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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

September-October 2019 | £4.95


Rush! What a

THE OPEN How Royal Portrush’s Graeme Beatt and his team took on golf’s greatest challenge LINE MARKERS: SAVE TIME AND MONEY



19 The latest innovations

30 Bring your turf back

42 Tackling tough terrain

making turf matter




Summer to remember Don’t forget Sport…

WeThe arelast nowtwo edging towards end of anotherfor remarkable sporting months havethe been a nightmare many people in certain summer. suspected thatmy cricket be taking centredealing stage and boy parts ofWe the country and heartwould goes out to everyone with were we right. the aftermath of unprecedented flooding and devastating erosion. The best case scenario for many is months of temporary England very nearly stumbled during the qualifying stagesliving. of theFor others, lives never return to awhat World Cup, butwill recovered to make finalthey thatwere. will go down in the While the fate of sports grounds and golf clubs might seem annals of not only cricket but sport as a whole. It truly was remarkable, inconsequential in the face of such hardship, we at Turf Matters have although I’m not really the person to pontificate. a particular empathy with everyone who has seen years of agronomic husbandry washed away–in thethat space few weeks. On holiday, literally I “watched” the final and of of thea equally remarkable It must be hoped that banks – the financial institutions, not the Wimbledon final – through the wonders of the live BBC updates. If things which edge rivers – take an understanding anything waiting for overflown the next bit of news come through was asapproach nerve to sporting facilitiesbeing which have been unable to service loans as a wracking as actually there. result of them being unplayable and so unable to bring in revenue. SoAs I’dwe likehave to congratulate Karl andWinter all the Olympics, other venue groundsmen seen with the recent sport has such a who coped with a range of weather for the World Cup and to much Neal and galvanising effect on society and can be the catalyst for so good, it for is imperative sporting facilities Championship. are not forgotten when the histhat guys another superb Wimbledon promised assistance is being allocated. I’d like finishOn onthe a sad note, and the horrible accident which issue of however, improving sporting facilities, we have been befell 23 year-old golf greenkeeper David Briffaut, while on holiday invited by Briggs & Stratton to become involved in itsin Pitch Benidorm. Essex-based David was doing nothing untoward as he slid for to Win competition, which provides a £3,000 makeover down a waterslide, butisitjudged ended to in be tragedy and life injuries. what the Under 18s changing football pitch in most need – find out more on pages 16-17. I am on the judging David is now home but sadly his life won’t ever be the same again. panel and visits will be made to a shortlist of deserving What is pleasing, however, is the success of the David Briffaut Just pitches soon. We will be looking not so much at the Giving page, which has already exceeded its initial target. He will need DESSO but the desperate! a lot of support going forward so please don’t let the page rest at its On a final note, I am thrilled by the reception that the current £86,500 figure. first issue of Turf Matters received. Many people have taken time say much they the look ofand thewe David isto one ofhow the sports turf liked industry’s own magazine and how they enjoyed the articles. We’re all look after our own. pleased you found it to your liking and we will work hard 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


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.........................4-14, 22, 36, 48, 52 News .........................................................4-15 Tea Break Teaser. . .....................................16 Pitch to Win........................................16-17 Line Marking. ......................................19-20 Mowing .................................19-22, 24-27 Royal Portrush...................................24-29 Tea Break Teaser ......................................29 Aeration.................................................30-36 Gleneagles..........................................30-35 Hand review held tools. ...............................39-41 BTME ......................................36-41 Robots....................................................41-44 Diary of a Golfing Nobody.................42 Groundcare awards................................51 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 PERFECT: Royal Portrush in The Open spotlight, pages 24-29 Next magazine distributed October 2019 Subscribe FREE to our e-zine: Details at www.turfmatters.co.uk

Turf| SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER Matters | March-April 2014 Turf Matters 2019| 3 |3


STRI GROUP OPEN HONG KONG BUSINESS STRI Group has continued its rapid global expansion with the opening of its latest design and consultancy office in Hong Kong. STRI Hong Kong Ltd has already secured major contracts including providing the turf solution to the new multi-purpose Kai Tak Sports Park and as design partners to upgrade the famous Yuen Long Stadium, plus other significant local projects. Experienced turf industry professional, Peter Rasmussen, has joined STRI Hong Kong as lead consultant and will be assisting the local industry utilising the full support of STRI’s global expertise. The new office joins a global network of STRI Group companies based outside of Europe, including China, Qatar and two facilities in Australia, and is planning on further expansion in the near future. STRI HK will work closely with Tizan Turf Science, in Shanghai, who are the leading turf construction and renovation business in the region. “STRI continues to expand our global offering as the demand for cutting edge and sustainable sports surface solutions increases. We are always looking for talented people and new businesses to work within the Group,” said STRI Group director, Lee Penrose.

making turf matter

Rotary mower shows off latest design technology at Spurs’ training ground At the first in a series of launch events, Groundsmen and Greenkeepers were invited to Tottenham Hotspur FC’s training facility to see the new Infinicut SM34 Rotary Mower. Using the very latest design technology, MTD design engineers have produced a machine that has rotary cut quality to ensure the best possible results regardless of turf conditions. The SM34 follows the same design philosophy as the rest of the Infinicut range, offering best in class performance with an emphasis on a modern, clean power source. It takes its mode of traction from the reel mower, renowned for its durability, paired with a deck designed on the back of MTD’s considerable years of rotary experience. Designed for professional users, the mower can be used to cut grass in the traditional sense or used as a stand-alone vacuum. In cut mode, the new rotary offers a striping effect usually only achieved with a professional reel mower. The 34” cutting width combines better productivity and lightweight design, which negates the issues of tire rutting and wear of a larger ride

on mower. The blades are made from premium-grade, high carbon steel for better performance and extended life, and come pre-balanced to exhibit less vibration. As with the rest of the fleet, the machine offers a number of parameters which can be tailored to particular requirements. With the accuracy of height of cut that users often work to in mind, the SM34 has paralleling and deck pitch adjustment features as standard. It can be specified with either an engine generator or lithium battery as a power source. In battery mode the SM34 is quieter in operation,

AMENITY SEED SPECIALIST SAM HORNER JOINS LIMAGRAIN Limagrain has appointed Sam Horner as its new amenity seed specialist covering the south of England. Sam has been involved in the sports turf industry for over twenty years and brings with him a wealth of experience. It all started at his beloved


Gloucester Rugby where he first became familiar with sports turf maintenance. He then went onto study sports turf at college and after graduating he landed a job at Tewkesbury Park Golf Club. Sam quickly rose through the ranks and was promoted to deputy course manager

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before accepting the position of Course Manager at Gloucester Golf Club. Five years ago he moved into sales and marketing within the amenity industry but he continues to ‘work on the tools’ by offering matchday support for the grounds staff at Gloucester Rugby.

“It was a very easy decision – all the way through the process I knew that if I was offered the job then I was absolutely going to take it. Limagrain is an outstanding company, in terms of its product portfolio and its reputation,” said Sam.

environmentally friendly and can provide significant fuel cost saving when compared to other rotary mowers. “The Infinicut Rotary was a natural progression from our cylinder mower range,” said John Coleman, Head of MTD Specialty Products UK and the man who conceived the Infinicut range. “This is a combination of our own ideas but at the same time we’ve listened to our customers. The culmination is a machine that takes a known concept and places it firmly in the modern era by introducing wireless parameter adjustment via our proprietary InfiniApp.”


making making turf matter turf matter www.turfmatters.co.uk

Iseki to expand network of dealers ISEKI UK & Ireland is looking to expand its dealer network over the next few years to further increase the customer service and support to end users across the UK and Ireland following an extremely successful 2018. Managing Director David Withers expressed his delight with the company’s performance over the last year since the direct branch opened. “Since setting up the company in January last year it has been very exciting to see the volume of dealers who would like to represent ISEKI and support our growing sales and share gain across the sectors we serve. “The addition of the new dealers alongside our dedicated, longstanding partners has been instrumental in driving the market share and increases in machinery sales over the last year. We wish to continue with this for many years

HEADLAND APPOINTS PETER BLACKABY Headland Amenity has appointed Peter Blackaby as Regional Technical Manager for the Eastern counties. Peter has held a number of Greenkeeper and Course Manager positions throughout his career, building up a wealth of knowledge on the tools and techniques required to maintain top quality playing surfaces. More recently he has worked independently as a franchisee of a lawn care company. “When I saw the position come up, I just had to go for it – it was a fantastic opportunity to join, in my opinion, one of the leading innovators in the fine and sports turf industry,” said Peter. 6 | Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019

to come. Our aim is that everybody should be within 30 minutes of an ISEKI dealer as part of our strategy to specifically target the private homeowner’s who don’t have the tendency to travel far when looking to purchase a new compact tractor or mower for their property,” revealed David. “We continue to have openings for dealers in some areas throughout the UK and Ireland which are still underserved. We would be delighted to discuss opportunities with interested parties who share our commitment to excellent customer service and relationship building”. Farm & Garden Machinery Ltd based in Bridgnorth are an established ATV/ Quad dealer with over 25 years’ supporting their customers. Alongside this the company has a continuously growing lawn and garden division supplying many well-known

brands to their local area, the ISEKI range enables them to offer a higher range of diesel mowers to their customers. Based in Cupar, in the heart of Fife ISEKI has appointed Meldrums, another wellestablished lawn and garden machinery dealer wishing to extend their range to include a diesel mower offering. Forth Grass Machinery is a family run business near Fife with machinery, parts and service. With the addition

of the ISEKI range it enables them to reach a further customer base requiring higher specification diesel models. Hereford Mower Services based in the west of the county have over 40 years’ experience, offering a comprehensive range of products they have now extended their portfolio to include ISEKI machinery.

Ferris mowers scoop awards The team behind the distribution of Ferris mowers in the UK are celebrating a double victory. Not only have they been awarded a Certificate of Commendation for the Ferris ISX800 mower at the Royal Highland Show Technical Innovations Awards, but also a ‘Commended’ award for the Ferris 400S through dealer Andrew Symons Ltd. at the Royal Cornwall Show. 2019 sees the first time that the team behind Ferris mowers in the UK, TH White Machinery Imports, held a stand at the prestigious Royal Highland Show and with the launch of the new Ferris ISX™800 at the end of 2018, the team felt it fitting

to enter the model into the Technical Innovations Awards. Clive Carter, pictured, collected the certificate on behalf of the company. Innovative features of the ISX800 include the all new ForeFront doublewishbone Suspension System – a first in professional mowing. This next generation suspension system incorporates four control rods, keeping the front caster bearing vertical

through the full range of travel and enabling the mower deck to accurately follow the movement of the front wheels for a smoother ride and precision cut. The Ferris 400S was recognised on the stand of groundcare machinery dealer Andrew Symons at the Royal Cornwall Show as part of the annual Machinery Competition.

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Partnership results in Jacobsen fleet Perfection is the minimum requirement at Wassenaarse Golf Groendael in The Netherlands, and a new fleet of Jacobsen mowers will be contributing towards impeccable greens and immaculate fairways. This new fleet of machines continues the association between Head Greenkeeper, Marco Wouters, Jacobsen and local dealer Pols Zuidland, and Marco considers his relationship with both to be a contributing factor behind his decision. “Besides the reliability of the machines and the quality of cut, I would like to express that the continuous support of Pols Zuidland is equally important because without the right service we cannot do our job. “The feeling of belonging to the Jacobsen family is also something to consider. I regularly visit the GCSAA Golf Show, and

I meet a lot of Jacobsen staff who are always happy to talk through my questions. So, the support from both Jacobsen and Pols Zuidland was a reason to make another seven-year commitment and hopefully another seven after that.” To achieve a daily stimp between 11 and 12 on the bent grass greens during the season, and around 10 during the off-season, he purchased two Eclipse 122 pedestrian mowers fitted with bi-directional groomer systems and one Eclipse 322 triplex with 15 blades. “One of the main reasons we chose the 122 is that we could install lithium batteries, which allows us to mow quietly in the mornings without disturbing the houses that surround the course. For presentation and practicality, the decision to choose the groomers was obvious because

Jacobsen’s are known around the world for their ability to do a great job, for me, there is no other name/brand that’s doing it better. “We aim to hand mow the greens seven days a week, but there are occasions when we can’t, and that’s why we got the Eclipse 322. “Our course is situated in a drinking water reservoir and is environmentally prone to contamination, so being

able to eliminate the use of hydraulic fluids and oil without having to sacrifice on cut quality is excellent for us.” It is a common sight to see golf buggies dressed in club colours and logos. All of the new mowers, three Cushman Hauler Pro’s, Smithco sprayer, bunker rake and XL roller, have been sprayed black and had Groendael’s logo applied, receiving a very positive reaction from members.

Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019 | 7


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Uni-Scratch keeps surfaces superb Campey Turf Care Systems’ latest innovation, the UniScratch, is a solution for those looking for a professional and effective maintenance of natural and synthetic grass surface. It can be used for organic matter removal on natural grass hybrid carpet pitches when carrying out annual renovations. Regularly maintaining synthetic pitches is vital because it prevents infill compaction. When a synthetic surface is regularly used the infill can become lodged and cause uneven

hard and soft areas that eventually leads to drainage issues and flattening of the artificial fibres. To prevent this, the Uni-Scratch has been developed to provide essential maintenance by de-compacting and redistributing the infill. The machine can also be used to evenly distribute the infill in synthetic carpets during installation. idverde UK, who manage a growing portfolio of sports pitches and facilities on behalf of several local authorities, is the first

Luke joins Cub Cadet Luke Mortimer, the owner of Ace Machines, in Milton Keynes, has become the youngest member of the Cub Cadet dealer network in the UK. Just 21, Luke has bought the dealership, formerly known as RGC Engineers. He is no newcomer to the world of garden machinery and started his journey, aged 17, when he established his own business, ‘Mort’s Garden Machinery’. The company ran successfully for two years until Luke became aware of a long-established business owner looking to retire. Luke approached the owner of RGC Engineers and agreed terms. The deal went through in December of last year and now Luke owns the

8 | Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019

company, with four members of staff by his side. The dealership, now renamed Ace Machines, is part of Cub Cadet’s 200plus UK dealer network. “When I became self-employed at 17, I could take the gamble and jump into the unknown as I still lived at home. An increasing number of young people are now starting their own businesses instead of heading towards standard employment – it’s more aspirational,” said Luke. “As I’m so young, people immediately judge me on my age and think my knowledge isn’t what it should be, yet once they get talking to me, they soon realise how wrong first impressions are. I don’t think of it as an insult, it’s just that the industry is dominated by older people, it’s a barrier I’m having to break through.” In the three months Luke has owned his dealership, he has hired two members of staff to run his office and a further two to assist him in the workshop. “Having a major brand like Cub Cadet is a significant benefit to the business,” he said.

company in the UK to purchase the Uni-Scratch. “We install and maintain a lot of hybrid carpet surfaces and we are always looking at new machines and how they can improve our operation.

We bought the Uni-Scratch specifically to speed up and improve our maintenance procedure and it has met the aims we had for it,” said Operations Manager, Steve Tingley.

AQUATROLS SPONSORS AUDUBON INTERNATIONAL Aquatrols has taken the next step in their conservation efforts by becoming a sponsor of global environmental leader, Audubon International. This partnership further signifies Aquatrols dedication to conservancy within the industry and will help fuel the growth of the company’s recently launched non-profit, The FairWays Foundation. As a sponsor of Audubon International, Aquatrols will contribute to the funding of various stewardship focused projects led by the organisation. “Promoting conservation within the turf industry and like-spaces has always been something that is of importance to our company’s mission” says Matt Foster, Aquatrols President and CEO. “Audubon International’s influence on stewardship within our industry is something that we are happy to support and we’re eager to partner with them in bringing The FairWays Foundation to its full potential.” Aquatrols’ partnership with Audubon International will provide the company with additional expert insight on how to bring The FairWays Foundation’s mission to fruition as well as how to better help implement conservation efforts within the company. “Aquatrols has a reputation for conservation and stewardship within the turf industry that we are proud to be associated with” says Christine Kane, Audubon International CEO.

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Meet Campey’s new top team Julia Campey has been appointed Managing Director of Campey Turf Care Systems, with former MD, Richard Campey, taking the position of Chairman. As part of the company restructure, John Campey and Lee Morgado have been appointed directors and Neil Armstrong, who joined Campey in 2010 as Accounts Manager will take up the position as Company Secretary. Julia has been a key figure at Campey since 2004 and has been the sales and marketing coordinator for the last ten years. In this role, she has developed the corporate presence of the company throughout the UK, Europe and other parts of the globe, including the USA, Australia and Asia. She has organised exhibitions as well as educational tours for overseas visitors and provided invaluable

support to the sales team in the pursuit of excellence in product development, sales and back-up services. Richard is stepping aside from his previous role and handing over the day to day activities to his daughter, but

he remains an integral part of the company, and he will still be involved in many sales and educational events. “I’ve had a lot of successful years at this company, and I’m very proud of what we have achieved. Julia has been a part

TOP TEAM: from left, Lee Morgado, Richard Campey, John Campey and Julia Campey

of that success for many years and has extensive knowledge of our product range and the industry, and I’m very confident in her ability to take Campey forward,” said Richard.

Longer lasting plant health To reduce nutrient leaching on their sand-based surfaces, AFC Bournemouth’s Head of Grounds, Ian Lucas, has switched to Headland Amenity’s H-Cote Mini fertiliser and is delighted with the longevity and improvement in plant health achieved. This new controlled-release formulation is the latest addition to the club’s nutritional programme which, for the first time over the 2018/19 season, was fungicide free. “When I joined AFC Bournemouth two years ago, I inherited a feeding regime which included a variety of products, so I reviewed everything,” explained Ian, who heads up a grounds team of seven. “One of the first things I looked at was the conventional fertiliser being applied on the training ground and academy pitches. I spoke to

Headland Amenity’s Sports Turf Specialist Alex Hawkes to try and find something longer-lasting, and he recommended we try H-Cote.” The new range fills the gap between traditional outfield and fine turf products and offers three to four month longevity due to the inclusion of high levels (70-91%) of controlled-release nitrogen from Poly sulphur coated urea. This provides release characteristics that are gentle and sustained, with minimal risk of flushing or excessive growth. “So far, we have been impressed with the strong, healthy colour and more consistent growth.” Alex has also worked on fine-tuning some of the other elements of Ian’s programme, including Headland’s 20/20/30 enhanced plant health strategy. Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019 | 9


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100 years of Toro golf

DLF Seeds at Goodwood The Goodwood Estate relies on mixtures from across the DLF Seeds portfolio to deliver results site-wide. With a remit including two 18-hole golf courses, a cricket ground, gardens and farmland, a grass airfield, and a motor circuit, General Manager of Sports Turf & Grounds, Phil Helmn, is certainly kept busy with such a momentous breadth of surfaces to prepare. “On any one day I, and anyone of my full-time grounds team of 35, could be working on golf course renovations, or the next coordinating ground preparations for Goodwood’s Festival of Speed,” said Phil. “What’s really interesting is how every environment has such different performance criteria so I’ve taken a lot of guidance and advice from companies and distributors, DLF being one of them.” As a long-standing user of seed from DLF’s Masterline and Johnsons Sports Seed mixtures, introducing those across the estate was one of Phil’s first exercises. “Ryegrass is the primary species used because of its hardwearing qualities and quick germination making it suitable on a wide variety of sports and fine turf areas. On our cricket wicket, Johnsons J Premier Wicket mixture has been working really well.” J Premier Wicket features a fourcultivar blend of Clementine, Monroe, Dickens and Chardin perennial ryegrass and delivers outstanding shoot density and high disease resistance. “Developments on one of the wickets will hopefully see that prepared to a higher spec with the J Premier Wicket in the hope of heading towards county level play. “On our golf greens we’re on a bent grass overseeding programme and on the grass airfield we’re using the ProMaster 70 mixture from Masterline.” 10 | Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019

In 2014 Toro marked 100 years in business, but five years on, the company is celebrating its centennial milestone serving the golf industry. The company made its entry into the golf sector with product innovation by developing the industry’s first motorised fairway mower for the Minikahda Club, in Minneapolis. By mounting five lawn mowers on the front of a farm tractor, Toro created the motorised golf course equipment industry and in doing so started a century of listening closely to its customers, developing innovative products based on feedback and available technology, long-standing customer relationships, and

establishing a distribution network to deliver great local service and support. Reesink Turfcare, or Lely Turfcare as it was, has been part of that journey as the sole Toro distributor in the UK for golf and sports fields equipment and irrigation products for almost half that time. “Without a doubt, we owe much of our success to the Toro employees who have helped shape the golf industry with countless innovations,” said Grant Young, General Manager of Toro’s Commercial Business. “As we celebrate a century in the golf industry, we simply want to say a big thank you to our customers and channel partners

for continuing to put your trust in Toro people and products.” David Cole, Managing Director of Reesink Turfcare, revealed that the first Toro product to hit UK shores was the Toro Greensmaster 3 at the beginning of the 1970s. “That innovative ride-on product was born from Toro’s established golf focus and projected the brand into the UK as a producer of high quality, innovative golf equipment in the UK. “We’re extremely proud to have represented Toro and its product values for so many years and we also thank our UK golf customers for their long-standing loyalty, confidence and trust,” said David.

GKB Vstrong for Reading FC Championship league club, Reading Football Club, have been using their GKB VS160 Vstrong for the maintenance of their impressive pitches for over a year now. Adam Grantham, Grounds Manager at the club, explained after trialling many other machines, the Vstrong completely stood out. “It’s performance has met our expectations which was a key factor in us choosing the machine. GKB is well known, for their excellent range of machines, for all day to day use in our industry,” said Adam. As the GKB Vstrong is

produced in the same manner as the GKB Combinator, the machine showcases the technology, operating speed and the reliability of GKB machines demanded by professionals. Adam states that Reading FC have been using

their machine for deep sward clean out or a light verti cut. The beating heart of the machine is the CombiRotor with generically developed 3mm carbide scarifying blades, allowing easy attainable operating depths of 5cm.

Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019 | 11


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Turf Science Lite continues to inspire

ICL and Syngenta held a series of Turf Science Lite events at Aston Villa FC’s stadium Villa Park, Slaley Hall Golf Club in Northumberland and Liverpool FC’s academy facility in Kirkby. The series, which showcases the latest research information and technological innovations in turf agronomy, attracted over 200 delegates including turf managers, groundsmen, agronomists, greenkeepers and course managers. Syngenta Technical Manager, Glenn Kirby,

12 | Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019

kick-started each event with an insightful presentation ‘Life After Propiconazole – an outlook on future disease management strategies’. Glenn explained that good practice to promote turf health is going to become ever more important with the loss of important fungicide actives. “The loss of propiconazole is a concern for maintaining turf quality,” warned Glenn. Dr Andy Owen, ICL’s International Technical Manager, presented ‘The Devil is in the Detail’ in which he talked about controlled release fertilisers and the technology which goes into developing each product. Andy focussed on how to select a CRF in a crowded marketplace and the questions that could be asked about products; for example, what is the % coated material in the bag? How are the claimed longevities calculated? Also featured in the presentation was the Pearl technology found within two new SierrablenPlus products and how these can be best used to support sports turf renovation and establishment. Daniel Lightfoot, Syngenta’s UK and Ireland Business Manager, spoke of the ‘Art of Application’, explaining how best to get the active ingredient where you want it.

Henry Bechelet, ICL Technical Manager for UK & Ireland and Simon Taylor, ICL Product and Business Development Manager for Turfgrass seeds, provided top tips on how to improve your grass seed knowledge. The audience were asked to select from a list of 10 seed topics and then Simon and Henry thrashed out the issues in an entertaining and forthright fashion to get to the nub of each issue. Commenting at the event, Tony Sinclair, Manchester United FC Grounds Manager, said: “I came along realised just how important these days are in terms of upgrading your education. One thing about the industry we work in is that everything changes so quickly so it is important to keep up with everything that is going on. There is no question that as things continue to move forward ICL will be a part of that – they are a massive player in educating people around the country.” Scott Reeves, Course Manager at Leyland Golf Club, was equally pleased: “We are at an interesting point within the industry, therefore it is worthwhile coming to an event such as this to get an update and find out exactly where we are.”

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Richmond GC aims for improved cut The Richmond Golf Club are aiming to improve their cutting performance by relief grinding back to OEM specifications using their new Foley Company Grinders. Course Manager, Les Howkins, has been steering these improvements and is now aiming to enhance his mowers’ cutting performance by relief grinding with the purchase of a Foley company Accu-Pro 633 with AccuTouch 3 control and a 673 automatic Bed-Knife grinder. Les explained: “For us, one of the main advantages of choosing the Foley AccuPro 633 is that it delivers relief and spin grinding in the one machine and the changeover is very quick – approximately 20 seconds. “This is important because it gives us greater flexibility;

we can easily switch from relief to spin and back again. We can choose what’s needed for each unit rather than having to do all the spin or all the relief grinding in one go as we had previously. “Another reason is that the Foley grinder removes what is known as coning. This is where the reel wears more at one end than the other. This occurs through general use or in some occasions over adjustment. With the built-in electronic gauging system, we can set the units up true and grind them back to parallel. “Other important factors for us are that the wheel-head and spin motors are electric. Both are neat and tidy units, easy to operate, unobtrusive and quiet, which is crucial for the health, safety and general operating welfare of our staff.”

