For all sports turf professionals in golf, football, rugby, cricket, tennis, horse racing, independent schools, universities and local authorities
January-February 2019 | £4.95
Enter o 2019 CRICuKr GROUNDCA ET AWARDS RE PAGES 50 -51
Highlighting the importance of aeration
Turf transformed EDGBASTON’S CRICKET PITCH HEROES
SHARPENING UP YOUR ACT: IT’s a grind
LOOKING FORWARD TO HARROGATE
44 Gary Barwell profile
21 At the cutting edge
27 BTME time again
making turf matter
A brand newSport… year… Don’t forget
Having just entered 2019 we can look forward to a massive sporting year The last two months have been a nightmare for many people in certain on a number of fronts. We have the usual standards – Six Nations Rugby parts of the country and my heart goes out to everyone dealing with which is just around the corner but which, this year, is really a high profile the aftermath of unprecedented flooding and devastating erosion. warm-up event for the World Cup which takes place later in the year. The best case scenario for many is months of temporary living. For We also have the Woman’s Football World Cup, in France, and, in golf, the others, lives will never return to what they were. excitement of not only the first Open Championship to be played at Royal While the fate of sports grounds and golf clubs might seem Portrush since 1951 but the Solheim Cup, being played at Gleneagles in inconsequential in the face of such hardship, we at Turf Matters have September. a particular empathy with everyone who has seen years agronomic We also have an enormous year for cricket. The World Cup is onofthese shores husbandry literally washed away in the space of a few weeks. and for the first time ever England enter the competition as favourites, and It must hoped that banks – the financial institutions, not the justifiably so, be given recent results. The current limited overs team boasts players things which overflown – take an understanding of rare power and edge imagination and rivers no score is ungettable. Given a fairapproach wind to sporting facilities which haveCup. beenAnd unable service loans aswe a also England could be raising that elusive if thattowere not enough, result of them unplayable and so unable to bring in revenue. have an Ashes Testbeing Series! AsMatters we have seen wants with the recent Olympics, has such a Turf always to be aheadWinter of the curve and wesport will be ensuring galvanising effect on society and can be the catalyst for so much good, that cricket plays a big part in our editorial coverage for the year. And we start that is imperative sporting facilities are not forgotten when the with thisitissue with a major profile of Gary Barwell, Head Groundsman at is IOG’s beingGroundsman allocated. of the Year Award. Gary Edgbaston promised and recent assistance winner of the On the issue of improving weplays havehost been will be at the forefront of this year’s cricketingsporting bonanza –facilities, Edgbaston to invited & Stratton to become involved in its the first Test, which setsby theBriggs benchmark for the rest of the summer while he Pitch also to Win which a £3,000 makeover for has to prepare wickets forcompetition, a number of the Worldprovides Cup matches. what judgedisto be proud the Under football in most And what’s more, TurfisMatters very to be 18s joining forcespitch with Cricket need – find out more on pages 16-17. I am on the judging World for the Cricket Groundcare Awards. These awards will identify and andcricket visits work will be madepeople to a shortlist deserving highlight the great panel work that grounds carry outofup and down pitcheshimself soon. We looking not much the the country. Gary Barwell toldwill Turfbe Matters that thesoonly realat difference DESSO but the desperate! between himself and the grounds staff at the nation’s club grounds is that he On a final note, I am thrilled by the reception that the carries out his work under the spotlight of television cameras. first issue of Turfthat Matters received. is Many have We want to ensure due recognition givenpeople to the grounds taken say how peopletime at thetograss rootsmuch level. they liked the look of the magazine and enjoyed the We’re all that So, there is how muchthey to look forward toarticles. in 2019 and I hope pleased you found it to yourand liking and we will work hard you all enjoy a successful happy year. to maintain the high standards. Thank you all very much.
Distributed every two months to sports turf professionals, independent schools, universities, local authorities and buyers Distributed every two months to sports of turfcare machinery and products. turf professionals, local authorities and buyers ofMacCallum turfcare machinery and Editor: Scott products. firstname.lastname@example.org DesignScott and Production Editor: MacCallumEditor: Tim Moat email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Customer Manager: Design andRelations Production Editor: Tim Moat email@example.com Sinead Thacker firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Manager: Pauline Thompson Sales Executive: To advertise in Turf Matters, Marie Anderson call Pauline on 07720 055676 or email@example.com email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Inside Inside this thisissue issue News..................................................4-11, 13 News .........................................................4-15 Tea Break Teaser. . .....................................12 Pitch to Win........................................16-17 School grounds in focus..............16-19 Mowing .................................19-22, 24-27 A look at grinders............................21-24 Tea Break Teaser ......................................29 BTME preview....................................27-39 Gleneagles..........................................30-35 Get ready for......................................36-41 spring.......................40-43 BTME review Gary Barwell profile........................44-49 Diary of a Golfing Nobody.................42 Cricket Groundsperson of Year........50 As seen on Twitter..................................43 Understanding aeration...............52-55 Buyers’out Guide. ...........................................56 Check our .website: Check out our website: www.turfmatters.co.uk
www.turfmatters.co.uk The majesty of Gleneagles, pages 30-35 Next magazine distributed 2 May HOWZAT: We meet the man behind Edgbaston, pages 44-49 Next magazine distributed March 2019 Subscribe FREE to our e-zine: Details at www.turfmatters.co.uk
Turf Matters | March-April 2014 Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019| 3 |3
Gwynn’s APPOINTMENT TO BOOST STRI developMENT STRI Group has appointed Gwynn Davies as a turfgrass consultant, to support extensive business growth and service development in the UK and overseas markets. Gwynn, pictured, is a wellknown figure in the sports turf industry and has accumulated a wealth of specialist experience during his 15year career. Initially gaining a First-Class Honours degree in Turfgrass Science and receiving an R&A Scholarship. Since then, Gwynn has held several senior positions in golf course management and consultancy, including a previous stint in turfgrass agronomy at STRI. “I am delighted to be back with the STRI team and I am looking forward to being able to share my knowledge and experience, supporting the development of sports facilities across the UK. I always enjoyed the camaraderie of the team at STRI and I am excited to join them as they enter a new phase of growth and development in 2019,” said Gwynn. The new appointment was welcomed by STRI Group director, Lee Penrose who said that Gwynn was an outstanding sports facility consultant who has expert technical knowledge. “I have no doubt that Gwynn will hit the ground running and continue to deliver STRI consultancy services to the highest level as expected by our clients,” said Lee.
making turf matter
Rubber crumb concerns: consultation is underway
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Following on from Turf Matters’ major investigation into rubber crumb, the European agency charged with ensuring health risks are minimised has undertaken a public consultation process in conjunction with the IOG to establish what working practices and health and safety procedures are currently being carried out by the end user. Concerns have been raised because of the presence of carcinogenic chemicals and the human health risks associated with using these pitches. The current permissible concentration limits applicable for supply to the general public are set at 100 mg/kg for two of the eight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons PAHs relevant to the proposal and 1 000 mg/kg for the other six. Given these current applicable concentration limits, the restriction proposal identifies how an unacceptable risk to human health would arise as a consequence of the use of PAH-containing granules and “mulches” as infill material in synthetic turf pitches and in loose form on playgrounds and in other sports applications. In addition, the risks to workers has been considered. The proposed restriction
For all sports turf professionals in golf, football, rugby, cricket, tennis, horse racing, independent schools, universities and local authorities
July-August 2018 | £4.95
RUBBER CRUMB: What do we know?
The danger beneath our feet? OVERSEEDING AND FENCING TO THE RESCUE
ALL SET FOR WIMBLEDON FORTNIGHT
FACTS, FICTION AND SEED MANAGEMENT
32 Renovations and repairs
50 Neil’s finishing touches
42 Chemicals analysis
outlines that the suggested concentration limit would ensure the cancer risk from PAH exposure remains very low for those coming into contact with granules and “mulches”. The proposal aims at alleviating societal concerns about the possible negative health impacts resulting from the use of infill material containing PAHs
in artificial sports pitches. The IOG have contributed by promoting a question survey based on the following enquiry: “Do you have any information on the current practices and measures used to control worker exposure during the installation and maintenance of synthetic turf pitches, playgrounds, or in other applications?”
JOHN DEERE NAMED AMONG WORLD’S TOP BRANDS John Deere has again earned a spot among the world’s most valuable brands in an annual ranking. The company is ranked 88th in the Best Global Brands research, moving up four spots from a year ago. Interbrand estimates the John Deere brand to now be worth approximately $5.4 billion.
“A decade after the global financial crisis, the brands that are growing fastest are those that intuitively understand their customers and make brave iconic moves that delight and deliver in new ways,” said Charles Trevail of Interbrand. “This recognition emphasises the success of our 70,000 employees
worldwide who work each day to deliver on the company’s core values of integrity, quality, commitment and innovation,” said Samuel R. Allen, Deere & Company Chairman and CEO. John Deere has been included in the Best Global Brand ranking since 2011 when Interbrand estimated its value to be $3.65 billion.
making making turfturf matter matter www.turfmatters.co.uk
Timberwolf shares ‘all the facts’ Timberwolf is launching a campaign to help the arboriculture industry understand the key information surrounding the latest round of emissions legislation. As part of the Government’s commitment to reduce engine emissions, non-road mobile machinery, including wood chippers, will be affected in the latest round of changes known as ‘Stage V’. The ‘All the Facts, #NoOmissions’ campaign sets out facts and information about ‘Stage V’, which was implemented at the beginning of this year. Timberwolf, which has more than 30 years of industry experience, is taking the lead in providing clarity over the legislation, following speculation and misinformation surrounding the new rules. Over 20,000 people work in the arboriculture industry across Britain, contributing over £700 million to the UK economy* – and Stage V is set to have an impact on the engine technology of essential
machinery used every day. Pre-Stage V diesel engines used in machines above 25hp, such as wood chippers, mowers and stump grinders, will no longer be produced after this year, so when manufacturers have used their stocks of these engines, new diesel machines will be fitted with Stage V-compliant engines that produce less emissions.
the new legislation, as lots of people are being told that diesel machines can no longer be used, which is totally wrong. Current diesel wood chippers can be used and traded after the implementation of Stage V in same way they can be today,” said Timberwolf Product Marketing Manager Antony Alexander. “This isn’t the end of
“Our ‘All the Facts, #NoOmissions’ campaign is about giving the facts” The ‘All the Facts, #NoOmissions’ campaign is running across Timberwolf’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels, and includes striking graphics to make the facts around the legislation clear and accessible to everyone. “Our ‘All the Facts, #NoOmissions’ campaign is about giving the facts about
diesel, far from it – it’s the start of a new wave of innovation in our industry. “We’ve invested in a large stock of pre-Stage V engines so that we can produce our market leading wood chippers for some time to come, but we’re excited to be leading the way in designing Stage V compliant machines with unrivalled performance.”
NEW SALES REPRESENTATIVE FOR GERMINAL Germinal has recruited Alan Thomson as its new Amenity Technical Sales Representative for Scotland and the North East of England. Based from his home in Glasgow, Alan (pictured) will provide technical sales support to Germinal’s customers throughout his region, and will be responsible for promoting the company’s popular range of Grade-A sports and amenity grass seed mixtures to golf course greenkeepers, turf growers, sports groundsmen and landscapers.
6 | Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019
Currently training with the STRI to gain his FACTS qualification, Alan
will also be responsible for promoting Germinal’s specialist amenity fertiliser range which includes conventional compound products as well as liquid and phased-release fertilisers and specialist sward conditioners. Alan will also promote Germinal’s range of regional and general landscaping wildflower seed mixtures. Alan joins Germinal from Glasgow-based John Deere dealership, Nairn Brown, where he was the company’s Area Sales Manager.
making turf matter
Toro’s sterling results at Stirling Lying on a tilted slab of ancient volcanic lava in front of the historic Stirling Castle is Stirling Golf Club, one of Scotland’s oldest golf clubs, which is preparing for its 150th anniversary with a helping hand from Toro and its distributor Reesink Turfcare. All eyes are on the club in central Scotland, whose golfing credentials actually stretch back to 1505 when golfing activity involving Monarch King James was first recorded, as it prepares for its anniversary. But with a carefully constructed Toro fleet the pressure to keep the course up to standard is under control, explained Course Manager, James Lindsay. “It’s an exciting time and everyone is looking forward to it, but it does mean there
are a lot of people expecting great things; 150 years is a big deal after all! We’ve been completely redoing the bunkers for the anniversary, working with Howard Swan of Swan Golf Designs repositioning, reshaping and draining them all, which will be finished in time for the celebrations, so members can enjoy a newly refreshed course. It’s important for us to be able to provide the best, especially as there’ll be a full calendar of events over the year with members and dignitaries invited,” said James. James knows having the best turf maintenance equipment is essential. Since his appointment six years ago, he has continually updated the machines at the club and it now
boasts a 100% Toro fleet. “I’ve always used Toro, they’re the highest quality and most reliable, so it’s a nobrainer really. Plus, having an all Toro fleet makes it’s easier to train people, which means we can spend more time working on the course. They’re quick to cover the grounds, which saves us fuel, but the speed doesn’t stop them giving a smooth finish.” With the fleet consisting of a Greensmaster TriFlex hybrid 3420 and two GR3250-D mowers, a Reelmaster 5610-D, RM6500-D and RM3100-D, plus a Groundsmaster 4500-D, Workman MDX-D and Procore 648, the club has built up a comprehensive collection. “I have to say my favourite to use is the Procore
648. Aeration is key and this machine delivers a tidy finish,” he said. “We’re signed on to a fiveyear exclusivity agreement, I trust the products and service and know what I’m getting. I don’t see us stopping our agreement anytime soon. Toro machines keep this club at the very top of its game.”
