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

May-June 2018 | £4.95


The Beast on the East

Will Carnoustie live up to its fearsome reputation at the 2018 Open?



28 The World Cup is coming

14 Synthetics in focus


making turf matter




We know you care Don’t forget Sport…

I’ve often said it in the past, but it bears repeating. I don’t think that turf professionals getmonths the credit they deserve for beingfor themany custodians land The last two have been a nightmare peopleofinthe certain under their stewardship. parts of the country and my heart goes out to everyone dealing with the aftermath of unprecedented and devastating erosion. With attention again turning to theflooding appalling state of our oceans and seas, The best scenario for many islitter months of temporary living.by For highways and case byways, with plastics and inadvertently scattered the others, lives will neverby return towho what theydon’t were.care or believe that it’s wind or casually dropped people either While the job fatetoofpick sports grounds golf clubs might someone else’s it up, it’s goodand to know that you menseem and women inconsequential incourses, the faceparks, of such hardship, weschool at Turf Matters have looking after our golf university and playing fields a particular empathy everyone has seen years agronomic take it upon yourselves towith ensure they arewho as good as they canof possibly be. husbandry literally washed away in the space of a few weeks. You can be sure that budgets are being cut to an almost impossibly low It must be hoped that banks – the financial institutions, not the level and morale is low but you would never walk past a can, bottle or plastic things which edge overflown rivers – take an understanding approach bag without picking it up and either taking it back to base or putting into an to sporting facilities which have been unable to service loans as a appropriate bin. result of them being unplayable and so unable to bring in revenue. People within industry care about the environment, manyhas of you As we haveour seen with the recent Winter Olympics, sport such a aregalvanising part of nature andon conservation your spare for time, want to effect society andgroups can bein the catalyst soand much good, ensure the land under your care is maintained and preserved to the highest that it is imperative sporting facilities are not forgotten when the possible standard. promised assistance is being allocated. Onasthe of improving sporting facilities, we have been If you take golf anissue example. Every week there are golf courses celebrating their centenaries – some courses have got 200involved years under their invited by Briggs & Stratton to become in its Pitch belts. Now think to about These golf courses may haveahad the makeover odd changefor Winit. competition, which provides £3,000 – a tweak here and there, new bunker, a redirected – but,pitch in theinmain, what is ajudged to be the Under 18shole football most they have remained virtually they opened. need – find unchanged out more onsince pages 16-17. I am on the judging panel and will be madesome to a rightfully shortlist of Now golf does get a bad rapvisits for many things, so,deserving but how pitches soon. We will be looking not so much at the many other parts of our country would be unchanged for that length of DESSO but the desperate! time? The greenkeepers who look after them care. You don’t want your final want note, them I am thrilled by theupon reception that the courses spoiled,On youa don’t so dependant chemicals first they issueare of the Turf Matters received. Many people have to stay alive that agronomic equivalent of a drug addict taken timehit. to say how much they liked the look of the desperate for the next magazine and how they enjoyed the articles. We’re all You care and the sooner the rest of society starts to appreciate that pleased you found it to your liking and we will work hard fact the better. to maintain the high standards. Thank you all very much.

Distributed every two months to sports turf professionals, independent schools, universities, local authorities and buyers of turfcare machinery and products. Editor: Scott MacCallum Distributed every two months to sports scott@turfmatters.co.uk turf professionals, local authorities MSc MBPR Executive Laurence Gale and and buyersEditor: of turfcare machinery products. laurence@turfmatters.co.uk DesignScott and Production Editor: MacCallumEditor: Tim Moat tim@turfmatters.co.uk scott@turfmatters.co.uk Customer Manager: Design andRelations Production Editor: Tim Moat Sinead Finnin tim@turfmatters.co.uk sinead@turfmatters.co.uk Sales Manager: Pauline Thompson Sales Executive: To advertise in Turf Matters, Marie Anderson call Pauline on 07720 055676 or marie@turfmatters.co.uk

email pauline@turfmatters.co.uk

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


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

Scott MacCallum, Editor Editor Scott MacCallum, You Youcan canfollow followus meon onTwitter Twitter @TurfMatters @TurfMatters

Inside Inside this thisissue issue News..........................................................4-13 News .........................................................4-15 Synthetic surfaces...........................14-17 Pitch to Win........................................16-17 Tea Break Teaser.......................................18 Mowing .................................19-22, 24-27 Carnoustie...........................................20-26 Tea Break Teaser ......................................29 World Cup............................................28-32 Gleneagles..........................................30-35 Aeration. ........................................................35 BTME review ......................................36-41 Irrigation...............................................36-37 Diary of a Golfing Nobody.................42 Mowers..................................................38-41 As seen on Twitter..................................43 The Lakes..............................................42-47 Stadium ..............................48-51 Check outlighting. our website: The majesty of Gleneagles, pages 30-35 LET THERE BE LIGHT: Stadium lighting in focus – pages 48-51 Subscribe FREE to our e-zine: Details at www.turfmatters.co.uk

Check out our website: www.turfmatters.co.uk www.turfmatters.co.uk Next magazine distributed 2 May Next magazine distributed July 2018

Turf Matters | March-April Turf Matters | May-June2014 2018| 3 |3


making turf matter


Julien takes up key IOG position The IOG has appointed Julien Morris, formerly Head Groundsman at Coventry City Football Club, to the IOG-lead Grounds and Natural Turf Improvement Programme as Regional Pitch Advisor for the East Midlands Region. His appointment extends the number of RPAs to 10, plus two key account managers, for the programme that aims to improve the standard of grassroots pitches and the skills of those who look after them throughout England and Wales. Aged 31, Julien brings to the role an extensive skills set and knowledge base after beginning his groundsmanship career as a 15-year-old volunteer at his local cricket club – Attleborough Sports – and, during the subsequent 16 years, also being club Julien Morris chairman, secretary, treasurer and groundsman. “It is this experience, in particular, that provides me with the ideal platform to understand the needs of the volunteer sector and what GaNTIP can do to improve playing surfaces and the skills and knowledge of those who maintain them,” explained Julien. “Being a volunteer myself, I am also well aware of the roles played within grassroots sports by County FAs and cricket boards.” Commenting on his appointment, GaNTIP Director Jason Booth, said that Julien would be welcomed on board at what is an exciting period for the programme. “Extensive work has been completed which has led to clear aims and objectives from the sponsors. “Julien’s experience will prove a valuable addition to what already is a very skilled and diverse team.”

4 | Turf Matters | May-June 2018

STALWARTS: Bill Mitchell, left, and Brian Owen

Two men, 102 years in the industry Two industry legends have hung up their hole cutters are a combined 102 years in the industry – indeed while Bill Mitchell remarkably spent all his 58 years at the same club, Perranporth GC, in the north coast of Cornwall, Brian Owen has served 25 of his own 44 years at Tadmartin Heath GC in Oxfordshire. Over the years, Bill has quietly and diligently cared for the links course of Perranporth, favouring a traditional approach to links greenkeeping and bringing genuine long-term sustainability to the club’s core. He proved over his career that it’s possible to stick to what you believe in – despite the fact that it goes against the industry norm – and achieve commercial success. He created and maintained fast and smooth surfaces high in fine fescues and kept low in disease-risk on a links course. It was, he says, his greatest achievement. “The fact that I proved it’s possible to maintain a natural links course is my biggest achievement, and the thing I am most proud of. “I hope I showed the next

generation that sustainable, natural links greenkeeping is not only possible but viable, that I took the difficulty out of it and perhaps inspired them to try it should they ever be in the privileged position of working on a links course.” Brian has worked at a variety of courses across the country, beginning at Southerndown Golf Club’s championship links course in Wales and finishing at the Oxfordshire-based, heathland course of Tadmarton. A particular highlight of Brian’s career was driving the recently completed bunker renovations forwards at Tadmarton. “The bunkers hadn’t undergone any big changes since the course was established in 1922, so they needed to be brought up to the same standard as the rest of the course. The renovations began five years ago and, this year, we completed the 64th and final bunker. To see it finished is the perfect sign off to my career!” One common factor is that they have both been loyal Toro users. “It’s possible to get results with dedication, vision and

hard work, just as much as it’s possible from big budgets or greenkeeping teams. As soon as it was no longer possible to support all British in my machinery choices, it was Toro I turned to. They’re the finest products and treat the ground with respect,” said Bill. For Brian, he recalled the 80s, when working on a remote Cornish links when they had to be self-sufficient. “Nowadays you can rely on your distributor or dealer for all your maintenance needs, just as we have at Tadmarton with Reesink Turfcare and Toro for many years.” When Brian joined as Course Manager in 1992, the club was buying one machine a year. “I convinced the board to lease hire instead of owning machines, meaning service came fully included, and gradually turned the fleet completely Toro to keep the course in the best possible condition. When it comes to machinery, quality over quantity is key, as is reliability.” Both men were presented with glass decanters by Reesink to commemorate their illustrious careers.

making turf matter



Kubota extends sponsorship of Saints Kubota UK has extended its elite sponsorship of Aviva Premiership club Northampton Saints until 2020. The company joined forces with Saints back in 2015, the company’s first ever sponsorship with a top flight sports team. Based on the success of the partnership, Kubota is looking forward to continuing its support for the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons. “Signing a new deal with Northampton Saints was an easy decision for us. Over the past three years that we have been involved with the club, it has proved itself to be an outstanding partner, delivering fantastic exposure for our brand, a high quality

match day experience and, of course, a great way to showcase our products. Partnering with Saints aligns perfectly with our drive for excellence, and the desire to lead our respective fields. “We’re delighted to be continuing to build on that over the next few years,” explained Dave Roberts, Kubota UK’s Managing Director.

As part of the deal, Kubota provides some of its industry leading groundcare solutions to help the Franklin’s Gardens Ground Staff maintain its pitches to the highest standards in the Aviva Premiership. “This is a partnership in the truest sense of the word. Kubota UK has been a great asset to the club in recent years and we are delighted

to have extended our partnership with them,” said Mark Darbon, Saints CEO. “At Saints, we set out to have the highest standards in every area of our organisation. This includes how we maintain our stadium pitch – one of only three natural grass pitches in the league – as well as our training facilities. Having the highest quality training and playing surfaces is vital in allowing the team to perform. “By continuing our work with Kubota, we are helping build the best platform to realise our ambitions, and we are looking forward to working closely with the machinery manufacturer over the next two years.”

Turf Matters | May-June 2018 | 5


making turf matter


The ‘other’ World Cup England’s football squad is deep into preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup this June. In Nantwich, Cheshire, another England posse of players is also training hard for competing on the global stage of the game. This is the England amputee squad and they are seeking their own World Cup glory in Guadalajara, Mexico, in November. They’ll be up against leading countries such as Turkey, Russia and Poland, but having so nearly triumphed last year at the European Championships in Finland – losing 2-1 to Turkey in the final before a 42,000 crowd – they’ll have their eye on the main chance. Unlike their able-bodied counterparts, however, these

footballers with disabilities do not have the comfort of funding via their governing body. The England Amputee Football Association relies on sponsorship money and donations since the Football Association had to withdraw its financial backing in 2006 due to a reported lack of participation in the sport at that time. The journey since has proved a long and winding one for the EAFA, founded in 1990, but invaluable support from business is helping it deliver the training climate needed for the preparation the squad requires to compete on a level playing field against countries that run paid programmes. Early February saw the squad turn up for its monthly training weekend

at Reaseheath College to be greeted by the sight of brand new goalposts – a key factor in ensuring such committed players can train with the highest standards of provision available to them. The Premium Easylift goals package, donated by sports equipment manufacturer Mark Harrod Ltd, features 16ft x 7ft wheeled goalposts that can be quickly placed in position for training then conveniently moved away after play. When raised, the four wheels on each goal have excellent ground clearance, while internal weights allow instant safe use. Since 2006, when the

Association “reinvented itself”, the landscape towards the sport has shifted markedly, stresses EAFA Head Coach Owen Coyle, himself a volunteer, along with all other staff. “Many of our players served in the military, others are teenage cancer sufferers,” explained Owen. “This significant donation by Mark Harrod Ltd has come at just the right time because it is critical that the squad trains using the correct specification of goalposts. We’ve had a huge weight lifted off our shoulders now we have them in place for the run-up to the World Cup.”


