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

January-February 2018 | £3.95

SIX OF THE BEST Meet the groundsmen gearing up for the Six Nations challenge


Council’s successful PPS plan

26 Well-deserved success

20 Praise for Gloucester

BTME 2018: HARROGATE HERE WE COME 30 Over 4,500 expected

making turf matter



Optimism 2018 Don’t forgetforSport…

Distributed every two months to sports turf professionals, independent schools, universities, local authorities and buyers of turfcare machinery and products.

Welcome to 2018 and I hope that you are basking in the optimism that a The lastbrings. two months haveitbeen nightmare for many people in certain new year To be fair oftenaonly lasts until the end of January or, parts of the andall my heart goes outexcesses to everyone dealing if the Visa bill country containing our Christmas lands on thewith mat, the aftermath earlier than that!of unprecedented flooding and devastating erosion. The best case scenario for many is months of temporary living. For Here at Turf Matters we are looking forward to another year of others, lives will never return to what they were. progress. You may notice that we have a new style masthead. The While the fate of sports grounds and golf clubs might seem original, as this has been, was created by Turf Matters’ Designer, Tim inconsequential in the face of such hardship, we at Turf Matters have Moat, and I loved it. However, as our on-line profile has risen it became a particular empathy with everyone who has seen years of agronomic apparent that the clever use of the word “Matters” down the length of husbandry literally washed away in the space of a few weeks. the “F” of “Turf” could bebanks lost when down to digitalnot size.the That It must be hoped that – theshrunk financial institutions, has been addressed with the new one. things which edge overflown rivers – take an understanding approach This issue should be which a good have read.been We have VictoDemain’s first interview to sporting facilities unable service loans as a since becoming Groundsman of the to Year. Listening to result of themProfessional being unplayable and so unable bring in revenue. Vic, As youwe can fully understand why heWinter – and his team atsport Durham have seen with the recent Olympics, has CCC such a galvanising effect onfrom society be the forasoreal much good, – received recognition theand IOG,can while youcatalyst also learn lesson thatbouncing it is imperative sporting facilities areinflict not forgotten when the about back from the knocks that all but the most promised assistance is being allocated. fortunate of us. On the issue of improving sporting facilities, we you havewill been Laurence Gale has also been busy for this issue and I’m sure invited by Briggs & Stratton to become involved in its Pitch be interested in what he has written. to Win competition, which provides a £3,000 makeover for We also hear from men charged with preparing the pitches formost the whatthe is judged to be the Under 18s football pitch in upcoming Six Nations Championship, which is growing in stature and need – find out more on pages 16-17. I am on the judging profile all the time. Youand canvisits be sure that each of 15 matches will be panel will be made to the a shortlist of deserving played on surfaces whichsoon. will give all the players not the so best opportunity pitches We will be looking much at the of playing their best rugby. DESSO but the desperate! On a final note, I amand thrilled by the reception that the That is the goal of groundsman golf greenkeepers everywhere issue Turfsuccess Mattersover received. Many people have and we wishfirst all of youof every the next 12 months. taken time to say how much they liked the look of the Oh, and good luck with that Visa bill! magazine and how they enjoyed the articles. We’re all Best wishes, pleased you found it to your liking and we will work hard to maintain the high standards. Thank you all very much.

Editor: Scott MacCallum Distributed every two months to sports turf professionals, local authorities Executive Laurence Gale and and buyersEditor: of turfcare machinery products. DesignScott and Production Editor: MacCallumEditor: Tim Moat Customer Manager: Design andRelations Production Editor: Tim Moat Sinead Finnin Sales Manager: Pauline Thompson Sales Executive: To advertise in Turf Matters, Marie Anderson call Pauline on 07720 055676 or


To advertise in Turf Matters, To go to 927500 callsubscribe, Sinead 07841

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

Scott MacCallum, Editor Scott MacCallum, Editor

You Youcan canfollow followus meon onTwitter Twitter @TurfMatters @TurfMatters

Inside Inside this thisissue issue News..........................................................4-12 News .........................................................4-15 Spotlight on Apex....................................14 Pitch to Win........................................16-17 Trilo profile..........................................18-19 Mowing .................................19-22, 24-27 Gloucester City Council...............20-23 Tea Break Teaser ......................................29 Gore Workwear.................................24-25 Gleneagles..........................................30-35 Groundsman of the Year..............26-29 BTME review ......................................36-41 BTME preview....................................30-35 Diary of a Golfing Nobody.................42 Dennis day..........................................38-39 As seen on Twitter..................................43 Six Nations Championship.........41-43 Buyers’out Guide. ...........................................49 Check our .website: The majesty of Gleneagles, pages 30-35 LET IT BREATHE: Aeration techniques – turn to pages 46-48 Subscribe FREE to our e-zine: Details at

Check out our website: Next magazine distributed 2 May

Next magazine distributed March 2018

Turf |Matters | March-April 2014 Turf Matters JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018| 3 |3


making turf matter

DAVID WITHERS JOINS ISEKI UK One of the industry’s highest profile and best known figures over the last 15 years will once again be a familiar and welcome sight, albeit in a new guise. David Withers, former President of Jacobsen, has joined the newly-launched Iseki UK and Ireland as Managing Director. ISEKI UK has been formed with investment from ISEKI for the sole purpose of distributing the ISEKI range of products and growing market share and sales in the UK & Ireland Markets. For many years, the ISEKI product line has been distributed in the UK and Ireland by Ransomes Jacobsen operating out of their facilities in Ipswich and the new ISEKI company will also be based in the Ipswich area “I started working with Iseki when the product line came to Jacobsen in 1996 and have always enjoyed being involved with such an exciting and reliable product line,” said David. “When ISEKI outlined their strategic vision of getting closer to the customers by investing in their own distribution in the UK it made sense to me,” he added. “I am really looking forward to joining Iseki UK to head up this exciting new venture” Kazuya Tani, the European Managing Director of ISEKI, was equally delighted. He said: “The commitment of ISEKI to the UK Market will be significant and we trust that the market will react positively to this approach”

David Withers

RIOT OF COLOUR: Willingdon Golf Club

Kazuya Tani

4 | Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018

Golf courses embrace their wild side Once renowned for artificially lush fairways, a handful of British golf courses are undergoing an ecorenaissance with nature given priority over the nurture. Eco-minded Course Managers and top grass seed manufacturers such as Barenbrug have become wild at heart, bringing eco-friendly and sustainable practices to the industry in a way not seen before. “Greenkeepers and golf courses are often portrayed as un-environmentally friendly but we definitely don’t see it like that here,” said Luke Turner, Course Manager at Willingdon Golf Club, in Eastbourne. “The golfing industry has changed massively

in the last three-to-five years and greenkeepers are pushing a commitment to ecology and making courses more sustainable.” This year, as well as hand crafting bird and reptile homes, Luke has turned an area of rough into a wildflower meadow that’s attracting more than 25 species of butterfly. And at Mortonhall – the oldest course in Edinburgh – Head Greenkeeper, David Fraser, has also implemented a wildflower programme to increase biodiversity on the course’s ‘out of play’ areas. The change of focus is thanks in part to eco-minded grass seed manufacturers. Both Luke and David have turned to Barenbrug, the UK’s

20 NOT OUT FOR SIMON RICHARD Simon Richard Ltd has just celebrated 20 years of continuous trading. “Our business was set up in 1997 selling fertilisers and sprayers but really expanded when we were appointed as UK Sales Agents for the Muthing flail and Reform specialist tractors ranges,” said Simon.

“The business has enjoyed consistent year on year growth since and the addition, this year to our portfolio, of the Woods Equipment rotary cutter range, has further expanded our product range.”

largest grass seed distributor, in their efforts to green up their greens. The top seed grower is leading the way in eco-friendly wildflower seeds, developing a portfolio of 18 mixes for different soil types. “It’s estimated that since the Second World War, 95% of the UK’s wildflower meadows have been lost – and yet around 15,000 hectares of unimproved grassland are believed to remain nationwide,” said Luke Hunt, from Barenbrug. “It’s our hope that our wildflower mixtures will go some way to re-establishing wildflowers on roadside verges, parks, and golf courses once again – all of which is of great benefit to protecting the unique botanical identity of the UK.” Both greenkeepers have been staggered by the results from their wildflower mixes, which saw 100% germination and a long flowering season. “The end results were like something out of a brochure,” said Luke. “The area was alive with butterflies and bees and the whole thing had a stunning visual impact, being visible from two or three of our tees. It was great for wildlife and for our members.”

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Dedication is justly rewarded The expertise and dedication of Philip Swan, volunteer groundsman at the Bridge Trust Society’s sports fields, in Birmingham, was been recognised at this year’s IOG Industry Awards with Philip collecting the Redexim Charterhouse/Kubota Volunteer Sports Groundsman of the Year Award. As our photograph shows, in the ceremony at the National Conference Centre, within the National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham the award was presented to Philip by Curtis Allen, Redexim Charterhouse’s Business Development Manager, and Andy Southerton, Kubota’s Dealer Manager, Groundscare. Philip took over as groundsman seven years ago, with, he adds, “another

equally inexperienced volunteer”. Since then, whenever a member of the club retires, they are recruited to join Philip’s team – which currently numbers six and all with varying levels of experience. Led by Philip, the team

is charged with the upkeep of the right of way and the maintenance of the clubhouse, two pavilions, the score box and a garage, in addition to two football pitches, a cricket square and nets plus two five-aside training pitches.

Stihl has new Head of Operations STIHL GB has appointed a new Head of Operations to oversee its end-to-end supply chain as the manufacturer continues to invest in the future growth of the company. As a supply chain expert, Paul Brennan joins STIHL with a wealth of experience in leading supply chain and logistics projects in the UK and overseas in both fast-moving consumer goods and retail. Paul’s broad commercial experience includes Project and Change Management, Customer Services, and Operations. In addition, Paul is a member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and has a BA (Hons) in Economics. “With so many challenges ahead, this is a very exciting time to be joining the business,” said Robin Lennie, Managing Director at STIHL GB.

Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 | 5


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John O’Gaunt’s UTV fleet ‘unbeatable’ value John O’Gaunt Golf Club in Sandy, Bedfordshire, has purchased two Toro Workman utility vehicles, taking the club’s UTV fleet to seven. These hard-working workhorses have racked up over 16,000 hours of work between them. Course Manager, Nigel Broadwith, runs machines that are up to 18 years old with no problems. “I think we are proving at John O’Gaunt that you can get more out of your Toro machines than perhaps you think you can and that you don’t have to always buy new to get results,” he says. “Our oldest Workman is the 3300D from 1999, that machine has done an impressive 4132 hours of work over 18 years. Of our more recent machines we have a HDX-D from 2015 which has put in an equally impressive 1652 hours in two years.” Most of the UTVs Nigel purchases are second-hand, with the latest two purchased as they came out of a five-year lease deal, which means they represent great value for the club. In fact, purchasing the machines this way meant Nigel could buy two second-hand Workman utility vehicles for the price of one new one. “Even new the Workman

UTVs present good value, but purchasing our utility vehicles this way is cost-effective and means we can put the rest of the budget into our turfcare machinery, plus fuel consumption is excellent. A Workman is a workhorse and puts in the hours. We use ours for divoting tees, topping up bunkers with sand, turf and tree work and transportation; we even have one whose body we have removed and replaced with a topdresser for that sole use.” But that’s not all. The club’s Workman vehicles are nothing if not versatile, stepping in when needed with all sorts of jobs. “The machines comfortably seat two men and in the rare times when we have issues with player’s golf trollies we’ve been more than happy to pick up members and transport them around the course in the Workmans. “They are quick, quiet and still look good,” said Nigel.

NEW SALES REP HELPS REESINK EXPAND ITS SCOTTISH TEAM The 18-hole parkland course Reesink Turfcare’s Scotland service branch in Livingston continues to expand with the appointment of a new sales representative, Daniel Tomberry, pictured. Daniel brings over a decade’s experience in sports turf to his sales role at Reesink’s Livingston branch, which goes from strength to strength in its second year, and working with golf clubs in Glasgow and south west Scotland. “For years, the idea of having a sales role in the industry has really appealed to me and I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity. This position at Reesink was what I was waiting for,” said Daniel. “By working my way up from apprentice greenkeeper at a prestigious Scottish golf club to head groundsman at East Dorset Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, I’ve gained a wide range of industry knowledge which I believe will serve me well in this new role.” 6 | Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018

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Hogs Head GC go Textron Hogs Head Golf Club, a new course located in County Kerry, Ireland, has chosen equipment from Textron Golf to maintain its surfaces. The course replaces Skellig Bay Golf Club and has been built in the picturesque town of Waterville, with golfers able to enjoy spectacular views of the Irish coast and Atlantic Ocean. The machinery purchased by the Club includes three LF577 fairway mowers, one AR522 rough mower, one AR-3 rotary mower, two GP400 greens mowers, two Eclipse 322 greens mowers, 10 Greens King mowers for tees and greens, a Jacobsen Truckster, two ISEKI tractors, 20 E-Z-GO RXV ELiTE Freedom golf cars and a Cushman Hauler PRO. Superintendent David Daly explained how excited everyone was who worked

on the project. “We started construction in March 2016 where we used 150,000 tonnes of sand to cap all playing areas with eight inches of sand. The course will play firm, fast and dry all year round. It has been an eyeopening experience, but the results speak for themselves. “We chose equipment from Textron Golf because Jacobsen was recommended by Michael Murphy, at Waterville Golf Links, and I have used the machines in the past and they have always been very good. The technology on the Eclipse is the best you’ll find, and it also provides us with a fantastic quality of cut. I am also very impressed with the LF577; it now takes us half the time to cut the fairways than it used to on the old course. General manager Niall Moran was responsible for the

purchase of the new E-Z-GO ELiTE Freedom golf cars. “Investing in these golf cars was a no-brainer for the Club. They deliver the best performance, save us the most money by reducing electricity bills, and are light on the course which prevents damage. We have put a lot of resources into course maintenance equipment, so we want to ensure that the surfaces are protected as much as possible, and the new golf cars provide us with this. We’ll

be using them on the golf course and for transporting people from the hotel to the course and vice versa.” The course is the first in Ireland designed by the RTJ II firm, and has been planted with three varieties of fescue grasses – all of which are native to the Irish coast. The 18-hole golf course will be complemented by a 48-room lodge and spa opening in May 2018, and five four-bedroom golf cottages.