Les revealed that they club had 40 cuttings units of varying sizes, the majority of which are John Deere. His mechanic, Ian Clarke, was looking to improve the length of time his units stayed on cut before needing to be re-ground. “Ian is delighted with quality of cut delivered by the Foley. Now that we can relief grind quickly and efficiently and the cutting units stay on cut longer, he will be able to manage our grinding programme

Avro FC celebrate promotion After two seasons of playing on their GreenFields 3G pitch, Avro FC have celebrated a second successive promotion which will see them move up from their short-lived stay in the North West Counties First Division to play the 2019-20 season in the North West Counties Premier Division. Having won the Manchester Premier Division in 2018, then to gain promotion last season (finishing second but gaining promotion with points-pergame), Avro FC are certainly on a roll and definitely a team to look out for. Rob Fuller, Avro FC Chairman attributes their success in part to the installation of the 3G pitch in Autumn 2017. “We are about to begin our third season with our GreenFields 3G pitch and we could not be more pleased with it. We are certain that the pitch has played a huge part in our back to back promotions,” explained Rob. Last season was our first

in semi-professional football, and we received only positive comments from visiting teams regarding the pitch. Several teams pointed out that the GreenFields surface was far superior to any that they had played on previously and they were impressed with the quality of the grass, and the natural bounce and run of the ball during game play.” Last season saw the club

compete in the coveted Buildbase FA Vase for the first time and their most recent promotion which will see them play at step 5 will also open the door to a place in the Emirates FA Cup, a dream for all clubs and footballers alike. As part of their commitment to supporting non-league football clubs, GreenFields have renewed their sponsorship agreement with Avro FC for the 2019-20 season.

much more effectively.” It is the 633’s Accu-Touch 3 controls which make this an easy process. It has an automatic computer system that provides a step-by-step tutorial for new technicians and a quicker set-up and spin grind feature for the more experienced operators. The 673 has an innovative bed-knife mounting system that uses powerful electromagnets to hold the bed bar in place, and positive gauge stops to make set-up fast and straightforward.

SALTEX INNOVATION AWARDS RETURN Entries to the SALTEX 2019 Innovation Award are now open for all exhibitors to take part – allowing show visitors the chance to witness a stellar line-up of brand new products and services that are pushing the boundaries in groundscare innovation. Since its launch in 2017 the Innovation Award has helped to highlight some of the most ground-breaking, innovative products and services within the groundscare industry. All of the submitted entries are evaluated by an independent panel of judges before a final shortlist is devised. The finalists are then given an opportunity to impress judges and visitors in a seminar theatre on the first day of the Show as representatives from each company take to the stage to deliver product presentations. Entering the award is an unmissable opportunity for exhibitors as every innovation will be featured on the SALTEX website and in the official show guide. Being shortlisted as a finalist offers even more exposure as they will be given dedicated time to showcase their product or service in front of industry giants, judges and influencers and can draw even more of a crowd to their stand. The winner will be announced at the exhibition. Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019 | 13


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Tackling summer turf stress Last summer saw the highest level of drought stress the UK has seen for years, and many courses are still feeling the effects of this damage in 2019. Heat and drought stress can often be hard to manage but by looking at above and below ground factors it is possible to mitigate the effects and maintain playability. Dr Colin Mumford, left, Technical Support Manager at Bayer, explains the management practices that can be implemented to protect courses this summer.

Above ground – heat stress Above ground, heat stress is a big issue during the summer months. Heat can cause scorch, wilt and eventually die back of the grass plant which can severely interfere with ball roll and the aesthetic appearance of the course. “There are a number of management practices that can help to reduce the effects of heat stress,” explained Colin. “In the US and other hot countries, they use a technique called syringing. This involves spraying a fine jet of water droplets into the air above the green. “These fine droplets land on the turf and evaporate almost instantly. This rapid evaporation cools the canopy of the grass plant, removing a lot of heat. “If this is done properly you can do a whole green in 30 to 45 seconds and it will be dry before the next group of golfers arrive,” said Colin. “There is an argument that this will need to be used more in the UK as we seem to be getting hotter summers. But it’s a very labour-intensive process and just doing it once isn’t enough,” he warned. “Greens need to be syringed at least seven times a day to keep the canopy temperature down. Most golf courses that do this have one or two people who carry out this process throughout the whole day.” Colin adds that raising the height of cut as much as possible can help to take the stress off grass plants. “By raising the cutting height, the plant will be able to tolerate stresses because the added growth will make it more resilient. However, by raising the cut height, ball speed on putting greens will be reduced,” he says. “Therefore, if you decide to go down this route you may want to roll the greens afterwards to counteract the effects of the extra height.” Colin explained that there are products that can be applied to help 14 | Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019

alleviate the effects of heat stress. “UVA and UVB rays from the sun radiate heat on the grass plant causing heat stress. Bayer’s Stressgard formulated range can provide a protective barrier against this. “Stressgard contains a pigment that coats the surface of the leaf, and significantly reduces the amount of UVA and UVB reaching the grass plant. “It will also reduce Photosynthetically Active Radiation but allows sufficient PAR through for the plant to photosynthesise effectively,” said Colin. Eoghan Buckley, Course Superintendent at Birr Golf Club, County Offaly, had problems with summer turf stress last year and used preventative applications of a Stressgard formulated fungicide, as part of his management programme, to prevent disease taking hold of his greens. “At the end of June our greens endured a prolonged period of heat and drought stress. After taking advice from Greg Collins at Bayer and Aine Daly from Cropcare, I decided to apply a preventative fungicide to help with recovery and minimise any further stress on the plants. “The results were positive, with the turf looking much healthier. Having witnessed these impressive results, I have integrated this into my turf management programme this year. “So far, this year hasn’t been as hot as 2018, so my greens are looking in good condition. However, from what I learnt last year, taking a preventative approach to both turf stress and disease control can be vital,” says Eoghan.

Below ground – drought stress “Below ground it is all about water management. To make informed decisions it’s important to know what you are working with and understanding evapotranspiration is the best way to achieve this. “ET is the combined effect of water loss through transpiration from the plant, and evaporation from the soil. It is calculated from weather data, and some weather data providers, such as Bayer’s TurfXpert app, provide a calculation of ET. “Measurements with moisture metres around your course, to assess localised areas of your turf, are also important. When these are combined with ET data, you can calculate how much supplemental irrigation is required,” added Colin. While there are lots of schools of thought around irrigation techniques, Colin recommends deficit irrigation as the best solution.

“It works by replacing between 60% to 80% of water loss, which means the soil is able to take in additional water during a rainfall event and none of it is lost through drainage,” he explained. “This way you can make the most of rainwater and save costs on irrigation.” He warns drainage is not only costly in terms of water loss but also because of nutrient loss. “If drainage occurs it can leech away nitrogen and other inputs, potentially causing environmental damage and cost to the greenkeeper.” To combat this, Colin recommends carrying out an audit of irrigation systems to ensure they are running efficiently and used wisely. “Irrigation is a beneficial tool but if it’s overused, problems with thatch build up and annual meadow grass can occur. This is why getting management techniques and calculations right is vital,” he said.

Below ground – pests Another below ground factor is the damage caused by chafer grubs and leather jackets. “These pests can have a huge impact on the health of grass plants at this time of year,” said Colin. “Chafer grubs and leather jackets damage the roots of grass plants meaning the grass plant can’t take up water and nutrition, leading to drought stress effects. “There may be plenty of water and nutrition present in the soil, but because the roots are damaged, they can’t take it up. The grass plants will then show signs of drought stress, scorching and ultimately will die back. “In this case, the only short-term answer is irrigation. However, in the long term you can tackle the pest with cultural, biological and chemical controls to prevent damage from happening. “Introducing new grass species that have rhizomes, fescues for example, into these areas can help with this. “The rhizomes act as a tube of stored energy below ground which helps the grass plant to cope with a degree of attack from pests. “Aeration can also be used to create channels for the roots to grow though, allowing them to descend quickly and easily to scavenge more water and nutrients,” adds Colin. “As greenkeepers you strive to maintain the health and playability of your course. So, doing everything that you can both culturally and chemically is paramount, especially during the hot summer months,” concluded Colin.


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Tea Break Teaser g n i t r o p S


1. This year saw the first final set tie break at Wimbledon when Novak Djokavic defeated Roger Federer in the final but in which decade was the first tie break played at the Wimbledon Championships? 2. Who was the first man to be sent off in an FA Cup final? 3. When was the first four hole play-off for The Open Championship? 4. When was the first five point try awarded in rugby union? 5. When were yellow and red cards introduced in football? 6. When was Hawkeye introduced in cricket? 7. What was Shane Lowry the first to do for 137 years? 8. In which decade was the first steel tennis racquet introduced and who made it famous? 9. Who was the first golfer to win a Major using a long putter? 10. When was Hawkeye introduced at Wimbledon? 11. When was the first World Cup final to be decided on penalties? 12. Who scored the first golden goal to decide the outcome of the 1996 European Championship? 13. When was The Derby first raced on a Saturday? 14. When were replacements introduced in rugby union test matches? 15. Who is Charlotte Brew? Answers on page 57

16 | Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019

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Top marks Professional grounds maintenance teams can save time, money and resources by using the Intelligent One, the autonomous line marking robot. Restricted budgets can make it difficult for local authorities, schools and sports teams to mark consistently, but the IO provides a new way of marking that reduces the cost for the customer and the contractor. Intelligent Marking also provides a base station within the package to deliver unrivalled precision and reliable line marking, consistently performing in areas without the need for cellular connectivity or coverage. In addition, the base station is supplied without an annual subscription. Using the closed system means the machine can be used anywhere in the world with unprecedented reliability and an accuracy of just +/- 1cm, while matching the marking speed of every robotic line marker on the market, with a standard football pitch only taking 20-25 minutes to mark from scratch. The accuracy of markings is millimetric and makes

overmarking lines quick and easy with no external signal factors able to impact the performance. The IO comes with 45 pre-loaded templates including football pitches, track and field marking, rugby union and league, NFL pitches, lacrosse and customisable grids, shapes, and tracks. All coordinates are stored within the app so areas can be marked again at the touch of a button. Contractors and can also request custom templates from Intelligent Marking which can be made within a short timeframe ready for use. Manufacturers of the robot, Intelligent Marking, has made this £25,000 product available on a five-year payment plan, with a one year trial option for £5,000.

Making its mark at Finborough School The Intelligent One has a lot of strong product features but one of its greatest assets is time-saving for those who have a small number of staff for a large area. Rory Ferguson, Head Groundsman at Finborough School in Suffolk has one

full-size football pitch, two half size hockey pitches, five 7-a-side football pitches and two small sided rugby pitches to maintain by himself. Ten of these pitches are in white and four in blue, with marking out all of these areas taking over two days. “Before seeing the IM Robot in action, I was sceptical about how it would perform because I’ve had other line markers that used similar technology struggle in this setting because of the signal quality we have here,” said Rory. “Having now had the system explained to me and how it uses the base station to eliminate any dead spots I feel very confident in its capability and this proved the case as during the demonstration, there were no issues at all. “The fact it was possible to quickly adjust the template at the side of the pitch to match our pitch sizes and keep that format for any further use of the machine was very impressive. It produced a straight line every time and once we programmed it, we were able to let it get on with

marking with no issues at all. “As part of the on-site training, Alex talked me through how to change the templates and with a bit of practice it is something that you can easily do yourself. The beauty of it is once the measurements are in, they are saved on the device, so with a push of a button, you overmark on the exact same line again. “For a site like this where we have a lot to mark out, it has to be a huge advantage. The machine marked out a full-size pitch in 25 minutes whereas it would take me at least double that just over marking an existing pitch. So, being able to save that time and go off and get other work done is a significant benefit. “We also spend about two and a half days plotting out our running track and marking it out and this robot can do it much quicker than that.” n The Intelligent One (IO) from Intelligent Marking has been recognised around the world for its accuracy, reliability and ease of use since it was released in 2016 and was awarded the Saltex Innovation Award in 2017.