LOOKING GOOD: Toro kit in action in Stirling
All new for Aqua-Aid AQUA-AID has completed a move into new offices and recruited two new staff members as the Dutch company continues to grow in line with demand. The desire for products in Europe, the United Kingdom, Ireland and internationally has led to the Breda based company scaling up its operation by moving into new offices and recruiting two management assistants. Annemiek Ogbolu-Vonk brings a wealth of management experience to the company as well as being adept in a number of international languages. Michael van der Veeken brings vast knowledge of Enterprise Resource Planning and has worked in a similar role for a number of years and will work together with Annemiek to support the continued expansion of AQUA-AID EU. With this core team in place, owner and director of AQUAAID EU, Hans de Kort, hopes to continue providing exceptional customer service and instant support where required. “Welcoming Annemiek and Michael to the company is a very important step for us because it signals a significant step forward,” he said. “To date, we have achieved a lot in the professional turf care, horticulture and agriculture markets because of the service we provide and industryleading products we offer and moving into new offices with new additions to our team allows us to continue providing that service on a larger scale.” Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019 | 7
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Where there’s no mains power, you can irrigate via bluetooth Rain Bird’s new TBOS II BT bluetooth battery operated irrigation controller is ideal for applications where mains electricity is unavailable. Easy to install, the TBOS potted latching solenoid can be mounted on the majority of Rain Bird valves. The added bluetooth feature allows configuration of the controller by smartphone rather than a field transmitter, making it very cost-effective, accessible and user friendly. TBOS II BT is designed for use in areas when mains power is not available temporarily or it is too costly or impractical to install permanently. Parks, roadside areas, landscape projects, construction sites and new
housing developments are typical applications. For these situations, it is a highly durable solution, vandal proof, designed to resist humid and harsh environments
and with its IP68 rating is 100% waterproof and fully submersible. The 9V alkaline battery has a life of about one year. Available with one, two, four or six stations, TBOS II BT’s basic programming covers three independent programs, each with eight start times per day. Stations can be assigned to several programs with different watering run times from one minute to 12 hours. Independent station operation allows sequential start times and there are five watering day cycle modes which are selectable by program for maximum flexibility and watering restriction compliance. Seasonal
adjustment and rain delay programming is also available. A TBOS back-up programme can be saved and restored. An unlimited number of TBOS II BT controllers can be conveniently and intuitively programmed from an Android or IOS smartphone app via bluetooth. The app already exists for Rain Bird LNK wifi controllers and now has added functionality for the TBOS II BT. The user interface has the capability to set irrigation programs, review and clear all the control module’s irrigation programs. Three local irrigation programs can be saved and restored from the field transmitter. A low battery indicator is also included.
Replay’s key Partnering role in football In 2013 artificial sports pitch specialists Replay Maintenance commenced an ambitious programme of partnering with County Football Associations across England. This has proved to be such a valuable tool to the partnered CFAs, and just as importantly to the grassroots game, that in five years the number of CFA partners has quadrupled, with Replay now proactively supporting half of them. Replay’s partnerships with the CFAs works to simplify what can be a daunting proposition for any grassroots volunteer. As part of this unique partnership, all CFA
member clubs and facilities have access to information and expert advice on the planning and implementation of an artificial maintenance programme. Replay’s remit is driven by a desire to put innovation at the heart of the business. Never more so than through the introduction of PitchPassport®, an asset management tool that is revolutionising the industry and breaking down barriers for the grassroots game – a tool that all
partnered CFAs have access to. A fundamental element of the partnership is the opportunity to design bespoke in-house training courses, run in conjunction with Replay, as well as exploring individual CPD training options for facility staff. Other benefits include free site surveys, reporting and competitively priced, bespoke maintenance packages. “We have enjoyed a positive working relationship with a number of CFAs over the last five years and in that time have shared new processes, advice and guidance to support those responsible for
maintaining an artificial surface,” said Replay Maintenance Director, Garry Martin. “The growth of the partnership is testament to our dedication to raising awareness around, and the quality of, effective maintenance regimes as well as being at the forefront of technological innovations in the synthetic maintenance market. “With more CFA partnerships in the pipeline, we look forward to supporting and sharing new developments with the grassroots clubs and organisations within these CFAs over the years to come.”
Oxford golf club celebrates history by planting rare flora The Oxford Golf Club and Friends of Lye Valley have partnered to reintroduce a rare plant that started life on the course in 1839. They were joined by members of the Oxfordshire Flora Group of the Ashmolean Natural History Society of 8 | Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019
Oxfordshire and the Freshwater Habitats Trust in a special planting ceremony celebrating biodiversity at the historic golf club. They planted ‘Flat Sedge Blysmus compressus’, a grass-like plant which thrives in wet marshy conditions.
The conservationists had been seeking the ideal wet spring area to re-home the plant from a river bank in Marston, Oxford. The team stumbled across a suitable area at Oxford Golf Club while carrying out some scrub clearing work – and later discovered
the plant had originally been present on the site. The plant is referenced in ‘British Phaenogamous Botany, Figures and descriptions of the genera of British flowering plants’, published in 1839 by botanist William Baxter.
making turf matter
Blow me down: It’s Pellenc Pellenc has completed its range of battery-powered products for professionals with the launch of the Airion 3 blower. This lightweight and perfectly balanced new tool offers ergonomic benefits which are essential to user comfort. The Airion 3 is also both quiet and odourless. The Airion 3 has an angled air intake, which offsets the swing effect from the air blast. This keeps the tool correctly balanced and significantly reduces the blower’s noise disturbance for people in the surrounding environment, with the added benefit that the user no longer needs to wear ear defenders. The Airion 3 is the ideal tool for cleaning jobs in urban areas, parks or
gardens. Its speed controller and boost feature make it possible to manage the blowing power based on the surface to be cleared. Even leaves that are soft, wet or stuck to the ground are no match for the Airion. Protected against dust and moisture, the blower is also designed to withstand the test of time. Its motor is housed in a magnesium alloy body that guarantees both proper temperature dissipation and total sealing
(IP54). The Airion 3 benefits from several improvements over its predecessor, which considerably increases the tool’s service life. The Airion 3 is the first tool in the Pellenc range to profit from the Fast Connector system for rapid tool connection/disconnection. This feature allows you to quickly remove the tool while working if there is a risky situation or to use both hands freely without having to remove the back battery. All Pellenc batteries and tools come with a three-year commercial warranty and are distributed in the UK and Ireland exclusively by Etesia UK. Pellenc has also launched the first truly professional ‘on-board’ battery range –
The Pellenc Alpha range. Itsees two new batteries – P260 and P520 – which can be directly fitted to the tools or fitted to a new harness. Comprising the Helion Alpha hedge trimmers and the Excelion Alpha grass strimmer, two tools which use the latest on-board batteries, the 260 and 520, it was designed to bring together ergonomics and efficiency. The Helion Alpha’s cutting quality allows for precision pruning of hedges. Its on-board battery makes it a tool that’s always ready to use and very compact for work that lasts up to six hours. Able to cut dense patches as well as soft grasses, the Pellenc Excelion Alpha can be used for mowing or road-side finishing work, everywhere.
Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019 | 9
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Measuring app wins innovation award On the first day of SALTEX 2018, Sherriff Amenity’s groundbreaking new app, PrecisionPro, was announced as the winner of the SALTEX Innovation Award. Established in 2017, the award was created to encourage innovation excellence and celebrate the best products within the groundscare industry. The year’s award received a record number of high quality entries from across the UK and beyond – spanning a wide variety of products, services and equipment. With the entries submitted and evaluated by an independent panel of judges, there were three finalists. Representatives from each company delivered a product presentation in front of a packed audience causing the judges much deliberation before making their final decision. Sherriff Amenity’s PrecisionPro
was announced the overall winner. Second place went to the Toro Outcross 9060; a superduty utility vehicle, designed specifically to simplify the groundsman’s day-to-day turf maintenance jobs. Third place went to the McConnel ROBOCUT; an all-terrain remote-control work platform that boosts safety, productivity and efficiency. The PrecisionPro, is a dedicated app for sports turf to measure any area, guide the operator in calibrating a spreader
for any granular product and also help apply fertilisers accurately. According to Sherriff Amenity, PrecisionPro was created due to the common issue of turf managers misjudging green/ sport surface size which often results in problems such as over applying or under applying fertilisers – both of which can have a negative effect on turf performance, disease and budget. PrecisionPro allows turf
in the PrecisionPro app, users are guided through each step of the process. Furthermore, its advanced GPS functionality informs the user when to start and stop the calibration process. “We are really excited to win this award. PrecisionPro has been a long time in the making but it has all been made worthwhile now. SALTEX was the official launch of the app and after we won the award people
“…a dedicated app for sports turf to measure any area” managers to have an accurate measured area by simply opening the app and walking the perimeter of the area. Calibrating spreaders has always been a difficult task but with the Calibrate feature
kept coming onto the stand to find out more about it,,” said Karl Parry, Sherriff Amenity’s PrecisionPro developer. “I’m really proud of the whole team – it has been a big collaborative effort.”
Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019 | 11
TEA BREAk TEASER
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Tea Break Teaser With the new year upon us we know that the Six Nations Championship is just around the corner. Let’s whet your appetite with a Turf Matters quiz dedicated to the great sport of rugby union. Answers on page 57 1. Ireland were worthy winners of the Grand Slam last year but they very nearly didn’t get out of the starting blocks. Who dropped the goal against France with the last kick of the game to snatch a win? 2. What was the name of the schoolboy who picked up the ball and ran – thus inventing the game? 3. Where is this year’s Rugby World Cup being played? 4. What was unusual about the Leicester Tigers strips in the pre-professional era? 5. In what year did a try move from four points to five? 6. Where was the game of 7s invented? 7. What was the name of the third Scottish Pro Team which folded in 2007? 8. In which year was the Yellow Card brought into the Six Nations Championship? 9. What coloured socks does a Barbarian player wear? 10. Who is the only British player to lift the World Cup trophy? 11. What is the Bole? 12. What did the 1974 Lions 99 Call mean? 13. Which Welsh town provided the most famous front row in rugby? 14. In which World Cup did Jonah Lomu score four tries in a single game against England? 15. How many Rugby World Cups have there been? 12 | Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019
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ICL backs four-year research into seaweed solutions ICL has joined forces with Royal Holloway, University of London to embark on a unique four-year research project which will look in detail at the effects of seaweed products on turfgrass plant parasitic nematodes. The project is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and ICL. “It came about following a discussion with Andy Owen, ICL International Technical Manager, at a greenkeeper meeting a couple of years ago,” said Alan Gange, Professor of Microbial Ecology at Royal Holloway. “We started talking about the need for turfgrass research, particularly focused on nematodes because we had noticed that in the last ten years greenkeepers and groundsmen have become much more aware of these and they appeared to be becoming a real problem.” Alan believes that the rise of nematodes could potentially be attributed to the loss of certain chemicals and the effects of climate change. As it stands, there are few options available for the turf manager who has a nematode problem but Alan feels that seaweed could well offer a sustainable solution. “There are scattered reports that some seaweed products or extracts, contain various chemicals which can protect plants against pests and diseases. We think that when the right seaweed is applied to a grass plant it could change the resistance of the plant to disease and insect attack. Nematode infection could then be reduced when the seaweed product is applied. So that is the essence of what we are trying to do here in sports turf. Someone
asked me a while ago if we are creating antibiotics for plants and in a way that is indeed what we are trying to do – we are trying to harness the plant’s natural resistance mechanism and improve it.” ICL’s SeaMax product, which is used as a biostimulant and fertiliser, has been a huge success in the sports turf industry. It contains a premium high concentration of Atlantic Ascophyllum nodosum seaweed extract, sustainably harvested from renewable resources by Acadian Seaplants. “We have already shown many turf benefits through using Seamax and we wanted to explore its capabilities further, with a more detailed research
“the rise of nematodes could potentially be attributed to the loss of certain chemicals and the effects of climate change.” project with Royal Holloway,” explained Andy Owen, Integral to the research project is student Tamsin Williams, who was appointed following a rigorous interview process: “In my previous role I was working on pathogen and insect bio-control using fungal bio-pesticides. I had also worked with plant parasitic nematodes before, so when I heard this was a bio-control project for nematodes I felt that it was perfect and it made so much sense to apply,” explained Tasmin. “Nematology is one
of my main interests, but it’s also the fact that seaweed products are sustainable – we could be finding an environmentally friendly solution for a serious turf problem, which potentially could transfer to other crops as well. This makes it a really valuable research topic.” Andy Owen said: “We will start with a proof of concept to gather further evidence that it does indeed work. In subsequent years there will be a focus on investigating the modes of action that are occurring, and then optimising applications
in terms of rates, timings and frequency, so that we can provide the right advise to the end-user. “As an ecologist it concerns me that many biological products, which contain microbes, are being sold in the turf marketplace with little or no supporting research. It is never published in reviewed journals and therefore with most of the products, one has suspicions about them because you just don’t know what independent research has been conducted. However, ICL genuinely want to find out more about their own products and they are committed to research.” In re-iterating Alan’s sentiments, Andy confirmed that ICL will look to publish this work where possible and intend to present the data openly at a number of events. The industry will be able to gain a greater insight into the project in January 2019 when Alan’s research group will speak at BTME’s Continue to Learn education programme.
