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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

March-April 2020 | £4.95

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History and potential Haileybury School: Amazing alumni, wonderful grounds… and an exciting future GRASS SEEDS: GERMINAtION IS THE KEY



25 Get your priorities right

45 The latest technology

62 Effortless line marking

making turf matter




Far-reaching Don’t forget ‘Distances’ Sport…

The issues which have been back the great gamepeople of golfinhave The last two months have holding been a nightmare for many certain been well for some Somegoes have been “fake news” – forwith parts ofknown the country andtime. my heart out to everyone dealing example, that theofmanagement of golf courses always pollutes the aftermath unprecedented flooding andvirtually devastating erosion. the environment but others which is more difficult The best case–scenario forcover manyground is months of temporary living.to For others, lives willsexism, never return toetc. what they were. defend – classism, elitism While thethe fate of sports golfissues clubswhich might have seemdogged But within game itselfgrounds there areand other inconsequential in the face of such hardship, we at Turf Matters have golf for many years – slow play and cost. a particular empathy with everyone who has seen years of agronomic At long last, the governing bodies of the game – the R&A and the husbandry literally washed away in the space of a few weeks. USGA – havebetaken heed the need do something about it and It must hoped thatofbanks – thetofinancial institutions, not theit comes in which the shape a report into Distances. things edgeofoverflown rivers – take an understanding approach On the face facilities of it, the which lengthhave the ball can be hittoisservice just one small of to sporting been unable loans aspiece a a rather jigsaw in fact, itand does a number of those result larger of them beingbut, unplayable soencompass unable to bring in revenue. Aswhich we have seen the recent Winter Olympics, has such a issues limit thewith popularity of the game – namely,sport the time it takes galvanising effect on society and can be the catalyst for so much good, to play a round, as longer hitting has often been countered by producing that courses, it is imperative sporting facilities aremore not forgotten when the longer and longer courses require time to play. promised assistance is being allocated. In addition, the cost of maintenance is higher as there is more real On the issue of improving sporting facilities, we have been estate to manage which, turn,&puts up both membership andingreen invited by in Briggs Stratton to become involved its Pitch fees. It could also traced back to the cause of the increasing numberfor tobe Win competition, which provides a £3,000 makeover of golf courses having close their permanently. what istojudged to begates the Under 18s football pitch in most It is an important subject in on ourthe industry need – find for outmany more of onthose pagesinvolved 16-17. I am judging and visits be made toand a shortlist deserving and it is vital thatpanel we break from will the status quo return of to a game soon. will beislooking so muchtoatrun theor in which is not onlypitches for all to play,We but also not toonot expensive DESSO but the desperate! which to participate. On a final note, I am thrilled by the reception that the The full, unexpedited report can be accessed from Randa.org while on first issue of Turf Matters received. Many people have page 66, thetaken Golfing Nobody has devoted hisliked blog to subject. time to say how much they thethe look of the magazine and how they enjoyed the articles. We’re all

pleased you found it to your liking and we will work hard Scott MacCallum, Editor to maintain the high standards. Thank you all very much.

Distributed every two months to sports turf professionals, independent schools, universities, local authorities and buyers of turfcare machinery and products. Editor: Scott MacCallum Distributed every two months to sports scott@turfmatters.co.uk turf professionals, local authorities Design andof Production Editor: Tim and buyers turfcare machinery andMoat tim@turfmatters.co.uk products. Customer Relations Manager: Editor: Scott MacCallum Sinead Thacker scott@turfmatters.co.uk sinead@turfmatters.co.uk Design and Production Editor: Tim Moat Sales Executive: tim@turfmatters.co.uk Marie Anderson Sales Manager: Pauline Thompson marie@turfmatters.co.uk

To advertise in Turf Matters, call Pauline onin07720 055676 or To advertise Turf Matters, email pauline@turfmatters.co.uk call Sinead 07841 927500

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All material © Turf Matters magazine 2020. Turf Matters is published by Straight Down TurfMiddle Matters was awarded Best the Communications Ltd. Writing and Best Design in the 2019 Turf & Ornamental All material © TurfAssociation Matters magazine 2014. Communicators (toca) Awards No partFollow of this publication may be us on Twitter reproduced in any form whatsoever, @TurfMatters either for sale or not, without the written permission of publication the publisher. No part of this mayInformation be reproduced contained Turf Matters is published in any formin whatsoever, either for sale or in good faith and every effort has not, without the written permission been of the made to ensure its accuracy. TurfinMatters publisher. Information contained Turf Matters can accept no anyeffort error is published in responsibility good faith and for every or All its liability for loss, hasmisrepresentation. been made to ensure accuracy. Turf disappointment, or other Matters can acceptnegligence no responsibility for any damage caused by reliance information error or misrepresentation. Allon liability for loss, contained in Turfnegligence Matters ororinother the event of disappointment, damage caused by reliance information contained in any bankruptcy or on liquidation or cessation Turftrade Matters or incompany, the eventindividual of any bankruptcy of of any or firm or liquidation or of trade of any company, mentioned is cessation hereby excluded. individual or firm mentioned is hereby excluded. Printed byWarners WarnersMidlands MidlandsPLC. PLC. Printed by

Scott MacCallum, Editor You can follow me on Twitter @TurfMatters

Inside Inside this thisissue issue News..........................................................4-18 News .........................................................4-15 Tea Break Teaser.......................................21 Pitch to Win........................................16-17 Dennis seminar. ........................................22 Mowing .................................19-22, 24-27 Grass Seed. . .........................................25-30 Tea Break Teaser ......................................29 Haileybury...........................................34-42 Gleneagles..........................................30-35 Pedestrian mowers.........................45-50 BTME review ......................................36-41 STRI – Equestrian.............................51-55 Diary of a Golfing Nobody.................42 Fertilisers and Chemicals............57-61 As seen on Twitter..................................43 Buyers’ Guide.....................................64-65 Golfingout Nobody’s Blog..........................66 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 CHEMICAL HELP: Fertilisers in the spotlight, pages 57-61 Next magazine distributed May 2020 Subscribe FREE to our e-zine: Details at www.turfmatters.co.uk

Matters| MARCH-APRIL | March-April 2014 TurfTurf Matters 2020| 3 |3


making turf matter


NEW LOOK FOR ATHLETE IN MILESTONE YEAR British Triple Jumping Champion Ben Williams is sporting a brand new look as he prepares for one of the biggest years of his sporting career. Ben, 28, was offered sponsorship by JCB in September to support him in his efforts for success in global athletics competitions. Now he has taken delivery of some new kit – JCB branded clothing bearing his name, which he will wear at events representing JCB. “The year has started well for me and I have just returned from warm weather training in South Africa which was a fantastic way to begin preparations for the season,” said Ben, of Newcastle-under-Lyme. “I’ve got more intensive training planned and lots of competitions lined up ahead of August. I’m feeling confident and it’s great to be in a position of not having to worry about finances in this important period thanks to the JCB funding.” Last year Ben became British Champion with a life-time best jump of 17.27 metres. He secured sponsorship from JCB as he prepares for his ultimate goal – the summer games in 2020 in Tokyo.

Introducing Agrovista Amenity: a new name and some familiar faces Maxwell Amenity and Sherriff Amenity, the professional turf and landscape division of Agrovista, have joined forces to herald the start of an exciting new era. Agrovista Amenity, launched at BTME in January, brings together two of the most experienced and progressive teams in the amenity turf market and is the result of a long-term strategy for growth and evolution. The new company represents a shared vision – an emphatic passion for this much-loved industry, a desire to create and implement new innovations, to deliver

real results for customers and suppliers, to provide technical and service excellence and to empower and inspire staff to help them flourish and prosper. Spearheaded by an experienced senior management team, customers will now benefit from a wider breadth of innovative products and specialist technical expertise. It is the perfect addition to the Agrovista family – a company established more than 60 years ago, that takes pride in its traditional values of professionalism, cutting edge technology,

and customer service. Already servicing the sector through established brand Sherriff Amenity, Agrovista now extends a warm welcome to Maxwell Amenity. Maxwell Amenity trades in the amenity, landscaping and horticultural sectors, offering product supply, media, sports turf contracting, and grounds training. The consolidated expertise will enable Agrovista Amenity to thrive in the industry it knows best, operating across a wide range of turf sectors including greenkeeping, sports turf, the public sector and landscaping.

CHARTERHOUSE LAUNCH ‘NEXT GENERATION’ OF ACCLAImed VERTIDRAIN RANGE Charterhouse Turf Machinery used BTME 2020 as a platform to launch what is considered to be the ‘next generation’ of their renowned VertiDrain range. Offering a 1.9m working width, the new Verti-Drain 2519 is set to become the tool of choice for turf

managers looking for a high-productivity aerator. The 2519 model incorporates the very best of Redexim precision design and engineering to bring a new highspeed machine into their portfolio. Offering a PTO speed of up to 540rpm, it can cover up

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to 8739sq.m per hour when spaced at 165mm. As standard, the VertiDrain 2519 comes with 12mm solid tines but it can accept a range of solid tine options up to 19mm, and hollow tines for coring. This versatility, combined with a variable working depth of up to 250mm,

makes it suitable for an array of end-users, across the full spectrum of the maintenance calendar. Together with a new draw-rod system, it features an easy to adjust heave lever and slip clutch PTO drive. The 2519 also features new livery and styling.


making turf matter www.turfmatters.co.uk

New era thanks to rough mower from Jacobsen Jacobsen has started a new era of end-user focused products with the launch of the AR530 rough mower. The AR range has been redesigned from the ground up with the aim of re-establishing Jacobsen’s commitment to engineering best in class mowers with their famous quality of cut. To achieve this, customers and dealers participated in one of the largest research programmes commissioned to establish the everyday challenges greenkeepers and

ALL-ELECTRIC RIDE-ON IS AN INDUSTRY FIRST BTME witnessed the launch of the all-new all-electric Greensmaster eTriFlex 3370 ride-on mower. Toro’s lithiumion battery powered unit is the quietest ride-on greensmower and incorporates features that will revolutionise the market. Toro’s ‘radius dependent speed system’ delivers an optimal perimeter cut by monitoring each individual cylinder and traction wheel speed during turns and that, in conjunction with the ‘lift-in-turn’ cutting unit levelling feature, standardises the clip rate of each individual cylinder and virtually eliminates the effect know as ‘Triplex-Ring’. The double A-Arm suspension system, with industry-leading Flex technology, means the cutting units float freely and closely over any terrain and deliver superior contour-following. Being all-electric means lower emissions and fuel savings, yet ample power to get the job done. The eTriFlex 3370 delivers the future to the fine turf sector.

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groundsmen face. The results focused on features, quality and durability – crucial elements in the design process for Jacobsen Product Manager, Lee Frie. “We had a machine that did well in the market, and we learnt a lot in seven years, so this was really a ground-up redesign of a good machine that we wanted to make better,” explained Lee. “We wanted to improve the experience of cutting with the AR and the results you get from it, and I think

operators are going to find quite a bit different about this machine. We’ve improved the cut quality as well as the after cut appearance with grass clipping dispersal. We’ve also improved the traction system, so it does a fantastic job of climbing and side hill performance. “The ergonomics are greatly improved. All of the controls are at the user’s finger tips, so it’s very easy to operate.” The new AR models are available with five or seven floating 58cm articulated

contour rotary decks, with the AR530 providing a cutting width of 2.3m and the AR730 – due to launch in September 2020 – 3.15m. The new TrueDeck design uses smaller decks to follow tight undulations and provides the best power per width of cut ratio on the market. To harness the cut quality, the traction system has been enhanced to a best in class standard using SureTrac II 4WD. www.jacobsenbuilt.com

Synthetic bunkers at The Island The Island GC outside Dublin has rebuilt a large proportion of its revetted bunkers using a new solution from synthetic bunker solutions provider EcoBunker. The course, currently undergoing a renovation at the hands of architects Mackenzie and Ebert, has adopted a new approached created by EcoBunker inventor and CEO Richard Allen, that sees the bottom six turf layers of the revetted wall built from synthetic turf, while the rest is natural. “Revetted bunkers decay from the bottom up, which is only to be expected because it is the bottom of the wall that is most exposed to water,” explained Richard. “When the bottom of the wall fails, wind and rain get in behind the revet and remove sand, eventually causing the wall to collapse. With synthetic turf at the base, this will not happen, and the longevity of the wall

will be significantly enhanced.” Setting the base of a revetted bunker is the part of the build that takes the most time. “With the EcoBunker base in place, all we will have to do when it comes to rebuilding the wall is to remove the natural revet with a spade and replace the turf. Six layers of artificial turf is a totally solid base on which to build the

rest of the wall.,” said Course Manager Dave Edmondson. “We have to buy in my revetting turf, so putting in a synthetic base will actually make rebuilding cheaper in the future. “And there is absolutely zero aesthetic impact. When the sand is ready for play, the synthetic turf is all below the sand line. Everything you can see is natural.”


