mobile devices and will be the online reference point for all things Pellenc. Pellenc was the world’s first manufacturer to introduce lithiumion technology in portable power tools and has developed the most comprehensive range on the market leading the way in terms of performance, lightness and durability. The extensive range of Pellenc products from chainsaws, pole saws and hedge cutters to grass strimmers, brushcutters and mowers are available to view in the product section on the website providing a more detailed view of each product. Users of the site can also check up on news, price lists, developments and events from Pellenc, as well as being able to find their nearest dealer. Furthermore, current Pellenc users will have a wealth of resources at their fingertips with easy access to brochures, product tips, spare parts information and how-to videos. To iew the all-new website please visit www.pellencuk.com

GOODWOOD:

Looking for your next move? Turf Recruit from Turf Matters has quickly become the largest resource for ALL industry jobs. With EVERY job in one place you’ll never miss an opportunity again. Simply browse hundreds of jobs and find the one for you!

Are you an employer looking to recruit? l Featured in the Turf Recruit section of the website – our most visited page l Featured in our monthly dedicated jobs e-shot – sent to over 26,000 industry professionals l No time limitations – the job remains listed online until you FILL IT l Regular social media promotion of your job to an audience of over 7,000 and growing

To find out more contact Marie Anderson

Email: marie@turfmatters.co.uk Telephone: 07841 927500 Turf Matters | JULY-AUGUST 2019 | 37


TORO WATER MANAGEMENT

Irrigating during by Robert Jackson from Reesink Turfcare The year 2018 was certainly when irrigation systems across the country had their work cut out. It delivered the hottest weather the UK had experienced since 1976 and in some parts of the country months passed without rainfall. Many clubs react to extreme weather by seemingly panicking that their irrigation system isn’t up to scratch, and then as soon as the weather’s back to normal quickly forgetting the frustration. My advice would be, don’t! Have an extreme weather programme in place and invest now to ensure that if the same happens again, you’re prepared. An irrigation system is designed to supplement rainfall, not replace it. Even the most advanced and expensive irrigation systems may have dry and wet areas, particularly during prolonged dry spells. The proper irrigation management goal is to provide water based on the wetter not drier areas. When the system has completed its cycle, and if needed, dry areas can be supplemented with spot or hand watering, typical, for

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example, with greens and surrounds. It’s long been recognised that a blanket application of water is not only wasteful, but during a heatwave sometimes not possible, and tackling this in practice is now made easier with improved sensor technology, control software and advanced sprinkler designs. The ability to accurately tailor water application to precise conditions and requirements can help ensure turf will respond as expected in relation to its localised environment. Measuring changes in moisture, temperature and other variables such as salinity is not new. What modern technology can do is make this monitoring not only easier but integrate it into how the irrigation system is controlled. Take the wireless Toro Turf Guard soil monitoring system. The system employs self-contained sensor units that can be positioned without the need for wiring. Each sensor sends signals to monitoring software, repeaters and a powerful base station allowing large areas to be covered. Data is recorded and enables more informed adjustments to irrigation schedules to be made. As well as watersaving benefits, accurate monitoring can help alert users to the conditions that can lead to other problems, drainage issues and turf stress. As the wireless sensors are not static, they can be moved around to easily optimise their positioning, taking into account changes in shading on a pitch through to moving to a different position on a green. It follows that soil monitoring systems were primarily developed to prevent over- and under-watering. Equally important, information recorded by soil monitoring provides

valuable data over extended periods. Using this information can help ensure an irrigation system can be adapted over time to make the best use of applied water, with the potential to decrease consumption and help maintain sward health. Computer-based software, such as the Toro Lynx system, can be employed to deliver not just irrigation control, but detailed information when it’s in use. With portable tech, it allows the irrigation system to be ‘interrogated’ while other tasks are carried out. For example, those systems programmed to set off the sprinklers late at night can be monitored remotely, with the software detailing which sprinklers are running and for how long. The system can be set up to work with soil sensors, to include Turf Guard wireless units, providing an alert when the sensor picks up a change in moisture that may need attention. This provides the information to support the decisions required to programme the irrigation control system. The problem with an outline like this is that it can over simplify what’s on offer. The Toro Lynx programme is advanced enough to provide full mapping of a golf course, but equally at home looking after a single stadium football or rugby pitch. It is designed to fit user needs and be upgraded to take advantages in developing technology. In conclusion, a modern irrigation system can deliver not just the correct volume of irrigation water to specific areas of turf, but also provide detailed information that can be of great help in monitoring overall turf health. The best irrigation systems optimise available irrigation water to reduce costs and will deliver reliable and upgradeable performance over its lifetime, no matter what the weather!