Andy Owen and Tamsin Williams
Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019 | 13
SISIS Quadraplay performs well at Dudley Kingswinsford RFC A volunteer groundsman at Dudley Kingswinford Rugby Club in the West Midlands has praised the SISIS Quadraplay single pass maintenance system after the club purchased it based on a recommendation from Keith Kent, Head Groundsman for the RFU. Founded in 1922, Dudley Kingswinford was originally known as the Bean Football Club. The name Dudley Kingswinford was adopted in 1927 and after playing at several grounds the
14 | Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019
club moved to its current premises in 1962. The club runs seven senior sides, a ladies team and a full range of junior sides. The teams play their games across four full size pitches and four junior sized pitches which are maintained throughout the year by a group of volunteers. Grounds chairman John Griffiths oversees the team of volunteers and explained how the club came to purchase the SISIS
Quadraplay. â€œWe had a visit from Keith Kent through the RFU
Groundsmen Connected scheme. He looked round to see what equipment we
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had and then he identified what he thought we needed. I already had my eye on the Quadraplay, so when Keith also recommended it, along with a grant which also assisted our purchase, it was a win-win.” The SISIS Quadraplay multiple-purpose, single-pass maintenance incorporates a mounted frame for up to four implements such as grooming rakes, spikers, slitters, rollers and brushes. The implements can be fitted to the mainframe in any order and can be independently adjusted to achieve the desired effect. Compact, robust, versatile and with the ability to carry out up to four operations simultaneously – the Quadraplay makes life a lot easier for many groundsmen. At Dudley Kingswinford, John uses the spiker slitter, the straight brush, the spring tine grooming rake and the roller, and believes that each plays a major
role in his maintenance procedures. “We use it from October until March quite regularly on all of the pitches and at all times we have the four implements attached. I really like the spring tine rake which is great for standing grasses up to improve presentation and remove thatch; the slitter is a big help in relieving compaction which in turn helps absorb water, air and nutrients into the root zone; we use the straight brush to remove excess dew and then the roller is just what we want to level the bumps out and press the divots back into place. From a presentation point of view, it also give us that all important stripe. “It even helped us when it snowed last year because we used the Quadraplay to clear the ice off the lines. We simply ran over the ice with the slitter to break it all up and then used the brush to move it off.”
“From a presentation point of view, it also give us that all important stripe.” Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019 | 15
Independent schools have the money for their facilities to excel – but what about state schools? Tim Moat reports on new thinking in education Just seven per cent of British children and 18% of young people over the age of 16 attend independent schools – yet a third of Team GB Olympians are privately educated. It is no wonder, then, that the amazing sporting facilities enjoyed by some of our top schools are a magnet for the athletically ambitious. For state-educated children, success in field sports in later life inevitably is despite their experience of PE and games facilities at school rather than because of them. It is well documented that in these austere times, state schools are starved of cash and are obliged to eke out permanently stretched budgets, with even day-to-day essentials now being barely affordable.
“With 22 schools in its portfolio Ebor has a name that is also an acronym for the values it lives by – Excellence, Belonging, Opportunity and Respect.” Against this backdrop, step forward the rise of the multi-academy trusts (MATs). These are not-forprofit charities, groups of schools, usually set up by teachers with a strong sense of moral purpose to work together to deliver fresh ways
to improve pupils’ outcomes. Academies were initially established in Labour’s Tony Blair years but then accelerated by the coalition Government in 2010. Free of local authority control but still accountable to Ofsted and the many rules surrounding use of public funding, 74% of secondary schools and 31% of primaries are now academies. There are around 1,400 MATs and between them they control 82% of academies in the country. While the government claims this new way of educating our children is a success, the jury is still out – there are good and bad academies just as there are good and bad schools. One MAT, based in the north of England and comprising mainly primary schools, is Ebor Academy Trust. With 22 schools in its portfolio Ebor has a name that is also an acronym for the values it lives by – Excellence, Belonging, Opportunity and Respect. Ebor is seeking to cast a fresh eye over the way it handles its grounds maintenance as much as it does its core business of teaching and learning. Facilities and Operations Manager Andy Roberts has over 30 years’ senior managerial experience in project and facilities management within sectors such as energy and the NHS. It is Andy’s job to make sure school estates are kept in order despite constant pressure on keeping within budget. With school pupil numbers ranging from 644 at its biggest primary school, to just 37 in a tiny rural village, achieving consistency for Ebor is always going to be a challenge.
“Schools joining us bring with them a selection of contractual obligations,” said Andy. “As these expire the opportunity exists to look at economies of scale. We normally achieve better prices when buying for 22 schools than buying for one.” Unlike most independent schools, it is rare for state schools – maintained by the local authority or academies – to employ specialist grounds staff. Many wrap up the responsibilities with other caretaking or site management duties and others buy in the services as and when needed – all of which bring a multitude of prices. An invitation to tender for grounds maintenance across the schools – which extend from York to Selby to Hull and the Yorkshire Coast – is being prepared by Ebor as one option to be considered. There are strict criteria to be met. “We will be asking for the natural turf pitches at our schools to be prepared, repaired and maintained to withstand 28 hours of primary school use per week, plus lettings, all year round,” said Andy. “Even though the playing season is from September to April, the contractor will be expected to provide pitches for inter-school matches and tournaments throughout the summer term, as and when required. “Grass length must be no longer than 50mm and not less than 15 mm and the expectation is it will be cut using a cylinder type mowing unit. “Evenness must be maintained in accordance with the existing overall levels and gradients. Where areas of heavy wear on pitches have become hollowed out or eroded, measures
Shuttle bus to cover 160-acre campus is a UK first Edge Hill University in Lancashire has bought the first E-Z-GO 14-seater shuttle bus to be sold in the UK. Local dealer Sharrocks supplied the shuttle bus, as well as nine Cushman Hauler Pro vehicles for navigating the 160-acre campus. “A temporary car parking facility has recently opened on campus to provide more spaces for students. However, whilst still on campus, the car park is a distance from the main hub of the University,” said 16 | Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019
Fleet Administrator Andy Timon. “We have purchased the E-Z-GO 14-seater Shuttle Bus to provide a shuttle service from the new car park to the centre of campus. Instead of a long walk, it’s now a 4-5-minute comfortable shuttle ride.” Launched this year, the E-Z-GO Shuttle Bus is a 14-seater electric vehicle that is designed to easily transport people around facilities. With a quiet and smooth 72V AC drive train the E-Z-GO Shuttle Bus can
operate in indoor and outdoor spaces. “We have been very impressed with the level of service and product knowledge of the staff at Sharrocks and look forward to continuing our strong relationship moving forwards, said Andy.” Edge Hill University is based in Ormskirk, close to Liverpool and Manchester. Providing higher education since 1885, Edge Hill is one of the select few to have held the coveted U.K. University of the Year title, awarded
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Top of its class shall be taken to correct this by luting, brushing, top dressing (with an approved material) to provide a surface consistent with existing levels and gradients to a tolerance of 12mm under a 1m straight edge. “At the beginning of the season the pitch will be set out and marked and the lines shall be maintained throughout the season in accordance with the layout for primary school
by Times Higher Education (2014/15). The campus has also been recognised
pitches or as instructed by each school. All line markings shall be clearly visible from a distance of 30m when viewed either way. Lines shall be straight or curved in accordance with the game to within + or – 50mm. Lines shall be white unless otherwise indicated by each school and shall be 75mm in width.” There are further criteria for feeding and weeding, pests and diseases.
It is also possible that because of the size of Ebor’s operation – and one which in all likelihood will only get larger – that the MAT will employ its own grounds staff and equipment, and travel from school to school to keep on top of the estate needs. “Not only is this an exciting time for education, the knock-on effect into other areas gives us all a lot to think about,” said Andy.