Winners of Golf Environment Awards 2020 are revealed The winners of the 2020 Golf Environment Awards were revealed at The Crown, Harrogate, in a ceremony hosted by STRI Group. Environmental Golf Course of the Year 2020 – Warrington Golf Club A golf course that has consistently shown innovative and direct solutions to reducing damaging environmental practices. From developing a team of experts Warrington has shown that a course can be sustainable in relation to inputs, environmental impacts and water usage, while also being ecologically diverse. Conservation Greenkeeper of the Year 2020 – Neil Sherman – Ipswich Golf Club, Purdis Heath Neil Sherman has been a fundamental part of Ipswich Golf Club, Purdis Heath, and that can be seen through its ecologically diverse and fantastically beautiful rough

areas. Neil has performed positive and interesting work in renewing the heathland characteristics of the course and it is rare to meet a greenkeeper with quite as much ecological knowledge as him. Outstanding Environmental Project of the Year 2020 – Dundonald Links Amanda Dorans and the team at Dundonald Links have done something truly rare as they have created a partnership between not just multiple golf courses but multiple industries to create protected sites across Scotland. Not only that, that they have achieved amazing results in boosting numbers of the small blue butterfly. Operation Pollinator 2020

– Banchory Golf Club Banchory Golf Club went from strength to strength during 2019 vastly increasing the areas dedicated to wildflowers. Naturally seeded areas and also areas sown with species that are appropriate to the local region are both present. STRI ecologists saw a diverse range of invertebrate species that can only be explained by a course that has been managed appropriately. Home Unions National Award 2020 – Market Harborough Golf Club Market Harborough GC are the inaugural winners of this award. The club management and greenkeeping staff have driven environmental and ecological conservation as a combined force. This has manifested itself through the sustainability group which have created policies, action plans and projects that have importantly started to create direct

improvements on the course. “The Golf Environment Awards were set up 25 years ago to showcase golf’s positive environmental footprint among a backdrop of social negativity,” said the STRI Head of Ecology, Bob Taylor. “It has been great to see the way in which such small beginnings have now swelled to what is a major movement, delivering and working towards ecological and environmental best practice throughout the length and breadth of the UK. “I’m delighted to see there was so much enthusiasm and passion for ecology and the environment. Every year the awards get bigger and better in providing aspirations to individuals and golf clubs. “A huge congratulations to winners and finalists. You are doing sterling work and, in doing so, are becoming a valuable part of your local communities,” said Bob.

Members going for the buzz at Sawgrass Each year John Deere, in association with BIGGA and the GCSAI, sends seven association members to Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida to join the agronomy team on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass for the duration of The Players Championship. It’s an incredible experience, where the volunteers get completely immersed in the hosting of the PGA Tour’s flagship event with flights, accommodation and other costs all thrown in. Representing the British and Irish associations, the successful seven selected to join the John Deere TPC Sawgrass Volunteer Programme in March 2020, working alongside the home greenkeeping team as part of the 8 | Turf Matters | MARCH-APRIL 2020

volunteer course maintenance force of over 90, are:


n South East: Ben Hunter, Deputy Course Manager, The Richmond n South West & South Wales: Mark Tucker, Head

Greenkeeper, Neath n Central England: Alex Brougham, Deputy Head Greenkeeper, Trentham Park n Northern: Peter Lewis, Greenkeeper, Royal Liverpool n Scotland: Eddie Irvine, Deputy Head Greenkeeper, Trump

International Aberdeen n International: Yannick Weber, Assistant Superintendent, Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand


n Ireland: Dean O’Connell, Greenkeeper, Grange Golf Club

making turf matter


Badgemore Park signs up for Toro Following on from Toro’s success at The Drift Golf Club in Surrey, Toro arrives at Badgemore Park Golf Club in Henley-on-Thames, its sister club, for the first time. Since it was founded in 1972, Badgemore Park has operated a like-for-like machinery replacement plan and didn’t benefit from the advantages of having a comprehensive machinery fleet, until now. For the last 20 years Course Manager Lindsay Anderson has wanted that to change and now’s the time, with the club choosing Toro for its first ever fleet package deal. “We’ve undergone a lot of development at the club recently. Making changes with new greens and tees and re-developing all the bunkers,”

explained Lindsay. “Investing in a complete Toro machinery package is part of a massive investment in the club and another step towards improve the course, completing our five-year plan of course improvements in time for our 50th anniversary in 2022,” he added. And it was a very thorough process for Lindsay when it came to choosing a new equipment provider. “We had demonstrations from a few brands and asked around other golf courses for recommendations. It became clear fairly soon that Toro was the way to go.” The machines entrusted with maintaining the beautiful parkland course include three Toro Greensmaster

We have a massive aeration programme proposed… so it’s going to get a lot of use

TriFlex 3400 mowers, two Groundsmaster 4300-D mowers, two Greensmaster 1000 pedestrian mowers, two Workman MDX-D utility vehicles, a Groundsmaster 4000-D and a ProCore 648 with quick tine change collars fitted, which Lindsay says is his favourite. “It’s just fantastic. We have a massive aeration programme proposed for the next six months so it’s going to get a lot of use and I know it will be up to the task. It’s a real quality piece of engineering built for ease of maintenance and ease of operation. Plus, it’s durable and reliable.” Of course, committing to one machinery brand usually means a change in dealer with Reesink being keen to demonstrate to Lindsay how it offers its customers more. Reesink Sales Manager Robert Rees soon made the introductions for Lindsay with his local Toro service centre, CTH Engineering, which reassured Lindsay about the backup service available.

BATTERY POWERED COMPACT TRACTOR FROM KUBOTA Kubota has unveiled an electric prototype compact tractor for the groundcare sector. Powered by lithium-ion batteries, the machine is designed to operate using the equivalent output of compact tractors with a diesel engine. This prototype, which was unveiled in Kyoto City, Japan, is a response to the global shift towards electric vehicles and signifies Kubota’s continued investment in meeting the needs of its customers, both now and in the future. Kubota will proceed with the ongoing development by conducting demonstration experiments and analysing the needs of local users.

Turf Matters | MARCH-APRIL 2020 | 9


New appointments at John Deere Following a strategic reorganisation of John Deere’s professional turf business in Europe, Brian D’Arcy has been appointed as Turf Division Sales Manager for the company’s newly created Region 2 Sales Division 1. This covers the UK and Ireland plus additional key markets in Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland. Brian, pictured left, is a graduate of Tralee Institute of Technology in Ireland, where he gained a degree in Agricultural Engineering Management. He joined John Deere Limited at Langar, Nottingham in 2007. Promotions led him to become UK and Ireland Strategic Account Manager

for turf and other nonagricultural products, before moving to Deere’s European HQ in Mannheim, Germany in 2018 as Region 2 Product Manager for Compact and Utility Tractors. As a result of the structural changes, Richard Charleton has been promoted to a new additional Strategic Account Manager position for golf

and turf covering the UK and Ireland, alongside Michael Grey (who replaced Brian D’Arcy in this role in 2018). Alongside this responsibility, Richard is also taking on the position of John Deere Limited Turf Territory Manager for Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Richard is a graduate of Rycotewood College in

the UK, where he gained a higher national certificate in Agricultural Engineering. He joined John Deere in 1991 before being promoted to the role of Turf Area Service Manager for both countries in 1994. Richard then became Turf Territory Manager for Scotland and the north of England in 1996, a position he has held until this latest promotion. Joanne Gregory has replaced Richard Charleton as John Deere Limited’s new Turf Territory Manager for Scotland and the north of England. Joanne is a graduate of Harper Adams University, where she gained a BSc (Hons) in Agricultural Business Management, and spent a placement year with the marketing team at Langar.

It’s business as usual Price Turfcare enjoyed an interesting BTME with the announcement that Toro had purchased Venture Products Inc., the manufacturer of Ventrac all-terrain compact tractors. “As the UK distributor of Ventrac, this came as quite a shock, so early on the first day of the show,” said Managing Director, Rupert Price. “There was so much speculation as to what the implications might be, but I was overwhelmed with the level of support and goodwill from everyone who came onto the stand. “Tuesday, the day of the announcement, was a bit of a blur, but our small team rallied around and over the course of the next couple of days we spoke to a lot of end-users and potential customers, coming away with plenty of demonstration requests,” explained Rupert. “As we spoke with our American colleagues over the following days, the picture became significantly clearer and a lot of the doomsday scenarios began to evaporate. Many people assumed that Toro would acquire the company, rebrand and paint the machines red, as they have done with previous acquisitions 10 | Turf Matters | MARCH-APRIL 2020

in the past. However, if you look at what they did with Exmark, Boss and Ditch Witch, this is not always the case and Ventrac will be operated on a similar basis. “Rick Olson, CEO of Toro stated publicly via a YouTube video that there is no intention of moving production out of Orrville in Ohio and that they would continue to build the Ventrac brand. At the Golf Industries Show in Orlando recently, I had the opportunity to speak with representatives from both Ventrac and Toro and they confirmed this. So, I see this as an excellent opportunity for Price Turfcare. Although we are a small team, we have taken a virtually unknown brand in the UK from zero sales in 2016 to over 100 machines sold by the end of 2019. We know that this did not go unnoticed within the Toro organisation. “So, from hereon in, its business as usual; you’ll see us out and about around the UK, redoubling our efforts and continuing to increase the footprint of a product that has impressed Rick Olson for its quality and one that complements the Toro brand.”

making turf matter


BASIS and STRI step up their environmental offering BASIS and the STRI have joined forces to provide a new modular training course that will help greenkeepers, groundsmen and amenity contractors to protect the environments in which they work. At a time when climate change is high on the agenda, the Managing Ecological and Environmental Landscapes (MEEL) qualification is designed for professionals involved in enhancing the ecological and environmental features of the landscape from a golf or amenity perspective. Speaking at the launch at BTME, Stephen Jacob, BASIS CEO, said the new qualification will provide a core module, followed by a choice of specialisms, one for greenkeepers, and the other for professionals managing municipal landscapes. “The golf specialism will focus on an integrated approach to habitat management, regeneration

and creation, all which the sports turf sector already recognises as vital to achieving environmental sustainability while continuing to maximise the enjoyment of golf,” he said. “The amenity specialism is geared towards professionals involved in creating management plans for enhancing environmental features of the landscape such as woodlands, wetlands and hedgerows. “We’re delighted to provide candidates with the opportunity to increase knowledge of their specific role, to provide the highest quality landscapes, while playing a key part in protecting the environment,” added Stephen. The course has been developed with the STRI over the last two years, taking industry feedback into account to ensure each module is tailored to the particular needs of

Picture: STRI

greenkeepers or groundsmen and amenity contractors. Commenting on the training structure, Dr Christian Spring, STRI Research and Operations Manager, revealed that over four days the course will be delivered by a team of experts at the STRI, and will combine classroom and practical learning sessions. “This new qualification

KAR UK wins top award KAR UK has won the Kasco Top Sales Growth Award for 2019. KAR UK, a wholesaler of irrigation equipment, provides a wide range of irrigation products to the horticultural, agricultural, landscape and sports turf markets in the UK and Ireland. The company has gone from strength to strength and its success can partly be attributed to working only with the most prominent manufacturers – one of which is Kasco.

Kasco manufactures high quality products such as fountains, surface aerators, diffused aerators, de-icers, circulators and beneficial bacteria to aquatic industries – all of which are designed to improve water quality. Commenting on KAR UK’s award, Joe Holz, Kasco’s International Sales Manager, said: “We are extremely proud to present KAR UK with an award. KAR UK earned this award by being one of the fastest growing Kasco distributors in the world. “We would like to thank them for their partnership with us and we look forward to more award recognitions in the future.” KAR UK’s UK Sales Manager, Mike McDonnell, said: “We are delighted to have won this award for the first time. My thanks go to Kasco, to everyone at KAR for all the hard work, and also to our customers for their continuing support.” www.karuk.com

is a fantastic opportunity for those working in the amenity industry to take the next step in their career, and we look forward to the first intake later this year,” concluded Christian. The first course is set to commence in autumn 2020, with further dates to follow. For information on dates and timings please visit www. basis-reg.co.uk/training

FIFA PITCH MANAGER IS SPECIAL GUEST AT RIGBY TAYLOR EVENT Alan Ferguson, FIFA Senior Pitch Management Manager, was the special guest at the Rigby Taylor ‘after show’ event hosted together with Rain Bird, Tillers Turf and Top Green. Alan gave the audience of more than 100 grounds professionals an insight into his role and an update on the progress of the Qatar 2022 World Cup stadia where he and his team will have responsibility for pitch installation and management.