Biostimulants are big business for a reason. Let’s look at why you might buy a biostimulant product and what you should expect from it The biostimulant market in the UK is growing quickly, especially in sports turf where many curative products are being removed from sale and preventative measures are ever more important. Biostimulants are products that have a positive effect on plants regardless of the nutrients they may or may not contain. They do not all work in the same way and they do not all have the same effect. To make the most of your budget, it’s important to understand what you want and select a product accordingly. Seaweed is an old favourite of many and has proven itself many times in sports turf. Seaweed extracts made from Ascophyllum nodosum are great for relieving stress in turf, including drought and salinity stress. Other extracts can improve growth rate as they claim to contain high levels of natural growth hormones. Humic substances (including humic and fulvic acids) naturally occur in soils and improve growth and health of the turf. In poorer soils, they can be used to improve fertility thereby helping you get more out of applied fertilisers. For foliar applications choose fulvic acids, as humic acids and humins are more suited to root applications. Not all biostimulants benefit plants directly. Mycorrhizal fungi and beneficial bacteria are worth investigating as they can help improve soil structure, nutrient availability and reduce the occurrence of some diseases. Amino acids provide many benefits to plants as many of the individual types have unique properties of their own. They are ideal for early spring when turf is preparing for new growth and can also act as a food source for beneficial bacteria in the soil. Onyx is a plant-based biostimulant, manufactured by Velvit, that is a cost-effective and rich source of amino acids. It will become increasingly useful to sports turf professionals as the pressure to keep turf stress-free and disease-free is gaining. Velvit manufactures a complete range of liquid and granular fertilisers, wetting agents and biostimulants. Velvit’s product range is only available through distributors, a list of which can be found at www.velvit.co.uk 6 | Turf Matters | May-June 2018


New website for AGS Advance Grass Solutions is inviting visitors to explore its new website, designed to offer the ultimate user-friendly experience with improved navigation and functionality, while allowing customers to see the full product and services that AGS can offer. The site includes many features to help users navigate the site and find the product or services they need. Rapid response functionality allows the site to be compatible with all browsers, tablets and mobile devices. “We are excited about our new website launch and the robust information it provides,” said Sam Honeyborne, Managing Director of AGS.

making turf matter


ISEKI UK and Ireland’s official opening Since being founded in 1926, ISEKI has contributed to the modernisation of Japan’s agricultural industry as a full-time manufacturer specialising in farming machinery. ISEKI prides itself on extensive research and development that is matched with high quality manufacturing and assembly processes to produce a range of machinery for today’s demanding applications in many global markets. Recent years have certainly proved successful when it comes to the distribution of ISEKI products throughout the UK and Europe by Ransomes Jacobsen. Following such successes David Withers, Managing Director at ISEKI UK and former President of Jacobsen, is understandably excited about seeing a wider acceptance of products through expanding markets and building yet more awareness, trust, and demand

for ISEKI’s tractors and mowers. “I started to work with Iseki when the product line came to Jacobsen in 1996 and I’ve always enjoyed being involved with such an exciting and reliable product line. When ISEKI outlined their strategic vision of getting closer to customers by investing in their own distribution within the UK it made sense and this is a really exciting time for the brand” said David. Kazuya Tani, the European Managing Director of ISEKI, is also extremely excited by this latest investment, saying “We’ll be investing more in marketing and promotions of the ISEKI brand and want to see a wider acceptance of our products through expanding our markets and getting more share from our current customers. The commitment of ISEKI to the UK Market will be significant and we trust that the market will react

positively to this approach.” With the exception of some new key additions, the dealer network will mostly remain the same.

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 8 | Turf Matters | May-June 2018

Welcome: At the official opening in Ipswich


making turf matter


The year of the carpet?

At BTME in January there appeared a new stand: A real living hybrid sports pitch together with a collection of faces new and old to our industry – the idverde-Mixto stand. The name idverde may be new to some in our profession but the reality is that over the last four years this previously unknown brand has grown to be the largest green services provider in Europe…and by some considerable margin. In the UK alone the company employs some 2,500 fulltime groundsmen gardeners and other “green” professionals.

In January, idverde became the exclusive UK distributor of the Mixto hybrid grass sports field system. idverde is the distributor for Mixto in both UK and France. “It would be easy for me to focus on the increasing use of the Mixto system by top professional clubs such as Real Madrid, Nice and most recently Zenit, St Petersburg ahead of the FIFA World Cup,” said Nick Temple-Heald, of idverde. “However, that is not the only attraction for idverde. After its many years of testing and development, Mixto can now offer

After its many years of testing… Mixto can now offer ‘Premiership Quality Surfaces’, virtually year-round, at a cost accessible to lower league and amateur clubs, educational establishments and community facilities. 10 | Turf Matters | May-June 2018

‘Premiership Quality Surfaces’, virtually year-round, at a cost accessible to lower league and amateur clubs, educational establishments and community facilities. In other words idverde’s customer base across Europe. We have also seen great interest in the product from golf course managers and cricket groundsmen and are working on a number of initial installations.” idverde has not underestimated the importance of top notch experience and talent in our industry. In the last few months it has recruited Sébastien Ranson to head its growing sports field activity. Sébastien is an internationally renowned sports surface specialist and agronomist, with over 20 years’ experience at the highest level. In 2015 he was appointed by UEFA as principle grounds consultant to oversee the quality of all playing surfaces for the 2016 European Championships. idverde has also recruited

Steve Tingley, as its Operations Manager. Steve, former groundsman at Wembley Stadium, is a very experienced and respected operator in the UK. “I had been following the development of the Mixto hybrid grass system for a number of years and I have been particularly impressed by the testing and development work carried out by idverde in France. When the opportunity arose to work with idverde and Mixto, I jumped at the chance,” said Sebastien. Following launch of the idverde-Mixto partnership in the UK, interest has been high. The company is already taking on more employees and is speaking to contractors with a view to also becoming Mixto accredited installers, to the company’s exacting standards. So who knows, as the Chinese New Year was ushered in around the time of BTME, perhaps it should really have been named the Year of the Carpet.

making turf matter



turf improver is natural alternative to chemicals A new turf improver with roots in traditional green keeping is arming Course Managers with a natural alternative to ever restricted fungicides and chemical fertilisers. Carbon Gold’s Enriched Biochar Soil Improver is a horticultural form of charcoal blended with optimum levels of fungi, bacteria and trace minerals, and is approved by EU certification bodies for organic growing. It was common practice a century ago to use charcoal to keep greens porous and firm, and to improve the appearance and colour of turf. Now turf professionals are ‘rediscovering’ the benefits of biochar – using it to eliminate fungicides completely, and reduce chemical fertiliser use significantly. David Chammings, Amenity Specialist for Sherriff Amenity, a division of Agrovista UK, has been the Chairman of Greens at Okehampton Golf Club for the past three years. His position and experience allow him to trial innovative techniques on different areas of the course, and he approached Carbon Gold, keen to be the first to trial biochar on golf course greens. The club has been through significant changes in the last five years, adapting to an everevolving industry and stricter demands, such as the revocation of insecticides and the withdrawal of many fungicides under ever tighter EU regulations. In 2016, Stuart Entwhistle joined as Course Manager, and together he and David devised a trial outline to test how Carbon Gold’s enriched biochar would perform on specific areas of the course, in the hope of finding a new solution to old problems.

Locations and issues: The 5th green – a very sandy newly-extended area of the green, which leaches nutrient heavily. The 12th green – the ‘disease indicator’ green, placed in the Ockment Valley. It is surrounded by trees and receives very

little winter sunlight.

Application: Enriched Biochar Soil Improver was applied in March 2017. Both greens were 13mm hollow tined to a depth of 100mm. 1kg per m2 of Carbon Gold’s Enriched Biochar Soil Improver was brushed in – in the same way sand is commonly brushed into turf – over an area of 100m2 per green.

Outcome: 20% fertiliser reduction Okehampton currently fertilise the greens five times a year. They continued to fertilise the trial areas, at the same rate as the rest of the greens, but found that in the summer the 5th green looked healthier and was holding nutrient a lot more efficiently so decided to miss an application on this area. Three weeks later it was not evident that a feed application had been missed, and the trial area looked as healthy as the rest of the green. There is a definite increase in nutrient holding capacity in the sandy rootzones, and a 20% reduction in fertiliser use overall.

than before when needed, but also hold on to the moisture in prolonged hotter weather. The trial greens were more resilient over the course of the year – whatever the seasons threw at them – during the hot dry periods they held onto the moisture better and were visibly healthier. In wetter periods they did not flood, were firmer, dryer and remained playable. This is a great advantage for the club during the wet months – if there is too much rain the course can flood and the greens become un-playable, which leads to closure and loss of revenue.

NEXT STEPS David is keen to step up his trials to cover two entire greens which they will monitor throughout 2018.

PROJECT POLLIN-8 Rigby Taylor is launching Project Pollin-8, a major initiative aimed at reversing the national decline in pollinating insects and introducing a completely new urban flower seed mixture named Euroflor Banquet, which contains the best species for pollinators, whilst delivering a high visual impact The falling-off in pollinator numbers is no secret as many species, both in the UK and other countries are in decline. Research indicates that there is no single reason, although a key factor, as with many other wildlife species, is likely to be quite simply loss of habitat. The introduction of Euroflor urban flower mixtures for landscaping projects across the huge array of potential sowing situations will be vitally important in arresting this decline. The introduction of the Banquet mixture is the result of information obtained from independent research data published by the Urban Pollinators Group. Nine other Euroflor mixtures have been identified that supply a longer seasonal supply of nectar and pollen and a more diverse range of habitats. The ten Euroflor mixtures are Banquet, Flora Britannica, Fragrant Lawn, Green Roof, Honey, Native Pollinator, Rainbow Annuals, Rainbow Perennials, Spring Flower and Super Blue Bee.

100% fungicide reduction The fungal disease being treated in the Okehampton Carbon Gold trials is fusarium patch (Microdochium nivale) – common to golf courses across the world. They currently apply fungicide to all of the greens on the course twice a year, sometimes up to four times a year. No fungicide was required on either of the trial areas for the whole of the year, meaning Carbon Gold’s enriched biochar delivered an impressive 100% reduction in fungicide use.