Laying down the lines at elite sporting venues Line marking machines from Pressure Jet Markers have been producing the straightest, most consistent lines on pitches around the world for over 60 years. They’ve been used at Wembley, the Stade de France, The Queen’s Club and many other elite sporting venues. And they’re also laying down lines at every other level of the game; at league and nonleague grounds, at universities, schools and on pitches at the local parks every weekend. Their continued popularity is

partly down to their reliability – there are no nozzles to clog, no pipes to block, no pumps to break – due to the precision pick up of paint by the unique transfer wheel. This gives it an incredibly consistent line quality every time it’s used. Although the company’s foundations were built on its original spray marking machine, what PJM has become world renowned for are its transfer wheel machines – the Linesman and the Dimple. Both machines benefit from tried and tested British

craftsmanship which ensures each machine is outstanding quality. They have precision laser cut parts, electro zinc plating and the very best transfer wheels on the market. The Linesman is a grassroots champion and many top groundsmen have started their careers pushing one of these tried and tested machines. With its cast aluminium marker and tank transfer wheels, easy clean tank and adjustable handle it makes short work of marking any pitch. On top of that as it’s a

PJM machine you know its rock solid reliability will keep you marking for years to come. The Dimple marker is the last word in line marking quality and is renowned as being the finest transfer wheel machine ever created. This year there have been several improvements to the Dimple model, including a new reinforced adjustable handle with support struts, hand grips for comfort and forward facing grooved pneumatic tyres to leave less indention on your pitch. Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019 | 19


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Big future for RT’s TinyLineMarker The extraordinary levels of savings in line marking time, resources and therefore money by using Rigby Taylor’s robotic TinyLineMarker are proving irresistible to everyone involved in line marking. Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council’s Street Scene team reckons it will achieve a return on investment measured in months, and the new-found efficiencies with TLM will also enable ultra-competitive line marking to be offered to facilities currently outside of the council’s remit. Birmingham-based contractor Parkway Ground Maintenance said that TLM will not only make a big difference to its current operation, but will also mean

cost-effective line marking to a multitude of new customers. TLM can initial mark a standard size football pitch in under 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. It was such benefits that appealed to Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council, one of the first to invest in TLM. With the maintenance of 92 pitches in its care, the council’s Street Scene team – led by Operations Manager Darren Bisby – was formerly taking four man-hours (two men) 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 borough-wide service for line marking. So, with 2,392 scheduled overmarkings across the pitches, 797 man-hours will effectively be put back into the Street Scene operation. 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. 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 and mark from scratch,” says

Darren, who adds: “We are continuing our use of Rigby Taylor’s ready-to-use Impact paint, which has proved that it produces bright white lines that last longer than other paints.” “Not only is the application of TLM truly a one-man operation, and that includes unloading and loading for each job/site, but it is also very fast and very accurate,” said Dean McDermott, owner of Parkway Ground Maintenance. “In this business, it’s all about price per pitch – and since the TLM can initial mark a full-size football pitch in just 20 minutes, with one operator, compared to around 2/2.5 hours manually with two operators, the savings are evident. Also, an eight-lane running track that used to take two of my guys a full day, at least, can now be completed by one person in only 2.5 hours.”

Environmentally friendly and no more nozzle blockages Fleet Line Markers has invested considerably in research and development – resulting in a flurry of new products. Last year alone, Fleet brought three new products to the market – the COG Aline Marker, the latest version of the MAQA Marking System and The Flozle Nozzle spray head. Perhaps the most exciting new launch was the COG Aline Marker, a revolutionary new system which promises to bring an “entirely new approach to the line marking world”. It is environmentally friendly and also eliminates paint wastage. “At Fleet we strive to reduce our carbon footprint, the COG System eliminates single use plastics – and each single use plastic drum can contribute up to 6kg of carbon dioxide per drum. Our target is to eliminate more than five million tonnes of carbon dioxide over the next five years,” said Iain McGuffie, Managing Director. The COG MAQA GNSS System uses multiple satellites and enables the user to initial 20 | Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019

mark any sports marking. A full size football pitch can be done in less than 25 minutes, an eight lane 400 metre track including a 100 metre straight can be done in under two hours. Fleet’s eROK has been also been updated. Now with a longer battery life, the option to mark in the middle at the front or to the side, fully adjustable comfort seat and “inching mode” to help load and unload the vehicle safely from the rear of vehicles. The eROK will also reduce labour times over pedestrian marking. All Fleet spray markers are now fitted with the Flozle Nozzle System which is a drip control valve that automatically cleans the nozzle after every line marked. The unique cleaning system automatically flushes the nozzle at the end of each line. With the hot weather, paint drying causing blockages can happen very quickly – even taking a phone call for a few minutes could be long enough to cause problems. The Flozle eliminates any need for concern.


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Okehampton signs 3 year deal Okehampton Golf Club in Devon has signed a deal which sees Sherriff Amenity as its preferred supplier of products for three years. Okehampton Golf Club features an 18 hole parkland course, sheltered by the highest tors of Dartmoor, on the northern edge of Devon’s magnificent National Park. It is a challenging course and can be deceptive if the wind is blowing – especially on the 12th hole where the West Okement River awaits to the left and behind the green. Stuart Entwistle, pictured, has been the Course Manager at Okehampton for just over four years and is pleased with the progress he has made in that time. “I used to work at a large club but was quite restricted in trying new methods and

products. However, once I came here I had a free rein to trial a number of new products. I personally feel there has been a big improvement to the course. My main goal to start with was to be able to offer golf all-year round and we have already achieved that.” Stuart initially focused his attentions on the tees and after a recommendation from Sherriff Amenity’s David Chammings, he turned to Evolution Xtra 24.4.4 granular fertiliser for the summer and then Evolution Controlled 18.0.32 in the winter. “I would say that the majority of our members have said that the biggest improvement here has been on the tees,” said Stuart. “When I first arrived the tees just looked tired and weak so they needed immediate attention. I went with an initial application of the Evolution Xtra

MORE OPTIONS ON SPPS SPRAYER The SPPS, a self-propelled pedestrian sprayer from Techneat Engineering, aimed at lawn care professionals and already in use at many leading UK and Overseas sporting venues, is now available in a wider range of tank size and boom width options. “We now have tank options in 80, 120 and 150L capacities and have recently launched a new 5m boom machine alongside the 3 and 4m options already available to professional ground staff,” explained Techneat’s Technical Support Manager, James English. “The new 5m machine will still have the same folding boom option as the 3 and 4m machines offering easier access via narrow entrances and all booms have now been improved to increase their overall stability when the SPPS is moving with booms folded.” “Recent specification upgrades to the SPPS also include a new pressure compensation control system designed to ensure that there is no pressure change on nozzle output even when some sections on the boom may be closed off individually,” confirmed James. 22 | Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019

24.4.4 at a rate of 30g/m2 in the middle of March. It gave me a great initial hit and I applied it twice more in that first year. “This really worked in getting them in a better condition and for the second year we went with two more applications of the 24.4.4 but then for winter we went with the six month release fertiliser – Evolution Controlled, which was the perfect feed to see us through. “The other good thing about Evolution Controlled is that it is chloride free so it has a low scorching index. Therefore, I can put it down and not worry about the scorch, which was one of my concerns at first because we don’t have any irrigation on the tees.” For the greens at Okehampton, Stuart claims that he just wouldn’t be without Sherriff Amenity’s GoGreen Energy – a

concentrated bio-stimulant, formulated to assist plant health and relieve stress symptoms. “GoGreen Energy works really well for us – we go through the summer with it at four weekly intervals at the full rate of 60 l/ha. Before we started using the product, the greens were starting to yellow and were a bit stressed but now they are a beautiful green colour and it has really helped with root depth.”

High praise from Highwoods After the successful installation of Highwoods Golf Club’s irrigation system with a Toro Lynx central control system and sprinklers, the Sussex club now has the Toro ‘Total Solution’. In 2014, Highwoods Golf Club took its first step to take the course to the next level by investing in Toro in what was called at the time “a major investment to improve the course.” Since then, the course has flourished, so when the time came in 2018 for a new irrigation system, there was really only one choice in the mind for the club – that of Toro and Reesink Turfcare. “Toro had already proved the quality of its products and services to Highwoods, having been the brand of choice for the club’s fleet for six years. However, as was the case before, we took advice from other clubs, specialists and of course the greenkeeping team,” said

Deputy Course Manager Jamie Melham. “Nothing offered the same value for money as the Toro Lynx control system and sprinklers. Plus, Lynx was easy to use and has extra features that gave it a real edge over competing brands. “I was really impressed by the sprinklers, too. We selected Toro Infinity series for greens and approaches, T5/T7 series sprinklers

installed on tees. The rain curtain is really impressive and delivers accurate coverage. The T5 series sprinklers in particular have a low throw which means they aren’t as affected by wind which is really useful, and the Infinity series sprinklers have Smart Access, so we can carry out maintenance if required in the future, without having to dig or turn off the water.”


Local heroes for an event that produced a local hero…

24 | Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019

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Scott MacCallum catches up with Royal Portrush Course Manager, Graeme Beatt, following the magnificent return of the Open Championship to the island of Ireland. Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019 | 25


“I was arriving at the course at 3.30am for a 4am start and we weren’t getting back home until half ten or a quarter to eleven at night. It was an amazing experience but at the same time WE were absolutely shattereD” –GRAEME BETT 26 | Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019

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The Open team. Left, pedestrian mowing on the 14th. Below: Graeme Beatt

Graeme Beatt arrived home from work and poured himself a gin and tonic before settling into a chair to reflect on the events of the previous, days, weeks and months. It’s not often that you have been charged with preparing a golf course for the biggest event on the planet, and, in the case of Royal Portrush Golf Club, it was the first time in 68 years that an Open Championship had come to call. Graeme smiled as he thought about the great work of his own greenkeeping team, always going that little bit beyond; how the volunteers, who had given up their time, unpaid, to contribute towards a stupendous Open venue; and how the entire club, town and island of Ireland had embraced the occasion. The fact that the event had produced a local hero winner – if not exactly the one who had been expected to lift the Claret Jug – made the whole occasion so much more of a fairy tale. Like most well written stories, however, the week and the lead up, had produced so many twists and turns that by the time that drink was poured Graeme was worn out. “I had

been invited to a drinks’ reception with the winner by the Championship Committee but after the trophy presentation on the 18th green I’d gone back to thank our own staff and the volunteers. I then went to lock up the sheds, got into my pick-up and drove back through the course. It was a struggle as it was still full of spectators. “When I got to the gate I spotted my wife, Katriona, and our kids, Charlotte and Emily, walking home in the pouring rain so I picked them up. By then the plan of returning for a formal reception wasn’t too appealing so I poured a drink before we went to friends for a little while and then bed.” Who could blame him? The hours he and his team were clocking up by Championship week, never mind the months leading up to it, would have had anyone tasked with implementing the Working Hours Directive applying for overtime just to log all the infractions. “I was arriving at the course at 3.30am for a 4am start and we weren’t getting

back home until half ten or a quarter to eleven at night. It was an amazing experience but at the same time we were absolutely shattered,” revealed Graeme. All the work paid off. The course looked incredible and played superbly with weather conditions testing the players in a manner that is always hoped. The fact that Shane Lowry is a links specialist play, and, if not one of Ireland’s Major winner club members before he arrived, was regarded as a top class player. The course did identify a true champion and a true local hero. To the question “On a scale of one to ten how happy were you with the course on the Monday of the Championship?” Graeme pondered for a moment and then said: “I’d say eight and a half.” Top Course Managers are never satisfied, hence the missing point and a half, but Graeme had a vision of how he had wanted his Open course. “I had a picture in my head of how I wanted the course to look, and that was to be a little bit browned off. We would have needed a few weeks of dry weather to be able to do that. The course was stunning but quite green and that wasn’t down to fertiliser, it was purely the rainfall } Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019 | 27


Guard of honour for Open winner and local hero Shane Lowry

} and the warm weather. Everything

greened up and stayed like that for the entire Championship. “I was pleased with the condition of the course. I was pleased with the turf. Pleased with everything had come up and how the course played. It was just the colour really. As the Championship went on it just continued to rain and we had to do more and more to get green speed, which was the opposite if what we thought we would be doing,” said Graeme, who had to deal with 35 mil of rain in an hour just the Wednesday before Championship week. That is

“The fairways are designed so that the ball rolls into the bunkers and we didn’t want the ball to roll into the sand and not stop short, so we were fly mowing every day” 28 | Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019

excessive even by Portrush standards. “It absolutely bucketed down and we were shovelling bunker sand back and pumping water out of bunkers at eight o’clock at night. We’d been working on the bunkers for weeks taking sand out of them and reshaping them. We’d got them just right so it was really frustrating. It’s unusual to have washouts in bunkers here, but hey…” Graeme was working closely with Alistair Beggs, Richard Windows and Adam Newton throughout the Championship, as part of the testing programme which aids course consistency. “I was out with Alistair every morning while the other guys, helped by two R&A Scholars, were doing the testing. They would radio green speeds to us after a single cut and we’d decide between ourselves and Grant Moir (the R&A’s Director of Rules) if we should do another cut. It worked really well as it gave us an idea of how much extra speed you’d get from another cut, how much the green speed would drop off in the evening and how much they would drop off again by the following morning. “The weather being the way it was meant that we were doing quite a bit of cutting – the greens were being

triple cut,” revealed Graeme, keeping his staff of 60 – 54 greenkeepers plus six part-timers who filled divots – busy for the entire week. The aforementioned bunkers also required more than their fair share of TLC. “The bunkers were highlighted in the years leading up to the Open as a potential issue. Our bunker sand is our own and it tends to become a bit soft when dry. Even though we were getting rain we were out in the evenings to water them down with hoses just to ensure that they were firm enough and that the ball wouldn’t plug. “The other thing was the shape of our bunkers. The fairways are designed so that the ball rolls into the bunkers and we didn’t want the ball to roll into the sand and not stop short, so we were fly mowing every day – some of them were being done morning and night. Bit of a difference to the normal once a week!” Graeme has been Course Manager at the club since 2014, taking over from the retiring Joe Findlay, having been Course Manager at County Sligo prior to that but he is actually from Fife. He was originally from Scotscraig, near St Andrews, and attended the rival