Turf Matters | MARCH-APRIL 2020 | 11


making turf matter


GrasPro pitch management system is a vital tool for club GrasPro Pitch Management System has become a vital data collection tool for Forest Green Rovers Head Groundsman, Adam Witchell. Adam is into his fourth season with the League Two football club, and he has used GrasPro throughout that time to record data from the club’s stadium pitch and training pitch. The system has helped him save time recording data and generating reports, allowing him to concentrate on doing the work that is needed. “I think it’s wonderful, it’s one of my main tools as a head groundsman, and I use it to manage a different site as well, I find it one of the most beneficial things I have,” said Adam. “When I first went to Forest Green Rovers, it was one of the first things that I got because I needed a data management plan. “I’ve trialled other data collection systems and for me this is the best one. I was looking for a management system, and I was trialling a few, but really it was the ease of use because some data collection systems can take a while. It takes away data recording in the evening because it doesn’t take long to put it into the GrasPro system, so it saves me time and energy that I can concentrate on other parts of my job. “I use it for all of my monthly reviews and daily and weekly plans. And I can look back on things that worked and didn’t work by

doing PQS’s on the pitch. For me, it’s massively helpful to be able to do that. “I think I’m the only person in the world working with an organic vegan pitch and it’s very a difficult pitch. It’s a very heavy clay pitch, it has its problems, but with the weather that’s added to it, you can look at when disease might be in and then you can look at how the pitch performs with some of the products you’ve used and how it’s performed in the games in that month,” said Adam. “And then at other times when it might not be performing as well you can look back and think ‘ah, I didn’t do that when I’ve done that before.’ Also, when we’ve had disease, I can record the humidity, the

temperature and things like that to so I can see if disease is coming. With the weather we’ve had, I can think I need to start using this product or feeding it a certain way because disease will be rife soon. “Another part of it was getting to speak to Einar Brynjarsson at GrasPro. We were looking at how we could improve the system for the future, and how it would best work with the systems I use already, which was very good and very detailed. Working closely with Einar means if there are bits that aren’t in the system, then I can contact him. “We’ve spoken about machinery because it didn’t have that before and I said I needed something for it. Now I can record the hours every

“I think I’m the only person in the world working with an organic vegan pitch and it’s very a difficult pitch.” 12 | Turf Matters | MARCH-APRIL 2020

month, and I can see when the next service is, when it’s due an oil change or maybe it’s time for machines to be ground or start looking at how the batteries are doing. “There wasn’t anything like that initially, and it was something I felt like I wanted, I discussed it with them, and they’ve come up with an excellent machinery section of the system which takes a lot of headache away. I have a lot of plate spinning in my job, and it’s something that I don’t have to worry about now, I don’t need to keep checking if it’s time for this to be serviced or putting lots of bits of paper down or notes all around my whiteboard.” GrasPro has been built by groundsmen for groundsmen. It has been developed as a time effective tool to help speed up data collection and allow users to quickly use and analyse data from their surfaces and machines to make informed statistical decisions. www.gras.pro



Rothschild Foundation buys Ventrac for Waddeson Manor The Rothschild Foundation has purchased a Ventrac 4500 all-terrain compact tractor and Tough Cut mowing deck from supplying dealer, RT Machinery Ltd, to help maintain the gardens and grounds at Waddesdon Manor near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. The Foundation manages Waddesdon on behalf of the National Trust. Mike Buffin is Gardens Manager at Waddesdon and heads a team of 14 full-time gardeners and four students on one-year assignments. His CV includes working at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh, the University of Pennsylvania, the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens and

National Trust. The gardens department manages over 400 acres at Waddesdon. “We have wildflower meadows dotted around the estate, many on challenging slopes,” said Mike. “I’m attempting a change to the direction of our maintenance regimes, looking to get more versatility from our equipment and taking a more environmental approach, where possible. “There’s a broad expanse of lawn at the front of the house, which takes a lot of wear at our annual events, such as the Christmas Fair, Colourscape in May, Summer Fest in July and Chilli Fest each September. The initial demo highlighted the benefits

of the Aera-vator in relieving the compaction and the overseeding attachment worked particularly well. “However, it was on the wildflower banks where the machine really came into its own. It was a wet day and the Tough Cut deck performed admirably in these challenging areas. We have been using several different mowers to achieve the high level of presentation expected at Waddesdon. The versatility of the Ventrac has simplified this and it is now one of our principal mowers,” he revealed. “RT Machinery have been excellent and the ability to hire-in attachments means we have the opportunity

to undertake an extended evaluation to enable us to draw up a shortlist of attachments for future purchase. It’s the ideal machine for us because of its versatility, the ease of changing attachments and its slope mowing capabilities.” The Waddesdon estate includes the Dairy, a beautiful and historic 19th century building, used exclusively as a wedding venue; the Five Arrows Hotel, Windmill Hill Archive and Flint House, a domestic dwelling commissioned by Lord Rothschild and completed in 2015, winning that year’s RIBA House of the Year Award.

Pellenc are at the ‘very top of the game’ Peter O’Brien Landscaping & Sons, one of Ireland’s leading landscape and sports ground companies, has invested in a large fleet of Pellenc battery powered equipment. The company, which specialises in design, construction and maintenance, has gained widespread plaudits for its quality of work and recently scooped the prestigious Landscape Contractor of the 14 | Turf Matters | MARCH-APRIL 2020

Year and Sports Turf Contractor of the Year awards for 2019. With over 100 members of staff and a huge arsenal of green space management equipment at its disposal, Andy Jones, Maintenance Supervisor for Peter O’Brien’s, believes that the company has a responsibility to manage the impact the tools are having on the environment. “We are always conscious at looking at our carbon

footprint. It is massive for us – particularly as we look towards the future,” said Andy. “There is no point in us creating beautiful wildflower meadows and putting in pollinator plants when we are using petrol and diesel machinery – it just seems to defeat the purpose.” The company soon embarked on an extensive search to identify a new fleet of battery powered equipment, and as

Andy explains, no stone was left unturned in their quest. “Electric machinery is a huge trend nowadays and we felt it was imperative to purchase the very best we could find on the marketplace. We conducted a huge amount of research over a three-month period. We soon concluded that the Pellenc products are quite simply at the very top of the game.” www.pellencuk.com


making turf matter


SALTEX proves good for business Findings from the SALTEX 2019 post-show exhibitor survey have confirmed that the 2019 event was extremely valuable for a high percentage of groundscare exhibitors. In fact it was deemed so successful that more than half of exhibitors reserved their space for the 2020 event before the end of the 2019 show and organisers have since reported a record number of repeat business, stand upgrades and an influx of debut exhibitors – with more than 200 companies committing to SALTEX 2020. The survey findings confirm that 96% of survey respondents generated new sales leads and 82%have already taken orders as a direct result of exhibiting at the show. The recordbreaking 9,104 attendance

was rated as excellent by 85% of exhibitors the quality of visitors scored 91%. The survey also revealed an insight into SALTEX’s extensive range of exhibitors, which included 22 companies from outside of the UK, covering a broad range of groundscare categories: • Machinery and hand tools – 54% • Sports surfaces and facilities – 29% • Landscaping – 26% • Seeds, turf and aggregates – 25% • Arboriculture and horticulture – 17% • Commercial vehicles – 13% • Security, health and safety – 10% • Play, street and furniture – 5% • Synthetic turf – 4% In addition, 89% of

exhibitors felt that the UK’s decision to leave the EU will not affect their business. This year, the exhibition will be celebrating its 75th anniversary and 93 per cent of survey respondents confirmed

that they will be returning to exhibit at SALTEX 2020. SALTEX 2020 will take place at the NEC, Birmingham on 4 and 5 November. www.iogsaltex.com

Turf Matters | MARCH-APRIL 2020 | 15


New Gator most comfortable ever John Deere’s new premium XUV 865R Gator is the most comfortable model ever produced in the company’s popular crossover utility vehicle range. The 23hp dieselpowered model combines the established high performance of the XUV 865M with a wide range of additional operator friendly features, including a luxurious cab environment. Standard specification includes a continuously variable transmission with on-demand four-wheel drive, power steering, fully independent suspension and an attachment-ready electrical system. The quiet, fully equipped cab provides comfortable car-style seating for up to three people when driving off-road, as well as easyopening door handles, a fully opening windscreen and a

proven, extremely efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. In addition, the cab features an attractive tan-coloured interior that has been ergonomically redesigned, with the easyto-use automotive-style controls now conveniently located in the centre of the dash. The streamlined

roof moves water to the outside edges, and both the high-level front and rear lights are set below the roof line for better protection. It is powered by an 854cc three-cylinder, liquidcooled OHV diesel engine producing 23hp at 3600rpm, with a top speed of 31mph in high range. The true 4WD system has an auto-locking

front differential and dashmounted electronic rocker switch for easy operation. To complement the robust frame, the vehicle is equipped with four-wheel independent suspension. This has been designed to provide a smooth ride and optimum load carrying ability over challenging terrain, without compromising ride quality or vehicle stability. The versatile cargo box is made of a durable composite material that eliminates rust and dents and reduces noise. There is an automotive style tailgate handle and the rear lights are available with optional protectors. The cargo box can be easily converted to a flat-bed and has a load capacity of 454kg, while towing capacity is 900kg and total payload is 680kg. www.deere.co.uk

Latest GreenMech dealer appointed

Wide as you like, not just greens

Thurlow Nunn Standen Ltd have become the latest GreenMech dealer – having been appointed as distributors for Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. Operating out of three depots in Attleborough, Kennett and Melton, TNS will now be handling sales and support for Europe’s leading range of woodchippers. TNS are East Anglia’s premier agricultural machinery dealers, as well as offering a wide selection of groundcare products from some of the industry’s leading manufacturers. The breadth of range and depth of knowledge in the grounds division sees TNS well placed to offer product support across the GreenMech range which spans pedestrian, road-tow, tracked and tractor-mounted models. TNS are very pleased to be appointed as the new GreenMech dealer for East Anglia. “We believe the range of quality products they offer will complement our existing portfolio and will suit both professional and domestic users. “We look forward to promoting this range to our existing and new customers and working with this market leading British manufacturer,” said Chris Tew, Sales Director at TNS.

In recent years, golf courses have been working hard to raise the turf quality of their fairways. This follows a similar pattern to the great advances in greens care equipment, and consequently turf quality, that have been made on golf greens since the 1980s and 90s. Many greenkeepers will remember the launch of the Vertidrain, followed by various greens rollers, the Greens Groomer zig-zag brush and the Sweep N Fill rotary brushes which superseded drag mats, plus the universally popular Thatch-Away greenscare cassette system. Now, in the face of extreme weather in recent years, golfers are looking for improved turf quality on fairways. Having suffered from both drought and prolonged rain, many courses

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have struggled to maintain acceptable playing conditions, and are consequently looking at implementing some of the techniques previously reserved for greens, on their fairways. Cultural practices such as brushing to disperse dew and worm casts, grooming to reduce thatch, rolling to improve trueness, and sarel rolling to improve percolation and reduce run-off, are all now viable

treatments for fairways. GreenTek are once again leading the way, with ultrawide versions of the type of equipment that was formally only found on greens. Their Multi-Brush, MultiRoller, and Multi-Sarel all have 5.4m working widths, and the new Fairway Groomer, is 3.6m wide. This equipment is suitable for high frequency use to maintain pristine fairways on a weekly basis.


making turf matter


Clean sweep at Colliers Park The Syn-Pro SSS1000 tractor mounted rotary brush sweeper by SISIS is providing Dylan Thompson, Grounds Maintenance Manager, at Colliers Park, with a certain peace of mind. Welsh football recently received a boost after a new training and development centre was opened in Wrexham. In a collaboration between the FAW and Glyndwr University, Colliers Park in Gresford boasts stateof-the-art facilities in a bid to promote, develop and protect football in Wales. The impressive footballing centre also features a brandnew synthetic pitch which is kept in immaculate condition by the SISIS SSS1000 – a machine which instantly impressed Dylan. “We trialled the SSS1000

before we purchased it and the amount it cleaned up the pitch was crazy,” he said. “From the very start we realised what a great tool it was and in those early weeks after installation it was fantastic at picking up loose fibres.” The SISIS SSS1000 is a tractor mounted sweeper which can be pulled by any machine. The rotary brush has been designed for use on synthetic surfaces to remove surface debris, lift the carpet pile and redistribute sand or rubber crumb infill giving the surface maximum performance and extended life. There are no tools required for the adjustment of the brush or the angle of the draw bar and to make storage easy the draw bar lifts to

an upright position. With an aluminium hopper with stainless steel mesh, any infill that is collected when using

the machine is returned back to the surface leaving it free from contamination of debris. www.synprobysisis.com

Turf Matters | MARCH-APRIL 2020 | 17


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New Acuspray Solo strengthens Techneat range Cambridgeshire-based manufacturer Techneat Engineering now offers the Acuspray Solo, a new pedestrian sprayer, aimed at the professional groundsperson and keen gardener. The Acuspray Solo will complement the existing range that already includes both the SPPS and Acuspray machines offering operators a high level of build quality from a lightweight and robust moulded construction together with corrosion resistant zinc plated steel work. “Designed and manufactured in the UK, it’s a user friendly sprayer emitting very low decibel emissions so it can be used late in the evening, early in the morning and is ideal for use in built up areas. The machine, powered

by a 12v battery, has a 2m boom offering the operator excellent spray coverage and a 35L tank ensuring fewer stops for refilling, “said Techneat Technical Support Manager James English. “Most of the controls, including a pressure gauge that monitors and regulates the Solo’s output, are conveniently located on the sprayer’s tank and the boom folds neatly for easy storage. “The Acuspray Solo’s 35l tank enables it to cover up to 875m2 before refilling is required making it far superior to the coverage offered by a traditional knapsack sprayer. For turf care professionals who require precision equipment that’s simple to operate and built to last it’s the perfect pedestrian sprayer” explained James.