Water retention & drainage Water retention and drainage was another factor that David and Stuart were keen to address. Summer 2017 was relatively wet, however the treated greens performed well. The trial areas drain better and faster Turf Matters | May-June 2018 | 11

making turf matter



ICL fertilisers cure Blackwell greens After some shading issues were resolved at Blackwell Golf Club, in Worcestershire, Head Greenkeeper Rhys Thomas has since restored the greens to their full health thanks to a range of ICL fertilisers. Blackwell has approximately 170 members, but despite the club always having a small membership, it has never stopped it from achieving. In fact, Blackwell has been ranked in the top 100 UK courses for a number of years, boasts three English Amateur Champions, has hosted the Open Championship Regional Qualifying Event six times and was home to the Midland Boys Championship, won one year by a 14 year old Sandy Lyle. “Following a ecology report from the STRI we decided to remove the trees around the greens and tees that had been planted 50 years ago,” said Rhys. “The trees had had little maintenance and the greens were in the shade and we’d struggle to get growth through the winter. Obviously, they would have a lot of wear during the summer and they never had an opportunity to recover.” After the trees were removed, it was apparent that the greens would need a lot

of attention after being in the shade for such a long time. Disease had crept in, which had resulted in a few scars and damage, and in Rhys’ own words – “If someone has a cold or is ill and they don’t take any medicine, then they don’t get any better. It’s the same with the greens – they need good products to keep them healthy.” “ICL’s Greenmaster ProLite Cold Start is great for the spring, We know that the greens will kick-off immediately once we get it applied in March. Previously, members used to say the greens were not playing well until June. The right products are being used now and the members have certainly noticed the difference.” Rhys was also quick to highlight Sierraform GT

K-STEP 6-0-27+2MgO+TE, which has a high potassium content to harden the turf in particularly stressful winter conditions. “In January or February, we turn to Sierraform GT K-STEP which trickles along nicely and we normally get a good amount of growth following application. “We may also re-apply it in March if we are doing some renovation work just to give us a bit of recovery. “Because of the microclimate we have here at Blackwell, it does make it hard to have a strict programme in place – we just have to judge it as and when. But I’ve been using ICL products for a long time and I use them because I know how they work and I can judge the timing of the fertilisers.”

INTRODUCING ETESIA UK’S NEWEST DEALER Etesia UK has appointed Country Machinery Ltd, based in Driffield, East Yorkshire as its newest dealer. Country Machinery, a family run business providing sales, services repairs and parts for grounds care machinery, has enjoyed rapid growth since its establishment in 2012. “I started with a single garage, then went to a triple

garage and as of September last year I took the plunge and rented a purpose-built retail unit. Also, last year Thomas Sissions, an agricultural engineer, came in as my business partner,” said Managing Director Karl Terry. “We’ve got dealerships with some great brands and the recent Etesia partnership is a

sign of how far we have come. “I’ve known the Etesia brand for a long time and the whole range of equipment is exceptionally good.” With immediate effect Country Garden Machinery will now be supplying the complete range of Etesia pedestrian and ride-on mowers along with the Attila range of brushcutters.

REVISED RYEGRASS MIXTURE GIVES IMPROVED FINENESS OF LEAF Germinal’s perennial ryegrass seed mixture for tennis courts surrounds has been updated to give even greater fineness of leaf and faster overseeding results. The revised ‘A5 Cricket, Tennis and Tees’ mixture has moved from a blend of three perennial ryegrass cultivars (Escapade, Cabrio and EuroCordus) to just two varieties (50% Escapade and 50% Cabrio), with the increased Cabrio content delivering a significant improvement in terms of fineness of leaf. The seed of both cultivars is harvested from fresh, UK-grown crops, thus ensuring rapid and reliable rates of germination and establishment. “As the highest rated variety for summer sports in the 2018 BSPB L1 List, Cabrio Ultra Fine Ryegrass offers exceptional levels of performance,” explains Richard Brown, Amenity Sales Manager for Germinal. “Thanks to a fineness of leaf score of 8.8 (half a point ahead of its nearest rival) Cabrio easily outperforms all other perennial ryegrass cultivars and partners perfectly with Escapade to provide a seed mixture which is ideal for hard-working grass court surfaces where rapid root penetration and high root density are essential. “And because our A5 mixture only contains fresh, new season, UK-bred and UK-harvested seed lots which far exceed the industry’s minimum approved germination rates, groundsmen can be confident they’ll see good populations of vigorous seedlings in as little as 7-21 days,” Mr Brown adds. “A5 is therefore the perfect seed mixture for repairing and over-seeding tennis courts where rapid seedling establishment is required.”

KUBOTA UK APPOINTS CAROUSEL Kubota UK has appointed Carousel, as its sole distribution partner, fulfilling all spare part requirements for its extensive dealer network, as well as optimising the manufacturer’s logistics services in support of enhanced customer satisfaction and long-term business growth. Effective immediately, Carousel will oversee all Kubota UK and European dealer deliveries, collections and returns. Kubota’s network currently consists of more than 200 dealers across Europe, including key service areas in the UK, Ireland, France and Germany. Carousel will work in collaboration with Kubota’s UK warehouse partner Unipart Logistics, operating from its central hub in Birmingham. Kubota’s dealer network will benefit from an enhanced delivery service for replacement parts, a selfservice booking portal, as well as greater visibility over shipments, all of which will significantly improve customer experience. Turf Matters | May-June 2018 | 13


A machine

for all seasons KB Machines manufacture a complete range of high quality turf machinery for natural, synthetic and hybrid turf. The range comprises specialist machines for the laying, maintenance and redevelopment of sports pitches and golf courses, from brushing and cleaning artificial turf to tackling surface drainage and aeration, infill removal and sand spreading.

14 | Turf Matters | May-June 2018

The latest introductions are the new Combiseeder, for accurate seed application at a rate of over 1500 holes per m², and the new Renovator, a robust and reliable synthetic turf maintenance machine with five rotating brushes. GKB’s QuickBrush is designed to brush in the infill after Renovator operation. The GKB Combinator combines frase mowing and verticutting grass areas, typically sports turf, while removing and loading the complete

upper layer of unwanted turf. All irregularities are removed from uneven surfaces and cut material loaded by conveyor belt to a trailer on the move. Scarifying is the route to chemical-free weed management and the prevention of spreading thatch and moss. 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.

making turf matter


Keeping a sports pitch or golf course in prime condition is a tough challenge throughout the entire year. There are multiple reasons for sand filling on the sports pitch or golf course, during both construction and maintenance. In either case, it is essential to be able to accurately apply the sand and in varying quantities, depending on the operation. The GKB Sandspreader is the machine that distributes a great variety of materials in the appropriate quantities. The GKB SP100 Sandspreader is the version for assembling on a turftruck such as the ProGator, Truckster or Workman. Quick Clean is a threepoint CAT I/ II PTO operated machine for quick and thorough cleaning of artificial turf, sweeping up leaves, branches and dirt in a single pass. It uses a depth adaptable brush and shaking screen system to deposit dirt into a waste bin. The Rotobrush RB120 is designed to rejuvenate and maintain sports field artificial turf and help keep it in top condition. Dirt collecting between the fibres encourages algae growth and reduces drainage, causing deterioration. The Rotobrush offers a quick and easy method of removing dirt in a single pass, with a closed deck to prevent loss of collected infill material, to bring a heavily compacted surface back to life. }

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making turf matter

Ideal for hard to get to areas For the second year running, the expertise of the grounds team at the University of Nottingham saw them collect the Best Maintained Artificial Pitch of the Year award at the annual IOG Awards. Sports Ground Manager Greg Smith and his team of eight are supported by Replay in the maintainance of the five artificial playing surfaces – three 3G surfaces, one sand-filled pitch and a water-based surface. This is in addition to many acres of natural surfaces and facilities. “Our artificial pitches are spread over four different campuses and host training, play and competitions for the students as well as a number of outside and community clubs including Notts County FC, The FA and RFU,” explained Greg, adding that on average, each surface hosts roughly 40 hours of play each week. With such high wear across the University’s surfaces, the maintenance must dovetail the amount of play hours. “I think people underestimate quite how much work goes into maintaining an artificial surface. We have our own equipment allowing us to conduct in-house maintenance, usually spending 55 hours a month collecting litter, brushing, raking, re-marking and checking infill levels and taking action where required.” On top of this, the University has a service agreement with Replay Maintenance for the four campus’. This sees Replay conducting five Revive visits, and a Revive Plus+ visit per annum. Replay Revive uses a specially developed machine to remove contaminants from filled and water-based carpets.. “Between our in-house work and Replay’s specialism we are ultimately aiming to help increase the lifespan and usability of our facilities. One, for example, has been down for 10 years – it’s still safe to use and performing well. We used a company previously but I didn’t feel like we were getting value for money from them. With Replay we’re getting not only a deep clean on a regular basis, but the expertise and advice we need to keep our surfaces in award winning condition.”


SISIS the solution at the VMAC S

ergio Pedroza, Fields & Grounds Manager at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center, in Seattle, recently purchased three SISIS SSS1000 tractor mounted rotary brush sweepers and has reported significant improvements on both the indoor synthetic surface and outdoor natural surfaces since using them. The VMAC is a 200,000 square foot waterfront facility, boasting a state-ofthe-art indoor practice facility as well as three outdoor practice fields. It is also open all year round to members of the public meaning that loyal fans can watch their favourite teams take to the field. With the indoor practice field experiencing high usage, combined with the added pressure of the facility being open to the public eye, Sergio wanted to improve the condition of the synthetic surface. After some initial research, he found the solution in the form of the SISIS SSS1000. “I first heard about this product through online research and recommendations from Pacific Golf & Turf and CS Trading LLC. I knew that Dennis and SISIS are renowned for manufacturing popular sports turf maintenance machinery in the UK and that more and more people over here in the States are starting to use them,” explained Sergio. “After seeing the product on a demonstration and finding out more about the company,

it soon became obvious that they have very specialised equipment for sports turf that works incredibly well,” he said. The SISIS SSS1000 is a tractor mounted sweeper which can be pulled by any machine. The rotary brush has been designed for use on synthetic surfaces to remove surface debris, lift the carpet pile and redistribute sand or rubber crumb infill giving the surface maximum performance and extended life. There are no tools required for the adjustment of the brush or the angle of the draw bar and to make storage easy the draw bar lifts to an upright position. With an aluminium hopper with stainless steel mesh, any infill that is collected when using the machine is returned back to the surface leaving it free from contamination of debris. Sergio relies on the SSS1000 immediately after every field use and believes that the product has taken the surface to the next level. “I would highly recommend the SISIS SSS1000 – it has been very beneficial to our day-to-day operations and has helped us in many ways. In particular I like the wide tyres, the spiral brush and its ease of adjustment. It cleans debris exceptionally well and is far quicker than the previous sweeper we were using. This product now means it is just a one-man job so it allows the other members of staff to focus on other tasks.”

Turf Matters | May-June 2018 | 17

Tea Break teaser

Tea Break Teaser 1.

Which of these countries have never won the World Cup? Spain, Uruguay, Hungary, France?


In which World Cup did Gary Lineker win the Golden Boot and how many goals did he score?


How many World Cups did Scotland qualify from in succession from 1974?


Who did that great Brazilian team of 1970 defeat in the final?


Who scored England’s “other” goal in the 1966 World Cup final?


What was the nationality of the linesman who gave the controversial goal in that final?


Which was the only World Cup final to be decided on penalties?


Who was the player who missed the crucial penalty?


Who scored the winning goal in the last (2014) World Cup final?

10. How many players were booked and sent-off by Howard Webb in the 2010 World Cup final? 11.

How many times have Holland appeared in a World Cup final?