as one of the world’s best green spaces for the seventh year in a row,
achieving another Green Flag award. Further investment includes its flagship £27million Catalyst building which opened this year, a £17million Creative Edge building, a new Arts Centre building, new Technology, Biosciences and Geosciences facilities and a £13.5million Student Hub. The £30million Sports Centre opened in September 2015 and allows students, staff and the local community to enjoy some of the best sports facilities in the country. Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019 | 17
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Short renovation window means top school can’t afford to take chances
US E ME 18 SE BT LL 2 AT HA D
products I use guarantee results though the weather went at each stage of our renovation against us we still did it.” programme and that makes this After “Koro-ing off” the pitches, renovation window so much easier. I Andy applies Qualibra wetting agent can’t risk anything not working. I have at 10 L/ha (half rate) to aid the seeding a tried and tested method with these process. He then top dresses before products now – I have done it for the applying a base feed of SierrablenPlus last five years and it works perfectly. Renovator 20-20-8 at a rate of 35g/ “I trust in ICL and in my opinion m² in which the micro mini-granules the products just seem to be getting ensure even distribution for young better all of the time. They are seedlings while its high Phosphate creating new technologies turf and levels encourage strong root growth. sports pitches need. There are no Once the seed has germinated and gimmicks – it is all fact and they Andy reaches the second leaf stage, have trials and research to prove it. he applies Primo Maxx II at 0.8 L/ha “I also receive great support from which he tank-mixes with humic and Emma Kilby (ICL Technical Area fulvic acids to help with the uptake of Sales Manager) who helps me put iron and to avoid any yellowing of the together the programme. She is leaf. Based on his assessment of the always there if I need her. It’s nice plant Andy will, more often than not, go to be able to bounce ideas off one with another granular feed in the form another and we are always looking at of Greenmaster Pro-Lite NK 12-0-12 at any improvements we could make.” 35 g/m² which gives the turf an added boost complimenting SierrablenPlus which is consistently offering a controlled release of Nitrogen. Seven to ten days after the first application of Primo Maxx II, he reapplies it at a slightly higher rate of 1 L/ha, before another application of Qualibra at 10 L/ha just to help hold water in the profile. “These products just seem to work for us. Take Qualibra for example, it gives us a huge advantage in the seeding process. If you happen to have a hot spell, sometimes you only need as little as three hours of it being too hot and then your seed dies but Qualibra gives you that Sponsor of: protection because it The Terra Spike™ is renowned for speed, precision and easy operation. is extremely effective Choose from 11 different aerators: in holding moisture in from the all new super light SL to the rootzone,” the extra deep XP and everything he said. in between. “The
With an incredibly short renovation window to transform his summer sports pitches into winter sports pitches, Andy Richards (pictured below), Grounds Manager at Shrewsbury School, can’t afford to take any risks with the products he uses. It is for this reason that he relies upon ICL products – all of which he says will guarantee him the results expected at the prestigious school. 2018 marked eight successful years at Shrewsbury School for Andy Richards. His groundsmanship journey all began at Birmingham City Council where he stayed for seven years before moving to King Edwards Grammar School. Three years later Andy accepted the position of Head Groundsman at Birmingham City FC but his passion for a multi-sports environment was always evident. Further spells at British Airways Clubs and Christ College in Brecon reignited his passion before being named as the Grounds Manager at Shrewsbury School. Now Andy finds himself at arguably one of the most used sports facilities in the UK’s education system. If it was a challenge Andy was looking for, then it is safe to say he has found one. “I don’t think I’m far off having the most amount of football, cricket and rugby matches in the whole of the UK. Last year we played host to just over 1,900 winter sports games – which is a lot especially when you have to cater for that amount in such a short renovation period,” he revealed. Last year, Andy’s final cricket game was played on August 6, leaving him an incredibly short window to prepare football pitches for the first game which was played on September 7. After ‘Koro-ing off’ eight of the pitches Andy had just 28 days to ensure the pitches were playable for the opening fixtures. “Last year was hard. Fortunately, I have 100% confidence in the ICL products I use and even
TERRA SPIKE™ AERATORS
VISIT WIEDENMANN.CO.UK OR CALL 0141 814 3366 Follow us on Twitter @WIEDENMANNUK Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019 | 19
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Although there are other manufacturers making waves in the equipment available to sharpen cylinder mowers, two British companies have been at the forefront for a number of years; Bernhard and Co in the red corner, Hunter Grinders in the blue. Which company offers the better solution for your sharpening needs? James de Havilland leads you through the advantages of each. If you think this will make choosing between a Bernhard or Hunter cylinder and bottom blade sharpening system easier then, sorry, it can’t be done. Not only are there varied types of equipment, there also differences in how both Bernhard and Hunter sell and promote what they
have to offer. As an example, Bernhard put tremendous emphasis on its system targeting those who want the very best quality of cut. Hunter says it can offer more flexibility. Whatever the case, both companies are at the ‘cutting edge’ of cylinder mower care. }
Turf Matters Forum – have your say If you fancy airing your views, want to talk shop or need some advice, why not discuss it on the Turf Matters Forum? We’ve had some great discussions on the Turf Matters website and across our social media platforms and we love hearing your views. Now you can talk about what you want, when you want, on the Turf Matters Forum. How can I take part? You need to register to use the forum. It’s a simple process that will let you post and reply across all the topics. Just go to the website address below…
www.turfmatters.co.uk/forum Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019 | 21
} IN THE RED CORNER
– PRECISION RELIEF GRINDING Bernard and Co start with a few basics, suggesting there is first a need to establish the difference between a mower operating a ‘scythe’ or ‘scissor’ cutting action. In broad outline, the scythe approach consists of a single cutting blade being
22 || Turf Turf Matters Matters || JANUARY-FEBRUARY july-august 2018 2019 22
drawn through the grass leaf tissue. The claim is that this damages fewer cells and leaves a cleaner cut. A scissors cut requires two blades; the cylinder and bottom blade need sufficient light contact along the length of the two blade edges to ‘shear’ the grass in a scissor action. Bernhard suggest a
“…It is for this reason that proper cylinder maintenance is critical to mowing fine turf. Even the most precise angles and adjustments can go awry if not maintained as the cylinder and bottom blade start to wear. THIS IS WHERE ALL THE CONTENTION… COMES INTO PLAY”
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properly precision relief ground and adjusted mower cylinder will operate with a scything action at up to 4x the efficiency of an improperly ground or misadjusted cylinder functioning as a scissors. The bottom blade and cylinder are equal partners in the cutting process, so equal consideration must be given to proper grinding and in-season maintenance of the front and top faces of the bottom blade. If the bottom blade is not sharp and true, the cylinder blades will encounter inconsistencies travelling along it. The result? An imperfect cut. It is for this reason that proper cylinder maintenance is critical to mowing fine turf. Even the most precise angles and adjustments can go awry if not maintained as the cylinder and bottom blade start to wear. This is where all the contention of lapping versus spin grinding and contact versus no contact adjustment comes into play.
Without getting bogged down in detail, lapping is not compatible with a precision relief ground blade and cylinder as it swaps its action from scythe to scissor. During lapping, abrasives are used to ‘match’ a dulled cylinder and bottom blade so they can shear the grass in a scissor action. Only a regrind will restore a blade to ‘scythe’ action. For amenity users, this may be a somewhat academic point. A key aim will be to cut the grass, with the emphasis on cut, not a precision finish. For fine turf, the answer is different. A scythe cut is clean and precise. A lapped finish ‘scissor’ finish will be mixed between looking pretty clean through to crimped, bruised, torn and shredded.
IN THE BLUE CORNER All the major manufacturers of grinding equipment offer machines or accessories to allow the operator to both spin and relief grind to lesser or greater degrees of accuracy.
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“The obvious conclusion is that having a relief angle must be considered essential to warrant the extra time and expense required to manufacture the unit.” }
Hunter offer bed knife grinding plus ‘spin and relief’ operations in a single machine. Hunter suggest a spin and relief ground unit will stay sharp at least three times longer than a spin ground only unit. All major mower manufactures produce mowers with relief angles on the cylinders and bedknives. The obvious conclusion is that having a relief angle must be considered essential to warrant the extra time and expense required to manufacture the unit.
COMMON GROUND A properly sharpened cylinder mower honed to
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perfection with either a Bernard or Hunter grinder will offer a range of benefits besides doing a better job. These can include:
• Less wear and tear on bearings • Less strain on hydraulics • Improved fuel consumption
Spin grind only
• Extended life of bedknives • Extended life of cylinders.
Spin and relief Direction of cylinder rotation
Direction of cylinder rotation
Spin ground land – no angle
Face of cylinder blade with 0° relief angle
Typical relief angle 15° to 45°
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BTME is upon us once again and we will have the unique opportunity of combining excellent professional development and networking while enjoying all that Harrogate has to offer. BTME 2019 will feature over 250 hours of education including the Turf Managers’ Conference, over 150 exhibitors showcasing the latest products and innovations plus unrivalled networking opportunities. Last year’s exhibition saw nearly 9,000 turf managers, golf club owners, managers and industry decisionmakers pack into the Harrogate Convention Centre.
Continue to Learn at BTME 2019 takes place from Sunday 20–Wednesday 23 January 2019. Opening times for BTME 2019: Tuesday 22 January 9am–5pm Wednesday 23 January 9am–5pm Thursday 24 January 9am–2.30pm Who to see at BTME and exhibitor list – see pages 28-39
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BTME’19 WHO TO LOOK OUT FOR…
Acumen ClearWater Acumen Clearwater acquired Highspeed in 2017 showcased their new products at BTME for the very first time in 1995. The company planned entering the turf maintenance sector, so BTME seemed the logical solution. Results from that first attendance 24 years ago exceeded expectations, generating excellent business. Every year the company exhibited at BTME and on each occasion new customers
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were found. Over the years at BTME, many products and services, legislative driven, were introduced. Initially, waste management services were established with hundreds of golf clubs and others in turf management. Fuel and oil tanks were in great demand when new legislation was introduced and a range of tanks were exhibited. Workwear and PPE followed but the biggest launch was that of the ClearWater washpad water recycling system in January 2003. Highspeed’s directors decided a few years ago to consider retirement and sell the business. They felt it necessary to find the right company, preferably operating in the waste management sector, to
develop the work and build on achievements. ClearWater was seen to have great potential. In Spring 2017, Acumen Waste Services Ltd acquired the company declaring a commitment to the development of wellestablished ClearWater. and a separate ClearWater Division, led by General Manager Matthew Mears, was set up. Visit Acumen ClearWater at BTME, Stand 206 Red Zone.
lAmazone Amazone’s Profihopper out-front cutting deck, with its SmartCut fine flail rotor, is renowned for its year-round
mowing, mulching, collecting or scarifying abilities in both long and short grass. The simple, tool-less blade change means that it can go from fine turf mowing to rough cutting or scarifying in minutes and the PowerCompactor auger system crams the cuttings in to make frequent emptying a thing of the past. The new Profihopper PH1250 SmartLine certainly looks the part with its new smart grey livery. However, under that bright new exterior lies a new hydrostatic drive line, better wear protection in and around both the cutting deck and the auger feed system, improved access for maintenance, new instrumentation, new ergonomic driver controls, work lighting, cup holder, this list goes on and on…. and you can see the new PH 1250
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BTME’19 WHO TO LOOK OUT FOR… SmartLine along with the rest of the Amazone Groundcare range on Stand live at BTME 2019. lApex Apex In the industry compaction on greens has always been a problem and there have been many machines and technologies developed over the years to try and combat this. Using compressed air is not a new idea but the Apex GeoInjector allows maximum aeration and decompaction with minimal disruption. We don’t just scratch the surface, the solution is deeper than that! The process is completed in one motion with just a single probe. We penetrate the soil beyond the root zone to a depth of one metre and then 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. Terramol is a harmless organic natural clay based product that gives soil a loose structure allowing air and moisture into the root system, while helping to maintain moisture. The process is completed with minimal disruption to the greens surface and in most cases can be played on, on completion of the injection. An “average” size green of approximately 300 m2 takes us as little as five hours to complete. Decompaction without disruption. Aeration without aggravation!
Recent injection projects include: football pitches, golf greens, racecourses, local parks and public spaces. Come and see us at stand 276. Aquatrols Aquatrols is the world leader in the development of cutting-edge soil surfactants and other speciality technologies that optimise soil : water : plant interactions and enhance the health of the growing environment in the sports turf, agricultural and horticultural markets. In addition to the premium surfactants range and with the completion of the acquisition of Farmura Ltd in January 2018, Aquatrols has been able to build on the extensive organic expertise that the company inherited. Backed
by R&D and investment with STRI and other global research organisations, 2018 saw the launch of Aquavita Technology. This highly refined bio-extraction process is the first of its kind in the UK market and has already been introduced commercially in the new surfactant Zipline. At BTME 2019, Aquatrols will showcase this new technology and will also officially launch their advanced bio-nutritional product, Attain containing Aquavita technology. Industry professionals will be able to discuss the difference between the old organic product, the existing products on the market and understand how this new technology differs by improving soil health and maximising soil efficiencies. }
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BTME’19 WHO TO LOOK OUT FOR… pitches and lawns producing the enviable ‘Dennis Stripes’ while a powerful vacuum flow collects debris quickly and efficiently.
Dennis and SISIS Dennis and SISIS will be heading to Harrogate and BTME 2019 on their new stand -located in the red zone on Stand 247. By visiting the stand, greenkeepers, Course Managers and Turf Managers responsible for a wide range of various sports surfaces will get the opportunity to find out how the SISIS Rotorake TM1000, the Dennis FT510 and the exciting new Dennis PRO 34R could have a significant impact on the way they manage their turf. The SISIS Rotorake TM1000 is a tractor mounted heavy duty scarifier and linear aerator and is un-rivalled when it comes to removing and controlling thatch. It includes a collector box and floating unit to follow ground contours. Its contrarotating reel throws debris forward ensuring a clean, consistent groove resulting in an excellent finish when the time comes to scarify. When it comes to all areas of fine turf, the Dennis FT510 professional mower, has for many years, been celebrated for its top performance and durability. With a 51cm working width, the FT510 provides its user with comfort, flexibility and excellent presentation. The PRO 34R was the machine that everyone was waiting in anticipation for – and now it is here. Officially launched last November, this 34” rotary mower has been designed to help turf managers achieve an aesthetically pleasing appearance and desired playing surface. The mower is ideal for sports
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Ecosol Turfcare Ecosol Turfcare Stand 265 Red Zone will be exhibiting the legendary Drill n Fill and Graden aerators. The Drill n Fill introduces a series of vertical drainage channels to a depth of 310mm which help water percolate off the grass surface and backfills with sand and soil amendment. It is unrivalled for improving compaction, surface drainage, rootzone and grass growth. Turf can be back in play rapidly afterwards. The Graden is a linear aerator which rips through thatch and injects sand into horizontal grooves up to 40mm deep. Our knowledgeable staff will be on hand to answer your questions.
GKB Machines GKB Machines have taken a larger stand in one of the new halls to display more of their machinery range. The new Topair 120 being introduced at the show is based on the popular Topair 160 model, offering a smaller machine for use on the golf course with compact tractors. A robust and reliable combined aerator/ roller its GKB developed Evolvente blades minimise upper layer disturbance to leave a smooth, levelled finish when used in conjunction with the water-filled roller. In areas on the golf course where surface water and moss formation are a problem,
the GKB Sandfiller goes to work offering a fast solution for drainage and intensive aeration. Meeting top dressing requirements for golf courses and all types of sports pitch the GKB SP100 Spreader has been developed on the back of the success of GKB’s trailed versions and to meet customer needs with easy mounting onto turf trucks, such as the John Deere Gator and Toro Workman. The GKB Combiseeder offers a fast, efficient way of seeding and surface aerating with virtually no surface disturbance. Creating over 1500 holes per m² the Combiseeder provides accurate seed application at various rates to suit different seed mixes, with drag brushes to incorporate seed and topdressing. The latest GKB Vstrong improves on already proven technology to offer the professional a robust and reliable scarifying machine that swiftly deals with the problem with the minimum waste flow. GKB Machines at BTME Hall:Purple; Stand: 406.