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“The system can be set up to work with soil sensors, to include Turf Guard wireless units, providing an alert when the sensor picks up a change in moisture that may need attention.� Turf Matters | JULY-AUGUST 2019 | 39


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CompaCt Tractors

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COMPACT

TRACTORS Simple to operate and user friendly Rupert Price, Managing Director of Price Turfcare, the UK importers of the Ventrac compact tractor gives his thoughts on the use of compact tractors in the groundscare sector. When preparing this feature, I was asked if contractors and local authorities are looking to upgrade to higher powered tractors to handle more productive implements, or do compact tractors still play an important role? As you would expect I’m biased towards the use of compact tractors as it’s my core business, but with the amount of sales generated early this season, I’m speaking from a point of strength. United Utilities is the north west of England’s water supply company and they’ve just purchased five

Ventrac compact tractors with a selection of attachments. They are being used to maintain the reservoirs and riverbanks, where large tractors with heavy implements would not be feasible due to their combined weight. Our 8-wheel compact tractor produces minimal ground pressure and is much kinder to the turf in these sensitive areas. As far as technology is concerned, Ventrac products are quite basic and for a good reason. They are very simple to operate, userfriendly and that’s one of their attractions. We do have slope meters for safety reasons, but apart from that and some quick couplings for the hydraulic-driven accessories, that’s about it. One of our clients, CGM in Norfolk, who are a major contractor across East Anglia, have tracker systems on all their vehicles, but that’s for fleet management purposes rather than machine operation. With compact tractors comes versatility;

they can be fitted with numerous attachments and our Ventracs can swap between implements in less than a minute, due to their unique mounting system. If you can change that quickly, then it’s more likely that you will! If it takes an age to mount other implements, there’s a danger that your tractor and chosen implement becomes a ‘one-trick pony’ because it’s too bothersome and time-consuming to swap out one attachment for another. With more than 30 different attachments, the Ventrac 4500 is undoubtedly one of the most versatile compact tractors on the market today. It can be used as a mower, with five different mowing decks for various types of turf or as a trencher, aerator, stump grinder, edger, leaf blower, snow blower, snow plough, gritter and more, so there is no reason why it cannot be used year round.

‘This is a great machine for the operator…’ The CGM Group (East Anglia) Ltd, based at Downham Market in Norfolk, has purchased a Ventrac package from Price Turfcare. Supplied by local dealer Ernest Doe & Sons, the package includes a Ventrac 4500 compact tractor and Finishing deck. Managing director Tim Glover and his wife Julie started the business over 35 years ago carrying out grass cutting for the local authority in West Dereham and now provides grounds maintenance, landscaping, arboriculture, facilities management and pest control services to commercial and domestic customers throughout East Anglia. The Group employs over 180 staff working on a wide range of contracts from local authorities, agricultural processors, housing associations, schools and sports clubs through to one-off hard landscaping projects.

CGM Group has bases in King’s Lynn, Norwich, Cambridge and Peterborough and regularly undertake projects in Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Suffolk. Explaining the rationale behind the purchase of the Ventrac package, Operations Director Marcus Glover said: “We were in the market for a new machine for our contracts with large factories and distribution centres and saw the Ventrac at LAMMA. I spoke to Rupert Price and he arranged a demonstration, which took place in February. It performed really well and we took delivery soon after. At the moment it is used exclusively for these mowing contracts, but we’ll be looking at the Power Rake and Power Brush attachments later this year as we can see more applications that will suit our business. It’s certainly a versatile machine.”

Adrian “Ady” Seymour is the principal operator and has been with CGM for 12 years. “This is a great machine for the operator; it’s comfortable, highly manoeuvrable and very easy to use. The hand controls are intuitive and the articulating frame means we can get into tight areas, reducing additional strimming time,” said Ady. “A tank of fuel lasts all day and once I’ve finished, I can clean it down with a light pressure washing. The deck flips up almost vertically, so that helps with cleaning, greasing and blade changing. Under the bonnet everything on the Kubota engine is readily accessible and I can

easily access the radiator to blow it clear with a compressed air line. “With its eight-wheel configuration it’s also very safe on slopes and good in wet conditions. The Finishing deck leaves a really nice finish, so much so, that I’ve been complimented by senior managers at several of our customers when I stripe up the roadside verges and entrance roads to their sites.” Turf Matters | JULY-AUGUST 2019 | 41


CompaCt Tractors

Reliability and comfort are key requirements

Paul Lawrence and Robert Naunton at Woodbridge Golf Club with their Iseki TG6495

ISEKI UK & Ireland, distributors of ISEKI compact tractors and mowers, alongside their local dealer Bartram Mowers, have sold a TG6495 to Woodbridge Golf Club, in Suffolk. Head Greenkeeper, Paul Lawrence, was under no illusion as to what the replacement of his previous tractor would be. “We have had our ISEKI tractor for over 30 years now, with impeccable reliability and no issues throughout its lifetime, the only reason for replacement