LOOKING GOOD: Equipment from Textron Golf will maintain the new Hogs Head Golf Club

Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 | 7


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Etesia UK link with Cheshire based Sharrocks Etesia UK has appointed Sharrocks, based in Arclid, Cheshire, as their new dealer for the full range of Etesia grounds care equipment, covering the areas of Birmingham, Shropshire and Staffordshire. Sharrocks is a specialist supplier of tractors, professional and domestic turf machinery and both agricultural and arboricultural equipment. For over 55 years the family owned business, which is now in its third generation, has serviced the Midlands, North of England & North Wales.

The company will now be supplying the complete range of Etesia pedestrian, ride-on mowers along with the Attila range of brushcutters. “As soon as I knew there was a vacancy coming up in this area I got on the phone straight away to Etesia,” said Steve Hanlon, Depot Manager for Sharrocks. “It’s a brand we know incredibly well and we are delighted to be working with them. It’s a fantastic product range with so many strengths; they cut and collect in any condition, they are strong, easy to use and are very professional machines.” The Etesia range from Sharrocks will also be available as part of the company’s hire division, which already includes an extensive

8 | Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018

range of professional suppliers. Customers will be able to choose from Etesia’s 12 product families which includes pedestrian mowers, ride-on mowers, scarifiers, brush cutters and green technology – something which Steve is particularly excited about. “Due to where grounds care equipment seems to be heading, Etesia are steaming ahead with their battery powered and green machines.” A group of Etesia UK dealers recently visited the company’s

HQ and factory in Wissembourg, France, to see their state-of-art factory and production line. More than 15 dealers took part in three days of visits and saw the skill, precision and professionalism of Etesia operations. Les Malin, Operations Director of Etesia UK, kick-started the trip by relaying the unique benefits of Etesia machines, while Patrick Vives, President of Etesia SAS told the intriguing story as to how it all began with the unique Hydro 100 machine over 30 years ago.

PROGRESS: Above, Etesia UK dealers at the state-of-the-art factory in France and left, inside Sharrocks

making turf matter


Less is more for Leigh Golf Club Robert Ainscough, Head Greenkeeper at Leigh Golf Club in Warrington Cheshire, is perhaps one of a few greenkeepers who boasted clean, disease free greens during a particularly difficult winter period last year. This was achieved by adhering to a preventative programme using a range of Syngenta fungicides from ICL, which saw him applying less product than he was previously when working on a more reactive basis. It is fair to say that Robert is passionate about his craft and the young Head Greenkeeper at Leigh Golf Club has had an interesting career in his quest for personal development. As an ambitious 18 year-old he moved to Scotland in order to start his greenkeeping journey at the highly prestigious Loch Lomond Golf Club. He admits that cutting that position fairly short was one of his few regrets in life but he was young, had a girlfriend and in his words he ultimately missed ‘mum’s cooking.’ However, he quickly landed a position at Leigh Golf Club in Warrington, and soon displayed his qualities. Three years later he was promoted to Deputy Head Greenkeeper but Robert felt that he needed to continue his development further. With this in mind, he emailed Royal Melbourne Golf Club, which is considered to be the pinnacle of golf in Australia. He was offered a two week trial and without hesitation he packed his bags. His trial was quickly extended but unfortunately his visa only entitled him to work for one company for a period of six months. This limitation didn’t stop Robert, and he spent a further year working at Manly Golf Club and Royal Sydney Golf Club. On returning to the UK, Leigh contacted him to ask

if he would return as Deputy Head Greenkeeper, which he accepted, and then two months later, at the age of just 25, he was promoted to the position of Head Greenkeeper. Keen to put his own stamp on proceedings, Robert started devising his own maintenance programme which included using a range of new products. “I had learnt a lot on my travels and I felt I could really help the course. At first I wanted to keep things fairly simple and I continued what the previous Head Greenkeeper was doing except I adapted it slightly based on what I had learnt in Australia. I changed the products around and it was at this point that I started using ICL and Syngenta products, such as the growth regulator Primo Maxx and Greenmaster Pro-Lite Cold Start and Sierraform GT fertilisers. “They made such an improvement that at the start of last year I sat down with Phil Collinson (ICL Technical Area Sales Manager) to devise a full ICL iTurf programme on the greens, tees and approaches and this included a combination of fungicides to help keep disease at bay. “This site can get hit really hard with disease. Over the years we have had too many scars throughout the winter and even in April. As a result, we ended up taking a reactive approach and applying products to get rid of the scars but I wasn’t completely satisfied. My whole approach

to solve this was to go down the preventative route.” Last year, Robert started his preventative approach with an application of Banner Maxx just before annual maintenance work on the greens in September. This was followed by an application of Instrata four weeks later and then finally he sprayed the greens with Medallion TL in December. “The three applications worked incredibly well and the greens were clean and disease free – I even had comments that they were just as good as they are in the summer. Because ICL and Syngenta products are so good it gives me peace of mind as well. I know that I can have the odd weekend off in winter and relax. Now I know that if I go on holiday, I will have confidence knowing that I will be coming back to clean greens without disease. “This year I plan on sticking to the same programme but with the addition of Instrata Elite. I’ll apply this after the initial application of Instrata before I spray

Medallion TL in December.” Commenting on the success of the programme, Phil Collinson said: “Robert now has a programme in place which means that he doesn’t have to spray fungicides every three weeks. When people got hit badly with disease, Robert was stood there in February with clean greens – and he actually applied less fungicide than others who were being reactive. He’s a forward thinker who understands that the preventative approach results in clean greens throughout winter.” Robert admits that it took a while to adjust to the preventative approach, but the results have made it all worthwhile. “The demands to attract new members is high, so if our greens are clean with no disease then it all helps the cause. “Because there were courses in the area who were hit hard with Microdochium nivale, we actually saw an additional 80 members join our club as a result.

PASSIONATE: Robert Ainscough, left, Head Greenkeeper at Leigh Golf Club with ICL’s Technical Area Sales Manager Phil Collinson

“Robert now has a programme in place which means that he doesn’t have to spray fungicides every three weeks. When people got hit badly with disease, Robert was stood there in February with clean greens…” Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 | 9


making turf matter

Kubota swings into action at Wimbledon Park

The man faced with the challenge of maintaining the course at Wimbledon Park Golf Club in the heart of SW19 is course manager David Langheim, above, one of just 80 Master Greenkeepers in the world. Since joining the club in 2008, David and his team of nine greenkeepers have worked towards keeping the tees, greens, fairways and bunkers in top playing condition whilst navigating around the various restrictions in place to help protect the designated conservation area. The parkland course in London, which has over 800 members, is situated next to the famous All England Lawn Tennis Club. To help with the

rigorous daily maintenance of the course, David was looking to add a new compact tractor to his machinery fleet. He wanted a powerful and reliable machine that could maximise productivity levels and help streamline workload. After assessing the market, David made the decision to purchase Kubota’s high performance L5040 compact tractor to the club’s current fleet of groundcare machines from his local dealer – Lister Wilder. “The main reason we bought the tractor is Kubota’s reputation for reliability. Having used many Kubotas at my previous club, Foxhills in Chertsey, I knew that the machine would live up to the challenge. The

“Golf is not just a sport, it’s an experience, the views and vistas of each course make the game what it is…” 10 | Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018

performance and comfort of the L5040 simply means that we can work from dusk till dawn without any issues,” said David. Adding to David and his team’s responsibilities is the club’s involvement in Wimbledon’s world-renowned tennis tournament that takes place just across the road. Serving as the main car park, hospitality area and base for emergency services for the annual event, the golf course plays a significant role in the management of this major sporting event. With 2,500 vehicles and 45,000 people attending each day of the two-week competition, the course requires major repairs in the weeks following the tournament. This year, like all those prior, a large team of contractors were set the task of stripping and relaying approximately 10,000m2 of turf, before David and his team went to work to put the first-class finish on the course. “When working on a job as

big as this, with such tight time-constraints, having a machine this versatile means that we save a lot of time when we’re out on the course. It also means that we can put the Kubota tractor to good use all year round for seeding and aeration,” he explained. “With the amount of damage caused each year, it’s easy to see how rapidly the course could change over time, so to have a machine like L5040 that we can rely on allows us to meet the high standard we set for ourselves in a short space of time. Due to his expert status, David often shares his expert knowledge with the wider golfing community, presenting at BTME, carrying out workshops, and representing Wimbledon Park at major competitions. “Golf is not just a sport, it’s an experience, the views and vistas of each course make the game what it is, which is why it’s important to us that Wimbledon Park is constantly being improved.”

making turf matter


YOU SPIN ME ROUND: NEW TORO DOES THE CHORES FOR YOu Reesink has launched a brandnew Toro rotary mower, designed to improve productivity by going longer between stops. Revealed at SALTEX in November, the ProLine H800 direct collect rotary mower is designed to boost productivity and revolutionise clipping clearup for groundscare professionals. “This launch will appeal to councils and landscape contractors looking for minimum downtime. The fuel tank is large enough to power a full day’s work, while the generous capacity of the collector is accompanied by a


sensor which alerts the operator when it’s full. This avoids unnecessary stopping to check and empty it,” explained Jeff Anguige, National Sales Manager. “With the ProLine, you simply switch the mower on and go, most of the chores are done for you. Once the collector is full, the

deck automatically disengages to prevent overfilling or grass going uncollected. Clippings can be emptied into a truck bed effortlessly with the high lift system, which can be raised to almost two metres in height and remotely controlled from the operator’s station,” said Jeff.

A front-end loader for the new McCormick X2 Series compact tractor line-up has been introduced by distributor AgriArgo UK with mechanical parallel linkage fitted as standard for ease of use and added safety. The McCormick MClassic 25 loader adds to the versatility and usefulness of the 43hp, 47hp and 54hp mechanical drive X2 Series tractors. “The X2 Series tractors – which replaced our GM models – are small but durable machines that are often used as scraper tractors on dairy farms and for different paddock management and grounds maintenance applications,” explained Ray Spinks, General Manager and Sales Director. “With a loader fitted, the little tractor becomes even more useful, especially as it can get into buildings and other locations that are denied to larger, more powerful tractors and handlers.”

Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 | 11


New York Red Bulls praise SISIS Osca GREAT MACHINE: ‘Will extend life of our synthetic turf’

Dan Shemesh, Director of Stadium and Training Grounds for the New York Red Bulls, has praised the SISIS Osca 3 which maintains the synthetic turf on one of the club’s training fields. When he was looking for a machine that would help take his synthetic turf to the next level, he found the solution in the form of the SISIS Osca 3 tractor mounted oscillating brush. “We previously had a problem of matted down fibers on the synthetic turf, so I needed a machine which would help revive the laid over fibers,” said Dan. “CS Trading LLC recommended the SISIS Osca and they arranged a demonstration for us. We saw an immediate result both visually

12 | Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018

as well as through field testing.” The SISIS Osca 3 is a tractor mounted powered oscillating brush with a 1.9 metre working width and is equally effective when used on synthetic turf with sand or rubber infill. The two oscillating brushes stand the carpet fibers up and redistributes the infill evening, minimising compaction on the surface and improving its performance. A contributory factor to the reduction of compaction is that the Osca’s working width will use fewer passes than other more conventional drag brushes to complete a pitch. Its aggressive brushing action agitates the upper infill level of

the surface from side to side as well as brushing forward, helping reduce surface compaction and encourage the fibers to stand up straight which reduces the risk of contamination, drainage problems and leaves a consistent playing surface across the whole pitch. Dan, who uses the Osca on a bi-weekly basis, has reported excellent results since using the product. “It’s a great machine to keep fibres standing up in synthetic turf and the dual

oscillating brushes work in a different way to any other product on the market – in fact that was a key feature in me purchasing the machine.” “This product will save us money in the long run as it will eliminate the need for bringing in contractors and it will extend the life of our synthetic turf. The Osca is also incredibly simple and easy to operate – we just attach it to our tractor using the correct PTO – and adjust the speed depending on the level of brushing needed.”



making turf matter

Say goodbye to standing water with Apex Soil Solutions There is always a conflict of interest when it comes to golf. Course Managers like to get as much air under their greens as possible, but golfers detest the disruption it causes to the surface. Apex Soil Solutions have been working in the industry to demonstrate the revolutionary Vogt GeoInjector. Here’s how they are changing the future of soil management. How can you ensure greens are well aerated without the Course Manager and his team facing the wrath of the club golfer? The Vogt GeoInjector system offers minimal disruption to the playing surface. In most cases the green is brought straight back into play, keeping everyone happy. An “average” size green of approximately 300 m2 takes us as little as five hours to complete. Decompaction without disruption. Aeration without aggravation! What is the process and how do you stop standing water? The process is completed in one motion with just a single probe. We penetrate the soil beyond the root size to a depth of one metre. We inject 100psi of high pressured, compressed air into the ground. While the probe is inserted into the ground, a natural underground void is created and then back filled with Terramol to the surface, creating a permanent drainage soakaway. What depths can you reach and how fine are your tines? The diameter of our injection probe is 25mm and can go to a depth of one metre. Recovery times will 14 | Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018

vary depending upon time of year, weather conditions, and make-up of the soil profile but how long are the recovery times – thinking about those club golfers? Once the process has been completed the green is ready to be played on immediately.

green and play. The technique is innovative and from our experience most members that have been briefed on the process, welcome the programme, as it does not require a re treatment. The long-term benefits far out weigh the small period of time the green is out of play.