12. When would referee Graham Poll want to forget his handling of the 2006 match between Australia and Croatia? 13. Who has the distinction of having captained and managed a World Cup winning team? 14. Who is the only player to have won the World Cup three times as a player? 15. Which team has experience the greatest number of defeats in World Cup finals – Mexico, Spain, Denmark or Scotland? Answers on Page 59

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The Beast

on the East… 20 | Turf Matters | May-June 2018

making turf matter


Scott MacCallum takes his life in his hands and heads to Carnoustie ahead of this year’s Open Championship. Turf Matters | May-June 2018 | 21


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making turf matter


Carnoustie has always been one of the iconic Open venues… IT IS revered within the game. For one thing it has a role of honour which contains the name Ben Hogan – the only Open venue to do so. Hogan played in one Open, at Carnoustie in 1953, and won. His austere manner matched that of the town to a t and the locals took the Wee Ice Man to their hearts. Driving to Carnoustie to meet Head Greenkeeper, Craig Boath, I noticed something that was a little strange. The east coast of Scotland is not known for its balmy temperatures but I was coming out in a bit of a cold sweat. Now it may be that a few world famous golfers will experience exactly the same when they arrive for this July’s Open Championship. Last year’s Masters Champion, Sergio Garcia, could certainly be forgiven for doing so. As the rising superstar in the game in 1999 he managed to negotiate the 18 holes of the first round in 89 – out in 44 back in 45. Admittedly that was five shots better than I scored the last time I played the course, but I know that would have been of little consolation to Sergio. He did redeem himself at the last Carnoustie Open in 2007, however, but, having led for three rounds dropped a shot on the 72nd hole and lost the play-off to Padraig Harrington. More memories he’d like to drop. No, the reason for my cold sweat was nothing to do with my prowess or lack of it on the course but two incidents, one at each of the aforementioned Opens, which might have seriously scarred a lesser man. In 1999 I was in the privileged position of being inside the ropes on the 18th hole as Jean Van de Velde was heading for a well deserved, and fairly, uneventful victory. His meltdown has been well documented and the footage of Jean, with rolled up trousers standing in the burn short of the green, is one of the most memorable in sport. Jean’s chances had gone up in smoke when his approach to the green ricocheted off a bracket on a stand which was sitting at 45 degrees to the rest of the structure and bounced all the way back over } Turf Matters | May-June 2018 | 23


“We want to have the best golf course possible every day of the week and want the visitors who come to Carnoustie to experience the same conditions as the professional golfer gets,” CRAIG BOATH } the burn and into deep rough. From

Head Greenkeeper Craig Boath

there he had hacked it into the burn. Well, that second shot missed my head by a matter of inches. Had it struck me I would have had a very sore head, my picture in the papers and Jean would have been Open Champion and not local hero, Paul Lawrie. Indeed, had the ball not hit that little bracket flush and bounced 40 yards backwards Jean would have been over the water, able to get a free drop and had sufficient shots in hand to lift the Claret Jug. My second piece of trauma occurred a couple of days before the 2007 Open. I was driving a minibus containing a group of greenkeepers, who were part of the Open Greenkeeping Support Team, to the golf course to familiarise themselves with what they would be doing that week. I was delighted to see many of the spectators waving to us and thought it was a wonderfully friendly start to the Championship. Smack! The low bridge which gave conventionally sized vehicles access

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to the course wasn’t quite tall enough to take my minibus. On the upside for the rest of the week it as always easy to spot our unintentionally modified mini bus amid the dozens of others, but on the downside it led to a very interesting conversation with the hire company when we got back home. So, with things happening in threes, I am a tad concerned about what might happen at the 147th Open. But I digress. Carnoustie has always been one of the iconic Open venues. The town itself isn’t much to look at but the name, Carnoustie, is revered within the game. For one thing it has a role of honour which contains the name Ben Hogan – the only Open venue to do so. Hogan played in one Open, at Carnoustie in 1953, and won. His austere manner, matched that of the town to a T and the locals took the Wee Ice Man to their hearts. A lasting tribute to him is the 6th hole, known as Hogan’s Alley because he threaded his tee shot between the bunkers and outof-bounds on each of the four rounds. Tom Watson won the first of his

five Opens at Carnoustie – beating Australian Jack Newton in a play-off – and the honours’ board also includes Henry Cotton and Gary Player. But Craig Boath, along with the Links Superintendent Sandy Reid, and the rest of the 33 strong Carnoustie Links greenkeeping staff – they maintain three superb golf courses – are looking forward not back. And judging by the condition of the golf course they can look forward with confidence. “We want to have the best golf course possible every day of the week and want the visitors who come to Carnoustie to experience the same conditions as the professional golfer gets,” explained Craig, who was on the team in ’99 Deputy Head Greenkeeper on the Championship course in ’07 and became Head Greenkeeper in 2012, when legendary greenkeeping man John Philp retired and Sandy moved up from Head Greenkeeper to Links Superintendent. “We started thinking about this Open as soon as we’d finished in 2007, so in one way we’re always preparing for an Open. But as we get closer we’ve been working much more with the R&A – Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive; Grant Moir, Director of Rules, and Clive Brown, Chairman of the Championship Committee – and have a very good relationship with them.” Fairway widths remain the same as from the last Open, while greens should be around the 10 mark on the stimp. The team has also been working on their rough for the past four or five years. “We’ve been trying to eradicate the poorer grasses and encourage the finer grasses in the rough and feel that rather than having defined semi to main we can have a semi rough and feather it into the main rough,” explained Craig, who comes from a long tradition of Carnoustie men who strive for finer grasses and firmer surfaces. Carnoustie does possess a fearsome reputation and I asked Craig that, if the sun shone and the wind didn’t make an appearance, whether he’d be disappointed if the winning score was 15 or 16 under. “I would be a little bit. But I don’t }

making turf matter


Turf Matters | May-June 2018 | 25


“Once we get to the week before, and I know everything has been done, I know we’ll be ok. We’re just waiting for that wee bit of growth.” } think it will. I know people talk

about Tommy Fleetwood shooting a course record 63 in the Dunhill Links last October, but the pin positions in the Dunhill are set up for the amateurs – same with the tees, while the rough is on the wane, and the course a little softer, when the Dunhill Links is played. “Obviously if the wind blows and it would be nice to get a range of winds from different directions – it might happen it might not – it will make it interesting, but Carnoustie is not so dependant on the wind for protection as other links courses.” In what is probably a first in modern Open history the course facing the 156 players this year will be shorter than the 2007 version. Generally speaking every last inch is squeezed out of the Open rota courses to combat the modern day superfit athletes who can power a golf ball well over 300 yards but, while it’s only 20 yards, Carnoustie has given up some distance. “The 1st is shorter to enable a stand to go in behind the tee and the 3rd is a little shorter too, with more options

26 | Turf Matters | May-June 2018

available for the players. Carnoustie has always lived up to the test of time, so there is no need to lengthen it. Going back to when James Braid designed it in the 1920s it was 7200 yards.” Hence its reputation for being a monster and one of the toughest golf courses in the world. What has been noticeable in recent years has been the sheer scale of the Open circus when it comes to town with more and more television companies covering the Championship and all the ancillary paraphernalia which accompanies it. Indeed Carnoustie is benefiting from the installation of permanent fibre optic cabling for the last Open. “I can’t remember too much about 1999 but I know it was much bigger in 2007, with the need for a much bigger contractors area. But now it has doubled from 2007. I really have noticed the difference in scale,” said Craig, whose passion for the links is shared with Sandy – who sadly was tied up in a meeting during my visit – ensures that no stone is left unturned in creating a magnificently maintained golf course.

With a number of tournaments under his belt Craig also knows what it takes to prepare a course on a daily basis and cutting will start around 4.30am each morning. “With the R&A and the STRI out doing testing on the greens we may have to do a bit of leap frogging at times but I’m not too worried about that.” And not worrying is a quality which will carry Craig through the next few months. When we spoke, growth was around three weeks behind but a bit of heat in the air and it will kick on. And let’s face it you can’t worry about something you have no control over! Asked about whether the week itself will offer trepidation or excitement Craig’s laid back spirit comes to the fore again. “Once we get to the week before, and I know everything has been done, I know we’ll be ok. We’re just waiting for that wee bit of growth.” So while I will be approaching this year’s Open waiting to see what fate is in store for me Craig, Sandy and the guys will have everything under control.


Laurence Gale takes a look behind the scenes at the venue for the World Cup final to be held in Moscow in July


ith the FIFA World Cup less than two months away, many of the stadium venues will be focusing on ensuring their playing surfaces are fit for purpose and one venue in the spotlight will be the Luzhniki Stadium selected by the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup committee as the venue for the final, which will be held on 15 July 2018. The original stadium was demolished in 2013 to give a way for the construction of a new stadium. The self-supported cover was retained. The facade wall was retained as well, due to its architectural value and later was reconnected to a new building. During the construction a brand new DessoGrass Master pitch was installed in 2015. GrassMaster is an ideal hybrid grass system for top-level tournaments, multifunctional sports pitches, venues with a busy schedule and state-of-the-art training facilities. A total of 20 million in-house produced High Performance Fibres (HPF) deliver a reinforced natural grass playing surface that is proven to 28 | Turf Matters | May-June 2018

last for up to 15 years or more. The job of looking after the pitch at the Luzhniki Stadium is down to Head Groundsman Vladislav Lysenko who has been employed at the club for 15 years, 12 in the role of Head Groundsman and, since 2014, in the role of consultant and a member of the RFPL commission for assessing the quality of football fields in Russia. The number of ground staff employed at the stadium varies between four and nine depending on the fixtures and quite often the weather conditions. Seasonal renovations are usually carried out during the winter break of fixtures in December, the success of the renovation work will go a long way to retaining a healthy tight sward going into the new year for the resumption of the championship and European cup fixtures. With over 30 games played at the stadium the use of their MDM Lighting rigs plays an important part in retaining grass cover particularly during the winter months. Maintenance of the pitch is centred on keeping the sward heathy by

mowing at a height of between 2328mm, mowing two to three times a week depending on conditions using a fleet of Dennis G860’s mowers. An ongoing programme of aeration, fertilising ,overseeding along with a good post game repair strategy of divoting, brushing and cleaning up with rotary mowers helps keep the pitch in good health. Feeding regimes are centred on providing a balance of liquid and granular feeding products such as COMPO, Florovit, ICL, YARA Mila. Vladisav has a comprehensive range of equipment supplied by iGo, Dennis, Toro, A.Carraro, SISIS, Redexim and Caiman which he uses as part of his maintenance programme. I am sure Vladislav Lysenko and his staff are going to be kept very busy in the coming weeks to ensure the Luzhniki Stadium pitch can cope with onslaught of this year’s FIFA World Cup matches and having the opportunity to produce the playing surface for this year’s World Cup Final being held at the Stadium.

Four footballing giants called Dennis


We’re talking Law, Bergkamp, Wise – and mowers…

The four year World Cup cycle has once again come full circle and we can look forward to drama, spectacular entertainment, controversy and debate which is guaranteed every time. Such is the global nature of the World Cup, 2018 will be completely different from eight years ago when we were introduced to the Vuvuzelas, which characterised, some would say blighted, the South African World Cup, and the Sambas and Copacabana joie de vivre of Brazil’s World Cup four years ago. This time around it is Russia with 12 stadiums spread over 1,800 miles in a country which is truly massive, offering a full range of climates, local characteristics and weather. The stadiums themselves are superb. Venue for the final itself is in Moscow and has been totally revamped with work only being completed this year. Now known as the Luzhniki Stadium, with a capacity of 80,000, it will become only the fifth stadium to have hosted a World Cup Final, a Champions League Final and an Olympic Games. Other stadiums are either brand new or have been completed in the last four or five years. While the contrast between South Africa, Brazil and Russia can scarcely be more stark one constant between the three countries, three continents and three World Cups is Dennis Mowers who have supplied some of their industry leading mowers to each. The Dennis G860 cylinder }



} mower is the one chosen for the task

of preparing pitches for the world’s greatest football players when the 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks-off in June 2018. Virtually every one of the stadiums will have their pitches maintained by the G860 and that includes the venues selected for the latter stages of the tournament. Dennis’ involvement has not been a short-term or recent success however. For the past ten years Russian clubs have been using turf maintenance equipment from Dennis and 70% of the Russian Premier League teams have either a G860 or Dennis Premier mower. Many of the groundsmen know the quality and robustness – they know that they can use them for a diverse range of maintenance tasks without ever having any issues, even in the Russian weather! The Dennis man with the collection of air miles which would make Alan Whicker envious is Sales Manager Toby Clarke, who has worked extremely closely with Queens Grass, the company’s Russian dealership, to ensure whichever country lifts the World Cup on Sunday, July 15, Dennis will also be celebrating another significant victory for the company. Turf Matters caught up with Toby, during one of his few days at home!

since 2001, while in 2008 we set up the machinery business in Russia together with Dennis and later on with SISIS Machinery.