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was the age of the machine. “We contacted our local dealer rep Adrian Kersey who arranged for a demonstration of the TG6495 IQ. It is vital for me that equipment is fully tested while on demonstration and all the staff provide feedback before a decision is made. “Reliability is, of course, the unquestionable selling point of an ISEKI but also the comfort from the ISO mounted platform and category 2 cab with air conditioning, especially when staff are spending all day working with the tractor. The addition of a stereo, dealer fitted from Bartram Mowers was most appreciated too!” The PTO, when selected, automatically engages when the implement such as an aerator is lowered and stops automatically when it is lifted up. The linkage automatically raises, and the PTO stops if a driver accidentally selects reverse when the aerator is in the ground, eliminating any potential accidents or damage to the equipment. Robert Naunton, one of the

greenkeepers at Woodbridge Golf Club was extremely enthusiastic about the club’s latest acquisition. “The IQ transmission allows for effortless fingertip gear changes helps to ensure the same speed is maintained making it ideal for aeration, allowing me and the other staff members to be more efficient and effective with our turf maintenance regimes. There is also excellent visibility when working with implements from the driving seat”. Paul added that it was used for trailer work, brushing fairways and aeration the 1580kg lift capacity of the TG6495 IQ is perfect for what we require and the 47hp engine is more than powerful enough across the undulating course. “The after sales service from Bartram Mowers has been excellent. We have kept our options open regarding a front loader for the machine which we can add at a later date as the tractor is supplied with loader controls and connections as standard. “When it comes to a compact tractor you cannot go wrong with ISEKI; reliability and quality at its best.”


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making turf matter

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Reverse drive of Antonio Carraro tractor is ideal 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 and 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 said.

Simon Baxter, manager at Grasslands has dealt with Kirkland UK for years. He said: “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.

KUBOTA AT A GLANCE n Kubota are well known for their range of groundcare machinery, particularly for their tractors which are built for premium efficiency, comfort and versatility. n The B2 Series tractors take compact tractor capability to the next level with user-friendly operation and outstanding productivity. n Equipped with high quality Kubota engines and transmissions, they deliver the extra durability and reliability you need for a range of jobs. n With the deluxe integrated cab and ROPS, the B2 Series tractors bring more comfort and luxury to any task. The integrated cab delivers spaciousness and an expanded field of vision for luxury that’s beyond their class. The B2 cab is designed for comfortable operation and usability. All levers, controls and compartments have been carefully laid out for the best ease of use and accessibility. n Whether you’re mowing, landscaping or doing light utility work, the B2 Series is the best choice for durability, versatility and comfort. Turf Matters | JULY-AUGUST 2019 | 43


SEEDS

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Creeping bentgrass for the masses? When the first generation of commercial creeping bentgrasses (Agrostis stolonifera) was introduced to the UK in the 1970s, it was quickly decided that they were only suitable for golf courses with adequate budget, manpower and machinery to meet the species’ high maintenance requirements. Fast-forward 40-50 years and a significant proportion of the UK greenkeeping profession still believes that to be true. But there is a growing number of greenkeepers and advisors who have successfully embraced the latest generation of ‘superbents’. Paul Moreton of Germinal invited independent golf consultant Kevin Munt to discuss his experiences with creeping bent over the last 40 years and to add some impartial weight to his advice that creeping bent is the best option to convert your greens away from poa annua… “In the 1970s there was a trend amongst golf course architects to specify creeping bentgrasses in an attempt to replicate the high-quality greens that had successfully been created in the States and Spain,” Hampshire-based Kevin Munt of Kevin Munt Golf Consultants explains. “These new courses were looking for a competitive advantage and believed that creeping bentgrasses would guarantee a quality putting surface. Unfortunately, the necessary greenkeeping skills, equipment and manpower required to manage and maintain varieties such as Penncross 44 | Turf Matters | JULY-AUGUST 2019

and PennLinks simply weren’t available to the majority of UK clubs, resulting in those first-generation cultivars tarnishing the reputation of subsequent varieties for several decades afterwards.” “The greenkeeping community still struggles with the preconceived misconception that creeping bentgrasses are an alien species that need to be managed more intensively than alternatives such as browntop bents or fescues, but that’s simply not true,” Paul Moreton continues. “The latest generation of creeping bents are much better suited to UK conditions, with cultivars such as 007 DSB easily able to cope with a range of climatic conditions including extreme cold. As an industry we readily accept the improvements in machinery, fertiliser, chemicals and other seed varieties, so why do we still view creeping bent with the same suspicion as we had in 1970s?” Throughout his career, Kevin has travelled the world researching the best practice use of creeping bents and building up the knowledge which led him to being employed as a consultant in many major course builds. “I’d like to think anyone giving advice on any product will have put as much time and research into it as Kevin has,” Paul adds. “Golf courses, now more than ever, need to embrace modern trends and look at all options to ensure they stay future proof.” The way golf courses are managed has advanced significantly since the 1970s and 80s, with the current