The equipment is equally adept at handling tree roots as it is aerating golf greens. Can you explain how your piece of kit works to achieve success in both areas? The process is very similar. We fill the cavities with organic fertilisers, such as enriched Biochar to improve tree performance and stimulate root growth.

Apex is a new name to the industry. Can you tell us a little about yourselves? Apex Soil Solutions is the sister company to Apex Tree Surgeons, a well-respected company which has been operating since 2002. With a varied client list including tree consultancies, golf courses, and councils we noticed an increasing demand to source alternative methods to improve trees in decline. We partnered with German company Vogt, who manufacture the GeoInjector to offer the solution to the rest of the UK.

In an ideal world when is the best time of year to carry out a programme of aeration? The GeoInjector can be used at anytime of the year but works best when there is moisture in the ground. We would not advise injecting in frosty conditions. The process can easily be incorporated into a Course Manager’s maintenance schedule between autumn and spring. Do you have any advice for Course Managers in dealing with the membership prior, during and post an aeration programme? The GeoInjector offers a service that is quicker than many others and offers minimal disruption to the

There are some well established names within the aeration sector and in golf particularly, customers do have brand loyalty, what techniques do you employ to ensure that potential customers are aware of what you offer? Although there are a multitude of companies that offer soil management solutions, we don’t just scratch the surface, the solutions are found deeper than that. Our product injects deeper into the problem area, breaking through grounds that have previously not been reached. This access allows

us to combat problem areas more successfully, which have seen exceptional results. What is it about Apex and the equipment that you manufacturer that means a potential customer should include you in their list of options? The versatility of the product provides a solution to many issues where part solutions have been made previously, or where processes were lengthy, caused disruption, and were not completely reliable. We are extremely passionate about the product and the positive impacts it will have on professionals within the industry. What are your aspirations for the company over the next five years? We are keen to market our products throughout the Country and work within all industries that will benefit from this application. Apex Soil Solutions aims to leave all of our clients with 100% satisfaction of our products and services. We believe we can successfully support Course Managers. Where can people see the equipment if they are interested? We will be exhibiting at BTME in Harrogate at the end of this month. Our full range of injection equipment will be on display and our expert staff will be able to answer your questions. We will be holding a demonstration day in the upcoming months to showcase the equipment and allow people the opportunity to see the equipment in action. If you are interest please do not hesitate to email us or visit us at the BIGGA event.

making turf matter

Tea Break Teaser Years that end in

an eight


A horse named after a famous artist won both The Derby and the St Leger in 1918. Was it Lowry, Constable or Gainsborough?


What made Bob Goalby’s win in the 1968 US Masters so unusual?


Who won the 1938 Rugby Home Nations Championship?


Who won the 1978 FIFA World Cup final in extra time against Holland? 5. Which famous Swiss resort hosted the 1928 Winter Olympics? 6. In 1948 Fred Davis defeated Walter Donaldson in the World Snooker Final. Was it in a match extending to 75 frames, 105 frames or 145 frames? 7. Which club did Sandy Lyle use from the bunker on the 18th hole to set up his winning birdie in the 1988 US Masters?


Whose penalty miss deprived Chelsea of their first Champions’ League handing the 2008 title to their rivals Manchester United?


Which well known European city hosted the 1908 Olympics?

10. Which golfer won two Majors in 1998? 11.

Which county won the County Cricket Championship in 1958?

12. England defeated Australia by the biggest winning margin in Test History in 1938 an innings and 579 runs, Who was the English Captain?


13. Who won the Long Jump at the 1968 Olympics with a massive world record leap? 14. Which Swedish tennis player won three of the four Majors in 1988? 15. What time did Usain Bolt record in the 100m Olympic final in 2008? Answers on Page 51 Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 | 17


Whatever the


wants T

hat legendary American industrialist, Henry Ford, who brought automotive transportation to the masses, was famous for many things, among them one of the best known quotes of the 20th century. The Model T Ford was the car which gave the American public the ability to travel and Henry’s quote was: “A customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black.” A Dutch industrialist from the 21st century, Leo van Loen, Managing Director Trilo, also has a quote: “A customer can have anything he wants.” As simple as that. Leo has introduced a new production strategy at the small but progressive, Trilo plant which has revolutionised the way in which the company operates which now offers a mind-numbing number of opportunities to its customers. A customer can, indeed, have anything he or she wishes and, while choice can sometimes bring a myriad of headaches, in this instance it couldn’t be simpler. The on-line configurator enables customers to go on line and create the exact machine they need, following a path through the options and preventing anything emerging from the end process which is not workable, or the most cost effective way in which to fulfil the task required. With support, if required, from, in the UK, Support Managers Jon Proffit and Jeremy Vincent, the process could not be more simple. “Ah”, I hear from those more used to the workings of the manufacturing sector, “but how long will you have to wait for your bespoke piece of equipment?” Well, that’s the great thing. A computerised tracking system means that every phone call, from the initial tentative enquiry, through to “Yup, we’ve had a meeting and decided to order,” is tracked and a percentage of the chances of the order coming 18 | Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018

Trilo’s ph through given from 10% through to 90% – there can always be a slip between cup and lip! – so preparations can be made for that order’s completion in the shortest possible time. A one million euro restruction of the plant is currently underway, and due to be completed by March. This will bring added benefits to and see increases in efficiency and bring the available working man hours up from 50,000 per annum to 60,000 per annum thus reducing lead times, for a new, builtto-spec machine, to just three weeks. It has meant that Trilo no longer need to hold huge amounts of stock as, because every order or potential order, is on the system, they only hold, or produce, what they need to meet those orders. This has also been made possible by the radical, and some may have said

JUST WHAT YOU NEED: Trilo puts the customer in charge. Right: Jeremy Vincent and John Proffit

risky, decision made by Commercial Director, Peter van Mispelaar, to require payment in advance for the machines. The rationale being that the machine has been built to a specification which is fit for a particular customer and unlikely to be perfect for another customer and therefore not as saleable. That new approach has been embraced by customers and meant that Trilo now doesn’t suffer from the cash flow issues which can impact upon so many business as they await payment to cover costs already incurred. To the machines themselves. Well, they’re pretty good too. Trilo specialises in vacuum brushes and blowers which are just as at home in the urban roads and pavements of the city as the wide open and wooded parks and golf course. The company was launched by Leo’s father and two uncles – hence

making turf matter

ilosophy Tri Lo – and Leo grew up working in the, at the time much smaller plant. With his future apparently mapped out he went to university to learn the business skills which would complement the engineering capabilities provided by the rest of the family, including his own brother. Just as he emerged from university armed with the skills to take Trilo to the next level the company was sold and rather than carry on as one of the family dynasty Leo continued to work for Trilo under the new ownership. Ultimately Leo took the heartbreaking decision to leave the company which had been a part of his life for such a long time. “When I closed the door behind me for the very last time I thought that was it. I would never be back,” explained Leo, as he hosted a group of UK-based trade press, recently.

However, some of the reasons that Leo felt uncomfortable working under the new management came to a head and Trilo went bust. It was at that point that Leo and Peter put together a business proposition which saw them return to Trilo as the new owners and since then the company has not looked back. Leo’s business acumen, coupled with his intense devotion to a company which is literally in his blood, it is making huge strides and its innovative manufacturing and sophisticated on-line systems are pointing to a very bright future for the company. So while Leo may still be in Henry Ford’s shadow when it comes to coming up with memorable quotes, he is well ahead of the great man when it comes to giving the customer what he or she wants. Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 | 19

Gloucester CITY Council


of the future

Laurence Gale finds out what’s behind Gloucester City Council’s successful PPS Initiative


s a ex-local authority manager, I fully understand many of issues councils are facing in the light of the Government’s tight rein on council budgets and, notably, understanding the frustrations of many practising Parks Managers who for many years have been forced to reduce service delivery in their parks and amenity open spaces. However, to combat these cut backs, councils are now seeking new ways of working and obtaining funding from other sources. Without doubt the National Lottery and Heritage Funding Schemes have helped enormously in recent years, with millions of pounds filtering down to councils who have been savvy enough to understand, and learn quickly, how to make the most of these funding opportunities. Another way of saving money and operating effectively is by working with new partners who are willing

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to take on the maintenance and management of some of the land assets. For example, in recent years we have seen local councils pass on this responsibility of these to town and parish councils and local sports clubs. However, this can only be achieved, after investing in a detailed survey and consultation with many organisations, sports clubs and evaluating current working practises and costing of any proposed schemes. This usually is achieved by the process of the council formulating and producing a Playing Pitch Strategy (PPS) to evaluate the way ahead. This strategy is usually set between 5-10 years depending on the size and scale of the project. The existence of a robust and upto-date PPS will enable informed and evidence-based decisions and actions to be made across a range of agendas including sports development, strategic

planning and planning applications, educational provision, funding, facility and asset management, public health and the management and maintenance of provision of high quality playing pitches and playing fields to meet the sporting needs of local communities. All local authority areas should have an up-to-date PPS. By providing valuable evidence and direction a PPS can be of significant benefit to a wide variety of parties and agendas. A recent visit to Gloucester gave me the opportunity to meet up with a very forward thinking local authority which has initiated its own PPS and is now starting to see the fruits of its labours. In terms of having a vision, they now have a set of local projects to improve the delivery of better pitches and facilities in the Gloucester area. I met up with two of the lead officers who have been working on the PPS, David Pritchett, Open Spaces

GETTING IT RIGHT: David Pritchett, Open Spaces Strategy Officer

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Strategy Officer, and Adam Gooch, Principal Planning Officer. Their PPS runs from 2015 -2025, a 10 year programme. Now well into its second year the council is starting to see the benefits of its actions, with plenty of improvements to the maintenance and management of its pitches. Since the PPS was adopted in January 2016, improvements in some form or other have been made to over 40% of playing field sites. This includes things like verti-draining but also reconfiguring pitches to

provide for the community’s needs. One of the main reasons for the success is the Delivery Group, which meets at least every six months and has representation from Sport England, FA, RFU, ECB, England Hockey, Active Gloucestershire and Aspire Sports and Cultural Trust. The relationships they have built have been instrumental in developing a very positive and focussed partnership in delivering the aims and objectives of the PPS. The key aims of the Gloucester PPS are: }

Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 | 21

Gloucester CITY Council


l To protect the existing supply of sports pitches for meeting current and future needs. l Secure tenure and access to sites for high quality, development minded clubs, through a range of solutions and partnership agreements. l Maximise community use of outdoor sports facilities where there is a need to do so. l To enhance outdoor sports facilities through improving quality and management of sites. l Adopt a tiered approach (hierarchy of provision) for the management and improvement of sites.