ICL ICL, who can be found at Stand 426 in the Purple Zone, will be showcasing a range of new products and innovative technologies. Visitors to the stand can learn about the new and improved range of ProSelect grass seed mixtures which are ideal for golf courses, sports fields, turf growers and landscape contractors. Torsion TRT, the unique turf repairing tiller perennial ryegrass or Riptide, the UK’s No.1 ranked creeping bent are just some of the outstanding developments in the portfolio
which can be seen at this year’s BTME. Visitors will also get the opportunity to discover what new qualifying products and rewards will be added to the Turf Rewards loyalty scheme in 2019. The ICL barista team will be on hand to provide refreshments on the stand so if you would like to talk about products, projects or turf and landscape management in general then make sure that a visit to Stand 426 is on your agenda.
John Deere Featuring the same advanced technology as John Deere’s award-winning A Model family of fairway, rough and trim & surrounds mowers, the new 6000A Series PrecisionCut fairway machines will be launched at the Show and will be available from UK and Irish dealers in the spring. Based on a threewheel drive, smooth tyre configuration, the 6080A, 6500A and 6700A five-gang cylinder models have been introduced to meet a specific customer need for improved budget control, while still delivering a mower designed for the rigours of fairway applications. All three models utilise a powerful 24.7hp (18.4kW) diesel engine, and boast several other premium performance and comfort features. Just like the existing John Deere A Model range, these latest mowers offer exceptional cut quality, even on slopes, thanks to the standard LoadMatch system, while the innovative eHydro transmission eliminates linkages between the foot pedals and the
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BTME’19 WHO TO LOOK OUT FOR… hydrostatic pump. Cutting widths are 2.03m on the 6080A and 2.54m on the 6500A and 6700A, with a choice of 46 or 56cm QA5 5in or QA7 7in diameter cutting units depending on the model. As with all A Model machines, the new fairway mowers also feature the innovative TechControl display with password-protected controls.
Kioti Kioti compact tractors for Golf is the speciality of the Kioti range. The main product on the Kioti stand 252 at BTMEthis year is the DK6010CH.
This 3 range twin pedal hydrostatic model offers the operator excellent visibility and a high level of comfort and practical performance. The luxury cabin is obviously standard with air conditioning and heater but what is not fully appreciated until it has been used and inspected is the amount of space that the layout of the levers and controls and flat floor of the drivers platform provide compared to other makes. A whole range of specialist turf wheels are available from Kioti ensuring that the tractor can do the jobs that you are looking to do whilst protecting the turf. Also o show will be the still new Mechron 2400, CS2610 Sub compact tractor, CK3310H tractor with cabin and WD1260 cut and collect.
Limagrain UK Limagrain UK’s stand 140, is located in the Blue Zone, and visitors can expect a range of market leading products that can significantly improve both the quality and aesthetics of a golf course. Seed quality, purity and vigour are the essential ingredients of a first-class golf course and Limagrain’s MM range of seed mixture provides exactly these. 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. Where it is difficult to maintain fescue in the sward or where levels of wear are greater, many choose to use MM9. For links style courses, sustainable golf or for early season overseeding, MM8 may well be the solution. If you are looking for a mixture ideal for tees then the all ryegrass MM50 should be considered. It is capable of rapid establishment and fast recovery from divot scarring. For large tees where play is less intense, MM22 is a viable option. Where damage and wear are minimal, use MM12 or MM13, both are suited to ‘Links style’ courses, are drought tolerant and have low maintenance requirements. For fairways, adaptability is the key attribute because soil conditions, light and shade, contouring and wear will vary }
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BTME’19 WHO TO LOOK OUT FOR… }
markedly in different areas of the course. Choose low maintenance, drought tolerant mixtures with creeping varieties where wear levels are low, such as MM12 or MM13 and select ryegrass mixes, such as MM22, on high divot or intense wear areas. Visitors to the stand can also find out how Limagrain’s Wild Flower and Colour Splash mixtures have been benefitting countless golf courses throughout the UK and beyond.
Pitchmark Pitchmark customers and visitors to BTME are in for a major surprise in January 2019, with the company, making a landmark announcement at the show. A family-run business founded in 2010, Pitchmark has built an unrivalled reputation with a vision of raising the standard of line marking and improving the quality of working life for groundstaff. The company has created an industry platform with the manufacture and supply of a complete range of high quality marking paints, machines and accessories, for any sport and any surface. There have been many other important landmarks along the way including supplying all the stadia at FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 and Euro 2016 France. Pitchmark line marking paint was also used to mark the pitch at the Principality Stadium for the Champions League Final 2017. The company launched the innovative new Hybrid line marker at SALTEX 2017, while 2018 saw rapid expansion. Pitchmark’s Chairman, Mark Rodman has over 30 32 | Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019
years of experience in the horticultural and amenity sector and leads a highly experienced specialist team which has given them the understanding into what groundsmen want, enabling them to be both proactive and reactive in delivering the best products and our knowledge. They are expanding on that platform with exciting new developments to be launched at Harrogate. The theme is: ‘Your Turf. Our Passion’. with all being revealed on the opening morning of the show at stand 137 in the blue zone.
Price Turfcare Price Turfcare is returning to BTME for the third time to where the company was officially launched in 2017. Managing Director Rupert Price has experienced an unbelievable couple of years since we launched the business and has no idea where the time has gone. It’s been a whirlwind of demonstrations, roadshows and exhibitions to get the Ventrac and Ryan brands out in front of the UK turf industry. It’s been very hard work, probably harder than I envisaged, but it’s definitely paying off. Ventrac was virtually invisible in the UK before 2017, now it is established it as a credible brand. So much so, that some of their early customers, such as Peter Pattenden at Carden Park and Chris Brook at The Club Company, have come back to order more machines and additional accessories. Price Turfcare have proved that the Ventrac is an extremely versatile machine, with many applications for
golf course management. As well as golf customers, machines are going into major sports facilities, to large landscape contractors, rental companies and to some private buyers with large estates. The addition of the Ryan franchise in 2018 has also given us a boost and the result is that we have an eclectic mix of turf maintenance machinery to suit any organisation, small or large. Come and visit us on stand 450 in the Purple Area.
Rigby Taylor Rigby Taylor will be making a major golf industry announcement at BTME to herald the start of a year of celebrations for the company’s 100-year anniversary. While details of the exciting initiative in conjunction with BTME organiser BIGGA will be released at the show, there is a host of additional reasons why greenkeepers should make a bee-line for Rigby Taylor’s expansive stand (stand 424, Purple Zone), including the launch of a specially formulated range of early season fertilisers, the 2019 grass seed mixtures and the company’s ‘Active Planning’ turf disease prevention programmes. Rigby Taylor will also be launching a website for its Euroflor urban meadow flower products (www.euroflor.co.uk), and further announcements will be made on the company’s involvement in the irrigation market. In addition, a golf simulator ‘nearest the pin’ competition will be staged on every day of the show, in support of the trade charity Perennial.
True-Surface True-Surface by Turfline will be returning to BTME with their wide range of turf management equipment. You will find them Located in the Red Zone at Stand 248A showcasing their patented line of Greens Care Collection as well as our industries only patented Selectable Vibratory Greens Roller. While you are at True-Surface’s stand a trained professional will be able to help answer your turf questions while showing you which product will help with your current situation. Their True-Surface Flex Brush will help stand the grass up in front of the cutting heads for a more precise cut while helping disperse topdressing for longer blade life. Their True-Surface Vibe V Roller will be able to give you a truer green while helping promote healthier grass and reduced dollar spots. Or if you’re looking for a VertiCutter, Aerator, Groomer, etc. check out their Greens Care Collection. One stop has it all.
Reesink Turfcare The TYM T393 has been chosen by distributor Reesink Turfcare to headline its TYM tractors stand at BTME because of its perfect positioning to bridge the gap in the TYM line up, from the compact utility range into the mid-duty range. A 39hp Yanmar engine, }
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BTME’19 WHO TO LOOK OUT FOR… }
two transmission options: 12x12 speed manual with dash mounted shuttle lever or a three range HST transmission, and the highest lift capabilities in its class at 1200kg, means productivity is at the fore of the T393’s design. It has one of the highest hydraulic flow rates with a maximum output of 42 litres per minute, making it suitable for use with a wide range of hydraulically driven attachments. The cab features wide opening doors which allows for easy access on and off the tractor and, unlike larger models, there is no intrusive B-post on the tractor to hinder visibility. Also on stand will be two of 1st Products’ rear-mounted tractor attachments: the AERA-
Vator and the VC Verti-Cutter. A complementary fit with TYM, this newly introduced capsule range increases the options customers get from their tractor. Completing the line-up is the popular heavy-duty T503, renowned for being more than capable for all tractorbased applications on the golf course.
Ultra Soil Solutions Ltd As part of Ultra Soil Solutions Ltd development, we are proud to have been
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appointed UK distributors for ALN organic products, which we will be launching at the Show (stand 240 RED). The company are continually working to provide our customers with solutions in an increasingly difficult market. With traditional chemicals being withdrawn from sale, sports turf managers are in need of cost effective, readily available and environmentally friendly alternatives. Andy Church, Managing Director, is of the belief that with all of their products it is their loyal customers who tell them how effective they are. Having now had the range tested by greenkeepers and groundsman who already use our market leading GYP-FLO liquid gypsum, the “Renovation” range is proving to be a very cost effective nutritional input programme that can also offer real advances in pest and disease control. Our “Natur Engorde” has been used to produce playing surfaces to the highest standard, as seen in this picture. In addition to Natur Engorde, our new Sekacit, Sekamosa and Tuta liquid organic products are specifically formulated to increase the plants resistance to fungal and pest infestation.
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To find out more contact Marie Anderson
Email: email@example.com Telephone: 07841 927500 34 | Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019
Velvit Ltd Velvit Ltd will be promoting Velvit Ltd. (a range of professional fertilisers, biostimulants and wetting agents) on a much larger stage this year, joined for the first time by Velvit’s parent company GreenBest Ltd. GreenBest is a longstanding manufacturer of fertilisers, biostimulants and wetting
agents, providing customised formulations, own brand packaging and a very flexible service for its customers; of which over 40% (by sales value) are international. Every product GreenBest manufactures is made to order, ensuring you will always get exactly the product you need. Velvit is a complete range of professional turf care products – ready to go! Available from distributors nationwide. Come and speak to us to find out more about Velvit products, how they can help you, where to buy them, or about becoming a Velvit distributor. You can’t miss Velvit and GreenBest on stand 138, next to the tea and coffee point, so make sure you come and see us and check out all the ways we can help you or your business.
Wiedenmann UK Wiedenmann UK’s popular rough management duo, the Super 500 and the Terra Rake, give Wiedenmann Terra Spikes a run for their money when it comes to greenkeepers’ wish list kit. Fortunately all three machines will be well represented on stand Red 218 at BTME 2019. For rough management, it’s the combination of time saved plus their unrivalled versatility that makes them so popular. If you have ‘traditional ridge and furrow’ undulations the Super 500 follows contours easily without scalping and produces a consistent height of cut, whether scarifying or flail mowing. It also is a very thorough leaf collector. The Terra Rake will work in tandem. It scarifies, pulls out }
BTME’19 WHO TO LOOK OUT FOR AND EXHIBITOR LIST } thatch and can help us
with a long list of other tasks. With 11 separate Terra Spikes it’s the class leading Terra Spike GXi8 HD that will get the nod for Harrogate. Superfast, efficient and precise the 1.8 m wide GXi8 HD can potentially access all areas at depths to 250 mm. Look out, too, for the Terra Float Air pneumatic seeder and the 230* swivelling Mega Twister blower. It’s a great opportunity to see these up close and appreciate the simplicity and excellence of their German engineering.