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school to your Editor, albeit Graeme was quite a number of years later! He worked at Scotscraig Golf Club before going to the still under construction Kingsbarns. He then spent time at Royal Melbourne Golf Club, in Australia before returning to Kingbarns in 2005 before moving to Ireland the following year. “I was a member at Scotscraig, which was an Open qualifier, and I had to take a young Justin Rose around the course when he was attempting to qualify in 1995. I had lunch with him and his family and I did think about saying to him here but felt that he would have so many people saying ‘Remember me?’ to him, that I decided not to in the end.” While the Open hadn’t been confirmed during the interview process Graeme met with R&A officials as part of his selection, so was aware that the return of the Open was imminent and has been grateful to have had five years to get to grips with the course itself and the enormity of what an Open Championship brings. The build up to this year’s Championship was more intense than any recent Open, partly due to that great gap between Northern Irish Opens and partly due to the wonderful “Dream Team” of Irish golfers produced over the last few years. Three time Major winner, Padraig Harrington; Darren Clarke, 2011 Open Champion and Royal Portrush member (Darren struck the first shot of the Championship); Graeme McDowall, 2010 US Open Champion and another homer towner, whose brother is on the Royal Portrush greenkeeping staff, and four time Major winner and pre-Championship favourite, Rory McIlroy, who had broken the Royal Portrush course record as a 17-year-old. So much expectation was riding on Rory’s slim shoulders that the pressure when he stood on the 1st tee was immense so perhaps it wasn’t too unexpected that his tee shot wasn’t his best. That coupled with the course’s ability to maximise any error, resulted in an opening quadruple bogey eight. That, added to a double bogey at the 16th and a triple bogey at the last, holed his chances below the waterline, and while he heroically shot a second round 65, a 14 shot improvement on his first, he missed the final two rounds by a solitary shot. Was Graeme aware of what was

happening to Rory on the first day? Aware! He was very nearly part of the action. “When Rory hit his first tee shot out of bounds it actually went over our heads. I’d nipped down to see him tee off and I was standing left of the fairway with my wife and kids. We heard the thud of the ball as it hit the spectator and then his second tee shot landed right beside where we were. We watched him play his fourth into the rough beside the green and just groaned. You could see Rory’s nerves and if he’d played his first round the way he played his second he’d have been a factor.” As for the other huge fans’ favourite, Tiger Woods? He too missed the cut, much to the dismay of the giant galleries. The disappointment of losing the two biggest names, turned to elation on the Saturday, however, when Shane Lowry produced a spectacular third round 63 to give himself a handsome lead going into Sunday. “Shane played north of Ireland golf for years and knows the course like the back of his hand. He can play in any conditions and is a links golfer with all the shots,” said Graeme.


With no-one able to mount a serious challenge on the final day Shane enjoyed a triumphant march around the links, cheered to the rafters from all corners, before holing out for a six shot victory. One of Graeme’s most memorable moments was standing with the presentation party on the 18th green, but watching his team form a guard of honour for Shane as he marched out to collect the Claret Jug. “I was so proud of our staff. They had done such an amazing job and pulled it out of the bag. A lot of them were local guys who had played and worked here all their lives and it was just great for everyone.” While he was at home enjoying that celebratory gin and tonic, the team was at nearby Rathmore Golf Club, Graeme McDowall’s home club, where there was a full blown party underway and an opportunity for the everyone to let their hair down. For Graeme, though, his work was done and he could think back with satisfaction about what had been achieved and how, after a wait of 62 years, Royal Portrush was very much back on the map and, more importantly, the Open rota.

Fairway mowing

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Double delivers versatility A Rink DS800 from Charterhouse Turf Machinery is helping to make light work of topdressing the 27 greens of Leicestershire’s Beedles Lakes Golf Club. This, together with a Verti-Drain 7316 are the latest tools in the armoury of Head Greenkeeper Sam Shuttlewood, who is delighted with the versatility he now has at his disposal for the tasks of topdressing and course-wide aeration. “Topdressing was one of those tasks we wanted to carry out more frequently, but the drop dresser we had would only cover a small area per pass meaning that we would have to go over each green 10 or 15 times to get adequate coverage. Not only that, but it would fit on the back of one of our Gator’s which meant we would have to unmount

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our sprayer from the back each time we wanted to go out – all of this made it a time-consuming task.” The Rink DS800, in trailed form, immediately impressed Sam on his demonstration with local dealer Platts Harris. “The beauty of the Rink was that you simply hitched it on the tractor, plugged in

the hydraulics and you were on your way. It was quick and easy to set-up and, unlike a lot of machinery these days, didn’t feature an unnecessary amount of technology needed to complete the task at hand!” “Another reason we went for the Rink was the fact it is a disc-spreader which will enable us to conduct more

frequent light dressings and, thanks to it’s impressive spreading width, we can cover a whole green in two or three passes.” Toward the smaller end of the Rink Disc Spreader range, the DS800 has a 0.8m3 hopper and is highly adjustable, offering a spreading width of up to 12m and a thickness of up to 15mm. It is available in both a trailed or mounted option. Sam’s other purchase made in May 2019 was a Verti-Drain 7316. “This will be a true multi-purpose aerator that we can use on greens, tees, approaches and fairways thanks to the range of tine options available. On the day of the demonstrations the decision was easy – we saw two machines, we loved two machines, so we bought two machines!”

making turf matter


ShockWave solves problems Kyles Athletic Shinty Club has turned to the Imants ShockWave 100 from Campey Turf Care Systems to solve their drainage problems. The club is based on the west coast of Scotland in Auchenlochan, with their facility at the edge of the Kyles of Bute – a narrow sea channel. They are often subjected to heavy rain, and when combined with a drainage issue on the field a number of games were called off with some having to be played at other clubs at a cost to the Kyles Athletic. Because of this, they decided to have drainage installed. Tom Whyte is the sole volunteer groundsman at the club and he explained that the field was in good condition before the drainage issues started to appear, and after unsuccessful attempts to resolve it, he thinks the ShockWave

could be the solution. “Two years ago, the committee decided to get a contractor in to install drains, but they weren’t a success, and it was put down to the stone being too close to the surface. Because of the compaction, they couldn’t go further down without causing a lot of hassle to the field,” explained Tom. “We spent a significant amount of money to have the work done, and it wasn’t a success, so we had to look at other ways of fixing the issue. “The council tried to use a tine aerator, but after covering about a seventh of the pitch, they said it was too wet and never came back. I was recommended a ShockWave, and I spoke to Richard Heywood, at Campey, and he explained to me that when the ShockWave hits the rock, it rides it, it doesn’t try to break its way through, but it

will go through the small stuff. “For us, it was all down to money, I spoke to Richard Campey, and he did us a deal with the ShockWave, a New Holland Boomer 125 and a fertiliser spreader. That led to me approaching our district council and Clackmannanshire District Council. Both of them gave us money towards the machines, and that made it affordable for the club.” The Imants ShockWave is the perfect solution for Kyles Athletic because it is designed to decompact heavy wear areas by relieving soil compaction using 12mm thick knives. This makes it the ideal aerator on fields that have stone near the surface because the blades won’t break and cause further damage to the machine. While the main aim of purchasing the machines was to eliminate the drainage issue,

Tom also wanted to be able to plan his maintenance. In the past, the club relied on borrowing equipment from others, but now they own their machines Tom feels able to raise the standards with plans already in place to hire the machinery out to provide income for the club.


‘It’s just a

brilliant pi

Andrew Brough, Head Groundsman at Wolverhampton Rugby Union Club, claims that the SISIS Quadraplay single pass maintenance system, has helped him in his personal quest to improve the standard of pitches. It is safe to say that Andrew is the club through and through. He has played for the club since he was a child and his own children have followed in his footsteps and currently represent the junior teams. He also runs the bar in the clubhouse and when he is not pulling pints or ordering more stock he is tending to the pitches.

Andrew admits that his role of Head Groundsman is his greatest responsibility and it is certainly not a role he has taken lightly since his appointment two years ago. “Quite simply, my aim here is to improve the standard of the pitches and make sure they are as playable as possible. In the past we have had to cancel a lot of games because the pitches haven’t been draining very well and we just never used to have the equipment – but now we have,” said Andrew. One of Andrew’s first tasks was to sign-up to the RFU’s Groundsmen

Versatile SISIS Quadraplay, pictured with Head Groundsman Andrew Brough, signals improvements at Wolverhampton RUFC

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making turf matter


ece of kit’ Connected initiative which is an easy access, two-way communication network between the RFU and rugby union groundsmen. It is the main communication channel for the RFU to provide information and advice to groundsmen and also has special offers and exclusive benefits for members. Members have a direct communication channel on pitch maintenance issues with Twickenham’s Head Groundsman Keith Kent, and it was Keith’s advice which prompted Andrew to purchase the SISIS Quadraplay. The SISIS Quadraplay multiplepurpose, single-pass maintenance incorporates a mounted frame for up to four implements such as grooming rakes, spikers, slitters, rollers and brushes. “It’s a brilliant piece of kit – we’ve got a cutting deck on our tractor which came with the deal that allows us to basically cut the pitch and then we use the Quadraplay

to finish off the pitch. It has made a huge difference to our aeration. “I also really like the roller which is great for presentation. It does everything I need it to do and I’m really pleased with it. I actually think that most rugby clubs could do with a Quadraplay because it would make their pitches a lot better. We haven’t had to cancel any games since we’ve been using it.” As part of the package, Andrew also purchased the SISIS Multitiner – a tractor mounted aerator. Based on his experience of using the two new machines he later purchased a SISIS Variseeder – a tractor mounted overseeder; and he revealed his plans for using them. “I’ll be using the Multitiner to spike the pitches and obviously by doing that we will be able to go into the holes with sand. We will then go along the pitches and sweep all that nice sand into the ground and give it a bit more drainage and help to get rid of some of those holes and ditches.”

Ideal unit for grooming The 4GCS from SCH Supplies is a versatile pitch maintenance system. A single pass allows up to four operations to be carried out simultaneously, including surface aeration, dethatching, brushing and rolling, which when combined together, enable groundsmen to prepare and maintain the pitch to a high standard, in very little time. It is an ideal unit for general pitch grooming/maintenance on both sports fields and fine turf. The star shaped slitters pierce the surface, slicing roots and breaking up

the soil to increase drainage and promote root growth. The slitter attachment is an ideal tool for breaking down the compacted surface of grassed areas, improving drainage and allowing air penetration to the roots, and the single pass on the tractor reduces the amount of mud being churned up by the wheels. A specially shaped aerator star attachment can be fitted, which breaks up the surface to a greater extent than the slitter stars. The benefits of this are most apparent over the autumn months. Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019 | 33


GXi8’s 21 greens in a day Early last year, Wiedenmann’s Terra Spike GXi8 HD was shown on Twitter in full working mode, a cup of coffee balanced as it made its way across a green. The coffee didn’t spill and greenkeepers took to filming their versions of the #CoffeeCupChallenge. Impressed, Rick Sinker, who had recently been appointed Course Manager at Lymm Golf Club, called upon local dealer, Turner Groundscare, to give him a demo. “What I liked, firstly, was that depths of 7, 8 and 9 inches still

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left the surface smooth. Then you realised its speed; it moved so quickly. Finally, when you examined closely, it was all about neatness,” said Rick. “It went so well that we dispensed with our pedestrian aerator because it couldn’t maintain the same clean finish.” Fast forward 12 months and the Cheshire club has a very thorough aeration programme underway. Together with an existing Wiedenmann XP6, Rick and his team of four have made steady progress. “After you’ve aerated with a GXi8 every other machine just seems so outdated. Incredibly, sometimes you don’t even need to cut the grass afterwards. Nothing I’ve used elsewhere is as discrete nor comes close to such minimal disruption,” he explained. “Primarily, the main job of the GXi8 was to be on greens every

month. However, it was so fast that I had to try it with bigger – 20mm – tines on approaches and tees. The GXi8 goes down to 250mm, so not quite the 400mm depth that I can get from the larger XP6, but together they are pretty formidable. It made such a good job we revised its duties; letting it do more across the course, often working in tandem with the XP6. “Aeration is going well; our surfaces are getting better and better. Now we do the greens with the GXi8, monthly, 8mm tines in a square pattern altering depth. Approaches are done with the GXi8 using 12mm tines, two or three times a year. Tees are also done with the GXi8 twice a year. Then at our two separate maintenance periods, April and September, weather permitting, the bigger XP6 comes out and we’ll go the full 400mm depth

on tees and approaches. Even though it’s seven years old, we still get the best from the XP6 as it leaves a lovely finish. All we do then is repeat on top with the GXi8, using 8mm tines, to maximise smoothness again.” At the end of July, Rick had a full day on the GXi8 himself which he said gave huge satisfaction, a perfect work day. “It was like a milestone for me, a real personal achievement. Twenty one greens in a day starting at 5am and finishing at 1.45pm. All greens, done including the putting greens twice. 8mm sold tines in a square hole pattern down to 8 inches. Not a single snapped or bent tine and the surfaces as smooth as they had been all season. It was testament to the machine it performed so well but I was proud the club has seen fit to invest in the machine and their faith was rewarded.”