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l Work in partnership with stakeholders to secure funding. l To provide new outdoor sports facilities where there is a current or future demand to do so. l To achieve this, the PPS makes the following strategic recommendations: a) Secure planning gain for playing pitches from housing growth; b) Rectify quantitative shortfalls in current pitch stock; and c) Identify opportunities to add to the overall stock to accommodate both current and future demand. Since the PPS was adopted the

following projects or tasks have been completed or are being implemented by the Delivery Group: l A range of improvements have been made to priority sites by the NGBs and/or sports clubs. In some cases this has included a visit from a specialist FA/RFU ‘Pitch Improvement Advisor’; this tends to be where the NGB funds the assessment and improvement measures in the first year, with a commitment from the club for the two following years. l Improvements works undertaken to pitches so far include topdressing, verti-draining and over-seeding. Sites that have benefitted are Gala Wilton, Gordon League RFC, Hucclecote Playing Fields, Saw Mills End Playing Field, Longlevens Recreation Ground and Waterwells Sports Centre. l The FA, RFU and ECB have offered training courses for grounds men and women of Gloucester sports clubs to enable improved skills for maintaining and improving playing fields in the City and will continue to do in the future. l The Council has also worked

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closely with the local County Sports Partnership, Active Gloucestershire, in preparing workshops with local schools, to explore opportunities for increased community use of educational facilities. l A new multi-sports hub is being developed to the north of the city on land owned by the University of Gloucestershire and the City Council. This will include two 3G pitches, the first of their type in the city. Looking ahead to the future, the Delivery Group has recently completed an Interim Review of the PPS to make sure it remains up-to-date. This has been endorsed by the City Council and will ensure that decisions are based on up-to-date evidence and reflect the needs of the local community. Council Officers continue to work with the NGBs to identify priority clubs that would benefit from increased security of tenure on pitches that are in City Council ownership. This will enable those clubs to bid for funds for the improvement of pitches and/or facilities direct from the NGBs or Sport England. Whilst in the early stages, opportunities are

currently being explored with Tuffley Rovers for changing rooms at The Lannett. i) Gloucester City FC has submitted funding bid to the FA’s Football Stadium Improvement Fund (FSIF) to assist towards the implementation of the new stadium. To maintain the momentum that has been built up, and to ensure improvements to pitches continue in a sustainable way, the Council are also looking into a new ‘pitch improvement programme’. While in the early stages, the aim will be for the City Council and wider PPS Delivery Group to support sports clubs in undertaking improvements to pitches and facilities they use. One option being considered is based around community grants. To date the Gloucester Playing Pitch Strategy is gaining momentum and has been looked upon favourably by Sport England, The Institute of Groundsman (IOG) and the Gloucestershire FA. Matt Boucher, of the Gloucestershire FA, spoke well of the work being done to date. “The Gloucester City Council PPS Delivery Group has been a pleasure to be involved with from developing

“A year on and it is great to see some of the improvements at certain sites, feedback from clubs has been really positive.” the strategy through to now actively delivering. As the strategy was being developed it was clear that the quality of the pitches within Gloucester were poor and improving the pitch quality was going to be a key part of the action plan. “Gloucestershire FA and the IOG have worked closely with Adam, Dave and the rest of the delivery group to review a number of local authority owned pitches and provide an increased level of maintenance. A year on and it is great to see some of the improvements at certain sites, feedback from clubs has been really positive,” explained Matt.

Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 | 23


Putting your foot in it S

afety shoes are an essential element of any outdoor worker’s wardrobe. But what goes into ensuring that these shoes are as safe and comfortable as is possible? In relation to footwear for the working environment, it is generally accepted that warm, waterproof work shoes or boots are an essential part of the provision of PPE for employees. This is especially the case where a good deal of work time is spent out of doors in all kinds of weather conditions. In some work environments, it is essential to wear specialist PPE footwear, for instance for use with chainsaws or where chemicals are encountered. The W. L. Gore & Associates brand is widely regarded as tough, reliable and cutting edge in its technology and design and Gore has established partnerships with a broad range of licenced footwear manufacturers who produce GORE-TEX® safety and occupational footwear. Landscaping company, Ground Control, recently took part in tests on a new safety work boot from Gore’s brand partner HAIX, and these have proved to have excellent results. Ground Control is a landscaping

24 | Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018

and ground maintenance company based in Billericay, Essex. It provides nationwide services in a wide variety of sectors. Ground Control’s staff work predominantly outside. Their work can vary from felling trees, trawling through muddy fields and within standing water, to clearing rural and urban rail embankments. In particular, since so much work involves wet and boggy terrain, shoes and boots must have excellent re-drying qualities. This is important to ensure that when the

boots are worn the following day they are dry and offer the wearer comfort and continued protection. Gore works with a variety of partners, developing and testing new products. An important aspect of the testing regime is to establish whether the footwear is fit for purpose, which means understanding the working conditions of the wearers. A recent series of meetings between Gore and HAIX shoe manufacturers, resulted in two new and updated leather boot designs. This boots are rated to established footwear standards for safety footwear for professional use and have the classification of S3 - boots which offer basic requirements, as well as closed and energy absorbing seat region, antistatic, protection from water penetration and absorption, penetration resistant and cleated sole. Extensive wearer triaIs for new products are a part of the Gore quality assurance system. A number of pairs were distributed to Ground Control workers who spend almost all their working time out of doors, along with a questionnaire. Testers were asked to describe their working conditions, especially

making turf matter

in relation to weather and conditions underfoot. They were also asked for details of the number of hours per day and days per week they wore the boots. In addition, they were asked to rate the boots across a variety of qualities, including the amount they sweated in the boots compared with their previous boots, weight, wearing comfort (cushioning), fit, cushioning of the toe, flexibility of the sole, slip resistance, appearance and design, durability, and overall wearing comfort. They were also asked to compare each individual quality listed and compare it to their previous safety boots. Some workers were in the boots for six days a week and for over six hours a day, while others only used the boots for two or three hours on some days. This gave a good indication of the differing ways in which the boots were being tested. Results showed that the boots were totally waterproof and 93% said the boots were good or very good in terms of re-drying. A total of 93% said that they didn’t sweat at all in the boots or that they sweated only slightly (41% and 52% respectively). The

remaining 7% reported a moderate amount of sweating in the boots. All respondents said they sweated less or the same amount as in their previous boots, with no-one reporting an increase in sweat levels. A sample of testers were asked to expand on the information given in their questionnaires. Rail contract supervisor David Grose owns a vegetation management company and has been working on projects for Ground Control for two and a half years. He deals with clearing vegetation from railway lines and so is out for hours walking on ballast, usually on steep slopes, 8-10 metres from the railway line. David tested the new boots and was pleasantly surprised. Normally he uses chainsaw boots, but he said, “these were different, but comfy enough to wear straight away. They are waterproof, nice and light and the re-drying was pretty good.” By contrast, Stephen Wiltshire is a tree-surgeon based in Scotland, but like David, he has worked for Ground Control for a few years. He does tree planting and maintenance, grass cutting, chemical application

as well as all kinds of repairs. Stephen usually wears chainsaw boots or wellies, but agreed to test these lighter weight boots. He said, “I was surprised how comfy they were straight out of the box. I did a lot of labouring in terrible weather, all winter and unlike wellies, these never let in a drop of water and were not sweaty. I have to wear chainsaw boots for tree work, but these have been really durable. I got them free but I’d buy them”. Project Manager Mike Corran is a veteran of this type of work, having been in the ground maintenance business for over 12 years. His specialty is surveying power lines for utility companies, and this involves a lot of walking in the outdoors in all kinds of weather. About his test boots Mike said, “I’ve been standing in deep water and they haven’t let any water in. There’s enough grip in the sole to feel underneath, essential as a sure footing is needed when you are carrying equipment. Water has never come over the top or through the soles so I’ve never had to really dry them out. I have never felt I couldn’t put them straight back on in the morning.” Both the questionnaires and the follow-up interviews showed overwhelmingly positive results from Ground Control workers. It is clear that one of the most important aspects of work footwear in this type of work is the need to be completely comfortable and waterproof, since so much of the job involves walking and standing in mud, boggy ground and fields, during the worst UK weather. “We continually strive to innovate and improve our products, technology and designs through working in close collaboration with our brand partners. HAIX and Gore consider open and honest feedback from end users a vital part of this process. This helps to ensure our products meet and exceed the wearers’ needs and demands, day in and day out, all year round,” said Graham Dobson, Gore Footwear Associate who set up the wearer trial. Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 | 25


Demain’s the name

26 | Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018

making turf matter

Scott MacCallum catches up with Vic Demain, a man with an against-all-odds story which could have Hollywood producers hot footing it to County Durham… When the name of the Professional Groundman of the Year was announced at the IOG Awards Dinner in November, there was one man in the huge function suite in the National Motor Cycle Museum, in Birmingham, not paying too much attention. Vic Demain, Head Groundsman at Durham County Cricket Club, in Chester-le-Street, was basking in the warm glow of success, having seen his team named Professional Cricket Grounds Team of the Year earlier in the evening and he had to be nudged to get on his feet to go collect the award. “I looked to the stage and there was my name on the screen and my first thought was that this can’t be right, it has to be a mistake. But it slowly sunk in and I went up and collected the award,” recalled Vic.

To be fair to him his surprise had a degree of justification. A cricket groundsman had never won Professional Groundsman of the Year while, a mere six years before, Vic was a groundsman working in recreational cricket. “My name is now engraved on the Cup alongside a host of legends in the world of groundmanship. Everyone on it is so deserving and I feel I shouldn’t be included among them, that I’m a bit of an imposter. “That said it’s been absolutely brilliant. I still haven’t come down and I have to pinch myself that it’s happened,” said Vic, speaking to Turf Matters in his first interview since his success. The story of how Vic came to join luminaries of the industry is remarkable and one which should provide inspiration to anyone who

has been knocked back, got up, got knocked back again, yet still rose to the top of the tree. He left school at 16 in Faringdon, located between Oxford and Swindon, and took up an apprenticeship at a local building company. Apprenticeship completed Vic launched his own business which he ran for 20 years until the housing market crashed in the mid-90s and his company folded. “I’d always been a lover of cricket and was the sort of guy every club wants. I’d cut the grass, I’d do the fixtures, my wife would make the teas, I’d take coaching courses. Anything, so long as it was involved with cricket. On the field I wasn’t very good, but I was really keen and made the most of what limited ability I had. I just loved the game,” he explained. Looking for employment, ideally in


Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 | 27


“…we were all worried and it was one thing after another – bad news after bad news after bad news – so, 12 months later, to be able to take these two wonderful awards back to the club was just fantastic.” }

HONOURED: The Durham CCC grounds team – Head Groundsman Vic Demain (second right), Deputy Head Groundsman Mark Patterson (far right) and Outground Manager Craig Thompson (far left), collect their award from Alex Hawkes (second left), Headland Amenity’s Regional Manager, Sports Turf

cricket, he applied for and eventually, at the second attempt, got the job of Cricket Manager on a private estate, where he learned rudimentary groundsmanship. “I knew nothing about it whatsoever, and remember this was before the days of internet, so I got out and spoke to the old boys who were looking after their own grounds, and learned a lot from them. “After about four or five years we got the ground up to Minor Counties’ standard and Buckinghamshire played there. It really was the best job in the world.” Until the next set back. “We had a change of management and the new manager decided that cricket was costing the Estate too much money and took the ground down the contractor route. I was made redundant.” Next step was to Milton Keynes and Campbell Park working for a contractor but a yearning was growing for his own ground and when he saw an advert for a job at Uxbridge Cricket Club. He jumped at it and fortunately for Vic they jumped at him and it was there that he spent the next seven seasons as

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Head Groundsman, a ground where Middlesex played a number of games Now this next bit is all-important for those of you feeling that life has passed you by and stretching out ahead is not so much a potential pathway to success, but a rut. “It was the wet summer of 2012 and Nottinghamshire came down to play Middlesex. It never stopped raining, but we worked diligently and while we didn’t get a result in the end, we did manage to get quite a bit of play.” Keep reading… “At the end of the season Nottinghamshire were looking for a Deputy Head Groundsman and I thought, I’ve got no chance as I’d not worked at that level, but decided to throw my hat in the ring anyway. However, I’ve been told that when the Director of Cricket saw the applications and noticed the Uxbridge connection he said, ‘That’s the guy I want because when we went to Uxbridge they worked so hard to get the game on’,” said Vic. It’s a lesson for everyone. “I try to impress upon people that if you work hard, put in the graft, don’t hide in the shed when conditions are bad, and always been seen to be doing your best, someone may notice you. That’s exactly what happened to me. “Honestly, I was about 50 at the time and was beginning to think that it was time to start winding down a little, but my career has really taken off in the last five years. Look whats happened to me, these last five years have just been crazy. You couldn’t plan for it.” The final piece in the career jigsaw came in 2015 when he applied for the vacancy at Durham. “I guess I’m one of those people who always wants to test themselves and I wanted to work at the highest possible level and for me, at Durham, the biggest attraction of all was that I knew in 2016 there was going to be a Test Match. There are not many Test Grounds and not many people who have done a Test Match so for me that was huge.” But Durham wasn’t a job for the feint hearted. The pitch was well known to be damp and bowler friendly. Also the club was experiencing

financial difficulties, brought about by the contractual obligation when Durham became the latest addition to the County Championship in 1992 that the Riverside be developed as a Test and International venue. This is a part of the country not regarded as a cricketing hotspot. “I started in March 2015 which was too late to do anything with the pitches. When I arrived I was concerned about the poor grass coverage on the pitches. We are lucky that we have a big square but five or six of those pitches were not going to be usable until July. “The other issue I faced was that, for me, Nottingham had been the furthest I’d been north. I’d been used to working around the London areas which has a completely different climate. My pitch at Uxbridge was probably the most batsman-friendly you’d ever see so, in order to get the bowlers interested, I’d leave 10-12 mm of grass on each pitch. “I tried to do that at Durham in my first season but the ball was going around corners and the batsmen were not happy at all. The one thing about that season was that the cricket was hugely entertaining for the person buying a ticket. No game ended in two days, but we had a lot of three day games and every game we played ended in a result.” It wasn’t until the end of that first season that Vic finally got a handle of the pitch, and not before he sought the sage-like advice of the very man who would know. “I couldn’t fathom out how pitches always seemed to be a on the damp side despite me trying to dry them out. All I could come up with was that water was coming up from underneath the surface. So what I did was track down Tom Flintoft, Head Groundsman here 30 years ago. He’s a lovely guy and I’ve spoken to him a lot since. I asked him if there was chance that my theory was correct and straight away he said to me that there was more water under the square than there was in the River Wear!” Knowing the issue and resolving the issue are two completely different things however. “In the short term there is really nothing you can do outside of digging up the pitch and putting in a membrane to prevent the water reaching the wicket but with our financial constraints that wasn’t going