generation of greenkeepers already adopting the type of nutrient, overseeding, mowing and aeration practices that creeping bentgrasses require. “There really is no requirement for the majority of clubs to invest in any additional time, machinery or inputs to make varieties such as 007 work effectively on their greens,” Paul continues. “Most greenkeepers are already knowledgeable enough to make creeping bentgrasses a viable option, but there’s still this unsubstantiated fear that they’ll need to treat creeping bents differently and that they’ll be more costly to maintain.” By following a few simple steps, Kevin believes that many UK courses could use creeping bents to improve the quality of their greens: “The most important thing is to be clear about what it is you’re trying to accomplish and, once you’ve decided to introduce creeping bents, to stick to that decision. It makes no sense to try a new species unless you’re 100% prepared to commit to that decision and give the species a proper chance. Chopping and changing from one species to another every other year is a false economy as you’ll never achieve a complete species conversion and the greens will suffer as a result.” Kevin also recommends getting the club committee’s full support before initiating any changes: “Write down a three to five-year plan explaining how you intend to improve the course’s putting surfaces and present }


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SEEDS

“The vast majority OF MY CUSTOMERS have subsequently gone on to over-seed their main greens using 007, having been impressed by how quickly it establishes, how rapidly it out-competes other species, and how it still thrives even under the extra stress we’re putting on greens these days” } that to the club committee so that

they understand what you want to achieve and how you propose you’ll implement those changes. Get their buy-in from the start and it should be much easier to overcome any hurdles you encounter further down the line.” Kevin also advises any new converts to creeping bentgrass to take relevant agronomic advice, or where that is lacking, to seek peer group support: “Whilst there’s a lack of validated agronomic support for creeping bentgrasses in the UK, the number of greenkeepers who have successfully adopted the species to good effect is increasing. Use your contact book along with social media and the

internet to do your homework and to the learn from those who are already using creeping bents successfully.” Paul Moreton agrees with this sentiment: “I’m already working with more than 40 golf clubs in the North West of England where 007 DSB has been introduced successfully. A good proportion of these greenkeepers are happily sharing their tips and advice with each other and are an excellent source of knowledge for future converts.” Many of the greenkeepers Paul is working with have based their decision to introduce creeping bentgrass on the results of their own trials: “A lot of my customers were quite cautious at first, so they trialled 007 DSB on their putting

green to see how it performed under their specific management regimes. The vast majority have subsequently gone on to over-seed their main greens using 007, having been impressed by how quickly it establishes, how rapidly it outcompetes other species, and how it still thrives even under the extra stress we’re putting on greens these days with height of cut and extended playing seasons. “The misfortunes of creeping bentgrasses in the 1970s, 80s and 90s should be a dim and distant memory, but they’re not,” Paul continues. “Fortunately, those failures happened a long time ago and greenkeeping practices have advanced a lot since then. For modern courses and forwardthinking greenkeepers, new varieties such as 007 DSB are undoubtedly much better suited to UK conditions, yet they require little or no extra resource to manage than any other species.”


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Keeping Limagrain in the family After a recommendation from his father Keith, Alex Exton, head groundsman at Witham Hall in Lincolnshire, claims he has not looked back since using a range of MM grass seed from Limagrain UK. Keith Exton has enjoyed a long and prosperous career in the turf industry and Alex, long inspired by his dad, is now carving his own successful path in the industry. However, he admits that he would be foolish to not soak up some of the wisdom Keith has accumulated over the years. Alex is entering his ninth year at the prestigious Witham Hall, a thriving boarding and day school for boys and girls aged 4-13 years. The school is committed to providing a first-class education and sport is a fundamental part of the curriculum – which is where Alex comes in. Alex has a busy schedule which sees a tight turnaround in transforming the pitches for the relevant sports in between terms. As you can imagine, the playing fields experience an incredibly high amount of usage all year round but Alex claims that his use of Limagrain grass seed helps the turf to withstand such high wear.