Symbio increases its staff expertise Symbio has appointed biological science specialist Dr Deidre Charleston, Ph.D. as Research and Technical Manager and Andrew de Wet as Technical Sales Manager for the Midlands. Deirdre brings over 20 years’ experience of field trials, data collection, new product development, testing of compounds and mixtures and fulfilment of UK and EU pesticide regulatory and labelling requirements. Growing up in South Africa, the daughter of a game ranger, Deidre’s early experience of wide-open spaces and respect for the natural world later developed into a life-long passion for biological science. Her career path has included managing trials programmes at Microspore and Arysta Life Science as well as laboratory trials in plant pathology and entomology. At 18 | Turf Matters | MARCH-APRIL 2020

Scotts Miracle-Gro, she was responsible for managing the Levington Research station. Prior to joining Symbio, in her role as Curriculum and Quality Manager at Easton and Otley College, her responsibilities included academic and subject leadership for land-based studies, and delivery of plant and soil science, pest control and PA01 training for NPTC qualifications. “I’m very excited about joining Symbio which really takes me back to my roots in scientific research but combines that with a focus on the value of education,” said Deirdre. Andrew is a former Golf Course

Manager with a passion for sustainability and ecology. He went on to launch a successful turf care and landscaping company before joining an organisation whose ethos and products he has long advocated. “Recognising that golf courses are such valuable urban

ecosystems, good environmental stewardship was at the heart of everything I did as a greenkeeper. I committed to reducing inputs and with Symbio’s help I was able to, growing finer grasses in a healthier rootzone and redirecting that expenditure to other areas of the golf course.”

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Tea Break Teaser Now that we are officially out of Europe, how about a quiz which celebrates our continental cousins?

1. At which stadium do Barcelona play their home games? 2. In which month is the Prix de l’arc de triumphe run? 3. Where is the Cresta Run? 4. Which regular rugby union playing county has the biggest population? 5. Male tennis players from which two countries competed in the final of the recent Australian Open? 6. How many stages will make up the 2020 Tour de France 7. Which Dutch footballer topped a recent poll of the best European sportsmen of all time? 8. Which team did Real Madrid defeat 7-3 at Hampden Park, in 1960 to win the European Cup? 9. What do Rafael Nadal and Cristiano Ronaldo have in common? 10. In 1979, who were the first continental European players to compete in the Ryder Cup? 11. In which city was Jurgen Klopp born? 12. In which stadium do Italy play their Six Nations Rugby matches 13. In which country will the 2020 Vuelta a Espana start? 14. Who is the one Scandinavian male golfer to win a Major? 15. What nationality was the great 800 metre runner Ivo Van Damme? Answers on page 65 Turf Matters | MARCH-APRIL 2020 | 21


Leaving the Brits in the shade T

Main picture: A packed house as the Seminar gets underway. Above, the panel

uesday February 18 saw two high profile events on the UK calendar. Both had a superb venue, both had a stellar cast of “performers”, both were celebrating significant birthdays, and both had an appreciative audience, many of whom had travelled considerable distances to attend. But while the 40th anniversary of The Brits, at the O2 in London’s Docklands, experienced its fair share of drunkenness, swearing and miscellaneous bad behaviour, the 10th annual Dennis SISIS Seminar at the Emirates Riverside, home of Durham County Cricket Club, was conducted in impeccable style and there was no need for anyone to resort to the mute button to shield the audience from fruity language. The weather was superb, ironic as Storm Dennis had wreaked havoc in many parts of the country but Seminar Dennis seemed to be blessed, fitting as host for the day was Durham CCC Head Groundsman Vic Demain, the man who had approached Roger Moore, of Dennis SISIS, 10 years ago to float the idea of a cricket-focussed seminar. In 2020, with an audience of 130 plus and a list of speakers out of the very top drawer, the Seminar has come a long way since that first event in Uxbridge School back in 2011. Delegates and speakers gathered the night before at Lumley Castle Hotel, overlooking the cricket ground and under the stewardship of the Dennis SISIS staff, Roger, Alison Pickering and Ewen Wilson, everyone enjoyed a superb meal, sharing the sort of tales and gossip which

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wouldn’t be surfacing in the more formal environment the following day. Ewen and Vic kicked things off with the latter introducing Marcus North, the Durham Director of Cricket and a former Australian Test batsman. Marcus talked of the need for a strong relationship between the Director of Cricket and the Head Groundsman and how best results

were achieved through establishing such a relationship and keeping their respective office doors open. Following Marcus was Dr Iain James, of TGMA, who spoke on the Construction and Maintenance of a Cricket Pitch. Ian was followed by Ian Powell, the IOG’s Regional Pitch Advisor, who discussed Decision Making for Pre-season preparations.

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Among the messages delivered was that good groundsmanship should always be tried before pitch reconstruction and that waiting was invariably a sensible option before undertaking tasks because the addition time often allowed the pitch to dry out even more. Groundsman’s Corner preceded lunch. Hosted by Vic, an illustrious group comprising Karl McDermott, Head Groundsman at Lords; Sean Williams, Head Groundsman at Gloucester CCC; Gordon Gill, Head Groundsman at Bath Cricket Club as well as two rugby infiltrators, Jim Dawson, Head Groundsman at BT Murrayfield, and Keith Kent, Head Pitch Advisor to Rugby Groundsmen Connected and former Head Groundsman at both Old Trafford (football not cricket) and Twickenham. They talked about how they had entered the profession and shared best advice and best

practice with the audience. The afternoon session was launched by Barry Glynn, who expressed his well known frustrations of a Groundsman. Barry, now retired and based in Brighton where he plays three rounds of golf a week, is such a well regarded speaker that he has been booked to speak at the 150th birthday of WG Grace’s very own cricket club. Barry was on safe ground and the nods of recognition and guffaws from the floor when he highlighted a perennial gripe made for an entertaining talk. Keith Kent then took to the floor and he pointed out the synergies which exist when it comes to maintaining cricket and rugby pitches and how often, because a rugby field becomes a cricket outfield in the summer, special care was needed to ensure rogue bounces were avoided as much as possible from a well struck cricket ball. He also reminisced about


his time at both Old Trafford – complete with a picture of him playing for the Manchester United staff team – and Twickenham, where he and his small team were responsible for everything green – with the exception of the seats! The question and answer session which closed the day was one of the highlights and covered everything from avoiding inadvertently offering information which could be used by illegal betting gangs, to the latest information on worm eradication. Sponsors for the day included your very own Turf Matters, Limegrain, Poweroll, CricketWorld, Boughton, Fleet, Thomas Sherriff, Headland Amenity Products, SIS Pitches, Stuart Canvas Products and Facility and Sports Club Development. Big thanks to Vic, Roger, Alison and Ewen for all the work involved in pulling such an event together, and for putting those Brits in the shade! Turf Matters | MARCH-APRIL 2020 | 23


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It’s all about

GRASS SEED Stronger germination and faster establishment are key DLF Seed’s ProNitro Coating Technology has been helping greenkeepers and groundsmen achieve stronger germination, faster establishment and lower input costs. Four years on from its launch, the next generation of ProNitro is now available, featuring DLF’s new Hydroactive Water Management Technology. ProNitro’s targeted combination of controlled release nitrogen and sustainable water distribution optimises the delivery of essential nutrients and moisture to the developing seedling. With sustainability an everincreasing priority for turf managers around the world, the ProNitro coating ensures available water is used more efficiently. “The new ProNitro formulation has been conceived and developed as a direct action for input optimization on grasses, improving water distribution in the field. Making the best of every drop of water gives both the grass seed and the fertiliser the optimum conditions for establishment, strong root development and healthy, vigorous

growth,” explained Giovanny Lopez, Lead Seed Coat Technologist for DLF. In trials, the coated seed contributed to a 34% increase in establishing plants and a 30% improvement in root growth. In addition, the targeted nitrogen application system reduces the leaching of unutilised fertiliser into the environment by more than 50% when compared to traditional chemical applications. ProNitro combines sources of both fast-acting and slow release nitrogen with water management technology, encapsulated in a smooth outer coating for improved seed flow and accurate delivery. This ensures the new seed receives the full benefit of the available water and nutrition, encouraging the roots and shoots to grow rapidly – particularly important when overseeding into a competitive sward. It is suitable for use on all types of playing surfaces and is available on a selection of popular mixtures from across the Johnsons Sports Seed range. On golf greens and football pitches, even those with low-fertility, sandy soils, ProNitro provides faster

establishment, bringing surfaces back into play quicker. The improved uniformity and sward density also make it ideal for turf producers by reducing the invasion of Poa annua and broad-leaved weeds. Replacing the need for seedbed fertiliser, ProNitro saves both time and money. Turf Matters | MARCH-APRIL 2020 | 25


MM60 the B

Ben Hastie: “We trialled eight to ten different mixtures”

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en Hastie, Head Groundsman at Cheltenham Racecourse, has reported fantastic results after embarking on a long-term strategy of scarifying and overseeding with Limagrain UK’s MM60 grass seed. Throughout this time at Cheltenham, Limagrain’s MM60 has always been the seed of choice for the course. In fact, MM60 has been relied on at Cheltenham for over 25 years and Ben recalls a rigorous seed trial early in his tenure when MM60 proved exactly why it has been the number one choice for so long. “I remember when I first started in 2006, we did a trial on the highest part of the track,” recalled Ben. “In this trial we tried to work out the best seed for us because the climate at Cheltenham can be a little bit different to everywhere else – the highest point of the track gets very windy and it can get incredibly cold. “We trialled eight to ten different mixtures in which we did lots of various tests in numerous conditions. We found that the MM60 was by far the best for what we needed, and we haven’t looked back since then.” Limagrain’s leading MM60 winter sport mixture is a 100% ryegrass formula which is perfect in Ben’s quest to achieve consistency throughout the whole course. A strict regime of scarifying and overseeding during renovations has been key according to Ben. “The one thing I want from the racecourse is consistency and my ultimate goal is to see a blend of ryegrass all the way through the course without any fescues or bents. Obviously, annual meadow-grasses are particularly }

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top tip at Cheltenham

Turf Matters | MARCH-APRIL 2020 | 27


MM60 the top tip at Cheltenham “We have a team of 40 ‘treaders’ on a race day. They will apply a mixture of soil and MM60 seed which will be put down with a trowel.” – BEN HASTIE } hard to control but we now have a

racecourse that has approximately 95% of pure ryegrass. This has been largely thanks to scarifying and overseeding at the right times. “Doing this consistently over the years has resulted in the ryegrass holding up more than it ever has, it is helping with disease, helping to keep moisture in there where it is needed,

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helping the recovery rate and it is also providing a better coverage which makes the course look so much better.” Ben and his team start this process immediately after the last race meeting in May and they carry out the same programme across all three racecourses – the Old Course, the New Course and the CrossCountry Steeplechase Course. After the rails and hurdles have been removed, the turf will be cut from its racing height of 4.5 inches down to 2 inches. It is at this point that the scarifying begins, and this can take approximately a month. When it comes to overseeding, Ben admits that it is a question of judgement and can depend on the climate and identifying the areas which need it most. As you would expect, the take-offs and landings experience the most amount of damage and these areas are constantly repaired throughout the race season. “We have a team of 40 ‘treaders’ on a race day. They will apply a mixture

of soil and MM60 seed which will be put down with a trowel. This ensures that every single horse hoof print is filled in, levelled and that the germination process starts early.” Germination is something that the MM60 excels in thanks to the inclusion of Headstart GOLD – a grass seed coating that ensures rapid germination and catalyses incredible growth speeds. The seed also has a high disease resistance and fantastic aesthetic qualities – all of which have impressed Ben. “You know with MM60 that you are going to get great growth and the colour is brilliant. Because we are predominantly a winter sport, we need germination at low temperatures and I know that the MM60 will still be growing even if soil temperatures are 5 or 6 degrees when we are racing in December or January. “It is a great product and the health of the turf it produces is better than anything I have seen before.” www.lgseeds.co.uk/mm

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Ultra Fine still fine under pressure F

or greenkeepers looking for a top-performing perennial ryegrass with the best fineness of leaf, there is only one choice, according to Richard Brown, of Germinal GB. For the fourth year running, he says, Cabrio is the number one variety on the BSPB’s Table L1 for perennial ryegrasses. First introduced in 2016, Cabrio Ultra Fine Ryegrass went straight to the top of Table L1 in 2017 with a fineness of leaf score of 8.8. It subsequently retained this position in 2018 (8.8) and 2019 (8.7) and holds the top spot again in the 2020 list thanks to another score of 8.7: a rating which puts it half a point clear of its nearest rivals at 8.2. “Ever since its release in 2016, Cabrio has remained the top performing cultivar on the BSPB’s list of perennial ryegrasses mown at 10-15mm,” explains Richard Brown, Germinal Amenity Sales Manager. “With good all-round scores for shoot density (7.8), visual merit (7.9), slow re-growth habit (7.2) and cleanness of cut (7.1), Cabrio is still the number one choice for greenkeepers who want to produce

Cabrio: cultivar characteristics*

Table L1 (mown at 10-15mm)

Table G4 (mown at 4-7mm)

Shoot density



Fineness of leaf


8.4 -

Slow regrowth


Visual merit






Resistance to Red Thread



Cleanness of cut



Winter greenness



Summer greenness



an exceptionally fine-leaved, hard wearing and aesthetically attractive sward that can not only tolerate a close mowing regime, but which will also give good ball roll or bounce.” Cabrio is recommended for use on golf tees and golf green aprons and is included in Germinal’s A5 (Cricket, Tennis and Tees), A10 (Golf Tees and Divot Repairs) and A28 (Ultrafine Ryegolf) seed mixtures where it partners with other cultivars to provide enhanced sward density, wear tolerance and repair capability. “For all of these seed mixtures plagiarism is the best form of

flattery,” said Richard. “We are therefore pleased to see others within the industry responding by bringing their own fine-leaved offerings to the market. However, there are only seven ryegrass cultivars on Table L1 with a fineness of leaf score of 8.0 or above, two of which – Cabrio (8.7) and Escapade (8.1) – are exclusive to Germinal. As such, copycat mixtures are unable to match the performance of our Grade A mixtures.” Cabrio also ranks highly on Table G4 (perennial ryegrasses mown at 4-7mm) where its 8.4 score for fineness of leaf is the highest.