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PROUD: Head Groundsman Vic Demain (centre) receives his individual award from DLF’s Derek Smith (left) and Alan Prickett from Ransomes

to happen.” Vic’s appreciation of what he was dealing with coincided with an instruction from the ECB to all Head Groundsmen that pitches should be more spinner friendly and the change to the toss rule which gave visiting Captains the option of bowling first. “With the history at Durham no-one was ever going to say they were going to bat first so our pitches simply had to change. What I did was shave all the grass off and got them to be flat, white and reasonably hard so, after a game or two, we actually did see the away team wanting to bat first. The bowlers weren’t too happy and maybe it wasn’t as exciting cricket for the paying public. Perhaps there is still some middle ground to be had,” said Vic, who did become a hero to Keaton Jennings, who based on the amount of runs he has scored on Vic’s pitches, has since opened the batting for England. Oh, that Test match and the reason Vic took that leap of faith north. It was against Sri Lanka in May 2016 and to be honest that leap of faith Vic took in moving north looked decidedly misplaced when the week before a Sri Lankan team, shorn of its legendary batters and bowlers who had retired, were twice skittled out cheaply at Headingley in a match which barely lasted three days. “People were saying that on our traditionally bowler friendly pitch that it could all be over in two days,

but luckily England won the toss and batted, putting on over 400. Then having added to the run of low scores and being forced to follow-on the Sri Lanka’s showed some real mettle and batted well to overtake England’s first innings total and the match went into a fourth day. “It was a reasonably good Test and all the reports were positive, but it was cold, mid-May, the weather wasn’t great and crowds weren’t huge.” It tended to sum up the plight of Durham. At the end of 2016 the financial problems came home to roost. Despite finishing fourth in the First Division Durham were relegated for financial reason and, to really kick them when they were down, they started each competition of the 2017 season on minus points. The Board was removed and a new one put in place led by Chairman Sir Ian Botham, who has used his profile and contacts within the game to pull Durham through these immensely difficult times. “A lot of people were very concerned about their jobs. My staff were worried, we were all worried and

it was one thing after another – bad news after bad news after bad news – so, 12 months later, to be able to take these two wonderful awards back to the club was just fantastic. “We knew that we were up for Headland Amenity Professional Cricket Grounds Team of the Year. We’d been short-listed along with Hampshire, as we had been the previous year when we lost out to Essex, so I was hopeful that we might have a chance. I was hugely delighted when we won not just for my team but for Team Durham back at the club – all the staff. “It was brilliant for my small team – my Deputy Mark Patterson who has been at the club for over 15 years; Ben Hall, who has been here for eight years and for Amy McKewan, who is in her second season here and doing her apprenticeship. My coming in just three years ago was difficult for us all. I was joining a team which was already established and for Mark and Ben they had only ever worked for one boss and become used to doing things one way. I was never going to be the same and change is difficult to deal with, particularly with the wider issues going on. “But three years on we’ve got there and our Award is a rubber stamping and recognition for what we have achieved. I think part of the reason we got the award was our ability to produce what we have done under financial constraints.” An hour listening to Vic and you can fully understand why he also picked up the Ransomes/DLF Johnsons Alex R. Miller Groundsman of the Year award. His enthusiasm and drive are infectious and he possesses a can-do attitude which has survived through a number of career disappointments. Five years on from the last of those disappointments, and a time when he was considering looking for a job to ease himself into retirement, he sits alongside the very best groundsmen that this country has produced. Whether he believes it or not, he fully deserves that honour.

“I think part of the reason we got the award was our ability to produce what we have done under financial constraints.” Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 | 29


Harrogate, here

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making turf matter

we come

Over 4,500 attendees expected at BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition January, and – as has become custom – Harrogate becomes the epicentre of the turf management world, as BTME 2018 takes over the town. Packing out four huge exhibition halls at the Harrogate Convention Centre, 140 exhibitors from all across the golf and greenkeeping industry will showcase the latest in technology and innovation. BTME has continued to grow annually and the 2018 exhibition promises to be one of the biggest yet, with more than 4,500 attendees from all corners of the globe expected to sample some of the fantastic education experiences and networking opportunities that will be on offer, from 23-25 January 2018. A highlight of the BTME programme will be the free-to-attend BIGGA Welcome Celebration hosted by Textron Golf, held on Tuesday evening in the Royal Hall. Hosted by Naga Munchetty and featuring entertainment from comedian Ian Moore, the evening will celebrate the achievements of BIGGA members throughout the previous year. The winners of the BIGGA Awards 2018, along with a host of other certificates and milestones, will be recognised. The following morning will see the BTME spotlight return to the Royal Hall with The BTME Breakfast Club: Cutting Edge Turf Management. Following on from the success of 2017’s Ryder Cup and Olympic Golf discussion panels, this year’s event will see four leading names from four different sports come together to discuss the challenges they face. This year’s panel will comprise of: Kenny Mackay, The Wentworth Club; Darren Baldwin, Tottenham Hotspur FC; Stuart Kerrison, Essex County Cricket Club; and Keith Kent, Twickenham. Other highlights that will take place across the BTME 2018 programme include the Turf Managers’ Conference and the Golf Business & Industry Convention (GolfBIC), while a selection of other events have been timed to coincide with the exhibition, such as the STRI Golf Environment Awards, to be held at The Majestic Hotel on Wednesday evening. The rush to return to Harrogate began in earnest before 2017’s event was finished, and within two months of BTME 2017 in January, more than 65% of exhibitors had booked a spot for the 2018 event. This trend continued throughout the year and as anticipation built for 2018, back in October – with 100 days still to go until the show – every available exhibition space was sold. You can find a full list of exhibitors by heading to the BTME website: } Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 | 31


What to see at BTME 2018 Bayer Turf Solutions

‘Life after iprodione’ is a major focus at BTME for the Bayer Turf Solutions Team, due to an influx of queries from greenkeepers following the news of its withdrawal late last year. Iprodione, the active ingredient in Chipco Green and Interface, was officially withdrawn from the market in November 2017. The sale of the product is permitted until March 2018, and greenkeepers then have a further three months to 5 June to use up all stocks. Bayer will be running a series of ‘Tech-Talks’ in Hall A on stand A46, to explain what the future of turf pest and disease management will look like as the industry loses this steadfast chemistry. Dr Colin Mumford will also give a seminar on Wednesday 24 January at 10am in the Queen’s Suite. Neil Pettican, Bayer Head of Sales for turf and amenity, explains that although a valuable active ingredient is leaving the market, innovation is ongoing, and the organisation is working hard to develop new products, both now and into the future. “With the loss of products, the message is clear: the future of disease control is preventative, not curative, and greenkeepers need to change their approach, with resistance management being key to this strategy,” he added. To help understand disease prevention, plinths will be displayed on the Bayer stand to showcase the five stages of Microdochium Patch development. And as take-home references, the new Microdochium Patch guide – a must have document in any greenkeepers’ reference library – will be available to pick up free of charge, and the updated TurfXpert App, which is free to download, will be on show.

the BLEC Cultipack Seeder will also be on show, renowned for its wellproven, accurate seeding system.

Dennis and SISIS Campey Turfcare

The new Koro FIELD TOPMAKER models are launching in 2018, with the smaller 1.6 -metre model designed specifically to work on golf courses. The unequivocal success of the FTM across all sports surfaces, including golf, has helped produce healthier turf through greatly improved surface hygiene, but the enhancements to the machine take it further. To make it more user friendly for golf the weight and balance has been analysed, resulting in a lighter, steadier machine. Solid locking pins now offer greater consistency, and the overall performance is improved due to the re-designed UNIVERSE rotor and angled cross conveyor. The FTM will be joined on stand B28 by the Vredo DZ Overseeder. This generation of overseeders provide a 96% germination rate by placing the seed in direct contact with the soil, with their small yet robust build making them the perfect choice for all golf courses. These machines will sit alongside the Air2G2 Air Inject, an aeration machine that is becoming a stalwart of the Campey range. It uses pressurised air to target compaction deep at root zone level. Probes penetrate the soil and force air sideways to create fissures in the sub structure improving aeration and drainage throughout the soil.


Fully established as a trading division of Charterhouse Turf Machinery, BLEC will be returning to BTME 2018 with their range of specialised landscaping and turfcare equipment. A particular highlight for visitors stopping by stand B38 will be the updated BLEC Multiseeder, which is an ideal overseeder for working on both fine turf and amenity type areas. The updated models feature all new seed ratio and seed feed systems which offer the user incredible accuracy. For those who prefer a pedestrian unit,

whilst simultaneously backfilling the grooves with either sand or a combination of sand and seed. Another highlight will be the Redexim Pedestrian Carrier unit – introduced into the market place in direct response to the requirement to maintain surfaces, while keeping ground pressure and general traffic to a minimum.


Going into their 36th year of operation in the UK, Charterhouse Turf Machinery can be found on stand B48 will be able to see first-hand their extensive range of solutions for the golf industry, including highlights from the Graden range of verticutters, along with a wealth of machinery from Redexim. The flagship Graden machine, the Contour Sand Injection (CSI) unit has the ability to scarify to any depth between 1mm-40mm

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Dennis and SISIS will once again be exhibiting on stand A5 where, course managers and turf managers will be able to view an extensive range of turf maintenance equipment. With a focus on aeration, scarification and mowing, visitors to the joint stand can look forward to finding out more about these products as well as speaking to experienced staff who will be available to answer any queries and offer valuable advice. The Javelin Aer-Aid recently gained rave reviews from the STRI. Over a three month period, extensive STRI trials were carried out which examined how and if the Javelin Aer-Aid had an effect on the hardness of the turf, the root depth, water infiltration and disease. The SISIS TM1000 is a purpose designed, tractor mounted scarifier with a choice of five contra rotating quick release reels for maximum thatch removal and minimum surface disturbance. From the Dennis range, visitors will be able to view the Simplex and FT510 mowers. The Simplex has a 510mm operating width with a choice of 5 or 7 bladed cutting cylinder.

Johnsons – DLF

Using the very latest data from mixture and official cultivar trials at the STRI, a number of mixtures from both the Masterline and Johnsons Sports Seed ranges have been revised and updated for 2018. Visitors to stand A20 at BTME will be the first to hear about the many new formulations, as well as a completely new mixture for cricket, Johnsons J Outfield. The Johnsons’ range is further enhanced with the opportunity to purchase leading mixtures with the now established ProNitro coating. ProNitro nitrogen coating has proven itself to deliver significantly stronger establishment while reducing input costs – a combination popular with greenkeepers looking to balance improve seeding results and budgets. Germinal

Germinal, will be showcasing its latest greens-specific seed mixture. Designed specifically for use on soil or sand-based golf greens, Forefront Greens is a blend of three bentgrass varieties, all of which have been selected to offer increased wear and heat tolerance, vigorous growth and good all-round disease resistance for hard-working, modern golf greens. Comprising 35% AberRegal (Browntop Bent), 35% AberRoyal (Browntop Bent) and 30% 007 DSB (Creeping Bent), Forefront Greens produces a sward with enhanced disease and stress resistance and which retains a superb year-round green colour. AberRegal and AberRoyal are the latest UK-bred bentgrass cultivars

making turf matter


to come out of the IBERS breeding programme: bred from material originally sourced from Kent and west Wales respectively, AberRegal and AberRoyal boast superb disease resistance, particularly to Fusarium, as well as excellent shoot density, fineness of leaf and unrivalled winter and summer greenness. Headland Amenity

The withdrawal of some popular turf fungicides has made it essential that greenkeepers look for ways to minimise plant disease by using a variety of other strategies. Producing a grass plant that is strong and healthy is more likely to make it difficult for disease to take hold and Headland Amenity will be focussing on this approach on stand B39. The research supported the introduction of Headland’s ‘20-20-30’ tank-mix of plant protectants and elicitors – namely Seamac ProTurf, Liquid Turf Hardener and Turfite – a unique combination of nutrients working together to strengthen the plant against disease. For each year of the trials, this combination was able to show lower disease levels compared to untreated areas.