Throughout his tenure at Witham Hall, he has relied on Limagrain’s MM50 for the cricket squares and Action Replay for all of the outfields which includes the rugby, hockey and football pitches. MM is one of the most respected brands in the UK sportsturf and amenity industries and is relied upon at top sports grounds throughout the UK and beyond. In particular, MM50 is ideal for cricket squares and outfields. This hard-wearing mix has rapid germination, very fine leaved appearance, high shoot density and is tolerant to very close mowing, along with high disease resistance. Limagrain’s Action Replay belongs to the company’s Designer range of amenity grass seed and is an excellent mixture to use when renovating winter sports pitches. It will establish very quickly producing a dense, hard wearing sward for all heavy-duty sports areas. According to Alex, both of these products provide him with everything he is looking for in a grass seed. “We try to put Action Replay down in the spring and autumn as part of

our renovations. I have just recently purchased a disc seeder so I tend to put it down between 20-25g/m2. “On the cricket square it all depends on what I’m doing. If I have cleaned a track out in the playing season and want to reuse it, I will groove out and apply the product with the pedestrian push spreader. When I’m over-seeding the whole square, as part of our end of season renovations, I must admit that I put plenty on. I will normally apply two bags with the pedestrian spreader, to fall into the grooves made by the scarifier and then I will go over it in four directions with our SISIS Variseeder, again with another two bags. “I know it sounds a lot but our square is on a slope, so when watering, the water can run and take a fair bit of seed with it. I just think that doing it this way works really well for our site. “The MM50 is excellent for the cricket – it stands the sort mowing, the heavy rolling and recovers incredibly well. Both products perform consistently well and I never have any bad results or problems. It’s as simple as that really – they are good solid products.”

Turf Matters | MAY-JUNE 2019 | 47


SEEDS

Rigby Taylor helps to clear the air with Carbon4Grass seed mixes Rigby Taylor has announced a range of Carbon4Grass grass seed mixtures that combine increased levels of carbon sequestration potential with desirable amenity characteristics for a range of sports and general amenity applications – enabling turf professionals to reduce their carbon footprints while maintaining high-class playing surfaces. For example, the Carbon4Grass Sports Field Renovation and Super Root mixes demonstrate the potential to sequester at least double the amount of carbon over comparative mixes. Low Maintenance, which includes slower growing cultivars with higher carbon ‘scores’, have also been identified by Rigby Taylor to help decrease the frequency and therefore mitigate the impact of mowing. With the extreme global weather events of recent years universally attributed to climate change and exacerbated by an increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, there are progressive choices and positive actions the groundscare industry can take to help develop and sustain a more enjoyable and healthy green infrastructure, says Rigby Taylor. One is the adoption of Carbon4Grass mixtures. Grass absorbs CO2 for use in photosynthesis and while it is known that one hectare of natural, open grassland can sequester (lock up) up to 2.5 tonnes of carbon per annum, these new amenity cultivars sequester relatively more carbon. A Carbon4Grass study at the Top Green Breeding & Research Station in France commenced in 2005 with the initial aim of identifying differences in the carbon sequestration values of managed amenity grass species. The study revealed significant differences between species in their capacity to store and sequester carbon under the same environmental conditions (depending on local environmental conditions and maintenance inputs). The study progressed to assess a range of cultivars within species and, over time, new cultivars from the breeding programme were entered into the study. Rigby Taylor has used the knowledge gained to create a dedicated range of Carbon4Grass seed mixtures for sports, golf and landscape applications.


making turf matter

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RIGBY TAYLOR CENTENARY

Rigby Taylor celebrates 100 years and looks for continual improvement As Rigby Taylor this year celebrates its centenary anniversary and its position as one of the key players in the development, supply and support of turf care solutions to the UK’s sports and amenity sectors. Executive Chairman Chris Clark is adamant that all customers – at facilities of every size and of every kind – will in the future continue to benefit from the company’s ethos of continual improvement. “We will not be resting on our laurels as the company enters the next 100 years. We will always seek to offer effective turf solutions based on value-for-money products that are supported by a team of turf professionals who offer unrivalled turf care technical knowledge and expertise – all underpinned 50 | Turf Matters | JULY-AUGUST 2019

by superb levels of delivery and customer service,” explained Chris. “Irrelevant of the volume and frequency of the orders placed, every customer will always be treated similarly. Every customer is important, whether it’s a volunteer cricket groundsman who orders a few bags of grass seed each year or an elite stadium where, for example, we work together on integrated turf maintenance programmes with all the products and expertise that will entail. “Going forwards, the end result has always to be the same – firstclass products offered at the most cost-effective rates, delivered on time and backed up by a highlyexperienced, professional team.” In the eight years since he picked up the company reins and instigated

a number of strategic, across-theboard improvements – “not least by addressing the historical view that Rigby Taylor is a company that deals only with the ‘top-end’ of the market” – Chris reflects that the ‘hearts and minds’ process of the company ‘reinventing’ itself included a complete appraisal of the product range. “The industry [customers] have diverse needs; the demands of a village bowls club are different to those of, say, a Premier League ground. They will all have differing agronomic requirements and, of course, different budgets. What we had to do was to ensure we could provide highly effective solutions for all possible situations that would continually exceed our customers’ expectations – a one-stop shop for turf solutions, if you like.