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Tailored aeration to combat summer Once again temperatures reached record highs this summer, causing the inevitable stress to hardworking sports turf. Heat, compaction, thatch, too much organic matter, sandy soils and incorrect soil profile all contribute to rootzones being starved of essential nutrients and water. Tailored aeration is key in order to reverse these effects and problems caused by inefficient drainage leading to lost playing time. The aeration systems offered by contractor Ecosol Turfcare can offer relief across cricket, golf, rugby, football, bowls and equestrian sports. Using the Drill n Fill aerator in autumn can reverse summer problems and prevent waterlogging in winter. Golf greens, goal areas and centre

circles can stay in play following the operation in which a grid of drills slide into the turf, penetrate to a depth of up to 31 cm, extract the spoil and backfill with a kiln-dried sand or sand/soil amendment mix. The drills will relieve compaction, penetrate thatch or blackgrass and soil amendment will maximise the grass plant’s uptake of nutrients, resulting in a greener, healthier sward. Drill n Fill ducts remain active for many months so often, one treatment is enough to relieve the problem and different areas of turf can be put on a rolling programme of treatment every few years. Turf can be swept clean after the operation and put back into play after a couple of hours. For severe compaction, the

Deep Drill mounts the same operation minus backfill and installs ducts to a depth of 45cm. Ideal for cricket wickets and the worst affected bowls and golf greens, it will promote deeper rooting to knit loam layers and encourage better sward, bounce and soil structure. Ecosol’s linear aerators, the tractor-mounted Sandmaster which provides a secondary drainage system and the pedestrian Graden which can be used solo or to follow Drill n Fill, complete the portfolio, providing groundstaff with proven solutions for aeration and drainage. Getting it right in terms of aeration not only means that turf looks and plays better with healthy grass growth, it will not suffer from surface flooding and puddling and can be kept in play.

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Beat compaction with a Groundsman

Tractor mounted turf aerators

The job of getting a green into tip top condition is not easy, but keeping it that way can be even more difficult. That’s because it’s not so much what is happening on the surface but what is happening underneath. Compaction – and the problems that go with it – Thatch, poor root development and impeded drainage, are well known to greenkeepers. Dealing with it effectively and efficiently

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always presents a challenge. It is vital to have the right equipment and know-how to address each phase of the problem effectively. Traditionally the use of the aerator is in the spring and autumn, this is only a partial help to the problem of compaction. Given that cutting and play takes place at greater levels during the summer period, this is the time when the greatest compaction is being generated, so it should also be a period for ‘more’ aeration to be carried out. The problem is that aeration machines, using solid or slit tines, have led to even greater protests by the players due to the unevenness of the surface after this essential work is carried out. Since 1990, Groundsman Industries have specialised in researching and developing machines and accessories that can be applied to maximum effect to implement a year round aeration programme. An informed assessment of the

condition and problems facing the green being tended is the first step. Compiling a 12 month plan of action is the second step. Thirdly and most importantly, sticking diligently and determinedly to that plan is vital. The elliptical plunge action tining mechanism of the Groundsman 345 and 460 range of pedestrian aerators enable then to penetrate the soil down to 5 inch depth with the minimum of surface disruption. Varying the aeration depth can help avoid creating a hard pan and if a hard pan exists, fit the machine with twin tine holders, this will increase the hole spacing to 3” but it will give the machine a better chance of punching through those stubborn hard layers. Hollow coring is more labour intensive than solid tining but it only needs to be carried out once a year at best. It is a very effective way to relieve compaction, prunes the roots

and enables soil exchange. Hollow coring should be followed by top dressing and over-seeding. A ½” hollow coring tine is a safe choice and fitting them in in twin holders will produce 3” spacing on a Groundsman machine, this setup will ensure that maximum depth can be achieved. There again the depth should be varied from time to time. The on-going and continual development of new tines and holders and their effects by Groundsman has resulted in the most useful range of accessories available. Groundsman now offer a seeder attachment to work in conjunction with Micro Hollow Cluster Tine Heads. The attachment consists of a hopper and seed metering unit which fits on the front of the aerator machine and is power driven by the aerator front wheels distributing the seeds evenly ahead of the tining unit.

making turf matter



JCB introduces its range of hand tools JCB Tools has launched a new range of trade-quality power and hand tools. The experienced engineering team at JCB Tools has worked closely with the JCB Industrial Design team at the company’s World Headquarters in Staffordshire to produce a comprehensive range of tools and accessories. The cordless range includes power tools featuring brushless motors – providing great benefits to the user. By eliminating the need for carbon brushes, the energy normally lost to friction and the resulting heat build-up goes into delivering higher performance and greater long-term efficiency.

Brushless motors also have less wearable parts resulting in greater durability, extended motor life and quieter operation. The tools are powered by lithium ion batteries providing a range of kit options from 2Ah through to 5Ah. This technology enables the prolonged use of cordless power tools and maximum mobility. The range is powered by a single battery across all products. The new JCB power tools and accessory kits are available in kit bags and also in the JCB L-Boxx storage system made by Sortimo, one of the world’s leading professional tool storage and van racking systems. The L-Boxx system provides

secure storage, efficient use of transportation space and makes items clearly identifiable whether on the job site or in a workshop. The team has also developed a range of accessories under the name of DIAMONDTECH, a programme of diamondtipped hole saws used for accurately drilling delicate and costly materials such as grade 5 porcelain, ceramic, granite, marble, glass, cement board, laminates and brick. As a continuation of JCB’s commitment to British motorsport, in 2019 JCB announced its partnership with SportPesa Racing Point and JCB Tools has been named ‘Official Tool Supplier’ of the F1 team.

“Each of our new power and hand tools has been carefully crafted to ensure longevity and performance. Whether a trade professional or an aspiring DIYer, we offer a comprehensive selection of tools designed to cater for the majority of construction, renovation and maintenance applications,” said Matthew Seal, Director and General Manager of JCB Consumer Products. “The new range of tools has been developed to reflect the JCB ethos of quality and innovation and to offer products that exceed the ever increasing standards and needs of professional trade users.”

Not so good vibrations Equipment that is noisy, creates noxious emissions and vibrates at a level which can cause long-term muscular and vascular damage, quite apart from the risks to health, presents employers with significant challenges and costs. A common issue in hand-held petrol-powered equipment, Hand Arm Vibration causes numbness and muscle weakness which can lead to serious conditions such as Vibration White Finger, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and even gangrene. HAV is common in many industrial workplaces, in particular grounds maintenance where the damaging effects of petrol-powered tools such as leaf blowers, chainsaws, mowers and line trimmers / brush cutters are widely recognised. By law an employer must identify measures to eliminate or reduce risks from exposure to hand arm vibration so that employees can be protected from risks to their health. Powerful directives are in place to minimise the risks of HAV, not least The European Physical Agents (Vibration) Directive (2002/44/ EC) which sets a daily action limit of 2.5m/s A(8) and an exposure

limit value of 5.0m/s2 A(8). Although figures vary by manufacturer, in general, battery powered outdoor power equipment vibrates at significantly lower levels than petrol powered equivalents. For comparison, a market leading petrol powered brush cutter vibrates at 7.6m/s2. In EGO cordless equipment, the equivalent figure is 2.175m/ s2 . Falling well within the

safety exposure values, battery powered cordless equipment is more comfortable to use and less likely to cause HAV, with a consequent knock-on effect for employee wellbeing and productivity, and employer peace of mind. The EGO Power Plus commercial series of outdoor power tools has been specially developed to meet the needs of the professional market.

Designed with the user in mind to ensure comfort, durability and high performance, the range consists of a blower, two sizes of hedge trimmer and both a loop-handled and bike-handled line trimmer / brush cutter. EGO’s whitepaper provides evidence of the potential risks posed by petrol to user health and the environment and the benefits of battery powered tools to company cashflow. Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019 | 39

Hand Tools

Pellenc launches its first professional ‘on-board’ battery range Pellenc has launched the first truly professional ‘on-board’ battery range – The Pellenc Alpha range. The range sees two new batteries (P260 and P520) which can be directly fitted to the tools or fitted to a new harness. Comprising the Helion Alpha hedge trimmers and the Excelion Alpha grass strimmer, two tools which use the latest on-board batteries, the 260 and 520, it was designed to bring together ergonomics and efficiency. With all of these

features, the range has what it takes to convert the last of the professionals who are hesitant to abandon petrol powered tools. The Helion Alpha’s cutting quality allows for precision pruning of hedges or other shrubs, particularly on hard, dry wood. Unlike most pole hedge trimmers on the market, its cutter bar combines increased thickness (2.25mm), tooth opening (33mm) and strength. The quality of its engine is another major advantage.

The Excelion Alpha exhibits well-designed ergonomics, high manoeuvrability (even in the thickest copses) and excellent cutting visibility. 40 | Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019

It ensures excellent performance and allows for cuts of up to 33,mm in diameter. In addition to offering 3 different working speeds, it is 100% waterproof and provides complete safety. From an ergonomic standpoint, the hand grip and working visibility were conceived with particular care, with optimised balance and a new cutter bar orientation system. Its on-board battery makes it a tool that’s always ready to use and very compact for work that lasts up to 6 hours.

wire), making it particularly efficient on all surfaces. Its Alphacut cutting head and its excellent rotation speed guarantee highquality mulching, even on tough grasses. The Excelion Alpha exhibits well-designed ergonomics, high manoeuvrability (even in the thickest copses) and excellent cutting visibility. With the Alpha 520 on-board battery, which has the highest capacity on the market, it is a compact tool that is always ready to use for work that lasts up to 3.5 hours.

The Excelion Alpha grass cutter

The Alpha harness

Able to cut dense patches as well as soft grasses, the Pellenc Excelion Alpha can be used for mowing or road-side finishing work, in cities and gardens alike. It synthesises high cutting capacities (6400 rpm, 400 mm with 2.4 mm

The Pellenc Alpha back harness can be equipped with the new 260 and 520 batteries in order to use them with all tools within the Pellenc range. Pellenc’s engineers designed the carrying ergonomics and ease of use with particular care.

making turf matter


The right saw to get the job done There are two main types of saws which professionals in landscaping and turf management should go to for the pruning of trees around parks and greenspaces – these are the fixed saw and the folding saw. Here, Husqvarna outlines some of the benefits of each. Fixed Saw – Husqvarna 300 ST The rigid saw blades with impulse-hardened precision toothing features triple grinding. This means particularly high, effort-saving sawing performance and a very long lifetime. The particularly smooth pulling cut is ideal for fresh and dry wood. In addition to the eyelet, used when hanging up the saw, this product has a blade cover so that it can be stored safely and in a handy place. During sawing, a stop at the end of the handle prevents you from slipping. This

has proven particularly useful during pulling movements and assists you in making smooth progress as you work. Thanks to the ergonomic, slightly angled handle shape and soft handle parts, these saws lie comfortably and safely in your hand. A straight saw blade is great for professionals in groundcare because of the manoeuvrability in bushes and trees with close branches. This type of saw blade allows for easier control and is less likely to clip close branches than curved blades. Straight blades offer an incredibly smooth and efficient cut, although they are not quite as fast as curved blades. n Total Length: 19.7”, Blade Length: 11.8”. Folding Saw – Husqvarna 200 FO The Husqvarna Folding Saw

200 FO belongs to the new generation of Husqvarna saws. This is an easy-to-use all-round saw for cutting back thicker branches and is ideal for minor sawing tasks. The hard-chrome-plated saw blade has impulse-hardened precision toothing with triple grinding. This ensures fast results with little use of force, a superb, precise cut, and is incredibly hard wearing to rust and other wear and tear. The Husqvarna 200 FO is lightweight and effective at the same time, easy to carry around in your pocket by folding it and locking it securely or attached to an eyelet. Whenever you need your saw, simply open it up again using the thumb hole. The lock button holds the saw securely and safely in three different settings. Thanks to the ergonomic, slightly angled handle shape and

soft handle parts, this saw lies comfortably and safely in your hand. You can saw one-handed or two-handed as required. Folding straight saw blades have different benefits to straight saw blades. Additional flexibility allows users to fold the saw up when on the move, and the ability to carry it in their pocket for compact storage. They also provide a faster cut than straight blades. n Total Length: 20.9”, Blade Length: 7.9”.