From a technical perspective does the different climactic conditions in South America and Eastern Europe mean that machines are set up differently?

How many stadiums will we see with Dennis Machines this June?

Yes, the mowing height of cut will be different along with the pitch construction. We ensure that when we deliver machines to each stadium or training complex that the groundsmen and/or contractors using the machines receive all of the relevant training required.

During the tournament at least seven of the 11 stadiums will use the Dennis mower, 70% of the training camps will be using Dennis as well.

How many machines will you have at the World Cup? Around 88 Dennis mowers will be used throughout the tournament for key maintenance tasks as well as presentation preparation before games.

Do you have a package which you’re offer to the stadiums or is each one completely different? Every offer is made specially for the stadium or training complex for their individual needs and was tendered by the Russian Government

How has the work involved with Dennis and the Brazil World Cup differed from that in Russia? Russia is whole different ball game, in Russia you really need to work with local companies like Queens Grass which have been serving football stadiums for many years. Russian clients like to know they can have reliable machinery and spares back-up with local companies that supply European machinery.

How long have you been working with FIFA or the individual Russian stadiums?

Are there added complications dealing with an eastern bloc country?

Our dealer, Queens Grass, has been working with Russian stadiums

Let’s say the customs and borders in Russia are an interesting challenge!

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Once you’ve supplied the machines is your work done or will you be on hand to ensure smooth runnings? The machines are delivered and ready to use. We supply kit for the first round of maintenance so the clients are ready to work directly after they receive their new Dennis mowers.

What do you believe being so heavily involved in the Greatest Show on Earth does for Dennis? It is not easy but great at the same time to work in such a tournament, the quality of play depends on the pitches quality as they will be watched by millions around the world, so presentation is key. It is a nice challenge to have!

From a personal perspective, do you get a kick out of being involved in an event like the World Cup or is it just another contract? It is impressive to be in all these new stadiums and training camps, it is not just another contract; it is a responsibility and is something that we are all very proud to be a part of.

making turf matter


A Q&A with Mark Harrod of MH Goals What are your predictions for the World Cup?

How do you see the health of the grassroots game at the moment?

I’m going for a Brazil – Germany final with Brazil avenging the 7-1 in 2014!

We’ve always been keen supporters of grassroots football, sponsoring dozens of leagues and cup competitions across the country, and it honestly seems to be as popular as ever, despite the doomsayers who are convinced the nation is glued to their smartphones. If you go to a park or community pitch on a Saturday morning you’ll see clubs running coaching for children as young as three. The women’s game is more popular that it has ever been too, with over 3 million registered players in the UK. Plus you now have walking football too, which has allowed a generation to start playing again, so yes, things are very healthy at grassroots level.

England are reigning World Champions at U17 and U20 level, why do you think youth football in this country is so strong at the moment? Over the last few years there has been a lot of focus on improving the game for children. It wasn’t that long ago they were just shoved onto an adult sizedpitch with a ball that they could barely kick, let alone play with. Now they play mini-soccer and 9v9 first, only moving onto the full-sized pitches when they are big enough. We are making and selling more and more goals for these variations, so it’s obviously an approach that is taking hold across the country, and one that allows children to develop their skills earlier, with visible results.

How has the Football Foundation made a difference? Grants from the Football Foundation are making a massive impact. Clubs

and schools can apply for funds to replace old, unsafe equipment, build new facilities, even improve pitches and buildings. It’s a great scheme and it helps reinvigorate communities. We will be supplying Football Foundation funded projects across the country this summer and we’re also at the heart of the Beacon of Light Centre - Sunderland’s new innovative sports and education facility and the first of its kind in the UK.

You’re well known throughout the industry as a safety expert, what changes have you seen over your career? When I first started football goals had wooden sockets, metal }


Turf Matters | May-June 2018 | 31


step forward as these had caused a number of nasty injuries over the years.

with U peg anchors aren’t going to be any good on a synthetic pitch.

What can you tell us about the new BS EN regulation coming into force this June?

You acquired Pressure Jet Markers just over a year ago, what was the thinking behind this decision?

BS EN 16579 is something I’ve been advising the BSI and CEN for several years and in July it will become the new safety standard that all new goalposts under 24x8ft will have to conform to. It’s a Europe wide standard which replaces BS 8462:2012 and makes several improvements, such as reduced width of net hook channels to reduce the chance of finger entrapment, more stringent stress testing and the introduction of new medium and light weight goals. It’s also the first ever safety standard to regulate rugby posts, covering socket installation, goal strength and maintenance. I’m really pleased with the changes we’re bringing in with this new standard as they’ll address a number of issues and make the game safer for everyone.

} hooks and hand painted frames. Safety

standards were unheard of back in those days! As time went on it was becoming clear that a standard was required to improve the safety of the equipment being produced. I was involved in the first ever standard, BS EN 748, which implemented formal testing on full-sized goals, including stability and strength testing and basic finger and head entrapment standards. The banning of metal hooks from crossbars and uprights was also major

32 | Turf Matters | May-June 2018

What should people look for when they’re buying goalposts to ensure they are safe? Obviously that they conform to BS EN 16579! Go for goals with a solid crossbar and avoid mitred corners as these have a habit of coming apart and exposing sharp dangerous edges. Use a Football Foundation approved supplier as this ensures that the goals are up to standard. It’s also important to check what anchors are being supplied, for example goals

Pressure Jet Markers has been about for more than 60 years and is an iconic name– there aren’t many people in the industry who haven’t dealt with them over the years – so when we heard that the owners were looking to retire we knew this was an opportunity we couldn’t miss. After all, this is a company that was always ahead of its time; creating the first line marker to use a high-pressure jet to spray paint directly onto the grass, the first power driven line marker, and numerous other firsts. It was a company that matched innovation with consistently high standards, a perfect match for our own values. We now continue to manufacture the class-leading transfer wheel machines – The Linesman, The Prince and The Dimple – and use our own modern manufacturing techniques to improve durability and ease of use.

“Clubs and schools can apply for funds to replace old, unsafe equipment, build new facilities, even improve pitches and buildings.”

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making turf matter


Injection of success K

nighton Heath Golf Club, in Bournemouth, has seen dramatic improvements to areas of the course which had been particularly prone to flooding, as a result of some extreme, and well targeted, decompaction measures. A team from Apex Soil Solutions arrived last November with their GeoInjector to work on four greens and Course Manager Alan Magee has been absolutely delighted with the results. “These usually flooded areas are now open for play, whereas in previous years they would have had to be closed for long periods. Certainly, this winter’s excessive rainfall has been a great test for the GeoTec injection treatment. It has stood up to what has been thrown at it brilliantly,” explained Alan. The procedure generates long lasting drainage of water-logged soils to reactivate natural biological processes in the soil. The injection of granular material reduces the likelihood of re compaction after treatments. “I have asked Apex to come back several times since as the treatment has been so successful. The injection treatment on the putting green has worked so effectively it has saved us having to rebuild it to incorporate new drainage. This has freed up the budget to enable us to treat more greens in the future,” he said. Alan, who has worked in the golf industry all of his life, also uses the Air2G2, Pro-Core and Vertidrain on the course and sees a place for each piece of equipment in his armoury.

“The GeoInjector offers greater depths of decompaction than anything else, the lateral injection of drainage material ensures prolonged drainage below the surface while there is little disruption to surface and play, I would recommend rolling after treatment. “The Air2G2 can cover a larger area in a day, but to a depth of 12” rather than the metre that is achieved with GeoInjector. “From my experience, the Procore is light and easy to use and allows maximum productivity, but again doesn’t reach the same depths and granular material isn’t injected within the same process. Unlike the VertiDrain, the GeoInjector doesn’t require a tractor and targets untouched compacted soil at greater depths.” To combat waterlogged areas, compaction and aeration, the GeoInjector goes deeper, injects material in one process and creates a permanent drainage soakaway to help solve the problem. Apex are also introducing the soil decompaction and aeration probe to inject enriched biochar to improve tree performance and stimulate root growth and health. “This allows us to penetrate into the tree root zone to a depth of one metre, create a natural underground void and then back fill with organic fertilisers, to enhance a tree that may be a longestablished feature of a course,” said Apex Managing Director, Martin Saxon. Apex Soil Solutions are the only UK distributor of Vogt equipment, targeting compacted and waterlogged soils.

While the initial works predominantly focused on golf greens, recent projects include football pitches, racecourses, local parks and public spaces. The versatility of the equipment allows Apex to sell the equipment as well as provide the service. Martin, who launched the parent company Apex Tree Surgeons in 2002, now believes that the business is now set to expand with the introduction of a specialist depot and demonstration area to manage the distribution of the German VOGT product range. “We are delighted to be able to promote the range of essential products developed by the VOGT team that offer new solutions to assist with practical environmental issues faced by greenkeepers and groundsmen,” said Martin.

Turf Matters | May-June 2018 | 35


Rainbird’s new water jets for irrigation and dust control go the distance


here are many large area installations where the ability to water as quickly as possible in the most efficient way is critical, whether for irrigation, dust control or other purposes. With the introduction of the new Rain Bird XLR Series of water jets, users can now choose from a wide range of solutions that the company claims will outperform and outlast competing long-range impact rotors. They will save water, time and money in many applications including large sports field and arena irrigation, dust control in quarries and mines, feed yards, stables, reclamation yards or industrial premises as well as for pest control in lumber yards where termites can be controlled by keeping wood wet. Water pressure, site

topography and size are taken into account in Rain Bird product designs and the new XLR Series offers easy customisation and adaptability. This is achieved not just through the breadth of the range, but also through inherent design features. XLR Series water jets do not only have a powerful throw, but ensure effective irrigation and highly efficient, even water distribution over large areas. The risk of flooding, pooling, overwatering or run off which can be experienced with alternative rotors is eliminated. The intelligent design of the deflector, barrel and nozzles requires less water pressure to operate. A self-adjusting automatic brake system maintains a constant rotation speed and is made from

treated stainless steel that increases wear resistance. A dynamic jet-breaker corrects the uneven distribution that can be encountered in low water pressure areas.The durable, lightweight marine grade aluminium used in the barrel construction is designed for the toughest irrigation tasks but requires less force to initiate or change motion. Taken together, these features allow the waterjet to throw water long distances even when running at low pressures. For example, the 24° unit has a radius of 45 metres at 4.5 bar with a 22mm nozzle. Even at 2 bar, a 30 metre radius can be achieved with the same nozzle. Users can select from three XLR ranges with different trajectory angles – fixed 24° or 44° units and a 15-45°adjustable unit. The XLR 24° unit is designed for standard applications such as sports field irrigation, whether synthetic or natural turf. It is also suitable for horse arenas and some dust control applications and has a throw range up to 54 metres. The XLR 44° units, with a throw range up to 53 metres,

are adapted for dust control and applications where height and elevation of the stream is critical to overcome obstacles or piles of stored products. The easily adjustable XLR ADJ 15-45° units offer maximum flexbility as the stream angle and trajectory range can be changed to avoid obstacles or power lines and kept at a low level during windy conditions. Separate XLR 12mm-28mm nozzles are available in nine different sizes for varying throw ranges. They are manufactured from technical polymers, with a design that minimises pressure loss and maximises throw. Full details of the XLR range are available at www.rainbird. eu where a full installation guide and user manual are also available together with examples of potential irrigation and dust control applications. l For more information, contact Peter Longman, Rain Bird Europe, Northern Europe Landscape Area Manager, Telephone: 0744 7575 626600 | Email: plongman@rainbird.eu | Website: www.rainbird.eu