Foley United Foley United, represented by UK distributor ProSport UK Ltd, will be demonstrating the ideal grinding combination for a fully automated workshop in Red Hall, Stand 248B, with the AccuPro 633 with AccuTouch 3 Control and 673 bedknife grinders. This professional grinding duo provides top quality cylinder and bedknife grinding, featuring built-in grinding programmes for a quick and accurate OEM grind. The fully automatic grinding process on both machines allows users to do other tasks while the Foley grinders are activated, saving time, money and man-hours. The latest company to utilise this combination is GGM Groundscare. The Lancashire based company needed to add
grinders to their operation to match a growing franchise and Managing Director, Chris Gibson, looked to the automation and accuracy of Foley United as the solution. “We are Baroness dealers and our sales area has recently been extended to cover North and West Yorkshire,” explained Chris. “In line with the growth of this franchise we wanted to invest in the right grinders to make sure we had the best support available for customers and that’s why we got the Foley AccuPro 633 cylinder and 673 bedknife grinders. “The automation was an important factor because we want to provide our customers with consistent and reliable results. We can do that with the preset programmes and give them a very accurate idea of how long grinding will take, and that’s something that benefits us from a planning perspective as much as the customer.” The two grinders used by GGM are only two of the Foley range of Relief, Spin and Bedknife machines that have been specifically designed to meet any budget. Sherriff Amenity Visitors to the Sherriff Amenity stand (110), located in the Blue Zone, will be able to find out more about the award winning PrecisionPro app,
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which scooped the SALTEX 2018 Innovation of the Year Award. PrecisionPro, is a dedicated app for sports turf to measure any area, guide the operator in calibrating a spreader for any granular product and also help apply fertilisers accurately. It was created due to the common issue of turf managers misjudging green/sport surface size which often results in problems such as over applying or under applying fertilisers - both of which can have a negative effect on turf performance, disease and budget. Sherriff Amenity’s all new Plant Bio-Stimulant Guide, which will be available to pick up on the stand, seeks to explain the term ‘Plant Bio-stimulant’ and explores the activity of an extensive range of plant bio-stimulants, along with their specific claims and intended area of influence. The guide also includes a table of bio-stimulants, indicating their main benefits and specialisation. The Sherriff Amenity technical team will be out in force and will be on hand to offer advice on all things turf. The stand will also feature a coffee barista so why not visit stand 110 in the Blue Zone, have a coffee and find out just how Sherriff Amenity can make a difference to the way you manage your turf.
2CL Communications Ltd
Advance Grass Solutions (AGS)
AFT Trenchers Ltd
Air-Seal Products Ltd
Apex Soil Solutions Ltd
Aqua Aid Europe
Aquarille Consultancy Services
Aquatrols Europe Ltd
Askham Bryan College
Barcham Trees Plc
Belchim Crop Protection Ltd
Belrobotics on Automated Managed Services Stand
Bernhard and Company Better Billy Bunker
BIGGA – British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association
Border Sports Services Ltd
British Sugar TOPSOIL Bunkermat by Whitemoss Specialist Products Campey Turf Care Systems
Cleveland Sprayers Ltd
Compo Expert UK Ltd
County Sport Surfaces
County Turf Ltd
D & S Factors Ltd
Dar Golf Construction Ltd
*Exhibitor listing information correct at time of going to press, but is subject to late change
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BTMEâ€™19 EXHIBITOR LIST Exhibitor
Dennis & Sisis
DLF & Johnsons Sport Seed
Grillo Agrigarden Ltd
E C Hopkins Ltd
Groundsman Industries Ltd
Headland Amenity Ltd
Ernest Doe & Sons Ltd
Hurrells & McLean Seeds Ltd
Fleet Line Markers
Foley United/True Surface
G S Sport
Hydro App Systems
GBR Technology Limited
Institute of Groundsmanship
ISEKI UK & Ireland
Golf Car UK
Golf Club Managers Association
KAR UK Ltd
Greenacres Artificial Grass
Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019 | 37
BTMEâ€™19 EXHIBITOR LIST Exhibitor
Myerscough College and University Centre
Kubota (UK) Ltd
Oilean Glas Teo
One Ash Training Ltd
Otterbine on Reesink Turfcare stand
Lloyds & Hunter Grinders
Plant Food Company Inc
Rain Bird Europe
LS Systems M H Goals Ltd Mansfield Sand Company Limited Martin Lishman Ltd
Rigby Taylor Ltd
Merrist Wood College
Sheltons Sportsturf Drainage Ltd
MTD Speciality Turf Products
MJ Abbott Ltd
Soil Biology Ltd
Mumby Machinery Ltd
38 | Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019
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BTMEâ€™19 EXHIBITOR LIST Exhibitor
Trilo (Vanmac Ltd)
Trimax Mowing Systems
SRC Group SRUC Elmwood
Tru-Turf / Double A
True Surface/Foley United
Turf Machinery Spares
Sustane Natural Fertiliser
Ultra Soil Solutions Ltd
Valagro UK Ltd
Talbot Sports Turf Installations Tarmac Topsport Team Sprayers Textron Golf
Verde Sports Ltd
The Golf Business
W. L. Gore & Associates (UK) Ltd
The Grass Group
Waste2Water Europe Ltd
Wiedenmann UK Ltd
Thorntrees Amenity Ltd Tillers Turf
Wildflower Turf Ltd
Toro Commercial on Reesink Turfcare stand
Toro Irrigation on Reesink Turfcare stand
Yamaha Motor Europe
Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019 | 39
Prepare to be flexible when managing disease
While spring seems far away, BASIS amenity trainer and STRI Research Operations Manager Christian Spring encourages greenkeepers to plan ahead to help prepare for disease peaks as temperatures change. But take a flexible approach: disease-inducing weather conditions, such as prolonged mild and damp weather or extended snow, are becoming more commonâ€Ś 40 | Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019
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Microdochium patch disease
In any growing system, whether it be sports turf, edible crops or ornamentals, coping with prevailing weather conditions, and their unpredictability is a key challenge. There’s nothing you can do to change them, but if you’re prepared, you can mitigate against them. Greenkeepers have had their own set of hurdles, with 2018’s long, hot summer resulting in stressed turf at the start to the disease season for many. Continued mild conditions through the autumn encouraged pathogen growth, so by the time we reach the New Year, the turf is likely to have taken a bashing. There’s also a high chance turfgrass won’t be actively growing at this time of year, so the plant may not
recover from disease damage until the spring, when temperatures rise, and growth restarts. Therefore, the options to tackle disease during the winter months are more limited. It’s always preferable to take a preventative, integrated approach to managing outbreaks, considering cultural and biological practices, rather than relying on fungicidal options alone. This helps to minimise the risk of fungicide resistance and reduce threats to the environment and gets the best possible results from fungicide application. Cultural options such as dew removal and appropriate nutritional inputs can be employed to harden the grass-plant and improve its health
at this late stage. Some fungicides can still be used, but it’s important to check the label, to ensure the product is effective at controlling the disease when grass is less active, as the choice will be more limited. Regularly checking the forecast will help to predict disease pressure, allowing an informed decision to be made as to whether a preventative fungicide application is required, ahead of mild, damp conditions. Weather monitoring is especially important when snowfall may be on the horizon, as a prolonged covering can bring on the potentially devastating ‘snow mould’. The blanket of snow acts as an insulating layer, creating a relatively mild and damp environment } Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019 | 41
“To reduce the chance of lying water on playing surfaces, which not only impacts on play, but also increases disease risk, I’d recommend using an appropriate wetting agent.”
BASIS training at the STRI
} for disease pathogens to thrive, where nobody can see the damage being done until it’s too late. If the snow is only due to be on the ground for a short time, then it’s recommended to leave it alone, as removal can physically damage the turf. However, if it’s set to stay for more than a week, then a preventative fungicide
42 | Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019
application prior to snow fall can limit the chance of a disease outbreak. With January typically being a wet month for many locations around the UK, the ground is often saturated, and opportunities for renovation are few and far between. But there is a variety of ways that greenkeepers can make the
most of this quieter period and still have a positive effect on turf health and disease incidence. To reduce the chance of lying water on playing surfaces, which not only impacts on play, but also increases disease risk, I’d recommend using an appropriate wetting agent, to quickly move water from the surface, deeper
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Top up your knowledge this winter The quiet winter season is an excellent opportunity for greenkeepers to hone their skills and top up their knowledge by attending a training course, which will help with summer preparations. The BASIS Foundation Award in Amenity Horticulture is tailored to individuals working in the sports turf sector, looking to understand more about Integrated Pest Management and plant protection products, how they work and why they are needed, as well as alternative options and best practice. Modules include: • Professional pesticides • Application of pesticides • Protecting people, animals and the environment • Weed control • Disease control • Pest control. The training course is followed by an exam paper consisting of 40 multiple choice questions and three short answer questions. Upon completion of the exam, candidates will be added to the BASIS Professional Register as Associate members and will need to complete CPD (Continued Professional Development) tasks to update their knowledge and retain membership. For more information, visit www.basis-reg.co.uk or call 01335 343945.
into the soil and into a drainage system. Good dew management will also help to create a hostile environment for disease pathogens. Daily switching or brushing will assist with this, or alternatively, you could consider a dew dispersant agent. If you can get machinery onto the turf without excess damage, then the winter
is a great opportunity for improving drainage systems and repairing bunkers following a busy playing season. Then, as the weather improves, and spring draws closer, start considering renovations such as top dressing and aeration. A small application of fertiliser could also help to get the grass actively growing, before the course gets busy.
“If snow is only due to be on the ground for a short time, then leave it alone.” Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019 | 43
Groundsman of the Year
2018 IOG Groundsman of the Year Gary Barwell spoke exclusively to Turf Matters Editor, Scott MacCallum, and covered everything from the perfect pitch, Ashes Tests, what keeps him awake at night and influences on his career.