making turf matter

Grass Seed breeding trials at Les Alleuds research faclity

“Indeed, while our product development – and brand/product additions via acquisitions or commercial partnerships – is an ongoing process, sustainability is increasingly to the fore. With certain products/chemicals being withdrawn, it is vital that sports turf is fitter and stronger to fend off the problems. Prevention is always better than cure, and this is where our product development and applications expertise come in. The demand for these attributes will only increase and we are ensuring that we are best placed to }

Executive Chairman Chris Clark and, below, Rigby Taylor’s original Certificate of Incorporation, dated 24 July 1919

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RIGBY TAYLOR – A CENTURY OF INNOVATION From its incorporation in 1919, Rigby Taylor has been at the forefront of providing products and services to the sports and amenity turf industry and is now the largest national turf solutions provider both in market share and in the number of nationwide technical sales representatives. Originally serving horticulturalist and gardeners in the north west of England, the company launched its first ‘Taylor’s’ fertiliser in 1930 and quickly became the leading supplier of sports turf products in northern England. Throughout the 1970s and ‘80s, it established branches in the midlands, southern England and Scotland. Rigby Taylor was the first sports and amenity distribution company to introduce its own range of branded turf protection products, and it entered into long-term supply partnerships with major international research-based organisations which saw Rigby Taylor as the perfect conduit for promoting and supplying products. Many of these partnerships continue to operate today. Innovation is what sets Rigby Taylor apart from its competitors. As a seed agent in its own right, the company works closely with its seed breeding partner, Top Green, to develop technologically-advanced grass seed mixes. The company also leads the way in introducing super granulated fertiliser formulations as well as its unique Impact paint formulations, which have received the Queen’s Award for Innovation and Enterprise. The company was also the first to introduce autonomous robotic and GPS pitch line markers to the industry. Most recently, Rigby Taylor was selected by Bayer to launch the new fungicide active Exteris Stressguard, and by Rain Bird as its authorised UK irrigation products distributor for golf, landscape, sports pitch and domestic systems, as well as becoming the exclusive UK distributor for Bionema’s NemaTrident nematode solutions for the control of chafer grubs and leatherjackets larvae. Turf Matters | JULY-AUGUST 2019 | 51


RIGBY TAYLOR CENTENARY

making turf matter

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Identifying problems, providing solutions

} meet that now and in the future.”

Importantly, too, he says, customer expectations are increasingly growing: “Gone are the days of across-the-board advance ordering; many users now request products on a weekly basis, partly to enable them to respond to the weather (with an application of wetting agent or fertiliser, perhaps) and to enable them to better manage their budgets. So, we must always be in a position to satisfy users’ needs.” While improvements in technology are impacting Rigby Taylor’s endto-end procedures, starting with the 100,000 square foot central warehouse (at Stallingborough, Lincolnshire) and

“Crucially, this dedicated, well-trained and focused team is highly knowledgeable and competent…” 52 | Turf Matters | JULY-AUGUST 2019

the use of industry leading, next-day delivery parcel and pallet carriers as well as the recent, significant investment and revamp of its customer service operation, Chris adds that “nothing can replace the human touch”. “You can buy everything you want via the internet, including our products, but we are certainly not ‘box-shifters’. We place great store in our nationwide team of 50 technical representatives – who are supported by five dedicated products managers covering all sectors including fertilisers, grass seed, chemicals, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, line marking, wetting agents, biostimulants, soil improvers, flower seeds et al. “Crucially, this dedicated, welltrained and focused team is highly knowledgeable and competent, the majority of which are from a practical greenkeeping/groundsman background. Their aim is to create effective ‘partnerships’ with customers to consistently provide appropriate solutions to continually improve turf quality – and to add value to the products with their expertise.

Partnerships are a two-way thing based on trust and an understanding of each individual site in terms of its micro-climate and usage. For example, it’s all very well looking at online photos of turf diseases, but a personal visit offers so much more; not least a fresh pair of eyes which can often quickly identify not only the symptoms but also the cause of a problem. “We are problem solvers; we fully understand the synergy of how each product interacts with another and with the turf. “At many sites there are many variables that will impact product efficacy and it takes a lot of knowledge to deliver the correct maintenance programme. As a company, we will continue to ensure our people have that expertise,” said Chris, who is extremely proud of how Rigby Taylor has grown over its century in existence. “Throughout our 100-year history Rigby Taylor has never stood still and especially during recent times has moved forward in strides. My ongoing quest is to guarantee that we’ll continue to do just that!”


www.turfmatters.co.uk CRICKET GROUNDCARE AWARDS

making turf matter

Cricket Groundcare Awards 2019

Get your entry in

hat groundcare individuals put into chools and universities in the UK and Ireland.