Stand B54 will once again be the place to be. Visitors can expect to learn about innovative new products and find out about exciting new Turf Rewards developments – and of course enjoy a much needed coffee from the ICL barista team. The stand will feature the Vitalnova range of biostimulants with a specific focus on Stressbuster. Visitors can find out more about the product and just how it has taken the industry by storm since its launch last year. In further exploring methods to improve the health of a course then visitors to the stand may also benefit by learning more about Banner Maxx II, full information can be found on the Syngenta stand. Attendees will also be able to pick up the new ICL 2018/19 Product Guide which features an up-todate portfolio including some new and unique products and services. The comprehensive brochure, designed using feedback gathered from a wide range of end users detailing what they wanted to be included, will provide a detailed look into the company’s market leading products as well as offering valuable technical information. John Deere

John Deere’s new HPX 815E Gator utility vehicle will be making its public show debut. This latest diesel powered Gator shares its new styling with the XUV 855M model, which replaces the 855D. The HPX 815E is ruggedly designed for a range of transporting and general materials handling duties in }

} Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 | 33

making turf matter

What to see at BTME 2018 }

any outdoor environment. Powered by an 18hp 854cc engine working through a two-speed high-low continuously variable transmission, this two-seater vehicle is available with true on-demand four wheel drive and is capable of travelling at speeds of up to 25mph. Based on a heavy duty hydroformed steel frame for increased durability, the HPX 815E provides an increased payload of 635kg and a towing capacity of 590kg, while the updated cargo box has a load capacity of 454kg. Additional changes to this model for 2018 include a new digital dashboard, powerful LED headlights and a restyled front bumper, to improve handling and operation particularly in challenging terrain. Kubota

to meet the ever-changing needs of turf professionals, delivering exceptional quality, performance and durability for its users. Engineered specifically for superior cutting performance, the ZD1211 is equipped with a three-blade, 140 mm deep deck that is available with a rear discharge system and optional mulching kit, ideal for use in golf course rough and around trees. For improved and consistent cutting, operators can choose between oscillating or rigid front axles modes, dependant on mowing conditions. Visitors to the stand will also get the opportunity to see the new B2 Series compact tractors, featuring Kubota’s unique bi-speed turn innovation to provide operators with a much tighter turning circle, advanced manoeuvrability and reduced turf damage.

Kubota will be showcasing a number of exciting new and enhanced machinery ranges on Stand M22. New for 2018, the ZD1211 will be on display and has been designed

Visitors to the Limagrain stand (C39) can expect a sneak peak of two new innovative cultivars for


the golf market and also be in with a chance of winning tickets to a top international sporting event. Ahead of their spring launch, two new cultivars will be showcased for the very first time at the show. Big things are expected of Aporina and Caldris when these exciting new cultivars are added to Limagrain’s grass seed mixtures. Aporina is Limagrain’s new Slender Creeping Red Fescue. It is a very dense, superb all-round cultivar that performs well in both a golf green environment and fairways and tees. In both areas, Aporina has very good disease resistance and will be introduced into a number of Limagrain’s golf green mixtures – MM8 and MM10 and golf fairway mixtures – MM13 and MM22. Caldris is a new Chewings Fescue which has very similar attributes to Aporina in that it performs extremely well in both golf greens and golf fairways. For greens, the traditional Chewings Fescue/Browntop bent mix, MM11, remains a popular choice in many cases and can be used from spring to autumn. It is ideal for new constructions and overseeding existing swards. A slight variation of which is MM10; both mixes are fine leaved, disease resistant and make good, dense putting surfaces. MTD

The CubCadet INFINICUT and ATT TMSystem can offer tangible benefits to the management of fine turf surfaces. Established as the most formidable triplex and light fairway cassette system available, as well as the most technologically advanced mower on the market, visitors to stand M7 will be able to familiarise themselves with both products. Unlocking the full potential of all main-stream makes of triplex greens mowers and lightweight fairway mowers, the unique ATT TMSystem continues to be utilised by astute Greenkeepers the world over to maintain fine turf. With the continued non-renewal of plant protection products, skilful mechanical maintenance of turf grass has never been more necessary. Whether the objective is organic matter reduction, grain control, soil gas/air exchange, green speed manipulation, or just top-dressing integration, there is an appropriate ATT SMART cassette to meet the need.

Reesink Turfcare

Toro’s latest UK launch, the GreensPro 1260, will be headlining the Reesink Turfcare stand. This year is also the first year that Reesink will have two stands. Joining the Reesink stand in Hall M is stand C32 dedicated entirely to TYM tractors to accommodate the range as it expands and where the new T393 will be on show. Toro’s latest launch is the new GreensPro 1260 which takes all the excellent features of the previous Toro GreensPro models and adds a hydraulic drive system to eliminate leaks and prevent potential contamination of the grass, plus overlapping heads for a consistent roll over every pass. The benefit of this is two-fold: uniform smooth greens are achieved in just one sitting and the risk of scuffing during turns is dramatically reduced. Irrigation firm favourites for the fine turf and sports sector, including the Toro Lynx PC control software and the Infinity, Turfguard, T5, T7, Flex series, B series and 590 series sprinklers, will also be on stand. For Otterbine the best-selling Fractional five-in-one aerator is joined by the Concept 3. On the TYM stand will be the latest addition to the compact tractor range, the T393. It has been brought to the UK by Reesink Turfcare because of its perfect positioning to bridge the gap between the compact utility range and the midduty range in the TYM line up. Rigby Taylor

If you’re looking for something NEW, Rigby Taylor is the company to visit. Hear about a major NEW distribution announcement; see the NEW product introductions and on a NEW, vibrant and interactive stand. It’s all happening on the Rigby Taylor stand (B60). While enjoying a freshly made cup of coffee, visitors can discuss the technical features and benefits of the company’s exciting range of turf management and plant health products.

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making turf matter

What to see at BTME 2018 } Also, on-stand presentations via touch screen TV monitors will involve some the industry’s newest technologies. At the recent SALTEX, Rigby Taylor won the award for the exhibition’s most exciting product innovation… There’s more to come at BTME!

Textron Golf

Textron Golf manufacturer of Jacobsen commercial mowing equipment, will be showcasing the new AR series and TR series. The Jacobsen AR and TR series replaces the existing AR-3, TR-3

AR331 (premium model) are 3WD rotary triple mowers featuring 24.8hp Kubota diesel engines. The AR321 is fitted with relay control and analogue gauges as standard, for ease of use and serviceability. Brand new cutting decks offer a quick height-of-cut

the ability to raise the cutting units to a vertical position, reducing the width of the mower to a minimum of 1.55m, making transportation, access and storage a breeze. The TR330 also features the additional benefit of AdaptiShift technology, a superior comfort suspension seat and intuitive digital controls. As one of the groundcare industry’s major manufacturing companies, Textron Golf will also be showcasing other mowers and aeration equipment from Jacobsen plus Cushman utility vehicles, Iseki tractors and turf maintenance equipment from the Turfco and Ryan brands. Trilo

Sherriff Amenity

On Stand B34, Sherriff Amenity will be launching the InterMix Tank as well as featuring a wide range of market leading products designed to help greenkeepers and course managers maintain their courses to the highest possible standard. InterMix Tank enables the user to mix a variety of products in order to meet a wide range of nutrient requirements. This unique 1200 litre capacity tank is fitted with a Honda GX engine and centrifugal high output pump which ensures rapid and thorough mixing. The spray solution can then be transferred into the application sprayer using the 5 metre transfer hose which is fitted with a petrol pump type dispensing valve – enabling a much reduced spraying time when spraying large areas through a reduction in the refilling of the spray tank. To support the launch at BTME an extensive range of InterMix product options will be available.

and Tri-King machines. Created with usability in mind, the new machines are built on a common platform, and are offered as standard or premium models. The AR321 (standard model) and

adjustment system and eliminate the need for castor wheels. The TR320 (standard model) and the TR330 (premium model) are triplex cylinder mowers. The TR320 has many great features including

Trilo will be returning to BTME with their range of solutions for turf and waste management. As thoughts start to turn to spring maintenance, Trilo will be on hand to discuss scarification requirements with their S-Line verti-cut and collect range range, as well as their selection of VCU verticutters. The S3 and S4 units find a natural home on the golf course. The S-Line range, available with hopper capacities of up to 20m3, is available with a dedicated verti-cut shaft, ideal for scarfication and collection over large areas such as fairways. Users then have the ability to upgrade their chosen model with the optional flail shaft, or with the ‘autumn package’ containing the brush shaft, wander hose and dust suppression kit. For smaller areas, Trilo’s portfolio of scarifiers contains four straight-shaft models, with a range of working widths to suit multiple applications.

Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 | 37


WORLD CLASS Without resting on their laurels Laurence Gale travels to Derby to see developments at Dennis and Sisis


Top: Final pre delivery inspection; Right: Casted bearings

t has been a couple of years since my last Dennis and SISIS factory visit and it’s always good to catch up to find out about any new developments and see what new products may be coming on to the market. Like most proactive companies, R&D and product development are important in driving the company forward. It was at the recent IOG SALTEX show where we saw Dennis’ new PRO 34R rotary mower and a battery powered pedestrian rotary mower – and judging by those who saw them, it is safe to say that these

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products are highly anticipated. The rotary mower is a totally new concept for Dennis who, until now, have been renowned for producing their iconic range of cylinder mowers. Our visit started with a very warm welcome by company owner, Ian Howard, whose vision has been instrumental in the success of the Dennis and SISIS brands. It was apparent that Ian “along with his vastly experienced senior management team” have ensured that the company is in more than capable hands. In 2011, SISIS was acquired by Howardson to sit alongside Dennis as

a division providing the groundcare industry with a truly comprehensive range of British manufactured products. This monumental acquisition signalled the start of a perfect partnership in which the two brands are now synonymous with

making turf matter

There will certainly be plenty of opportunities to ‘battery-fi’ many of their products in the coming years.

world class turf care equipment. Without resting on their laurels, the Howardson company continues to work hard on improving the value and versatility of both Dennis and SISIS products. In the last seven years their machines have continued to gain UK and global recognition and this is supported by the robust and dedicated sales/ marketing and demonstration team. The further acquisition of Crocodile Precision along with continued significant investment by All British Precision in the engineering process of the components, has further

enhanced the company’s ability to produce a larger range of quality British made products more efficiently. In recent years we have seen the Dennis/SISIS branded machinery being used at many of the top-flight sporting venues for football, cricket, rugby and bowls both home and abroad. One of the main reasons for this has been due to the fact Dennis/SISIS has listened to its customers and have taken the opportunity to redesign and develop new products. Take, for example, the new PRO 34R rotary mower, which the team have been working on for over two years to bring

to the market. This was a direct result from listening to the requirements of many of the world’s top groundsmen. This new 34-inch-wide machine offers a powerful vacuum and cutting unit that helps present and clean up sports pitches. This machine has been on trial at several Premiership football clubs thus enabling the company to thoroughly test the machine and }

Pictures show: Ian promoting new Dennis rotary mower at Saltex; Preparation for powder coating process; The powder coating plant

Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 | 39


The investment in robotic milling and tooling systems has reduced waste and speeded up production of key parts. } iron out any potential problems. As with most Dennis products they are built to last, with a proviso it needs to be able to guarantee at least five years of untroubled service working on the harshest of terrains. This new machine sits nicely with the G860 range of mowers, designed with many similarities in terms of hand controls, engine and chassis and comes with a good back up service and a reputation of Dennis reliability. It was apparent that Dennis are also very up-beat about the other rotary mower waiting in the wings, which was first seen at 2017’s SALTEX show. Their new battery powered pedestrian mower gained a lot of interest. It certainly looked a robust, well designed innovative machine from the Dennis stable and they have been working with Bosch for a while to bring this mower to fruition. The concept of Dennis moving into battery powered machinery is no doubt in their minds, especially in the way the industry is starting to embrace these new technologies. There will certainly be plenty of opportunities to ‘battery-fi’ many of their products in the coming years. The company were happy to share their sales figures in terms of positive growth year on year since 2010, which is testament to all the hard work being done by all parts of the business. The current sales figures are split 40 | Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018

60% UK and 40% overseas with the company having 30 dealerships servicing and distributing products in the UK, coupled with a further 45 dealerships worldwide. Sales abroad are growing all the time and Dennis will, for the third successive year, be supplying many of the venues in this year’s World Cup in Russia. The sales team is backed up by a field support/demo team and the combination of experienced field staff, backed up by technicians and the support of all the factory staff, together with a renewed marketing strategy led by Roger are the reasons why Howardson Ltd is growing a reputation of building quality British made products for the professional turfgrass industry. It was then time for our tour of the factory, beginning with a visit of the metal fabrication and tooling areas which feature in the All British Precision department. The investment in robotic milling and tooling systems has reduced waste and speeded up production of key parts. We then visited the new powder coating paint shop, a very clean and appropriate facility that enables the company to be in control of the quality and number of parts being painted. Finally, we saw the assembly area, where staff concentrate on assembling and putting together a range of Dennis

and SISIS products, multi-tasking and sharing job roles so they can be more flexible to meet customers’ orders. Dennis/SISIS are very proud of their business and are keen to continue to serve the turf grass industry with investment. In recent years we have seen the popularity of their free seminar and education days grow. The annual cricket day which now attracts well over 200 groundsmen. All in all, Dennis and SISIS have been very busy in the last seven years and are beginning to see the fruits of their labour. I would like to thank Dennis/ SISIS for the opportunity to visit and see first-hand the work they do behind the scenes to ensure Dennis and SISIS remain one of the leading British manufacturers in the turfcare industry.