Robots will give you a hand The traditional and iconic image of the experienced groundsman marching up and down a lawn or pitch behind a mower producing lines so straight it would seem a laser has been inserted into his head, is very much part of our heritage. However, while not a dying art, significant technological developments now mean that there is more than one option when it comes to tending our

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lawns, sports fields, or grassy areas. Remote controlled mowing or robots are becoming much more sophisticated and the benefits are huge in time saving and health and safety. Blind eyes used to be turned to operators attaching ropes to fly mows before sliding them up and down grassy banks partly because no other grass cutting option could be identified. Rightly, that is no longer regarded as

acceptable practice and the conundrum about keeping the areas tended has been solved by the introduction of the remote-controlled mower. One of the companies at the forefront of remote mowing technology is Bomford Turner, which has developed its Flailbot to the extent that it is a serious option for anyone wanting to get on top of those difficult to access grassy areas.

making making turf turf matter matter

Remotely controlled wirelessly, Flailbot, whose name suggests it would be a serious contender on Robot Wars, provides ultimate mowing capability, while keeping the operator at a safe distance. With a range of engines from 35-70hp, twin-track grip, excellent manoeuvrability and flexible tool attachment options, Flailbot delivers superb all-terrain performance. The remote joystick control offers excellent responsive and intuitive control, while Flailbot has a range of up to 150 metres with forward or reverse track speeds from 0-4.5 mph. Real-time critical machine data, including incline, altitude and speed, is fed to a visual display on the controller. When working on slopes, the operator can adjust the offset needed to maintain direction. A service assistant function assists routine maintenance and diagnostics. Flailbot is as at home on flatter areas as it is on steep slopes but the remote control makes it ideal for use for hilly and mountainous areas; banks, escarpments and highways; near railway lines; military land; industrial and energy plants; public parklands; forested areas; airports, drainage systems and reservoirs; municipal areas; and sports facilities A variety of attachments is

also available for this range, including dozer blades, sweepers, loaders, snow blowers and rakes – offering an extremely versatile remote controlled solution for any landscaping requirements. Robust and delivering ample power and torque, it performs reliably, under arduous or extended duty, without overheating. The whole powertrain has been designed and tested to work continuously, even on gradients of up to 55° and carries a range of 3-4 cylinder industrial engines developing 35-70hp. To navigate variable or vulnerable terrain easily, Flailbot offers different track options: Standard rubber with low impact to limit pressure on the ground; high grip rubber for mixed soils; and, for extreme slopes, steel-linked tracks with inserts and additional studs. While the engine is running, oil pressure-controlled track tensioners keep both tracks correctly tensioned automatically, preventing track loss and maximising grip on difficult ground. Protected track idler sprockets and wheels further secure the tracks. For particularly difficult or steep conditions, the operator can also remotely extend each track width individually by 250mm, increasing the footprint for added stability and grip. To protect the engine, bearings and components, a tough underbody

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skin is structurally integrated into the frame, preventing ingress of debris, fragments and grit. A roll bar, integrated into the chassis, can also be used to hoist the vehicle if needed. In addition to a 4-point attachment system for lifting, the frame includes front and rear fastening systems for optional tools and equipment. So while we will continue to appreciate the skills of the traditional groundsman and his ability to create arrow straight lines we are sure develop admiration for the operators of our new breed of remote mower, standing a safe distance away but skilfully steering their mowers into those difficult to reach, or dangerous areas.

For particularly difficult or steep conditions, the operator can also remotely extend each track width individually by 250mm, increasing the footprint for added stability and grip. Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019 | 43


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To keep in control of your mower, just reach for the remote… German company Irus Machinery has launched a range of new remote mower products. The new Deltrak 50 is based on the original concept of high power low weight and superior stability. Building upon the tried and tested Deltrak series the 50 now has improved chassis design, an increase in power to 50 hp, 60 litres/min hydraulic flow and hydraulically adjustable track width. This now complements the line up. Quatrak: A 30 horsepower 4 wheel machine the only heavy duty option for a wheeled remote tool carrier, with a choice of implements Evotrak: If the topography is particularly steep, then the light weight, low cost, tracked Evotrak is the solution. Ideal for areas with extreme angles. Deltrak 2.5: The go to choice

44 | Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019

for a stable high performing remote tool carrier with a variety of options from seeding and cultivation to snow clearing and forestry work. Deltrak 50 – latest edition to the Irus line up, coming shortly to the UK for demonstrations. Twin: The only double implement machine on the market – strong with a powerful high torque Kubota engine, non turbo 60 horsepower 100 litres/min Various implements are available.  The key for high productivity and low ground impact is that headland turns are not required just a lowering of the second implement and traverse back for the next cut. Irus now boasts a choice of Remote machine to fulfil most categories, a strong UK support team dedicated to ensure timely spares supply, technical assistance and onsite repairs and training.

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Perfect for any situation The Kioti Mechron with its strong and durable chassis high ground clearance and wide width is the perfect tool for any situation. Three people can sit comfortably and go to work or travel the around the grounds for inspection. Independent suspension with Double wish bone arrangement at the front of the machine gives a smooth ride, even on rough terrain and allows a tight turning circle. The 24 horse power Kioti diesel engine gives an economic and quiet performance. Gear changes for the CVT pulley arrangement are easily done with the robust yet stylish range lever. The Large load bed that is protected by a Urethane spray coat is the ideal size and width to transport the tools you need to complete your tasks. Customers choose from either having the Kioti Mechron with standard ROPS, Front glass screen and wiper or a full cabin with heater and the vehicles come in a colour choice of green, red or camo. Just this summer Kioti UK has introduced a clear plastic rear screen, which keeps the wind and rain off the back of the operator and passengers and gives excellent visibility.

Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019 | 45

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www.turfmatters.co.uk INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS

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ICL school seminar shines in Cheltenham In what turned out to be the hottest day of the year, the 2019 ICL Independent School Seminar, held at the illustrious Cheltenham College, saw a recordbreaking number of attendees soak up a memorable day of knowledge, networking and first-class cricket. Over 70 turf professionals made their way to the historic spa town of Cheltenham to network and enhance their education on a variety of different turf management topics in a seminar tailor-made for those working within the Independent Schools sector. The seminar was held in the College’s Thirlestaine House, which over the years has housed some of Cheltenham’s most creative and forward-thinking students. It was therefore an appropriate setting to discuss the future of turf care and explore new and innovative methods. Christian Brain, Head of Grounds at Cheltenham College, was the first to take to the stage and proceeded to offer a wonderful glimpse into the College’s rich history in which he reflected on the years, the great changes that have taken place, and the significant marks that history has carved in its life. It was then down to business as Henry Bechelet, ICL Technical Sales Manager UK & Ireland, delivered his thoughts on The Future of Fertiliser. After nearly two years of negotiations the European Parliament have agreed on a new regulation for fertilisers. Set to commence in 2022, many questions have been raised as to how the new regulations might affect the industry and Henry was on hand to clarify the situation. “The whole point about the regulations is to protect the end user. The other key aim of the legislation is to bring into play added transparency and more sustainable and circular economy ingredients. At ICL we view the new regulations as being progressive because we can always

demonstrate the performance of our products, but they are going to have a big impact on how some companies sell their products. No longer will companies be able to falsely market their products – which is a step in the right direction because hopefully it will take out of the marketplace those companies that don’t have the evidence to support their product claims.” After addressing the new forthcoming fertiliser regulations, Henry discussed the use of the new Pearl granules that ICL is incorporating into the renovator grades in the SierrablenPlus range. “These are slow release forms of nitrogen but mainly phosphorus which have been proven in trial work to really encourage root development. We are very excited about these new materials because we feel that they will massively enhance renovations and encourage better rooted plants,” he said. Attendees then got the opportunity to receive a tour of the grounds and Christian explained how he and his team prepare for the Cheltenham Cricket Festival. At over 140 years of age, Cheltenham is the world’s oldest cricket festival and has, over the years, witnessed some legends of the game such as Wally Hammond, Allan Border and WG Grace. Taking place every July, over a twoweek period, the festival now features a selection of T20 Blast games – something which the delegates would later enjoy. As everyone gathered back in Thirlestaine House and re-took their seats, student Tamsin Williams gave the audience an insight into ICL’s fouryear research project which is exploring the effects of seaweed products on turfgrass plant parasitic nematodes. The project, which is taking place at Royal Holloway, University of London, was founded due to the apparent rise of nematodes. As it stands, there are few options available

for the turf manager who has a nematode problem but ICL is currently researching whether seaweed could offer a solution. n At the 2018 ICL Independent School Seminar held at Edgbaston Stadium, Andy Richards, Grounds Manager at Shrewsbury School revealed how he uses data recorded from his weather station and moisture metres to improve playing conditions and to identify what equipment he needs in order to continue to make improvements. Inspired by Andy’s seminar, Glenn Kirby, Syngenta’s Technical Manager for UK Turf & Landscape unveiled a year’s worth of recorded data which undoubtedly piqued the delegates’ curiosity. “Weather conditions are changing all the time and due to this turf managers are becoming under increasing pressure so having a really firm hand on exactly what is going on in the soil can only help them. It is going to be very challenging and will be very different to what they have seen before,” explained Glenn. The day was rounded off in style as the delegates joined a sell-out 5,000 strong attendance to watch Gloucestershire inflict a first defeat on Middlesex in this season’s Vitality Blast. Organiser of the event, ICL’s Emma Kilby, first launched the Independent School Seminar back in 2011 and is pleased to see just how far it has come over the years. “This is a huge sector and consists of a very particular group of people that look after schools which have a multitude of different surfaces – all of which require very different approaches. “When I first joined ICL eight years ago I just felt that they were not receiving the kind of support they needed. It was at that point I started discussing the idea of an event with various school groundsmen and we launched the first seminar in 2011 at Radley College.” Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019 | 47


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Looking forward to an exciting football season

GPS precision sprayers part of impressive fleet Wentworth Club and John Deere have announced a new, exclusive partnership for the supply of golf course maintenance equipment to the world famous West, East and Edinburgh Championship Courses. The new course maintenance fleet consists of over 140 machines including mowers for tees, surrounds and approaches, fairways, greens and rough, as well as compact and utility tractors, Gator utility vehicles and the latest state of the art GPS PrecisionSprayers. The contract, was concluded following months of negotiations and in the face of stiff competition from John Deere’s familiar rivals, is worth well over seven figures and sees Wentworth being maintained exclusively by the green machines. Wentworth has been the host venue since 1984 for the PGA Championship tournament, which is regarded as the flagship event on the European

Tour. The 2019 BMW PGA Championship is being held on the West Course from September 19 to 22, with John Deere and its supplying dealer Farol Ltd providing additional technical and equipment support. “We are delighted to welcome the John Deere company to Wentworth as our exclusive partner in the supply of greenkeeping and grounds machinery through its regional dealer Farol,” said Wentworth Director of Golf & Greenkeeping Kenny Mackay. “This agreement represents a significant investment to ensure our fleet is always at the leading edge of technology and innovation.” John Deere has been a leader in GPS technology in the agricultural industry for many years and is now developing systems specifically for golf course maintenance use, with Wentworth Club being an early adopter. The new advanced technology sprayer delivers great environmental benefits by

“This agreement represents a significant investment to ensure our fleet is always at the leading edge of technology and innovation.” 48 | Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019

applying inputs far more accurately and only to predetermined target areas. This significantly reduces overall chemical usage and can potentially cut spray costs by up to 15%. Using AutoTrac, the sprayer steers itself automatically to an accuracy of 2.5cm using RTK (real-time kinetic) satellite guidance. It also features individual nozzle control and Wireless Data Transfer, which enables spray records and application maps to be sent from the machine to the John Deere Operations Centre website or mobile app, where they can be remotely accessed at any time. The new machinery fleet has been purchased on a planned replacement cycle in line with Wentworth Club policy, using a John Deere Financial operating lease specifically tailored to reduce the lifelong cost of ownership. “The world of course management and greenkeeping is changing fast and John Deere is at the forefront of these developments,” said Carlos Aragones, John Deere’s Turf & Golf Sales & Marketing Manager for Europe, CIS, North Africa and the Near & Middle East.