Burnley benefits from irrigation and pitch partnerships Burnley FC’s Gawthorpe Training Centre has reached its next stage of development with a Desso Grassmaster pitch, reconstructed by J Mallinson (Ormskirk) and irrigation by Irrigation Control. These companies have been exclusive contractors at the club’s Turf Moor stadium and at Gawthorpe since 2005 when there was just the one self-contained training pitch featuring Rain Bird’s in-turf pop up and perimeter sprinklers, irrigation control system, pumping station and water storage. 36 | Turf Matters | May-June 2018

In 2010 Turf Moor underwent a pitch reconstruction and the opportunity was taken to introduce a Rain Bird irrigation system. 2014 saw an expansion of the training facilities with a new pump house and Rain Bird control system at the heart and the Barnfield Training Centre, opened in 2017. The new top pitch has 20 Rain Bird perimeter sprinklers and in-turf rotors. It has been integrated into Gawthorpe’s site wide irrigation system with the

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In other irrigation news

aim of providing water to any given pitch in the quickest time at lowest cost. This considers different surface types, sheltered or exposed areas, wind speeds, rainfall, sunlight and evapotranspiration rates. Rain Bird control system’s cycle is based on calculations for the whole Gawthorpe site. Irrigation is overnight when temperatures and wind speeds are lowest and evapotranspiration rates are low. Through its laptop interface, the control system gives the information that groundstaff need. Ultimately it decides which sprinklers should be turned on/ off, what irrigation flows need to be delivered to specified pitches at maximum efficiency. Rain Bird 8005 in-turf rotor

sprinklers and 950E valve-in-head perimeter sprinklers are used throughout Gawthorpe in addition to the Single Site Control System with evapotranspiration based scheduling, customised graphics and mapping. “We specify Rain Bird because of product quality and reliability. We are impressed with the technological advances developed for the sports turf market over recent years,” says Lee Knight, Contracts Director, Irrigation Control. With wi-fi, Groundsman Barry O’Brien and his team, can interact remotely with the control system via a smart phone App and can upgrade to a Rain Bird weather station. Mapping functionality gives a visual site-wide overview of the irrigation system. Irrigation

Control has also installed Thermaturf undersoil heating to the Gawthorpe match pitch. Originally irrigation was required for turf health and to ensure the best growing conditions for soil based pitches. Now it is also about creating conditions on different surfaces that coaches require such as a quick slick surface or a pitch with a match day feel so extra irrigation may be immediately needed. “We enjoy long term relationships with our pitch and irrigation system suppliers. An understanding of what we are trying to achieve and familiarity with the site is vital. The continuity gives us peace of mind, “said Barry.

New to the Bailoy range is the GTI EC irrigation control software in Pro and Lite versions. These GTI EC controllers retain many features of the GTI PC stablemate while being more economical and simple to use, making them perfect for smaller sites with modest budgets. For those needing flow-managed irrigation with real-time email notifications, the GTI EC Pro is ideal. The automated flow-managed feature provides precise application to holes or areas in the fastest, most efficient order. Plus its comprehensive email notification feature alerts the user if issues occur during an irrigation programme, giving access to a range of diagnostic data on programme and station issues. If required, the GTI EC Pro can also be switched from flow management to the sequence-based system used by its sister model: the GTI EC Lite. The GTI EC Lite is the control system for sites needing simple sequencebased irrigation. Ideal for sports venues, small to mid-sized clubs and landscape projects, the customer can arrange irrigation order by area or hole and design up to ten sequences. “Many sites don’t need the all-singing, all-dancing Pro, but still want to update to a modern reliable controller with the familiarity of their previous ‘clockwork’ controller. The Lite gives them this,” said Bailoy’s Managing Director, Adam Lovejoy. Should the customer ever decide they’d like to upgrade their GTI EC Lite to benefit from flow management and email notifications, this can be done by simply requesting a feature unlock key. As both the GTI EC Pro and Lite are available for sites using 2-core or 3-core control cables, they are flexible and upgradeable from all equipment manufactured by Bailoy. This also means the GTI EC controllers will be compatible with most existing site control cables, decoders and solenoids, resulting in a seamless upgrade. In fact, the majority of GTI EC installations are completed in a day. With guided steps for every process, you will be able to create programmes and irrigate within minutes of installation.

Turf Matters | May-June 2018 | 37


Greenfingers: Etesia mowers

Greenfingers, based in Midlothian, have renewed their fleet of Etesia groundcare equipment by purchasing 14 Pro 46 PHCS pedestrian mowers and a Buffalo 100 BPHP ride-on mower. Established in 1991, Greenfingers offers professional garden and grounds maintenance and commercial soft landscaping throughout the Lothians, Borders and Fife. The contractor has been relying on a wide range of Etesia equipment for a number of years, and Proprietor, Jason McCran, revealed how it all started. “I had initially heard of Etesia through press articles in trade magazines – there were always good reviews and people seemed to rate them highly. That was a long time

ago now and we’ve been buying the machines for as long as I can remember and every member of the team feels confident using them.” As part of his fleet renewal, Jason purchased 14 Etesia Pro 46 PHCS pedestrian mowers and a Buffalo 100 BPHP ride-on mower. Jason’s team use the Buffalo BPHP for the larger green space areas maintained by the company. Featuring a 100cm cutting deck and a 20.5HP diesel Perkins engine, up to 12,000sq.m. of grass can be cut and collected per hour. The efficiency of the unique cutting system allows professionals to work faster and operators see increased productivity as the Buffalo

100 excels when used on wet grass or in the rain. This machine is also fitted with a built-in grass collector with a capacity of 600 litres, and the hydraulic emptying system is controlled from the driver’s seat. The Etesia Pro 46 PHCS offers extreme versatility with the ability to cut, collect and mulch without the need for an accessory. Built upon the DUOCUT concept of combining 100% collection and 100% mulching decks together, the Pro 46 PHCS delivers high performance without compromising the results of either of the functions. By crushing the grass finely, even if it is long and wet, it excels in its collection abilities. Fitted with a powerful 5HP Honda engine, the PHCS offers low vibrations with ‘soft grip’ handle bars which can fold for easy transportation. “We predominately use the pedestrian mowers on small grass areas on grounds where we work with property managers, or around sheltered complexes for housing associations,” explained Jason. “We find that by using the PHCS, we can govern the speed better because you can cut with it as quick as the operator can move”. “The majority of our work is cut and collect and the Etesia mowers do this in wet weather better than any other mower that we’ve tried. This is what particularly drew us to them because in Scotland we are prone to rain throughout the summer months. We’ve never had any issues with Etesia equipment; they do the job to an extremely high standard and we have no reason at all to change.”

Get it done, go have fun Zero turn mowers reduce mowing time through offering enhanced manoeuvrability, giving gardeners more time to enjoy the garden. One brand that offers affordable and efficient, zero turn lawn tractors is Murray. Murray products have been getting the job done for over 90 years. Today, as a member of the Briggs & Stratton family of outdoor power products, Murray wears its brand proudly as the “Get it done. Go have fun.” lawn and garden equipment. Murray zero turn mowers operate by two handles on each side of the machine; each with a push/pull function for forwards and reverse movement. Each handle is linked with two individual rear wheels,

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each with its own independent motor, which allows the tractor to turn within its own footprint. This allows for excellent manoeuvrability when cutting around trees, flower beds and other obstacles, with the added bonus of removing the need for backing up at the end of each mowing pass – simply spin 180° and go back! There are three zero turn mowers in the Murray line up. The entry level machine is the ZTX110 which has a hydrostatic drive and is powered by a Briggs & Stratton 7200 OHV V-Twin engine. It is the smallest in the range but still offers a 107cm cutting width, and seven different cutting heights. The mid-range model is the ZTX150, which features a Briggs & Stratton

Intek™ Series 7220 V-Twin OHV petrol engine. This machine, with three blades, offers a 117cm cutting width and 13 cut of height positions. The premium model in the Murray range is best suited for professional users or those with lots of grass to cut. The ZTX250 utilises a Briggs & Stratton Professional Series™ 8270 V-Twin OHV engine and has an incredibly wide deck of 122cm to reduce the total amount of cutting passes required, and subsequently saves the user time. All Murray zero turn machines have a fuel capacity of 11 litres, as well as electric starting and mulching capabilities. They are designed with the user in mind, even down to the adjustable seat which gives the

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Jacobsen comes out on top AZ Alkmaar has purchased a Jacobsen Fairway 205 to maintain training ground pitches at their new 10-acre facility. Local Jacobsen dealer Voets Tractoren en Werktuigen BV made the delivery. René Schouten de Jel has worked at the club for five years and is part of the team that maintains the training ground pitches “We have four natural grass pitches and four artificial pitches. At the stadium, we have two Desso GrassMaster pitches. Two groundsmen, including myself, are based at the training centre, and we have three staff who maintain the stadium pitches. We recently purchased the Jacobsen Fairway 205 to replace our old machine which was very old and did not meet the standards required from a topflight Dutch football team,” said Rene. “This is the first Jacobsen machine the club has purchased; we asked three companies to tender, and Jacobsen came out on top. The quality of the product is outstanding, and it was certainly the best value for money.” The AZ Alkmaar training centre is located near to Amsterdam and opened in the autumn of 2016. The club has 15 teams, and the new training facility features offices, a gym, players’ rooms and a restaurant.

operator ultimate comfort even on the roughest terrains. They include commercially inspired features such as a fully welded steel frame, a thick-walled front axle, easy access maintenance points and durable steel mower deck to make sure they give a great cut, time after time. There is also the additional option of an integrated rear cargo bed to provide on-the-go versatility and convenience, allowing you to carry addition tools or somewhere for cleared debris.

Turf Matters | May-June 2018 | 39


New compact design: Delivering the same strength and durability The LR Mini-Rider range from Cub Cadet has been extended for 2018, and continues to deliver the same strength, durability and cutting performance as the larger rider models from the company, just in a more compact design. The LR models are part of the ‘entry level’ Force Series, consisting of products for gardeners who are looking for power, performance, durability and appreciate powerful machinery for an affordable price. The new addition to the range is the Cub Cadet LR2 FR60 mini rider. This super nimble machine needs little more space in your shed or garage than a walk-behind mower, yet easily fits through garden gates and

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packs a powerful punch delivering impressive results cut after cut. Equipped with a compact 60cm cutter deck, it can cover a lawn area of up to 1,500 square metres in one hour. The cutting height can be adjusted through five positions from 38mm to 95mm. Featuring a luxuriously smooth hydrostatic transmission and an exclusive steering wheel system, the user has optimum control and comfort when getting the mowing done. The tight 46cm turning radius means the machine is easily manoeuvrable around obstacles in the lawn such as shrubs, trees and flowerbeds. Equipped with 3-in-1 capability, the user has the option of discharging

grass clippings from the rear, cutting and collecting them in the 150 litre grass bag, or mulching with the optional mulch plug. The grass bag is easily emptied from the driver’s seat and benefits from dual handles and a bag full indicator.

easily fits through garden gates and packs a powerful punch delivering impressive results cut after cut.