* Source: BSPB Turfgrass Seed booklet 2020

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making turf matter


It’s all about

GRASS SEED 200th anniversary The Johnsons Sports Seed team were joined by members of the press and over 30 distributors and customers to toast their 200th anniversary at BTME 2020. At a special drinks reception that took place on their stand in Harrogate, they celebrated the company’s rich and varied history since it was founded by 17-year old William Wade Johnson in 1820. “BTME was a fantastic platform for staff and key contacts to raise a glass to mark such a huge industry milestone,” said Sales and Marketing Manager Derek Smith. “Their drive to raise industry standards reflects the position that Johnsons has in today’s market, and this is very much testament to the passion of those involved with the brand over the years. We at DLF, look forward to continuing that ethos for many years to come.”

Sustainability is

key for Barenbrug B

arenbrug invited delegates at BTME 2020 to learn more about new product launches and ground-breaking research and development in their SPORT RANGE for 2020. The Show saw the unveiling of Sustainable Grass Technology, Barenbrug’s newest innovation, which promises a future of stress tolerant grass for sustainable turf management. The initial product SGT FAIRWAY has been formulated after years of dedicated research across multiple sites in Europe, including STRI in the UK. It is a rye/fescue blend with (independently proven) reduced requirements for fertiliser, water and fungicide. Central to the mixture is the new perennial ryegrass Barprium – a fineleafed cultivar with truly remarkable performance

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under stress conditions. Barenbrug’s bentgrass product portfolio is significantly enhanced for 2020 with the reformulation of ALL BENT and the introduction of DUO BENT to the range. DUO BENT is a combination of creeping and browntop species – a concept first proven in independent UK trials several years ago by Barenbrug. Both mixtures feature the stand-out #1-variety Charles browntop. ALL BENT combines Charles with BarKing (#1-rated for Microdochium tolerance in recent trials); DUO BENT utilises an outstanding new variety of creeper L-93XD, which comes to the UK market on the back of impressive NTEP trial data from USA. The shoot density (and subsequent tolerance to close mowing) of both mixtures is unparalleled in the market.


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making turf matter


Scott MacCallum catches up with Andy Richards to learn about his new role at the prestigious Haileybury School


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Andy Richards, left, and his team at Haileybury

“There is a masterplan in place stretching forward into the next 10 years and beyond with most of the facilities being upgraded. This is going to include a new cricket centre, new astroturf pitches, fitness suites, sports centres etc. It is really an exciting time to be involved here as we are right at the start of that programme.� 36 | Turf Matters | MARCH-APRIL 2020

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any Wimbledon champions have taken inspiration from the poem “If”, which is written on the wall of the Players’ Entrance at the All England Club. You know the one – “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two imposters just the same”. I have no way of knowing if, back in the second half of the 19th century, its author Rudyard Kipling had an interest in sport, or a particular aptitude for cricket or rugby, but one thing is for sure he didn’t benefit from any such stirring words if he were to have

marched from the pavilion of Haileybury School to open the batting, or lock the Haileybury first team scrum. It may have been, however, that it was dealing with the highs and lows of his sporting time at Haileybury that inspired Rudyard a few years later to pen what is one of the best known and finest poems in the English language. A school can be judged by its alumni and in that regard Haileybury, near Hertford, has an honours board to match most. In addition to Rudyard Kipling we have dramatist Alan Ayckbourn;


film director, Christopher Nolan; actor Stephen Mangan, and comedian Dom Joly, to name just a notable few. The list of Haileybury’s Old Boys is interesting and eclectic and marks the school out as somewhere special, as do the superb grounds in which the school rests. It was seeing those wonderful grounds which persuaded Andy Richards that he should move from Shrewsbury School, which he had transformed into a school with sports surfaces the envy of many professional clubs, to } Turf Matters | MARCH-APRIL 2020 | 37


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A recently appointed team at the head of the school, including a new Headmaster, has brought a vision to Haileybury and an ambition to improve standards. This includes a battery of new equipment. } create sports pitches to match the

quality of the rest of the school. “Shrewsbury was a great place to work and I really enjoyed it but when the Haileybury job became available I was intrigued,” explained Andy, talking to Turf Matters eight weeks into his new role as Grounds Manager at Haileybury. “I didn’t know too much about the school but I looked into it and it looked impressive. When I came down for interview I was blown away by the buildings and the wonderful grounds. The school had a really positive outlook into how they wanted to move forward and it was they who sold me the school and its potential,” explained Andy. And that potential is truly huge. The total area of 520 acres, all on one site, includes 300 acres of woodland. “Woodland management is new to me, but I do enjoy it,” revealed Andy. Pitch wise, there are 17 grass pitches, two astroturf pitches, five cricket squares – soon to be eight squares to embrace girls’ cricket which the school wishes to expand. “There is a masterplan in place stretching forward into the next 10 years and beyond with most of the facilities being upgraded. This is going to include a new cricket centre, new astroturf pitches, fitness suites, sports centres etc. It is really an exciting time to be involved here as we are right at the start of that programme.” Sports facilities are very much what differentiates the private sector from the state sector and it is the quality of the sporting facilities and the coaching which marks one private school out from another private school. “It’s a bit like selling a house. It is those first 20 or 30 seconds which leaves the biggest impression for the prospective pupil and parents. It is the feeling they get in those first couple of minutes, when they are driving into

the school, and it can inform their whole outlook into whether they are going to invest the money into sending their child to that particular school.” “It is our job to produce the best surfaces, grounds and gardens as we possibly can, and help influence that decision.” Andy and his new team have very much hit the ground running and within his first two months in post a lot had already been achieved. “In my first week we fraised mowed all five cricket squares and took three quarters of an inch off each square,” said Andy, revealing that it could have been the first time it had ever been done. “We also fraised mowed the first team cricket outfield and took 20 mm off it and then we completely reseeded it.” A recently appointed team at the head of the school, including a new Headmaster, has brought a vision to Haileybury and an ambition to improve standards. This includes a battery of new equipment. “We are slightly limited on the machinery that we’ve got at the moment but I am working on a machinery replacement programme which will operate on a rolling basis. The school realises that it must invest in machinery and is well aware of the sort of money that will be required.” “I have always done my own renovations and try not to use contractors at all and be completely self-sufficient. To me it’s the most important part of the job and you live and die by your renovations. I don’t like playing the blame game. We are the people who are going to be working with the pitch going forward so we are going to make sure it is right in the first place and if we don’t get it quite right we learn from it and do it right next year.” “So, it means we need our own kit. We did a couple of passes with the GKB } Turf Matters | MARCH-APRIL 2020 | 39


} machine and there was a couple of

wickets I still wasn’t happy with so we did them again, we got the surface exactly how I wanted. If that had been a contractor they might have done the two passes and gone on to the next job. I like being master of my own destiny.” With a man possessing of such a perfectionist streak the answer to the question, “What are your own expectations for Haileybury going

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forwards and that 10 year plan?” brought about the expected response. “I’d like to get there before then. I’d like to think that in 12 months people will have started to take notice of Haileybury’s pitches, heard about us and will have seen lots of the things we have done. Within three years I’d expect it to be on a par with quite a lot of the other schools and then, within five years, I’d like it to be pushing to

be as good as it possibly could be.” “I’d like it to be THE school in the south of England, it not the country. I want Haileybury to be known for having the best sports pitches and grounds in the country.” And that ambition is shared by the rest of the school. “My thoughts are mirrored by the Master, the Bursar, the Estates Bursar and the Director of Sport. We all want to

making turf matter


“I’d like to think that in 12 months people will have started to take notice of Haileybury’s pitches, heard about us and will have seen lots of the things we have done. Within three years I’d expect it to be on a par with quite a lot of the other schools and then, within five years, I’d like it to be pushing to be as good as it possibly could be.” – ANDY RICHARDS

get to the same place, be as good as we can possibly be and be the place to be. It really is an exciting time to be here.” Andy has been able to make a sharp start to fulfilling those ambitions because of his time within the industry which means that manufacturers and dealers are happy to lend him machines until such time as his new battalion of machinery arrives. He has been delighted by the

manner in which his staff – there are 12 in total including himself – have bought into the new regime. “After I was offered the job I met the staff. They put a chair in the middle of the room and I outlined my thoughts. To be honest I’ve never known a more enthusiastic staff. They wanted to change and be let off the leash.” “I told them that I’d come here to make the school the best in the country

and that I wouldn’t leave until I’d done that. If they gave me 100% I’d give them 150%. They have all bought into that and are enthusiastic about doing new things. We’ve started to hand cut the rugby pitches so they are walking behind mowers for the first time.” “The keenness of the staff was what sold me the place as much as anything.” In general terms Andy is delighted to be a part of a thriving sector } Turf Matters | MARCH-APRIL 2020 | 41


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“To me the schools’ sector is almost in a league of its own and an extremely strong part of the industry. We all have to be multi-taskers and be able to lay out an athletics’ track as well as producing high quality football and cricket surfaces. We are evolving…” } on the amenity turf industry.

“To me the schools’ sector is almost in a league of its own and an extremely strong part of the industry. We all have to be multi-taskers and be able to lay out an athletics’ track as well as producing high quality football and cricket surfaces. We are evolving, there is money available and everyone is pushing each other,” said Andy. “I know most of the Grounds’ Managers at most of the independent schools in the country and we all get on well. They all love what they are doing. Time goes so quickly because we are all working one term ahead of ourselves. In the rugby term you are already planning what you need for the football term and in the football term you are already planning what’s happening in the cricket term. “I absolutely love it. I’ve worked

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in professional football, having been Head Groundsman at Birmingham City for five years, but I can’t see me ever moving into any other part of the industry,” revealed Andy, who attributes social media for promoting the work of groundsmen and for promoting the quality now seen at schools such as Haileybury. “People who had never been to Shrewsbury School knew about the quality of pitches we had and that was in part down to Twitter.” Those who know Andy well, know that he will achieve his goals, no matter how high the bar is set, but to help him all he needs to do is return to the work of that famous Old Boy, Rudyard Kipling and his magnificent poem, if he reads on to the final verse and the last five lines he will find whatever inspiration he requires for what lies ahead:

If all men count with you, but none too much If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it. And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