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Gary Barwell thought he’d landed on his feet when his work experience assignment took him to the home of his heroes – Filbert Street. A huge Leicester City fan, Gary spent two days in the shop, two days in the ticket office, two days with the maintenance team and then spent two days with the Grounds staff. “I absolutely loved it. Everyone was great with me. I was in awe of the place and I was taken under the wing of Steve Walsh and Steve Green, who were impressed that I was asking good questions and was passionate,” recalled Gary. With another spell of work experience due, Gary asked if he could return to Leicester City. However, he was told that he couldn’t go back to the same place but that instead he could join the grounds team at Leicestershire County Cricket Club. It was while there that Gary determined what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. It was therefore fitting, and incredibly poignant, that, nearly two decades on and just a few minutes before being named as Groundsman of the Year, Gary was among a room full of groundsmen who stood to honour John Ledwidge and his Leicester City Grounds team. They were on stage to receive the IOG Football Grounds Team of the Year, just three days after the tragic helicopter crash which claimed the lives of the Leicester City owner and four other victims. For all those lucky enough to be there it was a moment to remember, with a combination of sadness and pride. The IOG Awards in Birmingham had already been memorable for Gary and his Edgbaston team as, earlier in the evening, they had been announced as } Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019 | 45
Groundsman of the Year
“Everything that I do, when it comes to setting goals, is about the team, and that’s the big Edgbaston team I’m talking about. It is a fantastic place to work and we all pull together.” } the Headland Amenity Professional
Gary Barwell, left, collects his award
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Cricket Grounds Team of the Year. Head Groundsman, Gary, was already reflecting on what a wonderful year it had been when his name was announced as Groundsman of the Year. Gary’s double triumph matched that of Vic Demain, of Durham County Cricket Club, the year before. Vic had been the first cricket recipient of the Award and Gary was delighted to keep cricket’s light shining brightly. “I didn’t really give the Groundsman of the Year Award a second thought because there were so many people whom I admired and respected in the room that I didn’t think of myself as a contender. It meant, when my name was read out, I was a little bit perplexed,” Gary told Turf Matters, after he’d had time to return home and reflect. In many ways, it was the Team prize, for which the guys knew they’d been shortlisted – alongside Fenner’s, Cambridge University – before turning up for the dinner, that makes Gary more proud. “Everything that I do, when it comes to setting goals, is about the team, and that’s the big Edgbaston team I’m talking about. It is a fantastic place to work and we all pull together. When the guys won the award the Warwickshire players were sending messages of support. Our Director of Cricket, Ashley Giles, was in the States when the announcement were
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made but I got a message from him at 5am saying well done,” said Gary. “Also, one of the nicest things for me this year was when the team clinched Division Two of the County Championship in the last game of the season. Ash and the Chairman came out and said that they wanted me and the guys in the team photo. Not everyone gets that but that’s exactly how it should be. We are all cogs of varying sizes in the wheel, but we are all needed to make it work effectively. We have the same goal,” he revealed. Edgbaston has a huge year ahead in 2019, which we will come to shortly, but the IOG Awards came as a result of the great work carried out in 2018. What was it, he thinks, that marked out Gary and his team for the year just past? “I think, along with others, we have always delivered on the biggest stage. Some of the comments we heard or read on Twitter said that the pitch we prepared for the India Test match in August – England’s 1000th Test Match – was one of the best pitches they’d seen for a Test match. We do have high profile games at Edgbaston, including T20 Finals day, which helps us to be recognised if we’ve done a good job. We also try to be innovative, for example, we’ve put in a hybrid pitch on a square – the first in the world. It’s still to be used but we’re
confident it will be an asset. We also try to treat every game, whether it be a friendly, an under 18s, a second or a first team game, as though it’s a Test match. We try to deliver every time.” Gary moved to Edgbaston in the winter of 2011, arriving from Trent Bridge where he had been Deputy to Steve Birks. He’d started his career, at the ground which had been his second choice for his second work experience – Grace Road, in Leicester. Having determined that was the career he wanted to have he’d been taken on to the ground staff. If anything, the passion which he displayed while on work experience at Filbert Street and which became imbedded at Grace Road has only grown over time, and speaking with Gary you appreciate just what he brings to any job he tackles. His down-to-earth, open manner can’t disguise a drive to excel and the pride in his own and his team’s work does not come over as anything other than completely natural. “Someone asked me the other day – a groundsman – what was the perfect pitch. The obvious answer is one which offers loads of runs for a one day game and, for a four or five day game, one which starts with a bit for the bowlers for a couple of hours, then flattens out for two or three days before the spinners come into the game. That’s the
idealistic position. For me the perfect pitch is the best pitch you can achieve in the circumstances you are given. If you’ve got 17 days to prepare a pitch with lovely sunshine and good grass coverage I should be able to get as good a pitch as it is possible to achieve. If I’ve got a four day Championship match finishing two days before a Test match there might be an element of it doing a bit more with the ball, or it might be too flat. But it would be the best pitch I could produce in the situation I was given,” explained Gary. There will be no resting on laurels for Gary and his team with a year ahead which could either have him licking his chops or seeking out the nearest darkened room. Gary is salivating. “It will probably be our hardest year ever. To put it in perspective in a normal year we’ll have one Test Match; one One Day International – either a Twenty20 or a 50 over match; T20 Finals Day as well as our County Matches. In 2019 we’ve got an Ashes Test, the biggest series out there, and it’s the First Test too; we’ve got five One Day Internationals (the World Cup is played in England this summer); we have T20 Finals Day, as well as all our domestic games,” explained Gary, who does admit to feeling additional pressure as England generally play well at Edgbaston and there is a feeling of it being a fortress. } Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019 | 47
Groundsman of the Year
Gary and his awardwinning Warwickshire CCC grounds team
It is not undervaluing the other key dates in the Edgbaston, but it is that First Test, and in particular the first morning of that First Test, which is concentrating the Barwell brain and he is happy to reveal that. in his mind. it will be the biggest pitch he will have prepped. “On that first morning and with Jimmy Anderson about to deliver the first ball, I will be feeling physically sick – really nervous. “The thing about me is that when you meet me, or know me, you’ll know I’m always chatty, I always want to get a room talking and everyone involved. On a Test Match morning I’m quiet and within myself, focussed. I can’t do anything at that point but I’m focussed. If you were one of my closest friends you’d say that Gaz isn’t his usual self. I’m nervous because I know what’s at stake. If it goes badly the club could lose Test Match status and we would lose revenue. That means job cuts, and not just mine! As the days go on and the pitch is playing well I become more relaxed and proud of the team. I tell them to enjoy it.” The question that I often ask many high profile groundsmen or greenkeepers is “What gives you sleepless nights?” Gary’s answer
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“What does it mean to me? Immense pride. It is also emotional as my dad, Jim, isn’t very well at the moment and it means a lot that he has seen me achieve this. An old school dad, always there, driving me to football matches, never criticising, always encouraging.” is, without wishing to sound too much ‘On the Psychiatrist’s Couch’, quite revealing and a bit of a window into his soul. “I suppose rain…” He stops himself and then says. “Three things actually. Rain, upsetting people and people thinking bad of me. That bothers me.” Another interesting answer comes from the question “Who have been your biggest influences?” “Steve Birks at Trent Bridge probably, but I look at influences as in people who have changed your life path. So, my grandfather, Sam. I was only 15 when he died but everyone tells me I am him. I have a cobble stone on my desk which he
used to weigh down his note to the milkman each morning. I remember him mowing the lawn with his push mower and that may have had an influence. My mum and dad taught be about working hard, while my wife, Claire is the rock behind me. Our children Evie, 12, and Meghan, 9, are so happy because she’s so good with them. All are influences on me.” We’re on a real roll now – good answer, after good answer! Let’s go for another. “What does being Groundsman of the Year mean to you?” “What does it mean to me? Immense pride. It is also emotional as my dad, Jim, isn’t very well at the moment and it means a lot that he has seen me
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“For me the perfect pitch is the best pitch you can achieve in the circumstances you are given.”
achieve this. An old school dad, always there, driving me to football matches, never criticising, always encouraging. At the last Ashes match we had he was sitting watching from the tunnel and loved it. Being announced Groundsman of the Year also brought home how all the sacrifices, a poor work balance and not seeing my children as much as I should have done, was worth it. Also receiving the award in an industry which I believe is as strong as it’s ever been and in front
of people I respect so much. Keith Kent sent me some lovely messages, Neil Stubley, Tony Sinclair, Jonathan Calderwood. To think that people class me at that level is pretty humbling.” Gary is still a huge fan of Leicester City – he can’t believe that he’s watched them play in the Champions’ League – but, while he might not be the one to admit it, reaching the top of his profession wasn’t quite the enormous surprise than the one that his beloved football team produced in
2016. And it would be fair to say that he will continue to maintain his level of excellence a little longer as well. Before closing the interview Gary made sure that we name checked the rest of the team. Deputy, Mark Johnston; his son Brandon Johnston; Ben Smith; Dave Keen; Martin Porter; summer staff man Jack Tombs and the satellite ground crew, Rob Frankin and Jonathan Blackeman. Well done all, and good luck for this year. Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019 | 49
2019 cricket groundcare awards
2019 Cricket Recognising dedication and hard work of cricket groundcare individuals – seven awards up for grabs – nominate today! Turf Matters is delighted to be linking with Cricket World® for the 2019 Cricket Groundcare Awards. The Awards have been introduced to recognise the dedication and hard work that groundcare individuals put into maintaining and producing cricket squares and outfields, for reactional clubs, schools and universities in the UK and Ireland. We also hope that they will raise the profile and awareness of ground care staff (without whom there would be no cricket) and encourage and promote the Groundcare industry. There will be seven award categories and the judging process will take into account the quality of the playing
surface, general upkeep of the ground, longevity of service ,an ‘against all odds’ and an overall Groundcare person of the Year and the winners will be invited to a special presentation at Lord’s Cricket Ground, in London. Nomination forms can be found online at the www. cricketworld.com/cricketgroundcare-awards/ and www. turfmatters.co.uk websites. All you have to do to nominate your ground care staff or individuals is to fill in the form online and it will go forward to the judging process. “Here at Turf Matters we are well aware of the dedicated work which is required to ensure that cricket is
“Together with our friends at Cricket World we believe that the spotlight should be shone on those wonderful men and women who spend endless hours ensuring pitches and outfields are fit for purpose.” 50 | Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019
possible in every village, town and city in the country. We are also well aware that often that great work is taken for granted. Together with our friends at Cricket World we believe that the spotlight should be shone on those wonderful men and women who spend endless hours ensuring pitches and outfields are fit for purpose,” said Scott MacCallum, Editor and Publisher of Turf Matters. “We are delighted to be running these Awards in association with Turf Matters. We understand the dedication and hard work that goes into preparing cricket playing facilities throughout the summer and it is nice that we can recognise their hard work and endeavours in some small way. We have previously run Awards where certain winners have also gone on from their club or school to International Cricket venues, such as Lord’s and the Emirates Riverside, and it is fantastic to see some progress and also to see others continuing to keep their club facilities in such good condition,” said Alastair Symondson, Head of Media at Cricket World.
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Aerate and survive Poor aeration is the bane of sports turf. It leads to surface puddling, compaction, poor grass growth and ultimately loss of use of the ground – which in turn upsets members. Problems relating to poor
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drainage, in particular flooding due to slow infiltration rate, can be alleviated and often cured by the Drill n Fill aerator, operated by sports turf contractor, Ecosol Turfcare. The self-powered machine
which has only a 9 psi footprint, can operate in conditions that would halt other equipment. It has a great track record for the relief of waterlogging on golf greens, meaning that clubs can keep them open all year round and improve root development and fertiliser uptake of grass plants. Golf clubs around the UK and Europe have seen the Drill n Fill’s effectiveness. Commonly greens are treated with 20mm x 310mm drills using a backfill mix of sand and Ecosolve’s own soil amendment, Sportslite. The aerator works by removing soil with the drill, allowing lateral movement within the rootzone and releasing compaction pressure. Deep penetration breaks through sub-surface hard pans, thatch, black layer and rootzone or
subsoil interfaces. This creates greater aero-porosity. “Turf which has been dogged by slow draining surface water can be transformed. Water percolation within the rootzone improves too.” said Ecosol Technical Director Bretton King The state-of- the-art aerator’s fluted tungsten carbide drills ease into turf, folding back the grass without the further compaction-inducing impact of other systems and the turf can be put back afterwards to allow rapid healing. Holes can be backfilled with the appropriate soil amendment – sports sand, zeolitic Sportslite or a blend, to maintain the improvement. The “floating” drill head follows the playing surface ensuring consistent drilling depth which can be varied according to the exact needs of the turf. Deep
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holes encourage deep rooting and the sizes of drill channel vary from 19mm to 32mm. The Drill ‘n’ Fill puts the soil amendment directly into the rootzone. This holds open the drainage channel, giving extended duct life and facilitating nutrient exchange between the amendment and the grass roots. Playing surfaces can be fully reinstated as little as one hour after Drill n Fill work, causing minimal closure of facilities. Ecosol also operates the Deep Drill 60/18 aerator which can penetrate between 25mm and 450mm and is ideal for deep aeration and gas exchange where no backfill is required. One of the first golf courses to take up the challenge of the then new treatment was the legendary St Andrews Old Course in early 2001 where one green was under-performing and it was thought that major refurbishment works would have to take place. Deep Drill gave significant levels of rootzone extraction coupled with compaction relief. As a result, grass roots went deeper and this increased the plant’s health and natural resilience to wear and tear and the green was dramatically improved. Also part of Ecosol Turfcare’s armoury is the Graden linear aerator which rips out thatch and injects sand into grooves up to 40mm deep. Soil amendments can be incorporated. The Graden is a gentle pedestrian machine which can be used all year round and can be employed after Drill n Fill. Very compacted sports grounds, notably goal areas and centre circles can benefit from Ecosol’s Vertiquake aerator which has a set of knife blades to slice into hard ground and relieve the compaction.
New universal range of core collectors Groundsman Industries have launched a new universal range of Flexblade Core Collectors available in swath widths from 60cm up to 210cm to fit all makes of Pedestrian and Tractor Mounting Aerators including Groundsman, Toro, John Deere, Wiedenmann, Charterhouse and Sisis. The original Flexblade collection system developed by Groundsman follows the aerator closely catching the majority of the cores before they touch the ground, the remainder are scooped cleanly from the surface by a series of linked Flexblades that follow surface undulations with precision like multiple shovels for the cleanest possible collection, dumping them in a pile when the aerator is lifted out of work. The Flexblade works in all conditions, powder dry or soaking wet, saving vital time and labour, damage to the surface of the green is minimised as is overall disruption on the course. The new range of Groundsman universal collectors use the original proven Flexblade collection system. This implement was for many years only available for use on Groundsman aerators but as the reputation as a simple, low maintenance but extremely efficient method of collecting
cores grew, so did the demand for the Flexblade to fit other aerators. The new range are sporting a sleek black curved and slotted collection canopy and slotted blades. The changes are however, much more than cosmetic. The new shape adds extra strength to the canopy while reducing the overall weight by more than half. The collection blade check chains have been replaced by
robust folding check links for consistent accuracy and reliability. 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. The FLEXBLADE Collector can be supplied to fit most turf vehicles and compact tractors.