Every nomination Scan withfor a special Certificate of your phone to nd the Club/School and go straight to pecial presentation at a nomination n.

page:

d to nominate a or visit

We are all revelling in the wonderful cricket which is on display up and down England at the moment – at least between washouts! – and one thing has stood out. The quality of the pitches has ensured the talents of batter and bowler have been allowed to flourish. And what’s more it barely gets a mention. That is the ultimate accolade. Quality groundsmanship is taken for granted and it is a tribute to the Head Groundsmen and their teams who have put so much work into their beloved pitches and grounds in the lead up to the World Cup and coping with whatever weather they face. They are at the top end of the profession but they all started somewhere and that is why I’m so pleased that Turf Matters, along with CricketWorld, is supporting

the Cricket Groundcare Awards, which are recognising the tireless effort and excellence of those groundsmen and women starting out in the profession, winding down after a long career in groundscare or purely and simply maintaining cricket pitches for pure love of it

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors Rigby Taylor, Dennis and Sisis, Iseki and Boughton Loam who have combined to ensure that the Awards are possible and that the Award Presentation to be held at Lords in September is an occasion for all involved to remember.

Turf Matters Forum – have your say If you fancy airing your views, want to talk shop or need some advice, why not discuss it on the Turf Matters Forum? We’ve had some great discussions on the Turf Matters website and across our social media platforms and we love hearing your views. Now you can talk about what you want, when you want, on the Turf Matters Forum. How can I take part? You need to register to use the forum. It’s a simple process that will let you post and reply across all the topics. Just go to the website address below…

www.turfmatters.co.uk/forum Turf Matters | JULY-AUGUST 2019 | 55


BUYERS’ GUIDE

BUYERS’ GUIDE Statistics reveal scale of

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

AGRONOMY SERVICES MOWERS

FERTILISERS AND PESTICIDES

AERATION

BUYERS’ GUIDE GRASS GRASSSEED SEED

success of Saltex 2015

n Agronomy Audits n Advisory Services n Project Management n Construction over 70% of visitors said that there was an The 70th SALTEX exhibition exceeded all n Budgets after an independent audit excellent mix of products on display. Table 1 expectations www.gregevansmg.com shows what visitors were looking for. confirmed the exhibition as the largest turf www.campeyturfcare.com Call: 07951 157208 or email: Exhibitors at SALTEX 2015 reported management event in the UK with a total Telephone: 01260 224 568 gregevansmg@gmail.com 0118 Email: info@campeyturfcare.com huge3914540 success at the show, suggesting that of 8,714 unique individuals attending. Now, jamie@advancegrass.com the visitors were a very powerful group of the visitor surveys have been flooding in – buyers. With deals being done there and revealing a fascinating and in-depth insight GOLF COURSE TYRES then on the show floor, it’s no surprise to see into the visitor profile of the show. MANAGEMENT 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 AGENTS £100,000. over 70% of the visitors rated their overall WETTING Golf Course Management As for the type of facilities that the SALTEX experience as being good, very SOIL SURFACTANTS Consultant visitors were responsible for, it was great to good or excellent. ORGANIC FERTILISERS see such a wide array of visitors (table 2). Over Golf 65% Course of visitors said that they Advice; LocumSALTEX Greenkeeper Service; Visitors also found the more central attended to source new products, 01233 633267 Projector Management; Practical location of the NEC to be more accessible services suppliers, while 20% wanted UK.aquatrols.com Genuine with 70% stating that the new location was toSolutions make thefor most of theProblems free educational www.billymcmillanassociates.co.uk LINE MARKING either good or excellent. Within the halls of LEARNING LIVE seminars and to receive Fer�lisers | Bios�mulants | We�ers 07774through 632747 the IOG’s Ask the NEC, visitors favoured the more compact one-to-oneTel: advice over 50 professional products setting with over 70% rating the layout of the Expert feature. With so much on offer the event either good or excellent. at SALTEX, there was something for MACHINERY MACHINERY 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 Toro Reelmaster 5010-H with PowerMatch quality of attendees – further enhancing their objectives. Horsepower SALTEX as the must attendFleet event Line of theMarkers Ltd With such a large number of visitors on Demand year. attending SALTEX to source new products World leaders in the field of SALTEX 2016 will be heldline atmarking the NEC, and services; they certainly came to the paints and machinery. Birmingham on 2 and 3 NovemberTel: 2016. For573535 right place. The exhibition is a great way 01684 more information visit www.iogsaltex.com to launch and showcase new products and sales@flmuk.com www.flmuk.com www.velvit.co.uk

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TC1038 Turf Matters Buyers Guide.indd 1 ing by

AGRONOMY SERVICES

17:35

on Demand

• Turf Cutters • TurfBringing Aerators technical

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• Core Collectors

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IRRIGATION AGRONOMY SERVICES

ble 2

56 | Turf Matters | JULY-AUGUST 2019

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EQUIPMENTleading natural and artificial sports turf

Turf Matters | February-March 2016 | 33

04/03/2016

Table 1

SPORTS TURF CONTRACTORS

specialists. From TC1038 Turf Matters Buyers Guide.indd 1 21/12/2015 17:35 initial concept and planning through Contractors to construction, Good Grounding in Sport drainage, renovation Bringing technical and maintenance.