Above: Paint process preparation; below, Ian showing the investment in new metal pressing


Six Nations How the grounds

staff are preparing

For many sports fans it is the most exciting time of the year. The NatWest Six Nations is a celebration of sport and while non-rugby fans can wonder at what on earth is going on – particularly at scrum time – for those in the know each inch over the gain line, or steal from a line-out is celebrated like the winning goal in the round ball game. The six stadiums used are some of the finest in all sport and the pitches, which take some of the greatest hammerings around, are more often than not immaculate. Turf Matters has spoken to the six people responsible for creating those surfaces. Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 | 41

Role: Head Groundsman

Name: Keith Kent Role: RFU Head Groundsman

Composition of Pitch: Desso GrassMaster

Composition of Pitch: Desso GrassMaster

When was it laid? Spring/Summer 2014

When was it laid? Summer 2012

What work will you be doing between Autumn Internationals and the Six Nations? Over-seeding, utilising pitch lights and plenty of rest… fingers crossed!

What work will you be doing between Autumn Internationals and the Six Nations: Depending on what the weather is doing we will cut the pitch at least once every day. Aeration is carried out to keep the top surface open in case of any heavy rain at that time of the year. The lighting rigs will be out on the pitch.

What development or innovation has had the biggest impact on your work in the last five years? Desso grassmaster has been a gamechanger, changing all of our maintenance schedule and increasing pitch usage.

What development or innovation has had the biggest impact on your work in the last five years? The Desso GrassmMaster pitch has changed our lives! It’s the best hybrid pitch system in the world in my humble opinion. In all of my career I have never known a pitch that can withstand so much usage.

What keeps you awake at night? Uncontrollable weather the night before a big match!

What keeps you awake at night? The removable paint used for logos!

How has your job changed since you took over as Head Groundsman? We have a bigger pitch team allowing use to undertake more detailed work both on the international pitch and training pitches. As mentioned before, the Desso has meant major changes to our maintenance and lots of learning!

How has your job changed since you took over as Head Groundsman? The new pitch five years ago has changed my job for the better in so many ways. We host more events but it also allows me to do my second favourite job which is visiting community rugby clubs up and down the whole of England, offering advice and hopefully help to other groundsmen out there.

What piece of equipment, yet to be invented, would make your life so much easier? Fully automated machine to do divoting.

What piece of equipment, yet to be invented, would make your life so much easier? A magic wand that would make the grass grow in the winter like it does in the summer. And a grass seed that grows in the dark and the cold!

What is your favourite memory for a previous Six Nations Championship? 2017: Winning all three home games. What is the best thing about a Six Nations Rugby match in your city? Scottish passion, the fans and hopefully beating England! What would you like to say to your fellow Six Nations Head Groundsmen? Have a great series and enjoy the atmosphere!

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What is your favourite memory for a previous Six Nations Championship? It’s hard to pick a specific game, but perhaps France in 2015 here at Twickenham. It was a fantastic game with 12 tries in total (the final score was 55-35 to England). What is the best thing about a Six Nations Rugby match in your city? The whole event is something so special. The atmosphere at all of the games is amazing. What would you like to say to your fellow Six Nations Head Groundsmen? I wish them all a very successful tournament with good weather, great pitches and the hand of friendship to them all.



Name: Jim Dawson



Name: Valeriano Bernardini Role: Agronomist for CONI Servizi spa, consultant for FIGC and FIR Composition of Pitch: Ryegrass + Bermudagrass (from November to April only as root system) When was it laid? End of July, 2017 What work will you be doing between Autumn Internationals and the Six Nations? Routine work and overseeding. What development or innovation has had the biggest impact on your work in the last five years? Growing lights. What keeps you awake at night? Low turf density How has your job changed since you took over as Head Groundsman? Worry and preoccupation. What piece of equipment, yet to be invented, would make your life so much easier? Possibility to easily adapt the microclimate for optimal growth of the turf. What is your favourite memory for a previous Six Nations Championship? Italy v France 2012. What is the best thing about a Six Nations Rugby match in your city? No free seat in the stadium. What would you like to say to your fellow Six Nations Head Groundsmen? RUN!




making turf matter

Name: Lee Evans

Name: Anthony Stones

Name: Majella Smyth

Role: Head Groundsman

Role: Grounds Manager Stadefrance ITURF management

Role: Head Groundsman

Composition of Pitch: Desso GrassMaster

Composition of Pitch: Desso GrassMaster

Composition of Pitch: A Desso GrassMaster Hybrid

When was it laid? September 2017

When was it laid? December 2015 and Desso was installed January 2016

What work will you be doing between Autumn Internationals and the Six Nations? We had a boxing event on the pitch prior to the Autumn Series. This decimated the surface, so we have had to carry out a thorough renovation immediately after the Autumn Series. What development or innovation has had the biggest impact on your work in the last five years? Lighting Rigs/Technology – Grass cannot survive in our stadium without supplementary lighting. What keeps you awake at night? Some of the events our Venue Sales Manager, tries to shoehorn into our schedule!

What work will you be doing between Autumn Internationals and the Six Nations? We will have nine lighting rigs on the pitch as the stadium has no sun at this time of year. Depending on the weather we may have the undersoil heating on. Regular mowing three times per week. Two liquid fertiliser applications will be made and one granulated fertiliser application will done between the two matches that we have this year. What development or innovation has had the biggest impact on your work in the last five years? I have a couple of things the seegrow lighting rigs have been a massive help and the air2g2. I am also now looking at fans to help with air flow.

How has your job changed since you took over as Head Groundsman? I have been Head Groundsman at the stadium for 14 years – the job is unrecognisable to what it was then. A portable palletised pitch with grass that used to start dying back after six weeks in the stadium – to a fantastic Desso Grassmaster stabilised surface with supplementary lighting.

What keeps you awake at night? Weather. You never stop looking at the weather.

What piece of equipment, yet to be invented, would make your life so much easier? A full pitch lighting system that somehow is suspended above the pitch, no wheels and no obstacles, a pipe dream alas!

What piece of equipment, yet to be invented, would make your life so much easier? Not sure on this one. I have lots of ideas.

What is your favourite memory for a previous Six Nations Championship? I have been fortunate to witness three grand slam triumphs in our stadium. They were all very special. What is the best thing about a Six Nations Rugby match in your city? The atmosphere in the city is something special. As a teenager I used to go to Cardiff to watch the rugby (in a pub, couldn’t get tickets). 250,00 people descend on Cardiff on a six nations rugby match. What would you like to say to your fellow Six Nations Head Groundsmen? Keep up the good work!

How has your job changed since you took over as Head Groundsman? Learning a new language since I moved out to France. The main thing to remember is that it’s a team effort and not just the headman that makes a great pitch.

What is your favourite memory for a previous Six Nations Championship? England winning the tournament in my first year at Stadefrance. What is the best thing about a Six Nations Rugby match in your city? Atmosphere – the rugby crowds are great.

When was it laid? It was constructed 2013 What work will you be doing between Autumn Internationals and the Six Nations? Mininimal renovation has been done to the pitch. What development or innovation has had the biggest impact on your work in the last five years? Desso Grass Master Hybrid/ SGL Grow Lights. What keeps you awake at night? Weather conditions. How has your job changed since you took over as Head Groundsman? Technology. What piece of equipment, yet to be invented, would make your life so much easier? Lighting systems that would leave no impact on the playing surface. What is your favourite memory for a previous Six Nations Championship? Ronan O Gara drop goal 2009. What is the best thing about a Six Nations Rugby match in your city? The buzz the excitement and the impacted of visiting supporters. What would you like to say to your fellow Six Nations Head Groundsmen? It’s a calling, not a job, plus your pitch is now for international scrutiny when it goes live.

What would you like to say to your fellow Six Nations Head Groundsmen? Good luck guys and may the weather be kind to us all.

Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 | 43


Getting ready for the season:

Why grinding matters E verybody knows a sharp blade makes a cleaner cut. Much to our frustration, we have all used a blunt knife, scissor or razor blade at one time or another and know how it hacks and tears at whatever we’re cutting. When it comes to turf maintenance, surgicallysharp mowers slice through grass blades, severing them cleanly and with minimal damage. Because the grass left in the mower’s wake is the same height and uniform in appearance, overall turf definition is improved and the playing surface more smooth, healthy and consistent. Financial benefits are derived from reduced expenditures on fertiliser, fungicide, chemicals and fuel

(for mowing equipment), as well as increased revenues due in part to greater end user satisfaction with the turf. The grinding process is crucial to maintaining the sharpest blades and, therefore, optimal turf conditions. To help you understand how it works, let’s look at the two components of the cutting unit: the bedknife and the cylinder.

The Bedknife The bedknife is the most important part of any cutting unit. Although it looks simple, it is actually a very complex piece of steel. The bedknife gathers the grass and holds it in position until the cylinder blade comes around to cut it. Grinding the top and front faces of a bedknife helps to

maintain sharpness. As its name suggests, the “top face” sits on top of the bedknife. It is a negative angle, meaning it slopes away from the unit’s point of cut. This allows grass to be directed away from grass coming into the mower. The requisite degree of angle varies depending on the height and condition of the turf being mowed. Once this angle wears down, the grass isn’t ejected properly so the point of cut gets clogged. This prevents incoming grass from being cut cleanly. The other angle is known as the “front face” angle. If the bedknife is the most important part of the mower, then the front face is the most important part of the bedknife, making good care of it especially critical. The front face needs to be flat but ground evenly with a negative angle. If the face becomes worn or rounded – which it will over time because turf (and especially top dressing) is very abrasive – then grass will not be presented evenly to the cutting blades of the cylinder. Keeping the front face in tip-top condition is crucial to optimal turf health.

The Cylinder Often overlooked are reasons one should also spin grind the cylinder. Yes, it is to make each blade sharp, but it is also to ensure the cylinder is even. There is no point in sharpening all the blades if only every third one cuts because they are not of equal height. Naturally, a cylinder that is maintained regularly is going to be easier and quicker to grind than one sharpened only once a year. Sharpening of the bedknife and cylinder is integral to maximizing their effectiveness and, in turn, turf conditioning. A dull cutting unit (bedknife and cylinder) will tear at grass, leaving it uneven. These ripped and ragged blades bleed and 44 | Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018

lose plant moisture and nutrients. The open tips also leave them more vulnerable to disease from spores such as Fusarium and other leafspot afflictions. Repairing and regenerating the plants then requires a greater demand for chemicals, driving up costs and impacting budgets.

Savings and More Agronomically speaking, a reduction in the use of water, fertiliser, fungicide and the correct use of top dressing is a benefit. Not only is use of these expensive consumables decreased, but also costs associated with handling of the materials, generating electricity to pump water, etc. Mechanically, trials at several training colleges have demonstrated fuel consumption reductions. Going a step further, one can translate fuel reduction into increased mower life, reduced engine wear, fewer replacement parts – and it soon becomes clear that the benefits are very attractive to your facility’s bottom line. Another added bonus? Less fuel use means a smaller carbon footprint. Most importantly, top-line benefits are realised with improved turf appearance and better playability. The resulting elevation in customer satisfaction will further enhance revenues, making management and end users alike extremely happy.

making turf matter

Relief grinding your cutting units Ian Robson, ProSport UK Ltd, the UK & Ireland Importer/Distributor for Foley United & Neary Technologies, explains why relief grinding maximises the performance of reels by giving a factory finish every time. A vital question for a Workshop Manager is how to maximise efficiency and minimise labour and maintenance equipment costs. One area to achieve excellent savings is to look at how you maintain the sharpness of your cutting units. Firstly, why is having sharp cylinders (reels) that are the correct shape so important anyway? The answer is obvious – unhealthy turf brings a whole host of other issues which are costly to correct. Therefore, prevention is a far more economic approach than a cure. A huge amount of research and development has gone into designing a cutting unit to produce the cleanest cut possible with the least amount of fraying and tissue damage to the plant. The result is

that all manufacturers of grass cutting equipment supply new units with relief ground edges.

Why relief grind? Tests carried out by leading manufacturers have established that relief ground cylinders stay on cut up to 3 times longer than spun ground ones and require less horse power to drive the unit, resulting in greater fuel efficiency and less stress on the hydraulic power systems. In addition, a relief ground cylinder will withstand the abrasive effects of top dressing far better than one spun ground because the relief edge on both the bed-knife and the cylinder allows the top dressing to clear the cutting blades easily, helping to prevent the dulling effect seen on spun only units.

Continual relief grinding also decreases the squeezing and tearing of the grass as the units get dull, and most importantly it allows the cylinder to be returned to a factory specification perfect cylinder as quickly as possible. The overall cleaner cut achieved by relief grinding gives a better after-cut appearance, increased recovery rate due to the clean cut of the grass and reduces the stress on components because less horsepower is needed to drive the cylinder.