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Toro talks pedestrian mowers T

he range of pedestrian mowers now available from Toro, a global leader in turf and landscape maintenance, continues to grow with new additions to the range now available. With mowers for sloping surfaces, impeccable striping and tougher conditions, Toro can provide a machine for any eventuality. Joining the ranks of the pedestrian mower range are the two, newly redesigned Mid-Size Proline Mowers. With a choice of 91cm and 122cm in cutting widths, both models are packed with commercial-grade features, that will help professional contractors to step up their productivity, no matter the applications. Both mowers are powered by Kawasaki engines with electric start. The Mid-Size Proline Mowers are now easier than ever to learn how to use, especially for newer operators. The commercial-grade Hydro-Gear transmission helps to drive the large turf tyres when in more challenging applications – an advantage to those less experienced. The new redesign also makes it simple when changing the height of cut, as the machines utilise an integrated, single-point height of cut adjustment lever to raise the deck; a helpful feature when it comes to moving over curbs or adjusting to new terrain. The console design has also been improved, with twin-lever style

controls, similar to that of the Toro

If your work demands a precise cut and clean striped finish, then look no further than the Toro ProStripe 560. Grandstand. An adjustable reference bar is also useful when it comes to speed changes in tight places. Also, for an easier maintenance experience, the hood has remained tool free and is easily removable. A large selection of accessories to accompany the Mid-Size Proline Mowers are also available, including: a recycler kit, a light kit and a striping kit, plus The HoverPro mowers are also an impressive and extremely helpful range of mowers available for contractors. Providing the ideal mowing solution when it comes to mowing tough and sloped ground, the HoverPro range (450, 500 & 550 models) can effectively mow on inclines of up to 45 degrees. The extension handles make working on those slopes and

hard to reach areas far easier. With no wheels and excellent hovering, the HoverPro has minimal risk of dropping off the grass edge, making this range the ideal option when maintaining areas around flower beds or golf course bunkers. The hi-rise kit will also increase the height of cut by 35mm, by simply bolting the kit to the existing deck. The HoverPro also uses detachable transport wheels for easy site-to-site transport. If your work demands a precise cut and clean striped finish, then look no further than the Toro ProStripe 560. This lightweight and manoeuvrable mower features a two-piece ribbed roller design that will minimise turf marking, when compared to single piece roller designs, whilst the ribbed tread provides superior traction. The ProStripe features MatchCut technology that works to fine tune the cutting height. Providing halfincrement (3.25mm) settings, MatchCut is ideal for using on much finer turf applications, or in situations when multiple machines are being used in a larger area, where accurate height settings are crucial. The Groomer Brush Kit will help promote healthier turf and give a finer cut by reducing lateral blade growth and removing surface debris. The ProStripe will make contractors and groundskeepers jobs that much easier. www.toro.com/en-gb Turf Matters | MARCH-APRIL 2020 | 45


Razor Ultra Demain mower for Durham V

ic Demain, Durham CCC Head Groundsman, says that the Dennis Razor Ultra 560 fine turf mower has made a significant improvement to the pitch at the Emirates Riverside stadium and in particular has praised the groomer reel attachment. Vic was appointed Head Groundsman at the Club in 2015, following two years as Deputy Head Groundsman at Trent Bridge and before that seven years as Head Groundsman at Uxbridge CC. He was the first ever cricket groundsman to win the Professional Groundsman of the Year in 2017 and just last year his team was named Professional Cricket Grounds Team of the Year. It is without doubt testament to the incredible job he is doing at the Emirates Riverside. To say that Vic is constantly striving for improvement is an understatement. “I’m someone who constantly needs to be challenging himself,”

People with something to say, say it on the Turf Matters YouTube channel Go to YouTube.com, search for ‘Turf Matters’ and find out why we’re our industry’s most watched channel. New, views, glimpses behind the scenes and opinions from those at grass roots level, to those at the top of their game.

More than a magazine… our cameras search out and bring you stories from across the UK

Because Turf Matters… 46 | Turf Matters | MARCH-APRIL 2020

he says and candidly admits to facing a number of trials throughout his five-year tenure at Durham. “When I first came here a lot of the equipment was aging and money hadn’t particularly been forthcoming so we soldiered on with what we had,” he said. However, Vic claims that his most recent addition of the Dennis Razor Ultra 560 fine turf mower has made a significant difference to his pitch preparations. Before purchase, the mower was demonstrated at the Emirates Riverside and there was something in particular which caught Vic’s eye. “The Razor Ultra has a tungsten tipped groomer reel and I’ve never really used one of these for cricket before. However, at the time I had a very good friend of mine with me who had come over from Australia to help out with the World Cup preparations. He is in golf now and told me that he uses groomer reels all the time. Needless to say, he was really impressed and so I decided to give it a go. “It takes a lot of rubbish off the pitches such as creeping grasses and all the stuff that is lying down flat. This groomer simply flicks them all out and carries out a more thorough job than a cutting reel.”

Superbly balanced and ideal for cricket pitches and other fine turf surfaces, the Razor Ultra features a 560mm (22in), 11 blade cutting cylinder for a perfect finish. An ultra-short wheelbase ensures easy manoeuvrability and excellent performance, even on undulating surfaces. The Dennis Razor Ultra encompasses the simple ‘no tools required’ click height adjusters for quick and easy operation, a feature which Vic is particularly impressed with. “It is so easy to adjust the height of cut with the simple click adjustor – half a mil here or half a mil there, depending on requirements, and it is not a question of running for the spanners or any other tools. www.dennisuk.com

Superbly balanced and ideal for cricket pitches and other fine turf surfaces

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Etesia launch two new professional pedestrian mowers

tesia have launched two new 46cm cutting width professional pedestrian rotary mowers ahead of the 2020 season which extends their range of mowers already available on the market. The PHTS3 is a single speed self-propelled mower, while the PHE3 is a push variant. Following the same concept of the PRO46 range of pedestrian mowers first launched in the early 1990s, both models feature Xenoy cutting decks for increased strength, shear washer crank protection, individual height of cut adjusters, a new 22mm handlebar design, the latest Honda GCV170 engine and are supplied complete with 80 litre grass box and rear deflector as standard. The Honda GCV Series of engines provide best in class power and torque with easy and reliable starting with reduced noise and vibration levels. Easy service and maintenance with large petrol filler cap allowing operators to view the fuel level while filling, extended oil dip-stick makes filling }

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Etesia’ s new pedestrian mowers } easier and a host of other features

expected from a professional machine. Extremely versatile, both new models are capable of mowing with or without collection in all conditions, or for highquality mulching with the addition of a mulching plug kit accessory. The design has been proven over

many years and has an unbeatable record of quality and performance unrivalled in its class. It provides outstanding collection performance, even if the grass is long and wet. One main feature of these models is the ‘one cut’ principle. This means the grass is only cut once before being

sent to the grass box. The benefits of this are reduced power consumption from fast deck material ejection and secondly, as it is not multi chopped, the grass does not stick to the cutting deck in the same way as multi-cut grass does preventing unwanted blockages. www.etesia.co.uk

Pellenc’s new Rasion 2s from users revealed that commercial operators found the manual operation of the Rasion Basic more appropriate yet they also liked the self-propelled element of the Rasion Smart. Therefore, the Rasion Easy was launched to offer a combination from both models.

Mow in silent harmony with the environment n New silent Brushless wheel motor with direct drive. n 91 dB at speed 3 and 93 dB at maximum power.

Mowing with consideration for the user’s well-being


ellenc UK has announced the launch of the all new Rasion Easy 2 and Rasion Smart 2 battery powered pedestrian rotary mowers. The original Rasion Easy was launched back in 2016 which was a combination of the previous two models in the Rasion rotary mower range – the Basic and the Smart. Feedback

n Exceptionally low vibration rate of 0.7 m/s² (compared to 4.5 m/s² for a petrol mower). n An easy-to-handle lawn mower: Single front wheel facilitating stability and work flow. Two wheel-locking positions: free/ idle wheels or guided steering flexible and smooth.

Enables intensive mowing over extended periods n New electronic management

by the IMS (insulated metallic substrate) circuit board. This allows for improved heat dissipation, absorbing power peaks during intensive mowing without reducing the blade speed. n Optimised anti-jam system, reverse rotation of the blades to remove excess grass from the housing while keeping the mower running. n The ICC (intelligent cutting control) sensors will now be available as an option on the Easy 2. This patented feature exclusive to Pellenc allows the mower to detect the height and density of the grass and change the engine speed accordingly. This saves power as operators do not have to run the machine under full-load unnecessarily. A cutting width of 60cm with height of cut between 25-75mm, 70 litre grass box capacity and two front swivel wheels ensure the Rasion Easy 2 is ultra-manoeuvrable. Weighing less than 30kgs and folding handlebars means that transportation between sites is effortless. The Rasion Easy 2 also has an IP54 water rating, which will become the standard. www.pellencuk.com

Cramer launches commercial range 2020 sees the official launch of the Cramer 82V Commercial range of machinery, with over 30 commercial garden products designed specifically for the professional user and one of the most comprehensive and competitive ranges in today’s market. The new range offers market leading performance, with innovative features such as Magnesium components, Fleet connectivity, and ultra-high torque motors to offer true petrol rivalling 48 | Turf Matters | MARCH-APRIL 2020

performance for a fraction of the running costs and with no emissions. “Cramer was founded in 1835 and has built a strong reputation for producing high quality commercial garden products. Following the development of the 82V range we can now offer a complete solution for commercial users looking for a cordless range, where emissions, performance and choice are important,” said Alan Wilson, Handy Distributions Cramer

Specialist, UK distributor for Cramer. The range includes both on-board and backpack battery solutions, and a comprehensive range of handheld equipment including chainsaws, blowers, hedge trimmers, grass trimmers, brush cutters, multitools, and hand pruners. Walk behind products include sweepers, utility carts, and lawnmowers up to 61cm (twin blade). www.cramertools.com

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STIHL’s innovative pro cordless mower STIHL continues to expand its range of high-performance mowers with the introduction of the RMA 765 V, a professional cordless mower with a 63cm cutting width. Powered by a 36V high capacity Lithium-Ion batteries from the STIHL PRO cordless system, the robust RMA 765 V is ideal for work in noise-sensitive areas and is highly manoeuvrable thanks to the zero turn function of the front wheels. Both front and rear wheels are height adjustable from 25mm-100mm. The new mower boasts an innovative five-speed control panel, featuring an eco-mode and a battery power level indicator to ensure professional users have full sight of the performance of the machine at a quick glance. The ergonomic mono-comfort

handlebar, with super soft grip, is adjustable to three different heights, allowing users to find the most suitable setting and providing easier access to the grass catcher box. Designed with strength, weight and protection in mind, the aluminium and polymer hybrid housing features front, side and gearbox protection, as well as the polymer inner housing being impact and abrasion resistant. In addition, the 63cm cutting deck utilises synchronised multi-blades that lift the grass, cut it efficiently and blow the grass cuttings into the grass catcher bag. Designed with a foldable handlebar, the STIHL RMA 765 V cordless mower is easy for landscapers to transport and convenient to store. Additional features

include a diagnostic connection for servicing and a safety key required for operation. www.stihl.co.uk

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Cub Cadet’s all-new 22” Infinicut F

or Cub Cadet at Harrogate it was a case of another show, another product launch. Following on from SALTEX 2019 where the company showed its first Rotary Mower, the SM34, BTME was the turn of an all-new 22” INFINICUT. This ‘2020 model year’ has been designed with golf in mind and features Bluetooth wireless connectivity. The electrical architecture has been overhauled and is now designed around the automotive industry standard CAN bus protocol. The design team commissioned a bespoke BLDC motor, intended to offer quiet, efficient power to the traction and cylinder drive. This is teamed up with an upgraded automotive lithium battery module that offers unrivalled duty cycle and reliability. These developments have come together with advancements in bedknife adjustment mechanism and cylinder manufacture. The company have designed and invested in a new in-house, ‘stateof-the-art’, cylinder manufacturing process to ensure Cub Cadet cylinders

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will be the most accurate in the industry. The revamped bedknife adjustment mechanism now offers ‘best-in-class’ reel-to-bedknife setting retention. These innovations, coupled with the new CNC manufacturing processes that have been put in place, help to ensure the quality customers have come to expect from Cub Cadet cylinder mowers. The Cub Cadet INFINICUT SM34 Rotary Mower that was launched in Birmingham at the back end of

2019, resulted in the product being crowned the winner of SALTEX’s much coveted Innovation Award. It was shown to golf customers for the first time at BTME. Since its introduction the company has pre-sold almost all of its first production run! The SM34 mows in the traditional sense or can be used as a stand-alone vacuum. In cut mode, the incorporation of both a front roller and rear traction roller means the SM34 delivers a striping effect usually only achieved with a professional cylinder mower. The premium-grade, high carbon steel blades offer extended life, and come pre-balanced to exhibit less vibration, while the 34” cutting width combines the units lightweight design with better productivity. The introduction of a revolutionary side collector gives the operator a more comfortable and practical working position. Second generation models are already in design stage to offer an engine/generator power source; the option of a manual deck adjustment and the addition of implement attachments.


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A horse’s impact on a surface, whether a racecourse or eventing track, has been much debated in sporting circles. On a professional sports stage the horse, averaging around 500kg, makes a significant collision with any surface. STRI agronomy manager, Steve Gingell, puts on his farrier’s hat to study hoof interaction with grass.


here have been several publications on the action and stages of horse’s hoof interaction with a surface. However, most are related to artificial sand surfaces and less so to grass surfaces. The key works are from the FEI Equestrian Surfaces Guide published through the Swedish Equestrian Foundation and Natural Turf for Sport and Amenity by Adams and Gibbs. ‘Science and Practice’ reviews the surface interactions at several racecourses in terms of firmness, penetration and resilience over time. This is also a useful guide to how a hoof interacts with the surface. There are a few testing devices simulating hoof interaction with different types of turf surface. The main equipment used on artificial surfaces is the Orano Biomechanical Surface Tester. This aims to mimic the phases of a hoof’s interaction with a surface. Testing is also undertaken on turf using devices such as the TurfTrax

Going Stick and the STRI Toro Precision Sense Testing, which gives data and maps indicating the surface performance. So how does a sports turf manager adapt their surfaces to ensure a safe and fast or competitive surface for a range of equestrian sports?