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Instant results with Imants Shockwave As the winter begins to take hold aeration becomes vital to the quality, performance and playability of a surface with the Imants ShockWave providing all three. The linear aerator from Campey Turf Care Systems has been utilised by many customers, of which Jordans Sports Ground Solutions is one. The fact that play can resume on the same day that work takes place has been a popular aspect of the machine was part of the recommendation by Campey
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Product Specialist, Ben Taylor, along with its ability to remove and prevent standing water and relieve compaction in a number of different sports pitches. Ian Jordan, Managing Director of Jordans, is now into his second year of using the aerator and has found it a very effective addition to his aeration programme with the ShockWave offering something that other machines don’t. “We bought the machine to give us an alternative method of aeration. I liked the idea of the
linear slots and the possibility of being able to run water off areas that other conventional aeration methods might not be able to do,” explained Ian. “I’ve also found that it is very good for opening up the channels down to primary drainage and I think it’s better than other aerators on that front. “We’ve had some good results with removing standing water on some pitches we worked on last year and they’ve become more free draining. I think putting that slit in the ground
helps to run water away and I’ve been impressed with it. We saw initial improvements after one pass and hopefully, where we’re doubling up again now it should be even better. “Recently, we’ve been using it at The London Club and it’s the first time that they’ve used the ShockWave. The thinking behind it is to channel water away to the gravity areas and it’s something they believe will benefit them by diverting water away from what can be quite a wet course in the winter.”
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Duncan Ross revitalise problem fairways at Longridge Golf Club Duncan Ross Sports Contractors has used its drainage expertise to revitalise successfully three fairways at Longridge Golf Club that had previously suffered heavily with water retention. The 18-hole, 5,904-yard, course provides outstanding views over the Ribble Valley, Forest of Bowland and the Fylde coast, and, is maintained to an exceptional standard by Course Manager, Andrew Read, and his four staff. During his 18-years at the club, Andrew had to contend with moisture retention on the 3rd and 9th fairways. Recently, this had caused the 3rd fairway to become near unplayable and action was taken to bring it, and the ninth and eleventh fairways, back in line with the rest of the course. Duncan Ross was picked to rectify the drainage issue based
on Andrew’s requirement to find a contractor capable of delivering a high quality and tidy project. “The 3rd fairway this time last year was horrible. It was black in places, you could hardly walk on it, so if you can’t walk on it you can’t really play golf on it. “We had more problems when it came to cutting because it would make a mess. In the autumn it never dried up, so I had a meeting with our Green Chairman and explained that we needed drainage work done, and they went to the council and funds were made available. “We then got Duncan on site and he looked at the 3rd, 9th and 11th fairways and came back with a plan. I had drawn some plans up and Duncan looked at those and decided what the best way to achieve it was, and he’s got the experience, so we were happy
to go with what he recommended. “Going into September we’ve had over 160mm of rain and the drains have started working well. We’ve checked the outlets and there is loads of water coming out of them, so it’s been a sound long-term investment. “The 3rd fairway and the 9th, which is a short fairway, are now playable. I checked the outlets on the ninth recently and they were running well, and the fairway is dry. “Golf is a 12-month a year sport now, in the past getting into September and October people started putting their clubs away but now they want to play all year round.” Whilst the main objective of the drainage installation was achieved on the 3rd, 9th and 11th fairway, Andrew and the club’s members were also impressed with the way the Duncan Ross team carried out the project.
Adding versatility George Paterson, Head Greenkeeper at Fortrose & Rosemarkie GC, has had firsthand knowledge of Wiedenmann Terra Spikes for over 20 years. In past roles at Rosses Point, County Sligo GC and Lossiemouth GC, he has used an XP, a Greens Terra Spike and a GXi8 HD. Now for the last 12 months he has been working with both the super light SL6, Wiedenmann’s smallest aerator in their fleet, and the deepest, the 40cm XP. “I chose the SL6 last December because our Terra Spike XP was a little too big for some areas,” said George. “It is great on fairways but couldn’t reach some tight spots. Adding the SL6 gives versatility and I can cover all bases. Instantly it offers a lighter footprint for our fine turf areas, so our tees, greens and approaches. We’re very happy but as it is my fourth Terra Spike purchase I knew it would be robust and reliable.” At 1.4m wide, the SL features an innovative cover, one of several bespoke features designed to keep the SL’s weight to just 470kg. An
updated version of Wiedenmann’s patented TwinDrive takes up less room and moves the centre of gravity closer to the tractor. A built-in tine return system and additional shock absorbing facility make it noticeably distinct to other Terra Spikes. “Our John Deere 2720 compact tractor lifts the SL6 comfortably, especially getting on to some of our smaller tees. It aerates just outside the width of the tractor wheels which is excellent. For us it’s a dual machine, as we both hollow and solid tine. We can put multi tine heads on and we can get down a full 8 inches, ideal for our shallow top soil. On its last outing we went down 8 inches on the tees. Previous to that we solid spiked for overseeding, using cluster tines, and next time round we will solid tine greens again,” he said. Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019 | 55
BUYERS’ GUIDE Statistics reveal scale of
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AGRONOMY SERVICES MOWERS
FERTILISERS AND PESTICIDES
BUYERS’ GUIDE GRASSSEED SEED GRASS
success of Saltex 2015
n Agronomy Audits n Advisory Services n Project Management over 70% of visitors said that there was an The 70th SALTEX exhibition exceeded all n Construction excellent mix of products on display. Table 1 expectations n Budgets after an independent audit shows what visitors were looking for. confirmed the exhibition as the largest turf www.gregevansmg.com Call: 07951event 157208 Exhibitors at SALTEX 2015www.campeyturfcare.com reported management in or theemail: UK with a total email@example.com Telephone: 01260 224 568 huge3914540 success at the show, suggesting that of 8,714 unique individuals attending. Now, 0118 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org the visitors were a very powerful group of the visitor surveys have been flooding in –email@example.com buyers. With deals being done there and revealing a fascinating and in-depth insight GOLF COURSE TYRES then on the show floor, it’s no surprise to see into the visitor profile of the show. MANAGEMENT that over 80% had purchasing responsibility. With visitors traveling from every corner Over 75% of all SALTEX visitors also had of the UK as well as every continent around the ability to sign off purchases of up to the world it was encouraging to see that £100,000. over 70% of the visitors rated their overall WETTING AGENTS As for the type of facilities that the SALTEX experience as being good, very SOIL SURFACTANTS Golf Course Management visitors were responsible for, it was great to good or excellent. Consultant ORGANIC seeFERTILISERS such a wide array of visitors (table 2). Over 65% of visitors said that they Golf Course Advice; Visitors also found the more central attended SALTEX to source new products, Locum Greenkeeper Service; 01233 633267 location of the NEC to be more accessible services suppliers, while 20% wanted Projector Management; Practical with 70% stating that the new location was toSolutions make thefor most of theProblems free educationalUK.aquatrols.com Genuine either good or excellent. Within the halls of LEARNING LIVE seminars and to receive www.billymcmillanassociates.co.uk Fer�lisers | Bios�mulants | We�ers the NEC, visitors favoured the MARKING more compact one-to-oneTel: advice 07774through 632747 the IOG’s Ask LINE setting withproducts over 70% rating the layout of the Expert feature. With so much on offerover 50 professional the event either good or excellent. at SALTEX, there was something for MACHINERY MACHINERY Overall the visitor survey has everyone and over 80% said that they were demonstrated just how good the was the successful or very successful in meeting Toro Reelmaster 5010-H with PowerMatch quality of attendees – further enhancing their objectives. Horsepower SALTEX as the must attend event of the With such a large number of visitors onSALTEX Demand year. attending to source new products Fleet Line Markers Ltd SALTEX 2016 will be held at the NEC, and services; they certainly came to the World leaders in the field of Birmingham on 2 and 3 November 2016. For right place. The exhibition is a great way line marking paints and machinery. more information visit www.iogsaltex.com to launch and showcase new products and Tel: 01684 573535 www.velvit.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org www.flmuk.com Available through your local distributor
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n Agronomy Audits n Advisory Services n Project Management n Construction n Budgets www.gregevansmg.com Call: 07951 157208 or email: EQUIPMENT email@example.com
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Golf Course Advice; Locum Greenkeeper Service; SPORTS TURF Project Management; Practical Solutions for Genuine Problems CONTRACTORS www.billymcmillanassociates.co.uk One632747 of the UK’s Tel: 07774 leading natural and artificial sports turf specialists. From MACHINERY initial concept and Agripower planning through Toro Reelmaster 5010-H with PowerMatch Contractors to construction, Horsepower Good Grounding in Sport drainage, renovation and maintenance. on Demand
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56 | Turf Matters | NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2018
Bringing technical excellence and service to turf and groundcare www.wiedenmann.co.uk 0141 814 3366 Table 2 Turf Matters | February-March 2016 | 33
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as seen on
James Attfield | @jamesy_attfield So today is the last day of the year that this pitch will have football on and I must say I’m very happy with how this has held up!! Looking forward to what the second part of the season has to offer! @StevenageFC @the_iog @rigbytaylor @EFL @SkyBetLeagueTwo Gavin Neill | @GavNeill Yesterday’s early afternoon application of @ICL_Turf Dewsmart @TheHomeofGolf working its magic this morning ensuring reduced leaf/surface moisture during the festive period #keepthemdry Wimbledon Groundsman | @ AELTC Groundsman It’s been a weird year weather wise but a hugely successful year for the courts with the tournament and 150th anniversary of the club, the courts are looking good going into 2019 too so we’re very happy. Dale Flaherty | @DaleFla92934871 7 greens cut and covered 7.4 miles – still a good bit of growth for this time of year. Jim Croxton | @JimCroxton New @BIGGA_BTME layout means funky new map so folk can find their way around. There are 150+ exhibitors adding up to over 5000 sqm of exhibition space in these Halls. Not long now... The Players Club Greens | @TPCGreens Greens holding up well after 20mm of rain, so well in fact all greens were cut today.
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Those loyal followers of The Golfing Nobody’s blog will be well aware of my desire to improve as a golfer and how I’ve left no stone unturned in my efforts to drop my handicap and become a proper player. I’ve tried everything. New equipment, playing easy golf courses, even practice – although I’ve always believed that practicing is tantamount to cheating, as it gives an advantage over those who believe golf is for Saturday morning and Saturday morning alone. But despite this commitment I’ve remained nothing but a journeyman club member – the
58 | Turf Matters | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019
only prizes which ever come my way tends to be via the raffle. But I have new hope. It’s not an original idea but something I read about recently with a cyclist who, out of no-where picked up a UCI Master Track Cycling World title. Looking at the winning picture Dr Rachel McKinnon seemed to have a physical advantage over her two nearest rivals and the reason soon became apparent. Rachel is a transgender female who hadn’t featured at the sharp end of track cycling as a male and it got me thinking. How often have I taken a deep breath before tackling the carry over the 12th and sighed as I looked over at the ladies’ tee on the other side of our small lake? How often had I looked enviously at how our par-3 4th, which requires a decent swipe to make the green, while the ladies’ tee allows a straight, topped tee shot to bounce onto the green? While there are several really good female golfers at our club, the bottom of the monthly medal prize list often feature scores nearer 90 than 80. So there we have it. My new idea to become a more successful golfer is to become female! I know that it won’t happen overnight and there will be a some pretty painful operations ahead of me and, I’ve not doubt, some counselling. But my mind is made up. I could become a very successful female club golfer and that is motivation enough to make this alteration. I’m aware that I’ll
be out of commission for three or four years, but that will also coincide with my arrival in the Senior Ranks, which should give my talent an additional boost up the leaderboards. It will also give me a chance to build a new trophy cabinet which, while nothing is guaranteed, will surely soon be filling up with trophies from the club and perhaps if all goes well, the county too. And there is another bonus. My golfing wardrobe has always been a tad dull, but now the world will be my oyster and there will be so much more to choose from – shorts, trousers, mini skirts, tops of all shapes and styles. And colours! Nothing is off the table. I know I will have to get myself in something like my best shape to show of these new clothes to their finest, but I don’t want to slim down too much and lose that advantage off the tee which is going to single me out from the born and bred ladies of the club. I know that my Sunday best drive can easily get within 25 yards of the 200 mark and that will give me a significant advantage over most of the rest. It brings most par-4s in range in three and par-5s in four or five so, on a good day I can post strings of bogeys and double bogeys and I know most lady members, with the best will in the world, will not be able to live with that sort of scoring. I do appreciate that it’s not going to be plain sailing. Having just come to the decision I haven’t yet discussed it with Mrs Golfing Nobody and I would be a fool to think that it will not impact on her life, and more than just a little bit. She’s never shown any inclination to be married to another woman and to have it foisted on her is a bit of an ask but when I explain the advantages – mainly I admit on the golf course – I’m sure she will be fine with it. I hope… *As told to Scott MacCallum
In this issue: BTME preview, independent schools, mower grinding equipment, managing disease, exclusive interview with Gary Barwell, aeratio...
Published on Jan 18, 2019
In this issue: BTME preview, independent schools, mower grinding equipment, managing disease, exclusive interview with Gary Barwell, aeratio...