Horse Power Study As a reel wears flat and loses shape (becomes coned), more stress and strain is put on the cutting systems. Using the figures from the study shown below a 5-gang cutting unit with relief can require up to 4.5

HP (5 x 0.88HP = 4.5HP) to drive the cutting units therefore a 35HP engine has 30.5HP remaining to drive the rest of the traction system. A 5-gang unit which has been spun ground only, can require up to 13Hp (5 x 2.59HP = 13HP) leaving only 22HP to drive the rest of the traction system. So, it has been established that relief grinding your cutting units saves you money not only by reducing workshop maintenance time with far fewer grinds but also through a reduction in fuel costs and replacement parts. It is also important to acknowledge what relief grinding does for a reel. By removing metal from the trailing edge of the blade it forms a relief angle, which reduces the contact area of the cutting edges, resulting in less friction, longer wear life.

Technology reduces time mowers are out of action A Hunter Grinder is in the ultimate all-in-one mower grinder, combining precision spin and relief operations in one machine, although both methods can be used independently if the user desires. The company’s all-new Series 6 relief grinder will make its UK debut this month in Harrogate. One machine can fully relief, or spin and relief grind returning cylinders and bottom blades back to the manufacturer’s original

specification. Technologyrich, it enables the operator to programme the machine then carry out other work. The time mowers spend in the workshop has a huge impact on turf maintenance operations, especially at the height of the season, so the choice of grinder is a significant one for any organisation. During a typical growing season, a spin ground unit will need to be sharpened on average at least six times

whereas the spin and relief ground units need only be sharpened twice. Taking into consideration the complete task; time taken to remove the cutting unit from the mower and prepare it for grinding, mounting the cutting unit in the grinder, sharpening it and removing it from the grinder, then reassembling, setting up and refitting the cutting unit to the mower, the amount of time a mower is taken out of use can be reduced considerably.

Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 | 45


Wiedenmann Terra Spike GXI8 HD retains top seller spot for 2017 Wiedenmann UK’s Terra Spike GXi8 HD has topped the company’s sales charts again in 2017, consistent for the third year running as bestselling aerator from a fleet of 11. “When an aerator can work across a whole a range of situations without skipping a beat then it truly earns its number 1 status,” said a Wiedenmann UK spokesman. “The GXi8 HD goes flat out on the flat and super smoothly on extreme undulations. It does a full pitch in about 3 hours, is great on greens and is a master of the fairways, so what’s not to like?” Boasting many of the technologies synonymous with a Terra Spike – tool free adjustments, quick tine exchange and an efficient damping system to protect from jolting and vibration, the GXi8 has

an additional secret weapon. Its patented Advanced Tine Control system gives ultimate precision to the tines’ incision into the ground. Their very clean entry and uniform hole-spacing combine to leave a near-perfect surface finish on top. Even working at high speed or on a slope the operator can always be confident tine entry into the ground is clean and absolutely constant. Underneath, hidden from view, root development of the grass plant is strengthened and water, nutrients and air are more able to permeate. Attaching to tractors from 40 HP it comes with a working width of 1.8 m and reaching to depths of 250 mm. In an hour the GXi8 HD can cover approximately 5,600 m² with 110 mm square hole spacing.

Fit a Groundsman


Collector Attachment to your aerator and save time and money when you core and collect in one pass

46 | Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018

making turf matter

Javelin Aer-Aid instils air of confidence

Andy Richards, Grounds Manager at Shrewsbury School, is a firm believer that aeration is one of the most important practices carried out by groundsmen, and this is exactly why he bought a new SISIS Javelin Aer-Aid. “We have a good blend of academics and sports at Shrewsbury School,” says Andy. “Sport is a massive part of the School and there is a very strong house sport system.” It is for this reason that Andy and his team leave no stone unturned when it

comes to preparing and maintaining sports pitches of the highest standard. In discussing his maintenance procedures, Andy pin-pointed aeration as one of the most vital. “Speaking with other groundsmen, we have one of the highest pitch usages in the country. On each pitch we average 10-15 hours per week and we’ve got limited drainage. Therefore, one of the most important things we do is aeration and we aerate pitches all of the time. Grass lives and needs air like anyone else,” he says. Breathing life into Andy’s grass is his newly purchased SISIS Javelin Aer-Aid tractor mounted aerator, and he had no problem in running it past the School’s bursars – as he explains: “It was the machine I wanted because I had previously trialled it and had good results. I Clegg hammered the pitches before and after using the Aer-Aid and had noticed a massive reduction in hardness. I know that the Aer-Aid had recently undergone extensive Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) trials and it came

out with excellent results – which always gives you confidence and makes it easier to explain to the bursars why you want to buy it.” With 10mm diameter ‘tipped’ tines working at 75mm (3ins) spacing, air is introduced from the Aer-Aid at a rate of 88 litres (3cu.ft.) per minute. These air injection tines are specially designed to use the maximum air available from the compressor and produces clean, fresh air, while also ensuring that surface disturbance is kept to a minimum. The cam trigger mechanism ensures that the air is always expelled at the bottom of the tine penetration, enabling treatment to be targeted precisely and consistently. “We do all the normal types of aeration but to actually be able to inject air into the surface as opposed to just a mechanical operation of it is a massive bonus,” says Andy. “It’s a really good machine, easy to use and we can see significant improvements since using the AerAid.”

Save Money Fit a Groundsman FLEXBLADE Collector Attachment to your aerator and save time and money when you CORE and COLLECT in one pass!

Fits Any Aerator Groundsman Industries have launched a new universal range of FLEXBLADE Core Collectors to fit many makes of Pedestrian and Tractor Mounting Aerators including Groundsman, Toro, John Deere, Weidenmann, Charterhouse, SISIS and so on.

slotted blades. The changes are however, much more than cosmetic. The new shape adds extra strength while reducing the overall weight by more than half. Internal check chains have been replaced by robust folding check links for consistent accuracy and reliability.

FLEXBLADE Core Collector

Follow Up Collection

The new range use Groundsman’s original proven FLEXBLADE collection system but they are sporting a sleek black curved and slotted collection canopy and

The Groundsman FLEXBLADE Collectors are also available for Three Point Linkage mounting on Compact Tractors plus many types of Turf Vehicles for Follow-up Collection of Cores and Linear Aeration Soil. Contact Groundsman Industries to discuss your requirements.

Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 | 47


Charterhouse give versatility we need Versatility and adaptability are the needs for R J Jochimsen Contractors Ltd – and, in the area of aeration, a Verti-Drain and a pair of Verti-Quakes from Charterhouse Turf Machinery fit the bill. Formed in 1986, MD Rob Jochimsen undertakes various maintenance and renovation projects for councils, utility companies and sports clubs in the West Sussex area – with no two days the same. Now heading up a team of seven, Rob started off his working life in the agricultural market before deciding to move into the amenity sector over 30 years ago. “Week to week we’ll be working on different surfaces – football, rugby, polo fields, gallops, which all require different maintenance techniques but aeration is one that goes across the board. Having the two different machines and working them in conjunction with one another, means that no matter the requirement, conditions or sports surface we’re dealing with, we have the machine to suit.”

48 | Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018

Their Verti-Drain 7626 is now into its fifth season. “We chose this machine initially as it was a good match for our tractor and since then it’s proved to be a real workhorse. The weight of the unit means it penetrates the surface, rather than bouncing over it like some other machines do. Spring and autumn/winter are peak times for the Verti-Drain, though it’s used whenever conditions allow.” With the Verti-Drain 7626 taking care of the deep aeration work, the pair of Verti-Quake 2516’s work on compaction within the top six to eight inches. “These come into their own when the ground is too firm or when the surface is wet, requiring lighter units to be used. The smaller, lighter Verti-Quake 2516 runs on a compact tractor, which gives us the flexibility when assessing customer requirements to choose the most effective machine to use.” “Another plus point for us is the range of tine options available. We’ve been working on some polo fields

this year, using 1/2inch finger tines but we also carry tines right up to those suitable for hollow coring. “These machines give us the versatility to deal with whatever surface comes our way, and even more importantly than this, the customers are pleased with the work they do. That’s the main thing!” concluded Rob.

ADAPTABLE: ‘No matter the requirement, conditions or sports surface we’re dealing with, we have the machine to suit’


making turf matter

BUYERS’ GUIDE Statistics reveal scale of

To advertise contact Marie Anderson Email:





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

over 70% of visitors said that there was an excellent mix of products on display. Table 1 shows what visitors were looking for. confirmed the exhibition as the largest turf TEL: 01371 875331 Exhibitors at SALTEX 2015 reported management event in the UK with a total Telephone: 01260 224 568 huge3914540 success at the show, suggesting that of 8,714 unique individuals attending. Now, 0118 Email: 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 AGRONOMY SERVICES MOWERS then on the show floor, it’s no surprise to see into the visitor profile of the show. that over 80% had purchasing responsibility. With visitors traveling from every corner Over 75% of all SALTEX visitors also had of the UK as well as every continent around the ability to sign off purchases of up to the world it was encouraging to see that n Agronomy £100,000. over 70% of theAudits visitors rated their overall WETTING AGENTS n Advisory Services as being good, very As for the type of facilities that the SALTEX experience SOIL SURFACTANTS n Project Management visitors were responsible for, it was great to good or excellent. n Construction ORGANIC seeFERTILISERS such a wide array of visitors (table 2). Over 65% of visitors said that they n Budgets Visitors also found the more central attended SALTEX to source new products, 01233 633267 location of the NEC to be more accessible services or suppliers, 20% wanted Call: 07951 157208 while or email: with 70% stating that the new location was to make the most of the free educational either good or excellent. Within the halls of LEARNING LIVE seminars and to receive WEED CONTROL Fer�lisers | Bios�mulants | We�ers the NEC, visitors favoured the more compact one-to-one advice through the IOG’s Ask setting withproducts over 70% rating the layout of the Expert feature. With so much on offerover 50 professional GOLF COURSE TYRES the event either good or excellent. atMANAGEMENT SALTEX, there was something for Overall the visitor survey has everyone and over 80% said that they were demonstrated just how good the was the successful or very successful in meeting quality of attendees – further enhancing their objectives. SALTEX as the must attend event of the With such a large number of visitors Golf Course Management year. attending SALTEX to source new products Consultant SALTEX 2016 will be held at the NEC, and services; they certainly came to the Golf The Course Advice; is a great way Birmingham on 2 and 3 November 2016. For right place. exhibition Locum and Greenkeeper more information visit to launch showcaseService; new products and Project Management; Practical Solutions for Genuine Problems Available through your Tel: 07774 632747

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Golf Course Advice; Locum Greenkeeper Service; SPORTS TURF Project Management; Practical Solutions for Genuine Problems CONTRACTORS One632747 of the UK’s Tel: 07774 leading natural and artificial sports turf specialists. From MACHINERY initial concept and Agripower planning through Toro Reelmaster 5010-H with PowerMatch Contractors to construction, Horsepower Good Grounding in Sport drainage, renovation and maintenance. on Demand Tel: 01494 866776

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technical 30Bringing Ballybrakes Road, Ballymoney, County Antrim, and Northern Ireland, excellence service United Kingdom, BT53 6LG. to turfTel: and groundcare 028 2766 7049 0141 814 3366

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TableTurf 2 Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 | 49 Turf Matters | February-March 2016 | 33


making turf matter

as seen on



Ryan Turf | @RyanTurf If the roots of your turf are less than two inches, it’s a good indication your lawn could benefit from aeration Ultra Soil Solutions | @UltraSoil Water logged, salt damaged turf? GYP-FLO can flocculate and flush sodium quickly and cost effectively! Oliver Durham | @OliverDurham10 First tweet - perfect day to start verti-draining on our greens. Slightly milder day, got our fungicide ready for the fusarium and anthracnose which will be applied tomorrow or Thursday then some good strength iron back end of next week to help get rid of the moss build up!! SGL system | @SGLsystem Extremely busy month for the English grounds teams, in extreme weather conditions. We know every one of you puts in a lot of effort to maintain a high quality pitch, so all credits to those who made it possible despite this amount of rain! Well done!

Follow us on Twitter @TurfMatters Tea Break Teaser answers 1. Gainsborough; 2. He won after avoiding a play-off with Roberto di Vicenzo, as the Argentinian made an error on his scorecard; 3. Scotland; 4. Argentina; 5. St Moritz; 6. 145 frames. Davis won 84-61; 7. 7-iron; 8. John Terry; 9. London; 10. Mark O’Meara; 11. Surrey; 12. Wally Hammond; 13. Bob Beamon; 14. Mats Wilander; 15. 9.69.

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Email: Telephone: 07841 927500 Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 | 51

Turf Matters Jan/Feb 2018  

In this issue: Exclusive interview with Vic Demain Exclusive interviews with the 6 nations groundsmen A beind the scenes look at the Dennis...

Turf Matters Jan/Feb 2018  

In this issue: Exclusive interview with Vic Demain Exclusive interviews with the 6 nations groundsmen A beind the scenes look at the Dennis...