Surface hoof interaction The majority of professionals accept that there are four stages of a hoof interaction with the surface. Touch down Where the hoof initially impacts the surface; this is a braking force. The hoof will receive a shock/feedback from the surface depending on whether it is hard or soft. Very hard surfaces will give injuries to the hoof and leg bones. Very soft surfaces give very little feedback as most of the energy of the initial shock is absorbed through the surface. Loading Where the full weight and impact of

the horse focuses through the hoof. Typically, forces are vertical and therefore the surface firmness is much more important. Hard surfaces will injure tendons, ligaments and bones. Soft ones give little feedback to the hoof and therefore energy of the motion is lost. Roll over Where the toe of the hoof starts to push into the surface. A firm, surface can give little grip as the hoof slides on the surface. A very soft surface could dig in and lead to significant divot removal and lack of pace. Push off The most important aspect of this stage is a strong turf as this is where the horse is gaining propulsion. The toe is at the maximum penetration and the flat of the hoof is pushing backwards. Traction is vital and therefore an over soft or damaged surface could give little traction. } Turf Matters | MARCH-APRIL 2020 | 51


Five factors affecting hoof interaction and surface performance Impact firmness The surface needs to have impact firmness, ie absorb shock when the hoof hits the ground. This is most important in a profile upper layer hardness. As an example, a very soft surface will have low impact firmness and a tarmac or a bound surface have very high impact firmness. This is very important in avoiding horse injury. Cushioning A surface needs to dampen and reduce impact forces (cushioning) and is achieved in various layers within the surface. A well cushioned surface reduces stress, ie soft racecourse, whereas a firm surface is fast but could cause injury. Grip Grip is important because a very low grip surface means the

Divoted jump track – following racing, divots are lifted and filled to achieve the fastest recovery and return to a grassed surface

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hoof slides and therefore injury can occur, whereas a very high grip surface can often have high impact forces. A surface must be able to withstand push off. It is important that some slide occurs to reduce the forces on the hoof. Responsiveness Responsiveness is a measure of how active or springy the surface is. A responsive surface gives energy back to the horse and this aspect is also related to the firmness and cushioning. A very compacted hard surface may rebound too quickly, whereas a very soft surface will give very little responsiveness. Uniformity A surface needs to be uniform so that the horse has confidence to reach its maximum performance. Variable surfaces, particularly in very short distances, can be significantly problematical.

Horse racing In horse racing, the key aim is to provide a fast track that is both safe and fair. In

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Divoted jump track – following racing, divots are lifted and filled to achieve the fastest recovery and return to a grassed surface

flat racing typically, surfaces are maintained to a slightly firmer level with slightly shorter grass length than jump racing. The aim however must be to provide a reasonable level of cushioning and a medium to high level of impact firmness. If a course becomes too firm, then the impact firmness becomes high and horses can suffer injury. Conversely, an over soft surface means speed and times are slower, therefore horses will tire more quickly. Grip is also important as horses will be using their maximum level of propulsion push off due to the high speeds of travel. There would be less grip issues as the hoof is not having to absorb any braking that would occur when using a jump. In jump horse racing speeds are lower, and in between jumps over firm ground can create issues in a similar manner as flat racing. There is also a tendency to prefer a slightly softer going to ensure reasonable safety and moderate times. This is partially achieved through racing in winter months when soils are naturally wetter and therefore have less impact

There is also a tendency to prefer a slightly softer going to ensure reasonable safety and moderate times firmness, but also through a slightly longer height of cut at around 4-5 inches to give a little more cushioning. When a horse jumps, grip in the initial stages is important, and then impact firmness and cushioning is vital on the landing phases. Over a racecourse there will invariably be a degree of difference in uniformity as often different soils will occur, unless that track has been

completely reconstructed. It is difficult sometimes to manage uniformity which is only achieved through varying aeration, irrigation cycles and fertility.

Cross-country Cross-country builds on the comments in horse racing. There will be sections of galloping between the sets of fences, coupled with explosive takeoffs, moderate impact landing forces and often turns a stride or two after. It is important for horse safety that the track is of medium firmness to reduce the impact and has a good level of cushioning. This is usually achieved through a reasonable grass length, although grass height is much lower in eventing than would be in racecourses. So there needs to be appropriate irrigation strategies and grass health management through aeration and fertility to maximise the soil cushioning. Grip is very important as a horse needs to feel confident to take on the various obstacles. Lack of grip means the horse may slide forward towards a jump or not have suitable footing } Turf Matters | MARCH-APRIL 2020 | 53


Above: Polo surface – the shorter grass requires the turf to be strong and the profile with sufficient Right: Race track crossing – heavily worn crossings will become soft as the turf is lost Below: The Toro Precision Sense can give a visualisation of the surface performance

CONCLUSION: It is potentially very difficult to create the ideal equestrian surface to maximise all the phases of a horse’s interaction with the surface. However, with good management using the appropriate verti-draining, aeration, fertility and irrigation practices this can be broadly achieved. on landing. As an event progresses the take-offs and landings will often become quite worn. Therefore, exceptional management with good levels of repair in these areas, running up to a meeting, is very important. Frequently woodchip or even gravels are put in and around a landing zone and these will tend to make surfaces very firm over time and should be avoided. Aeration and an overseeding or returfing of poor areas immediately following an event is essential to maximise the turf condition.

Polo Polo is interesting in that each horse will only be used for a very short period, but under a very intense level of activity. Due to polo being a ball sport the surface is also kept very short. The surface needs to have a moderate to elevated level of impact firmness, but not to a level that the horse becomes injured because of the shock impact with the ground. This high impact firmness gives good responsiveness, although it should be noted that 54 | Turf Matters | MARCH-APRIL 2020

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sometimes a very firm surface may not be as responsive as one would expect. It is moderately difficult to achieve a high level of cushioning on a very short sward, although the soil profile needs to be medium firm, well aerated and have deep rooting. A little organic matter is quite beneficial to ensure cushioning. However, elevated levels of organic matter can often lead to reduced grip and at significant levels give poor impact firmness. Probably the most important factor is grip. Polo ponies turn very quickly, execute fast decelerations and accelerations. This means that the surface has to give confidence to the rider and the horse. A very dry soil profile may have less grip as the pony can slide on the dry top. This is often relieved through sand dressings and through significant quantities of irrigation to create a slightly softer upper surface. Watering can be a problem as insufficient irrigation may only wet the surface and therefore create a shear layer. Each site will have a different ideal moisture content for performance. It is not uncommon to find the centre sections of a polo field being firmer than the edges as this is where most of the play occurs and therefore targeted verti-draining through the middle of the ground is important. n Turf Matters is grateful to the STRI Group for permission to publish this article. It first appeared in the summer 2018 issue of the STRI’s Bulletin. For more information on the STRI Group and its services – strigroup.com


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REFERENCES Equestrian Surfaces: A Guide (2014). FEI, Swedish University of Land Sciences, Swedish Equestrian Federation. FEI Footing Project (2014). Sports Forum Lausanne, presentation by Lars Roepstorff. FEI Cross Country Course Design Guidelines (2014). Adams W.A. & Gibbs R.J. (1994). Natural Turf for Sport and Amenity: Science & Practice, pp 329-358.

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Eon Bio – a time capsule with a difference David Snowden discusses the benefits of improving your growing medium and why using a soil conditioner is such a valuable tool…


What are beneficial bacteria? Micro-organisms which assist plants and soils toward healthy growth and viability (top). Mycorrhiza fungi: Colonises the roots and increases nutrient up-take

he main benefits of soil conditioners are to improve the soil structure and therefore increase nutrient uptake and root mass. When applying to new greens at renovation time and when used on sports pitches to create a root zone with life in, soil conditioners increase the efficiency of nutrition. We want to bring life to the soil and this is what Eon Bio enables our Greenkeepers and Groundsmen to do. When the grass plant germinates, it needs a bio-available food source and we require rapid establishment of the new plant to secure a healthy sward. We have seen great success working with numerous Premier and Championship Football Clubs, when using Eon Bio, which has the benefit of a prill form, particularly easy to use. Eon Bio is 100% organic and contains high concentrations of soluble, slow release Humic acid. This ‘time capsule’ releases and encapsulates mycorrhiza fungi and multiple forms of beneficial bacteria, which solubilise phosphates. We need to feed our soils to create the best growing environment. With Eon Bio, the guess work is taken out, as the bacteria is specifically cultured and proven to benefit the soils and our grass plant, all wrapped up in a Humic acid food source for bacteria.


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Pistol herbicide tested and approved BASF’s Pistol herbicide brand is now tested and approved for use with Rotary Atomiser and Controlled Droplet Application devices. This means the RIVERLYNX Eradicator weed control system becomes the equipment-of-choice for local authorities and facilities maintenance professionals, with RIVERLYNX being specifically mentioned on BASF’s new product label. “This is great news for our clients. It means that, provided they use our RIVERLYNX CDA handlance system with our unique and easy-to-fill Ecomark carrier liquid for long lasting weed control, then they are now reassured that it is legally safe to do so. Using BASF Pistol means that operators are able to control active weeds as well as those yet to germinate,” said James Wilson, Director of RIVERLYNX. “This gives RIVERLYNX users the option of a residual action herbicide, as well as translocated or contact herbicides.” RIVERLYNX Ecomark is a biodegradable and non-hazardous carrier liquid designed for use with the company’s CDA lance applicators. Ecomark has been scientifically formulated to incorporate a white pigment to work in conjunction with

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BASF Pistol, providing a visible marker during use while ensuring the correct droplet size to reduce drift and aid plant adhesion. Ecomark is supplied in a turtle

pack which functions as a comfortable backpack for use with RIVERLYNX’s robust Eradicator CDA handlance. The RIVERLYNX system is a safe, cost effective and operator friendly method of weed control and would typically be used for weed control along mowing margins, around street furniture and in gravel areas. The key advantages include • Significant productivity and efficiency savings • Reduction in labour force requirements • Manual handling and back injury issues reduced • Material/chemical cost per hectare is less when compared to alternatives in the marketplace • Easy to use – no measuring or weighing. Simply fill BASF Pistol to a mark on the turtle pack • No need to add extra Glyphosate to kill green growing weeds RIVERLYNX products are backed by responsive after sales support including training, spare parts and servicing. Options available include both CDA Cleaner as well as Filling Stations. All products are designed and manufactured by the company at its Yorkshire facility. RIVERLYNX products are available from £396 ex-VAT.

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Growth Products Growth Products were first introduced by the AGS team to the UK sports turf market in 2013 and their ‘growth’ has been phenomenal. Why are these products so popular in the UK? The whole ethos of the Growth Products range is based around developing and maintaining a healthy plant supported by a healthy soil. The liquid nutrition range is tailored to produce optimum response with minimal negative effects. The salt index of the liquid nutrient range is the lowest on the market and will have none of the negative effects on soil biology or plant stress that cheaper, high-salt alternatives can have.

Nutrition The slow-release nature of the liquids is also unique. Many liquids claim to be slow-release, but only have a small portion of methylene urea and the rest is made up from basic urea – this delivers very little in the way of longevity. Growth Products includes large percentages of up to 85% of long-chain methylene urea to deliver exactly the response and longevity users demand. Whether you are managing golf courses, football pitches, cricket squares or any turf at any level, Growth Products has a cost-effective, highperformance solution for your needs. By combining different liquids with different nutrient sources you can gain the plant response you want, whether that is a quick burst of growth for recovery on football pitches, or a long, consistent period of slow growth.

Long-chain, carbon-rich methylene urea used in Growth Products liquid nutrition

THUMBS UP FROM JONNY Jonny Peacock, Head Greenkeeper at Rugby GC, has been using the Growth Products range for three seasons and is highly impressed with the results; “I use the Classic 18-3-6 and K-Builder 7-2-21 throughout the summer and I know exactly what I’m getting; no peaks and troughs of growth, just consistent, predictable results. I’m interested in being able to prepare the best possible playing services for my customers, and the

Growth Products range allows me to do just that.” “Maintaining slow, strong growth rates of my greens day-by-day and week-by-week allows me get my greens performing consistently through the whole playing season. Getting surfaces to a peak for a big event is one thing, but being able to provide a great surface all year round is my aim, and I know my nutrition plan is helping with that.” Jonny also uses the

Growth Products biostimulant range on his course and the combination of good nutrition, beneficial biostimulants and of course the all-important good cultural work has meant he has now managed over a full season and counting without a fungicide application. Disease has not been completely eliminated, but by creating healthy plants in a healthy soil Jonny knows the damage will be severely limited.

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Growth stimulation and stress tolerance The biostimulant range is headed up by Essential Plus, a full package of seaweed, humic acid and a whole range of high-carbon ingredients that reduce plant stress and improve soil microbial populations. This is now the go-to biostimulant for hundreds of Turf Managers up and down the country due its clarity of content and hugely beneficial effect on turf stress resistance and recovery. With only 1% Nitrogen and less than 0.5% iron we know that the green up achieved is through improved plant health and greater nutrient availability in the soil, rather than a cheap fix of N or Fe found in many ‘biostimulants’ on the market.