It is tradition for football clubs to enter a new season on a wave of optimism – a new beginning, new signings, perhaps a new manager, and hope for what lies ahead. Sometimes that optimism is justified and the team goes on to have a season which includes a cup run, promotion, even a trophy but more often than not it results in false dawns, frustration and the same old, same old. For three clubs, however, the optimism carries a bit more of a guarantee that things will be good and while everyone is hoping that emerges on the pitch, in the case of Swansea City, Bristol Rovers and Swindon Town those good vibes come from the pitch itself. Each of the clubs won the EFL Pitch of the Year for their respective divisions so the managers know that whatever type of football they want their players to adopt the excellent surfaces at the Liberty Stadium, the Memorial Stadium and the County Ground will not stand in their way. Achieving success has not come easily to Anthony Harry, at Swansea; Daryle Sullivan, at Bristol Rovers; or Marcus Cassidy, at Swindon. Each has had to overcome hurdles and hiccups to bring their pitches to award winning standard while they have all employed the expertise and products of Advance Grass Solutions to help them reach their goals In addition to Swansea City Anthony prepares the Liberty Stadium for the stresses and strains of top class professional rugby union with Ospreys, meaning that he prepares the pitch, not just for 23 league games, cup matches in football for at least 10 rugby matches in a season. Anthony works closely with Peter Holmstrom, of AGS, and is a big advocate of the company’s Growth Products, and between them they use agronomic data – soil, leaf tissue and water analysis – to inform their decisions. Daryle faced massive problems when he moved from Fulham to Bristol Rovers. A pitch renovation planned before Daryle arrived was not successful and as a result the 2017-18 season pitch was so poor that the problems made the local newspapers. Daryle worked tirelessly, in conjunction with Sam Honeyborne, AGS’s Managing Director, often sleeping overnight at the ground to ensure essential watering was carried out, and the programme of AGS liquids and granular fertilisers resulted in such an improvement that one year on the pitch was the League One winner of Pitch of the Year. Marcus has spent a number of years at Swindon Town but has been a recent convert to AGS products working closely with Joe Hendy, of AGS. Winning the League Two Award came following the introduction of AGS’s Essential liquid root drench and the 10-4-4 granular fertiliser. Advance Grass Solutions was formed in 2017 as a marriage between Countrywide and Grassroots and since then has grown to the extent that it is considered the fourth largest distributor in the UK amenity market. The company has recently moved to new premises in Reading which offers Looking ahead: From left, Scott a 10,000ft warehouse MacCallum, Daryle and office space for 10 staff. Sullivan and Sam Honeyborne

making turf matter


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Cricket Groundcare Awards 2019

Judging begins! By the time you read this, we will be well into judging phase of the Cricket Groundcare Awards 2019. It has been a great season so far, for the sport, from international to grassroots cricket, and the Cricket Groundcare Awards have highlighted the impact that professional and volunteer groundcare individuals have on the sport of cricket, from World Cup venue to village green. “We would like to thank all our sponsors that have supported the Awards for this year – Rigby Taylor, Dennis, SISIS, Iseki and Boughton Loam – without whom we would not be able to showcase and recognise the efforts

of these individuals,” said Alastair Symondson, Head of Media at CricketWorld.com Those words were reiterated by Scott MacCallum, Editor of Turf Matters, who was delighted at how well the awards had been embraced by cricket groundsmen and women and those who appreciate the work done them up and down the country. “I hope that everyone who

has been nominated, as well as those who go on to win a prize takes something out of the Awards and that, for once, those unsung heros are not so unsung!” said Scott. We have had entries and nominations from many clubs and schools, around the UK ,and we look forward to the presentation, at Lord’s, on September 24th 2019 , during the SpecSavers County Championship Middlesex v Derbyshire, where Karl McDermott (a previous Cricket World GroundCare Winner) and now Head Groundsman at Lord’s, will be on hand to show the winners, sponsors and invited guests around the Home of Cricket!”

Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019 | 51


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Bold lines Lightweight and easy to transport, TinyLineMarker (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 disappear if a pitch is not used for any length of time. While initially aimed at football pitches (any length/ width), and rugby union and league pitches as well as multi-lane athletic tracks, tennis, lacrosse and American football pitches, the flexibility of TLM and its ease of programming was demonstrated to the public and media earlier this year when TLM created a series of striking images of cyclists on a hillside for the Asda Tour de Yorkshire cycling event. The Land Art – in one case measuring 100 metres by 40 metres – were painted onto the field and were clearly visible by the airborne TV cameras as well as by the competitors and spectators. In addition to TLM and the award-winning Impact paint, Rigby Taylor can supply other line marking paint and a range of walk-behind spray and transfer wheel line marking machines.

Latest waterer The HBU1200ATE is the newest edition to the SCH waterer range. As the name suggests, this waterer features a 1200 litre capacity polyethylene tank, which is internally baffled to safely minimise surge when braking and turning corners. The trailer’s road-legal steel chassis is fully galvanised, with over-run brakes, lights and a jockey wheel. Two trailer supports are fitted to the rear, to stabilise the trailer when it is unhitched from the towing vehicle. The HBU1200ATE can come with a twin axle as an optional extra. The standard model features a choice between a petrol and an electric powered pump. The 12V DC electric pump has a flow rate of 18 litres per minute, and is powered by the towing vehicles power supply. The petrol option features a reliable 2” centrifugal Honda pump, with an adjustable flow rate up to an impressive 450 litres per minute. The waterer features a short lance for tubs and beds, and a telescopic lance which can reach up to six metres. Six metres of hose is supplied, and two steel stands are mounted to the side of the trailer.

52 | Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019

Replacing two machines with one The SAS Institute, based at Medmenham, near Marlow, is the latest to purchase a Ventrac 4500 compact tractor and attachments. The global analytics company purchased the equipment from Aylesbury-based groundscare dealer, RT Machinery Ltd. The 110-acre Medmenham estate consists of formal gardens and lawns, a unique arboretum, a cricket pitch for staff use as well as the local village team, a 3-hole pitchand-putt course, 5-a-side

football pitch, wildflower meadow, river frontage to the Thames and staff allotments. Landscaping Manager George Reeder is the man tasked with the job of managing the estate. He heads a team of five and joined SAS as a gardener in 2005. “Our mid-mounted rotary mower was nearing the end of its working life and we were in the market for a replacement machine. We were considering an out-front flail, but then attended an RT

Machinery open day and saw the Ventrac with its Contour deck,” explained George. “It looked to be a very innovative machine so we organised a demonstration on site. It worked exceptionally well, producing great stripes and has now replaced our cylinder mower as well. Rye stalks, which are problematic for a cylinder machine, are no longer an issue as it deals with them admirably. This versatility has enabled us to replace two machines with one.”


A heart to Hart Turf Matters spoke exclusively with David Hart, Managing Director of Kubota UK and covered everything from demo lorries, structural changes, Brexit and calamatics… When David Hart took over as Managing Director of Kubota UK just over a year ago there were two things at the top of his “To Do” list. One he wanted to get his feet under his new desk and two he wanted to make sure he got to know his new charge inside out. “I probably looked under every stone I

54 | Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019

possibly could, and spoke with everyone, so that I could get to know all aspects of the business,” said David who had previously enjoyed a stellar 28 year career at John Deere. “It’s been a good year. It’s a cliché but a change is as good as a rest and while it is an industry which I know well there are elements of the Kubota business which have been new to me,” said David, referring to the engine and construction side of the Kubota business. It was just in the summer of last year that David took up his new role but already he has a new job title to add to that of Managing Director – the impressive sounding Vice President for Business Transformation for Europe. “It’s not a promotion. It’s an addition,” he explained. “It’s on top of what I was already doing. Until a couple of years ago each country operated in a different manner. Here in the UK we did certain things in a certain way; Germany did the same; France the same; Poland the same and so on. My new role is to bring some common structures in and processes to those different sales and marketing units.” Having carried out structural changes in his pre-Kubota days it is a role ideally suited to him, as is steering his new staff through the changes which are inherent in a business which has grown from a staff of 88 ten years ago, based out of the headquarters at Thame in

Oxfordshire. to over 140 now. Asked about any significant changes which he has implemented since he joined David points to something which, in addition to its primary aim, has eased congestion on the UK’s motorway network as well as reducing the company’s carbon footprint. “We’ve changed how we managed our demo operation. We used to have three articulated lorries which the demonstrators drove to their destinations. I thought we could used our time better and have those guys focusing on the demonstration rather than driving the trucks. So the trucks have gone giving us a £600,000 saving. That’s among a few things which I have streamlined since I got here.” Another area where David has aided the environment is in a significant reduction in his own airmiles. “The nice thing for me is that I do less travelling because for 28 years I spent 26 weeks on the year travelling and taking around 52 flights a year,” explained David, who has only been to Kubota’s worldwide headquarters in Osaka, Japan, once since he took up his new role. “We’ve had two of our senior management over to visit us and we showed them how we operated the business here in the UK but I think the nice thing is if our Japanese bosses are comfortable with what is going on they leave you to it.” Looking forward David is concerned with how Brexit is going to impact upon the various areas in the Kubota business portfolio. “My biggest concern is that, with or without a deal, it isn’t going to be good. We have already seen the construction market go soft because there has been no houses built in the last three months. Groundcare has also gone soft but that is partly because last year’s dry summer meant that dealers were left with a lot of stock. “I’d say that one of the biggest

making making turf turf matter matter

www.turfmatters.co.uk www.turfmatters.co.uk

with David


concerns is that we are no clearer today about what will happen than we were two and a half years ago. Let’s hope that the pessimists are wrong and the optimists are right and it’s just a blimp or turns out to be something like the Millennium Bug,” said David, in a pragmatic rather than negative tone. Another area which has been impacted by Brexit uncertainty is recruitment. “People keeping their powder dry at the moment. If they get the offer of a lifetime they might jump ship but otherwise they are going to stay were they are until they know what the future holds. We have got seven or eight vacancies at the moment and some of them we’ve had for more than a year.” From the customer’s perspective they can look forward to a bolstering of some of the groundcare product with some additional lines in the near future.

“Hopefully, we’ll have a bit more product offering. Not of a big scale but complementary to what we already do. We have a few irons in the fire.” Kubota have dipped their toe in the automomous mowing, with a product range currently available • NO ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION in France and on its way to these shores while calamatics is another • DOESN’T REQUIRE A SIM CARD area that will be becoming more • ROBUST AND DURABLE prevalent in the next few years. “Remote diagnostics mean that • MOST ACCURATE we are able to connect to customers equipment and make repairs or updates• USER-FRIENDLY TABLET from a central point which means we • FAST AND EASY TO SET UP will be able to react to customers’ needs much more quickly become • MARK ANY PITCH CUSTOMISED even more efficient as a company.” TO YOUR SPECIFIC NEEDS David has got much further down that original “To Do” list than even he had hoped and it augers well for not just the next 12 months but many more after that.

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info@imr.eu • www.imr.eu Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019 | 55


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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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Tea Break Teaser an swers


1. 1970s – 19 71 to be exac t; 2. Kevin M won by Mar oran of Man k Ca chester Unite The four poin lcavecchia against Greg d in 1985; 3. t try had been Nor 1989 1970 World introduced in man and Wayne Grady; Cup in Mexic 4. 19 71 ; 5. Th ey o; came into us In 1992. 6. 2001. In a Pakistan; 7. He w Lord ed at 1882; 8. 1960 as the first Open winne s Test match between En the r s and Jimm y Connors; 9. to sport a beard since Bo gland and Championsh Keegan Brad b Ferguson ip in 2011; 10 in ley . 2007; 11. 19 as a result of 94 in the USA when he won the US PGA a Roberto Ba w he gg the Czech Re n Brazil defe io miss; 12. O public; 13. 19 ated Italy liver Bierhoff 95; 14. 1968 of Germany the Lions ag – Mike Gibs to defeat ainst South on replaced Africa; 15. In Grand Natio Barry 1977 she was nal. the first wom John for an to ride in the

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I did a piece after Patrick Reed won The Masters saying how wonderful it was to have a man who, from the outside at least, appears to have a waist size larger than his inside leg measurement. He immediately became the poster boy for most of us. Now even greater news! Shane Lowry, a man who, from the outside at least, appears to shun the gym in favour of the bar, has won The Open at Royal

58 | Turf Matters | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2019

Portrush. Now only is he definitely not a gym bunny, but he has a beard. The first Open Champion since 1882 to sport fully blown facial hair. Now I don’t have a beard. I don’t feel the need to cover a large portion of my face with hair but I don’t have anything against them. Indeed, in the interests of full disclosure, I must confess that my brother has a beard. But it’s an every man option and with Shane joining Patrick as an every man Major winner we are on the right track to reclaiming our great game. In fact, the entire Royal Portrush Open was a Championship for the people. The Emerald Isle is brilliant for embracing sport and it is great that they were rewarded with a win by one of their bearded own. It might make the hackles of traditionalists rise, but to hear football style singing and chanting during an Open Championship, is a good thing. Golf needs to rid itself of the stuffy fuddy duddy image that so many within the game seem so willing to retain. Don’t get me wrong there are, and always should be limits. It was amusing to see four grown up men turning up on the Saturday in full Tiger suits.


They’d planned them some time before, not building into the equation a missed cut by their hero. Did they feel a tad infantile and stupid? If not, they should have done. Please leave dressing up to the cricket fans. Yes, let’s loosen up the dress rules so beloved by our traditional members’ clubs, but do we really want Tigers, Scooby Doos, and Sponge Bob Square Pants sitting in the nation’s Spike Bars… even if they are wearing long socks? I really don’t think so. I’ve long been a critic of the R&A and their lack of a cohesive approach to growing the game in their own back yard but, to be fair, they are not totally devoid of ideas. The Glastonbury-style campsite launched at Carnoustie last year and grown at Portrush, with free tents for the under 25s, and a smallish fee for those the wrong side of the cut-off, was a great idea and is sure to be continued from now on. Particularly given the accommodate shortage at most of the Open venues. Surely the 1st and 18th fairway on the Old Course is wide enough to accommodate a couple of thousand tents down one side. That’s the sort of radical idea for which I would award some valuable Brownie points. One other thing which did strike me was the news that you can no longer rock up at an Open and pay your money at the gate. It is a ticket only event and Royal Portrush was sold out a long time before Darren Clarke stuck that first drive. It was once that only the Ryder Cup was a ticket affair and I remember turning up at The Belfry in 1985 and paying on the gate, but it does seem a bit sad that The Open is not really the Open if it’s not open to everyone to attend, even on a last minute whim. *As told to Scott MacCallum

Profile for Turf Matters

Turf Matters September / October 2019  

In this issue... An exclusive with Royal Portrush Course Manager following The Open, tackling summer turf strees, the latest in aeration, ba...

Turf Matters September / October 2019  

In this issue... An exclusive with Royal Portrush Course Manager following The Open, tackling summer turf strees, the latest in aeration, ba...


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