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Kubota’s unique baffling system Kubota’s ZD1211 zero turn ride-on mower is equipped with a three-blade, 140 mm deep, 1.5m rear discharge deck and optional mulching kit, combined with Kubota’s unique baffling system. The ZD1211’s front axle offers two positions, oscillating or rigid. In the oscillating position, the mower will follow the contours of the ground and in the rigid position, the mower will offer a uniformed cut. The machine’s front axle is also offset, which means the front wheels are aligned with the return stroke of the blades. This raises the grass where the wheels have travelled over, then cuts the grass to provide an even cut of excellent quality. Powered by a three-cylinder Kubota 18.5kw diesel engine, the ZD1211 features HST transmission for smooth responses and easy directional change, including making a zero turn. Routine maintenance of all critical parts can be carried out with ease with the accessible engine hood. The front axle also has the ability to be used as a jack to raise the front of the machine for general maintenance of the mower deck. Price: £14,200 + VAT.

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the lakes

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Laurence Gale travelled to Australia and persuaded an ex-pat greenkeeper to write about his experiences greenkeeping on the other side of the world



recent family trip to Sydney to see my daughter, afforded me the opportunity to visit some local sporting venues, I was particularly interested in visiting the Lakes GC, knowing that Simon Blagg, a British Greenkeeper, was working there. After a few phone calls I managed

to contact Simon who is now the Assistant Superintendent at the Lakes Golf club. We arranged a date for me to visit the course and duly met up some days later. Upon arrival at the club I was introduced to the Courses Superintendent and head mechanic, followed by a whistle stop

tour of the course and facilities. I was fascinated to find out more about the course and how Simon had adapted his skills to work in a quite challenging climate. I would like to thank him for his time and taking the time to put pen to paper to produce this fascinating in-depth article. } Turf Matters | May-June 2018 | 43

stadium the lakes of light

The lakes Golf club, new south wales

Growing Turf Down Under – Simon Blagg


rom growing up in my home town of Madeley, Cheshire in the UK, to working at The Lakes Golf club in Sydney, Australia; the past fourteen years of my turf career have been an amazing experience to date. I completed my turf qualifications at Reaseheath College and while there, I worked at Keele golf course which has now unfortunately closed down, before spending two great summers under John Turner at Leek Golf Club, who taught me a significant amount about sustainability in the turf industry. At the same time I was working as groundsman of Maer Cricket Club. In 2008 I set my sights on the Ohio State Turfgrass internship program, where I worked at Whistling Straits, in Wisconsin, and then onto the Doral Golf Resort, in Florida. Working on the Blue Monster course, I got to experience my first golf tournament when Doral hosted the annual World Golf Championship event. After I returned to the UK I worked two seasons at Loch Lomond Golf Club. The club hosted the Scottish Open a week before The Open. In between the first and second season at Loch Lomond I secured a summer casual position for six months at New South Wales Golf club in Sydney. This was when I got my first taste of life in Australia. I met my now wife, within the first week of being in Australia.

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New South Wales hosted the 2009 Australian Open. I had gained valuable experience from my from my time at New South that summer. I returned to Loch Lomond in 2010 to assist with the preparation for what would be the club’s final Scottish Open. I can’t thank Dave Cole, at Loch Lomond, enough for

what he taught me during that time, including his attention to detail and how to keep incredibly high standards. After the home summer of 2010, I was lucky enough to secure a sponsorship at Roseville Golf Club in Sydney. I worked my way up the rank and eventually became Mark O’Sullivan’s assistant

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in 2013. I remained at the club for another two years and after a total of five years, and an Australian citizenship achieved, I decided to apply for the Assistant Superintendent position at the Lakes Golf Club in Sydney. After a successful interview, I started at the Lakes in early January 2016. The Lakes is on the southern side of the city, roughly around 15 minutes from Sydney’s central business district. The area is a popular golfing destination, with the Lakes backing on to both Eastlakes and Bonnie Doon Golf Club and The Australian within a 5km radius. The club is within the Botany Wetlands, a series of interconnected ponds forming an open space wetland corridor stretching to 226 hectares. Over the years the course design has been altered, in particular in 1950s when the state government put plans together to build a six lane express-way right through the middle of the course. The club then employed American Robert Von Hagge who agreed to

redesign the course. Von Hagge’s redesign was constructed and completed by June 1970. During the 70s and 80s, the Lakes was renowned for its fast true greens. However, by 1994 the greens were beginning to show their age and the winter grass population was too much. The club then decided to resurface all of the greens with SR1020 Bent grass. By 2006 the greens were again over populated with Poa Annua and did not meet specifications. The board approached Mike Clayton to conduct a course master plan. The club decided to rebuild both the 1st and 18th greens first. After the members’ approval of the two new greens, Clayton was commissioned to rebuild the remaining 16 greens and two lady’s greens. The redesign included rebuilding the whole golf course as well as upgrading the Irrigation system. The greens were seeded with A4 bent grass. Tees Santa Ana couch and the fairways that were


altered were returfed with common Kikuyu. Roughs and dunes were over seeded with Fescue. The course was re-opened in July 2009. The current course measures 6286 metres. In 2010 the club hosted The Australian Open, which was the first tournament since the 2002 ANZ Championship. The club was asked again to host the tournament for both the 2011 and 2012 Australian Opens. The 2011 tournament was a successful, hosting pros of the likes of Tiger Woods. It was seen as good preparation for the 2011 Presidents Cup. In November 2018 the club will host its seventh Australian Open. }

Planning and preparation is essential to keep the course in tip-top condition

Turf Matters | May-June 2018 | 45

the lakes

} Anthony Mills has been Superintendent since 2012 and Aaron Taylor and I have been Anthony’s assistants since January 2016. We currently operate with a full team of 19 that includes two casuals and mechanic. An additional four casuals will be added to the team to assist with preparation for the Australian Open. I’m a strong believer in getting overseas talent to come over and work for six months. We try and take the

casuals on from September through to the end of February. For those coming from the UK, this often works well with the end of the UK summer and then heading into our summer period. On a working holiday visa, it allows you to work with two employers for two six month blocks. It gives young greenkeepers a fantastic opportunity to come and work in Australia and learn about managing warm season grasses in different climates.

“I’m a strong believer in getting overseas talent to come over and work for six months. For those coming from the UK, this often works well with the end of the UK summer and then heading into our summer period.” Simon blagg 46 | Turf Matters | May-June 2018

Simon Blagg, Assistant Superintendent at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney

Projects leading into Australian Open 2018 In November this year the club will host its seventh Australian Open. Over the last 18 months we have been very busy with construction projects. These have included rebuilding tees and resurfacing cart paths and extending sandy waste areas. In April 2017, we commenced our biggest project of all; the upgrade of the practice precinct area. The old practice facilities were beginning to look a little fatigued. The greens had a large percentage of Poa Annua and did not compliment the greens out on the course with very little undulations. Safety was also a big factor in the redesign. We were seeing a small percentage of golf balls leave the driving range and land on the 10th and 11th holes. The upgrade of the practice facility involved the following:

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n Rebuilding both practice

putting and chipping greens. n Rebuilding and lowering the height of the range tee by 500mm. n Installing a Tee line driving range mat for use in winter. n Installing target greens on the range fairway to replicate shots played out on course. n Installing further mounding on both sides of the range to protect golfers on the 10th and 11th holes. n Installing mounding around the teaching facility. n Rebuilding a new chipping green with suitable practice bunkers. n Rebuilding the 10th Championship men’s and lady’s tees. n Rebuilding the 1st gold tee. n Installing a new concrete pathway to both the 1st and 10th tee.

The new putting green was seeded back in May 2017 and was opened in late September. All of the major earth works and turfing was completed by November 2017. The new turf driving tee was recently re opened and we are hoping to have the chipping green re opened by the end of March. With all major projects complete we are now concentrating on fine tuning the golf course heading into the winter months and November will be here in no time at all. Planning and preparation is essential when preparing for a tournament of this size. Finally, I wanted to say how great it was to catch up with Laurence Gale back in December and I’d like to thank Turf Matters magazine for allowing me to contribute this article.


outstanding opportunities for greenkeepers – down under Simon is always on the lookout for keen, enthusiastic greenkeepers from the UK who are interested in travelling to Australia to work the summer season. For further information about working in Australia in 2019, please email Simon at Asstsuper@ thelakesgolfclub.com.au

A full unabridged version of Simon’s article, including detailed information of their grass species and maintenance programmes, can be found on the Turf Matters website at www. turfmatters.co.uk

Turf Matters | May-June 2018 | 47

Stadium Lighting

A data-driven app How a decade of technological innovation has put groundsmen more in control than ever before...


roundsmanship today looks completely different than it did 10 to 15 years ago. The time of solely fieldwork has made place for a more data-driven approach. Technological advanced tools enable groundsmen and greenkeepers to both monitor and control the growing conditions on sports playing surfaces. When SGL brought grow lights to the market 15 years ago, new possibilities emerged for maintaining high quality sports playing surfaces. While the lighting systems are the innovation that they are most recognised for, SGL were also one of the firsts to switch from a product driven approach to a system based on monitoring and data analyses. Technology has raised the standards and the role of the groundsman has become more

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essential than it ever was before. SGL offers guidance to groundsman in the form of monitoring tools, cost management tools and various grass grow lighting and grass care products. ‘Quality is the exclusion of chance’ is one of the rules by which SGL operates. This statement finds its origin in the rose greenhouse Porta Nova, one of the

most technologically advanced rose greenhouses in the world, of which SGL founder Nico van Vuuren is also co-owner. “In roses, we are looking for the best quality rose, one which keeps its beauty for as long as possible. With SGL we help our customers to create the best quality pitch. That is the main focus,” explained Nico. The only way to leave as little to chance as possible is by researching, analysing and modelling. The perfect growing circumstances and the way to achieve those are of course different for every pitch, court or green. Therefore SGL developed various models within the monitoring tools to forecast growth circumstances for every specific circumstances. Tools, such as the Analyser, provide groundsmen with 24/7 growth data

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proach which gives groundsmen access to a great amount of information about the circumstances on their pitch. An online portal shows all relevant information, but also contains models for forecasting. The weather forecast has already been an indispensable guide to every groundsmen in the world for a long time. SGL developed different models that make it possible to give advice for every specific situation. So for example a fungal disease forecast has been developed that predicts the disease pressure of over a dozen different diseases, based on the weather forecast and data from the SGL Analyser. Also a growth model has been developed that specifically advises where to use the supplemental lighting on the pitch and for how many hours in order to

achieve the desired quality, taking into account the current quality, the weather forecast and the past and future pitch usage. Based on all of that data, groundsmen can make calculated decisions regarding their daily and long term maintenance. While monitoring and analysing of the circumstances is the base, groundsmen need tools to follow up their findings and control the conditions. There are many growth factors that need to be controlled in order to create a perfect playing surface. Think about light, temperature, humidity, air movement among many others. The development of grass lighting systems has progressed very quickly over the past few years. SGL has developed new systems that are