Companion is a microbial inoculant that floods the rhizosphere with billions of Bacillus subtillis GB03 Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria to protect the plant from disease by creating an Induced Systemic Resistance by stimulating the plants phytohormones and natural immune system, improving root growth and reducing plant stress.


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BTME 2020 saw the introduction of two new products into the Headland Amenity plant health range – Ascoflex Plus and Ascoflex 15. In addition, they introduced PPT114 – a product to further complement their non-pesticidal disease management strategy. Ascoflex is derived from Knotted Wrack Seaweed (Ascophyllum nodosum). The manufacturing process offers the optimum extraction of bioactive compounds – the important bits that provide growth stimulation and stress tolerance. Ascoflex differs from many competitors in declaring actual content of polysaccharide and plant growth substances. In addition to the bioactive Seaweed extract, Ascoflex Plus features ‘ProactinEX’,

a patented, plant-derived biostimulant package containing L-form amino acids, B-Complex vitamins and antioxidants. To enable a rapid plant response and help improve uptake, ProactinEX utilises express technology – a patented formulation using SAR compounds and a transcuticular nutrient delivery system. The benefits of using good quality seaweed extracts in foliar and root drench applications are well established on sports turf. Ascoflex Plus aims to build on these benefits by providing additional plant-available amino acids, vitamins and antioxidants. Amino acids are involved in numerous functions that facilitate healthy growth, including shoot and root development, nitrogen

transfer within the plant and chlorophyll production. Ascoflex 15 is a straight seaweed extract and is suitable for applications on larger, outfield areas. No nutrition is added to the formulation during processing and therefore it represents a pure seaweed extract, perfect for application with liquid fertilisers and wetting agents such as Tricure AD. Following on from the introduction of Mantle® at BTME 2019, PPT114 is a new soluble, micronutrient formulation featuring Manganese, Zinc and Copper. It has been developed to increase the efficacy of plant-health applications. In addition, the incorporation of two different sources of iron is designed to maximise winter colour when used in a tank mix.

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FACTS and BASIS success for ICL ICL Turf & Landscape is celebrating the success of four members of staff after two became FACTS Qualified Advisers and two were awarded their Full BASIS Amenity Advisor Awards. BASIS is an independent standardssetting and auditing organisation for the pesticide, fertilizer and allied industries. It offers a range of recognised qualifications for people working in those sectors, including the BASIS and FACTS schemes, and manages the Professional Register for qualified advisers. The BASIS Award is the national qualification for all those advising on the use, selling or supplying of plant protection products in the amenity industry. It is designed to enhance the understanding of turfgrass management, pest, weed and disease control, environmental issues and legislation. Those who gain the certificate become members of the BASIS Professional Register; and newly added to that list are Matt Nutter and Andrew Pledger, ICL Technical Area

Sales Managers operating in South Central and South East England. Barry Browne, ICL’s Landscape & Industrial National Sales Manager, and Craig Lalley, Technical Area Sales Manager for North/ East successfully completed the Fertiliser Advisers Certification and Training Scheme (FACTS). FACTS is available to those who have already qualified for the BASIS Professional Register and want to gain Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. The course builds on an individual’s prior level of agronomic knowledge and candidates must have at least one year’s experience of fertiliser and nutrient management planning in the UK. Successful FACTS participants demonstrate a full understanding of the role of fertilizers on the main crop groups in the UK and are able to make recommendations that are agronomically, economically and environmentally sound. ICL strive to provide high quality products that perform, where all claims

are based on extensive research and to be progressive and responsible with their advice and in order to achieve this, the company is committed to the ongoing education of its staff and distributors. By becoming BASIS and FACTS qualified and by joining the Professional Register, staff commit to a Code of Professional Ethics and a programme of Continuing Professional Development which requires them to continue their training to keep up-to-date with the latest developments and to enhance and broaden their knowledge and skills. This ensures that turf managers receive the very best advice from ICL’s dedicated turf and amenity team.


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A new line T

he investment in Rigby Taylor’s TinyLineMarker robotic line marking machine by John O’Conner (Grounds Maintenance) will not only enable the company to further improve the effectiveness of its already high levels of customer service but this new, technological approach to sports field marking will also enable the firm to reduce the human resource, time, water usage and carbon footprint of its traditional line marking operations. According to Managing Director Matt O’Conner, delivery of service is crucial to the ongoing success of the business. “We are always looking to take things forward to the benefit of customers,” he explained. TLM enables the company to: Save time on the initial marking of pitches and athletic sports’ lines – for example, taking just 30 minutes instead of 90 minutes to initial mark a full-size football pitch, and 1.5 hours instead of up to three-quarters

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of a day for an athletics track; n Save on paint costs since TLM, which uses 10-litre drums of Rigby Taylor’s award-winning Impact paint, will line mark a standard-size football pitch with just 1.1 litres of Impact; n Use less water – the readymixed Impact paint means there’s no mixing and no potential water loss; and n Deliver the service with just one operative and a small van – compared to two operatives (with all the associated tools) and a larger (3.5 tonne) vehicle, so the savings in human resources will be complemented by a smaller carbon footprint for the service in terms of transport/fuel requirements. “In addition, because everything with TLM is ‘computerised’ with the operator ‘programming’ TLM via a user-friendly tablet to produce precisely-positioned lines, the software also allows for clients to make subtle but sometimes important changes to

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in the… grass the positioning of certain lines – for

“This means we can save money for customers” instance, ‘inserting’ training grids alongside running tracks. This means we can ‘tweak’ the line marking to satisfy our clients’ every need in terms of additional line marking, and that can only further improve customer satisfaction levels.” 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, TLM can also mark bespoke shapes which are often required for some smaller locations and events such as school sports days. Indeed, John O’Conner’s contracts for line marking rugby and football

pitches are complemented by applications including marking rounders pitches and athletics tracks (200, 400 and 800 metres) as well as javelin and discus grids. 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. “This means we can save money for customers since we will not be overmarking for the sake of it,” said Matt. “It’s a similar argument for the use of Rigby Taylor’s award-winning ready-mixed Impact paint. Impact may cost more per tub, but we get brighter and longer-lasting lines so, the cost is lower on a line-for-line basis.”

With Impact, operators have no contact with the paint as a flow tube is simply inserted into the paint container. John O’Conner’s investment in TLM was carefully considered – as is every investment decision made by the company which, during its 50-year history, has grown to become one of the most successful grounds contractors in the country. It enjoys an £18 million turnover from groundscare contracts (as well as tree work and landscaping, for example) with local authorities and schools, in particular, as well as with housing associations, private sports clubs and business parks. The company employs 550 people and it targets to have up to 5% of that number as apprentices/trainees. After using TLM to initial mark pitches/sites throughout the Hertfordshire region, John O’Conner will now roll out the technology across its extensive customer base which extends from Scotland to the Isle of Wight.

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BUYERS’ GUIDE Statistics reveal scale of

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





success of Saltex 2015

n Agronomy Audits n Advisory Services n Project Management n Construction over 70% of visitors said that there was an The 70th SALTEX exhibition exceeded all n Budgets after an independent audit excellent mix of products on display. Table 1 expectations www.gregevansmg.com shows what visitors were looking for. confirmed the exhibition as the largest turf www.campeyturfcare.com Call: 07951 157208 or email: Exhibitors at SALTEX 2015 reported management event in the UK with a total Telephone: 01260 224 568 gregevansmg@gmail.com 0118 Email: info@campeyturfcare.com huge3914540 success at the show, suggesting that of 8,714 unique individuals attending. Now, jamie@advancegrass.com the visitors were a very powerful group of the visitor surveys have been flooding in – buyers. With deals being done there and revealing a fascinating and in-depth insight GOLF COURSE TYRES then on the show floor, it’s no surprise to see into the visitor profile of the show. MANAGEMENT that over 80% had purchasing responsibility. With visitors traveling from every corner Over 75% of all SALTEX visitors also had of the UK as well as every continent around the ability to sign off purchases of up to the world it was encouraging to see that AGENTS £100,000. over 70% of the visitors rated their overall WETTING Golf Course Management As for the type of facilities that the SALTEX experience as being good, very SOIL SURFACTANTS Consultant visitors were responsible for, it was great to good or excellent. ORGANIC FERTILISERS see such a wide array of visitors (table 2). Over Golf 65% Course of visitors said that they Advice; LocumSALTEX Greenkeeper Service; Visitors also found the more central attended to source new products, 01233 633267 Projector Management; Practical location of the NEC to be more accessible services suppliers, while 20% wanted UK.aquatrols.com Genuine with 70% stating that the new location was toSolutions make thefor most of theProblems free educational GOLF BUNKERS www.billymcmillanassociates.co.uk either good or excellent. Within the halls of LEARNING LIVE seminars and to receive 07774through 632747 the IOG’s Ask the NEC, visitors favoured the more compact one-to-oneTel: advice 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 attend event of the With such a large number of visitors on Demand year. attending SALTEX to source new products SALTEX 2016 will be held at the NEC, and services; they certainly came to the Birmingham on 2 and 3 November 2016. For right place. The exhibition is a great way www.whitemosseco.org.uk more information visit www.iogsaltex.com to launch and showcase new products and




ble 1

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on Demand

• Turf Cutters • TurfBringing Aerators technical

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Fertilisers and Chemicals

ble 2


Table 1


One of the UK’s

EQUIPMENTleading natural and artificial sports turf

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


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

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

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Table 2 Turf Matters | February-March 2016 | 33

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Kioti UK Ltd Abbotsley Golf Hotel, Potton Road, St Neots, Cambs PE19 6XN Telephone 01480-401512 www.kioti-uk.com


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Tea Break Teaser

Answers 1. Camp Nou; 2. October; 3. St Moritz, Switzerland; 4. France; 5. Serbia and Austria; 6. 21; 7. Johan Cruijff; 8. Eintracht Frankfurt; 9. Both born on islands - Mallorca for Nadal and Madeira for Ronaldo; 10. Seve Ballesteros and Antonio Garrido; 11. Stuttgart; 12. Stadio Olimpico; 13. The Netherlands; 14. Henrik Stenson, The Open, Troon 2016; 15. Belgian

Turf Matters | MARCH-APRIL 2020 | 65


making turf matter

If I found a four-leafed clover it would be covered in greenfly. If my syndicate won the lottery, it would be week I’d forgotten to pay in. If I were ever to win a prize in a raffle, it would be the talcum powder. Forgive me if I’m feeling a little sorry for myself, but those avid fans/addicts of the Golfing Nobody Blog will no doubt recall the last instalment in which I outlined my plan to add distance to my game. I

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was convinced that I needed to add another 20 yards from the tee to remain relevant in this increasingly testosterone-fuelled sport. Since then I’ve been pounding balls on the range like a veritable dervish and do believe I may have acquired a few extra inches, if not the desired yardage, just yet. Then, then I discovered that my campaign had been well and truly scuppered, by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and the United States Golf Association no less. My suspicion is that someone, an official from the aforementioned R&A or USGA, or perhaps one of those infamous “Blazers”, was visiting my club, saw me thumping balls on the range and immediately feared for the very future of the game. How else can you explain that within days of my well publicised plan they produce a hastily pulled together document entitled “Distance Insights Report” which looks to deny me the advantage I am seeking to gain on my rivals by restricting the implements used to achieve those distances, namely balls and clubs. There have been years when such a change


would have benefited yours truly, but you can imagine my fury that they have waited until I have re-dedicated my life to hitting that little 1.68 inch missile further off the tee to, I’d say almost maliciously, decide to place a spanner in my delicate works. But let’s for the sake of trying to produce a thoughtful and insightful blog for a change, put my personal travails to one side and look at the bigger picture of what the R&A and USGA are aiming to achieve. I started watching professional golf back in the 1970s. My first tournament was the 1975 Open Championship at Carnoustie won by Tom Watson and what was apparent then was the beautiful smooth nature of the golf swings and the effortless ability to find the middle of fairways some 250 yards from the tee. They were far better than us, but just occasionally we could find the sweet spot and hit our drives 230 yards. We were chuffed, we were thrilled, we were nearly as good as the pros. Once or twice a round. It changed with John Daly and then, much more so with Tiger. We couldn’t swing like them. Not in a million years. Not so much Big John with his massive back swing and carefree spirit, but with Tiger. He was an athlete. A drive from Tiger was like an explosion and a ball would disappear up the fairway more than 330 yards. We could never come close to that. Now everyone is at it. The average drive on the US Tour is now 294 yards, more than 20 yards further than the top 20 longest hitters of the mid-90s. And they all have the ability to shunt it out an extra 40 yards if needed. Something has to change. Even if that means that my ambitions are thwarted. *As told to Scott MacCallum

stadium of light

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Profile for Turf Matters

Turf Matters March / April 2020  

Our cover story is with the new head groundsman at Haileybury School Andy Richards. Also in this issue: - A review of the Dennis and SISIS...

Turf Matters March / April 2020  

Our cover story is with the new head groundsman at Haileybury School Andy Richards. Also in this issue: - A review of the Dennis and SISIS...