Agripower

n Agronomy Audits n Advisory Services n Project Management 14:05 n Construction n Budgets www.gregevansmg.com Call: 07951 157208 or email: gregevansmg@gmail.com

excellence and service towww.agripower.co.uk turf and groundcare Tel: 01494 866776

Agripower Contractors, Broomfield Farm, Rignall Road, Great Missenden, Bucks HP16 9PE

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Table 2 Turf Matters | February-March 2016 | 33


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Tea Break Teaser an

swers Answers 1. Ski jumpe r Eddie Edw ards; Offiah; 3. Sw immer Ian Th 2. Rugby League player Martin orpe; 4. Leed Hunter; 5. Fa s footballer st bowler M Norman ichael Holdi 7. Cricketer H ng; 6. Footba arbhajan Sin ller Fi gh; 8. Golfer 9. American Jack Nicklau tz Hall; Footballer O s; J Simpson; John Eales; 10. R 11. Cricketer Steve Waugh ugby Union player William Perr ; 12. American y; 13. Snook er player Ron Footballer 14. Cricketer nie O Ashley Giles; 15. Footballe ’Sullivan; r Darren And erton

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www.turfmatters.co.uk Turf Matters | JULY-AUGUST 2019 | 57


COMMENT

making turf matter

I’ve been clearing out our family home recently and came across some of my golf clubs from the late 60s and early 70s. How on earth did we ever manage to get the ball off the ground, never mind play the game to any level at all? My golf started on my home town course, a nine hole affair on the side of a hill. There was only one hole approaching 400 yards with the majority of par-4s around the 280-300 yard mark with tiny greens acting as the main defence. I would love to say that the club was the making of me but it

58 | Turf Matters | JULY-AUGUST 2019

was very much the reverse. 70% of shots were played off a side slope which didn’t contribute to a consistent swing, and with no pro to keep me right, I developed a very individualistic swing which failed to operated in the same manner on consecutive shots and my weak mind meant that whenever that swing “got it together” for a few holes the little voice in my head would ensure I’d screw up soon enough. The other thing which didn’t help was that I cycled to the golf course either with my bag strapped to my back or, and thinking back this probably wasn’t the wisest, pulling my trolley! I wasn’t always in the best condition to play the tricky little par-3 1st once I’d got to the course. But back to my house clearing. I even found my old 5 and a half iron, which I thought was the future when I got it about 1973. I suppose you’d call it a hybrid nowadays. It had a brown metal shaft which had been significant progress on the wooden shafts which I’d played until not long before then. The club faces looked absolutely tiny and very thin, the grips equally thin and made out of some sort of canvas. Looking at the clubs it sent a shiver down my spine just recalling those mishit shots on a cold frosty morning which would send shockwaves through my hands. But the funny

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thing is. I found some old score cards and my play in those days, was no worse than it is now. With all those game improvement clubs and balls my scoring was equally inept and I found it incredibly depressing. Just how much money have I wasted in the intervening 50 years on what I thought was going to be the making of my game? I could give you a rough idea, but Mrs Golfing Nobody occasionally reads this Blog – if the latest issue of Women and Home has failed to arrive – and I’m pretty sure I would be consigned to the dog house if she were to find out. Truth be told the mortgage could have been paid off three or four years earlier! I even found some 1.62 balls still wrapped in their bright red or black foil paper. Those were genuinely the days. Each ball was a little present to yourself although you knew that within a few holes, if you were to avoid an out-of-bounds or a water hazard, that very present would be smiling at you in a most sinister manner. Remember those days? The other big change from those days came on our feet. We started with rubber golf shoes – remember those wonderful locker-room aromas? – before gravitating to leather. They were like playing a round with two lead weights wrapped around our socks. Not only were they incredibly heavy, but they were loud – metal spikes don’t allow for being unobtrusive – while they also required extensive on-going maintenance. Spike cleaning and replacing and regular treatment of the leather. It was a time consuming task. So as I drive to the club now, and lift my lightweight bag out of the back of the car and stroll to the 1st tee I can’t help but think about the younger version of me. And wonder where it all went wrong. *As told to Scott MacCallum


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Turf Matters July / August 2019  

In this issue... Exclsuive feature with Duncan Toon at Warwick School, Gleneagles Solheim Cup feature, battery powered equipment, water mana...

Turf Matters July / August 2019  

In this issue... Exclsuive feature with Duncan Toon at Warwick School, Gleneagles Solheim Cup feature, battery powered equipment, water mana...

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