When SGL brought grow lights to the market 15 years ago, new possibilities emerged for maintaining high quality sports playing surfaces. designed for specific situations based on customers’ needs. For example, the SU380 FLEX is developed for stadiums with low and/or narrow pitch entrances. Currently SGL is testing a new IQ55, a closed climate control lighting system, with Infrared heaters and irrigation, } Turf Matters | May-June 2018 | 49

stadium LIGHTING

One of the most important innovations of the past year has been the machine that prevents fungal diseases from spreading by means of UV-C light } which has a unique germination

mode. There’s also extensive ongoing research with LED systems that have given interesting results. One of the most important innovations of the past year has been the machine that prevents fungal diseases from spreading by means of UV-C light instead of fungicides: the UVC180. Many countries are banning the use of chemicals for turf grass disease treatment and so there is a high need for a biological solution. UVC light is already successfully being used in greenhouses so that’s where SGL started its research. 50 | Turf Matters | May-June 2018

SGL designed a walk behind machine that could operate fully automatic. The prototype was tested by Paul Burgess’ team in Madrid, followed by multiple other stadiums, training pitches and golf greens across Europe. That the treatment is effective was clear very soon. With the feedback of Paul Burgess and all the other users, SGL designed a final machine that is effective and easy to use on many different sports surfaces. That these new tools are not only available to the elite few has been shown over that last years. More and more stadiums and training grounds across Europe, also from lower leagues, use the technology to achieve the best possible results. This has been made possible by more effective energy management tools and the availability of smaller systems and SGL SELECT; refurbished equipment that comes with full warranty at a fraction of the cost. The access to a substantial amount

of data and tools create the possibility to grow a high quality pitch, which has increased the expectations and thus the pressure on the groundsman. In this digital age every little thing is under scrutiny. Sports playing surfaces form the stage on which top athletes need to perform at their very best, while being watched my millions. You simply cannot take any risk with that. All that matters is creating that top quality in the most cost efficient way. The great amount of data and tools available, offer a lot more possibilities than years ago, but it also means that groundsmen have a lot more to pay attention to. There are more decisions to be made, maintenance to be planned and tools to be used in the best possible way. These tools do not make the groundsman less important, on the contrary; groundsmanship has grown to be a science and the people behind the curtain have become scientists with a professional and practical approach.

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Let there be light When Glenn Nortcliffe, Head Groundsman at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane ground, took delivery of his fifth rig from RA-Turf Lighting Solutions, (TLS) last autumn, the brand new TLS 480, he believed it would give him the maximum flexibility and put him in charge of what light levels he put on his pitch. This was a very important consideration as Bramall Lane is one of the darkest stadiums in the Championship with regards to light levels. “Not all areas of my pitch require the same amount of light, parts of the pitch get more wear, whilst other areas get less sunlight. By using the new TLS 480 it lets me decide how much light I give the grass plant,” said Glenn.

“Not only can I adjust the distance between the single row unit but it is also adjustable in height to give me even more flexibility. This means you can adjust the micomols your plants is getting from 270 at the highest setting to over 1,000 at the lower setting. It is also a very easy rig to move around, with its wide flotation tyres.” TLS has four different rigs in its lightweight aluminium range; from the TLS 50, TLS 120, TLS 240 and the TLS 480, all single row units giving the groundsman the flexibility to adjust light levels. TLS have invested in the UK and have a UK based service van and carry stocks of Bulbs and spare parts. “It is not just about lights. Rigby Taylor have done extensive trials on

seed developments and fertilisers to suit all types of grow lights and it is very important to get the fertility correct. In this instance, trials have shown that certain tetraploid seeds work better under lights than others,” explained Andrew Robinson, who combines his roles between TLS and Rigby Taylor. “The same goes for fertilisers, with the microlite range being the stand out performer,” he added.

Turf Matters | May-June 2018 | 51


Park life

Laurence Gale got himself up to Manchester to learn what’s hot at the APSE seminar

Paul O’Brien, Chief Executive of APSE

I always enjoy attending Association of Parks Service Excellence Parks Seminars as they are always well run and host some great speakers. A recent visit to The Mere Golf Club, in Cheshire, enabled me meet up with many park professionals and catch up with the latest news on the current state of public open spaces. The world’s population continues to grow and concentrate around cities and towns. As a result, the demand on urban green spaces is becoming greater, both in terms of areas for new development and equally

52 | Turf Matters | May-June 2018

as opportunities for recreation. The view that parks, particularly urban parks and the wider green infrastructure have a critical role in improving the nation’s health and general well being is now widely accepted. By providing places for exercise, cultural events, and for everyday contact with the environment, parks show themselves to be a vital part of our lives especially as many of us are now increasingly limiting our daily movements to home-working or commuting to and from our places of work. Despite their value, parks and green spaces are facing unprecedented budgetary cuts, which are threatening their future existence. Past APSE State of the Market Surveys on Parks, revealed that most Parks Managers expected revenue for parks to continue to decrease and many expect reductions in capital investment. So severe are these threats, that Government have now set up a Parks Action Group to look at how best to preserve our parks for both current and future generations. It is against this backdrop of ongoing budget reductions that APSE’s 2018

Annual Parks Seminars intends to give colleagues some hope, by exposing them to innovative approaches to securing the long-term future of these valuable environmental assets. The day was broken into three sessions with the opening session beginning with a welcome by Wayne Priestly of ASPE, introducing the first speaker Cllr Peter Golds , Deputy Chair of Culture Tourism and Sport Board Local Government Association (LGA). Who gave an insight into the value of Parks and Open spaces. This was followed up by Paul O’Brien Chief Executive of APSE who gave an informative talk on the problems being faced by local Councils and how parks are dealing with austerity and the results of a recent APSE State of the Market report 2018 . Paul stated it is up to Council officers and elected members to look into ways to demonstrate how the capital value of parks can be highlighted and explained in order to ensure that parks and greenspaces have a better chance of retaining budgets and also attracting funding from those organisations which receive considerable benefits from these green assets.

making turf matter


Paul was keen to promote the value of increasing the development of partnerships with volunteers and like-minded bodies, can not only help finance and manage some of our greenspaces and their facilities but can also bring a new perspective on the future role and value of parks and green spaces. Income generation as always, will be considered with case studies of successful council generated schemes which could be transferable to other authorities. A further consideration is how Parks Managers can use technological advances to not only improve the parks they manage but also deliver considerable efficiencies. True to its role of promoting best practice and innovation, APSE has ensured that there will be information on new developments on grounds maintenance practices which benefit both operational staff and the promotion of biodiversity. APSE will continue to argue that public parks must be funded by public money, because many believe that income generation and different funding sources are not enough to ensure the future sustainability of parks, and therefore should not be seen as the }

Turf Matters Forum – take part 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 | May-June 2018 | 53


Liveable Cities is an ambitious, five-year programme of research to develop a method of designing and engineering UK cities that take cognisance of one planet living, one world resources and individual and societal well being.

}solution to ongoing budget cuts.

Other speakers included Nick Grayson, who talked about A Natural Capital Future for Parks, based on his work as Climate Change Sustainability Manager with Birmingham City Council. He talked passionately about his role and a project called Liveable Cities. Liveable Cities is an ambitious, fiveyear programme of research to develop a method of designing and engineering UK cities that take cognisance of one planet living, one world resources and individual and societal well being. Next up was Sean Flesher, Chief Parks and Countryside Officer, who talked about the work they have been doing to enhance and maximise the

54 | Turf Matters | May-June 2018

income generation from some of their key Parks open spaces (Tropical World, Lotherton Wildlife World, and The Arium – their new plant nursery). After seeking investment from various partners to revamp and modernise the visitor experience, Tropical World is now seeing visitor numbers up by 45% to 380,000, thus bringing in a much needed turnover of over £2 million with net contribution additional £913k The other two venues are also becoming very popular and bringing in much needed revenue which is ring fenced to be re invested into Parks services. Other notable speakers included Craig Graeme, from Edinburgh

City Council, who spoke about the trialling of robotic mowers in some of their public open spaces, they certainly attracted a lot of interest and showed their potential to be utilised for the maintenance of public open grass areas. Jonathan Wild Commercial Director of Pictorial Meadows gave a talk about the value of using wildflower mixes in the public realm and the benefits they bring. All in all it was a very well attended Seminar, allowing many Parks offices to hear the latest developments and ways of managing these valuable assets and more importantly allowing those Parks professionals attending to network and keep in touch with one another.

making turf matter


Natural beauty

New wildflower mixture produces fast-to-establish, reliable and attractive meadow habitat A new wildflower seed mixture, specifically designed to produce a fast-establishing sward of UK-native wildflowers and meadow grasses has been launched by Germinal Amenity. Formulated to produce the kind of quick and easy to establish meadow-type habitats required by modern, commercial landscaping projects, Germinal’s Everyday Meadow seed mixture contains a total of six grasses and 18 wildflowers. Each of the 24 species has been selected to complement each other and to produce the correct balance of colour, textures and aesthetics required by landscape architects and their clients. Unlike most traditional meadow mixtures, which typically contain 80% grasses and 20% wildflowers, Everyday Meadow contains a ratio of 90% grasses to 10%

wildflowers: by increasing the grass content and selecting only annual species of wildflowers, Everyday Meadow is faster to establish. Everyday Meadow produces a denser habitat thanks to its ability to be sown at 15 g/m2. Compared to most meadow mixtures, which are usually sown at 5-10 g/m2, Everyday Meadow rapidly creates a thick, attractive canopy, thus enabling the landscape contractor to tick another job off their checklist without having to be overly concerned about sparse or slowly developing vegetation cover. All 18 of the wildflower species in Everyday Meadow are indigenous to the UK and have been hand-selected for their native traits and disease and stress tolerant characteristics which make them perfect for urban, sub-urban and business park environments.



Content (%)

Festuca rubra rubra

Strong Creeping Red Fescue


Festuca rubra commutata

Chewings Fescue


Festuca rubra litoralis

Slender Creeping Red Fescue


Poa pratensis

Smooth Stalked Meadow Grass


Agrostis capillaris

Browntop Bent


Trifolium repens

White Clover


Agrostemma githago



Papaver rhoeas

Corn Poppy


Silene alba

White Campion


Silene dioica

Red Campion


Centaurea cyanus



Leucanthemum vulgare

Oxeye Daisy


Digitalis purpurea



Prunella vulgaris

Self Heal


Chrysanthemum segetum

Corn Marigold


Centaurea nigra

Common Knapweed


Plantago lanceolata

Ribwort Plantain


Ranunculus acris

Meadow Buttercup


Sanguisorba minor

Salad Burnet


Lotus corniculatus

Birdsfoot Trefoil


Rhinanthus minor

Yellow Rattle


Galium verum

Lady's Bedstraw


Achillea millefolium



Vicia sativa

Common Vetch


Turf Matters | May-June 2018 | 55


The future is orange S

TIHL has long been synonymous with high quality hand held equipment – cutters, strimmers, blowers and chainsaws but they have recently broken into grass cutting with a range of high quality domestic and commercial mowers, which includes their first robot mower. The latter has been produced in conjunction with Viking whose range of mowers will from 2019 be sporting the distinctive orange livery, rather and the original green, and marketed under the STIHL name. A Press Day in April, at Westonbirt Arboretum, in Gloucestershire, allowed the STIHL team to showcase the range of equipment, much of it powered by state-of-the-art STIHL batteries. The new STIHL AR 1000 backpack battery is ideal for use in conjunction with the HSA 94 R and T hedge trimmers, affording them a runtime of up to 380 minutes on a single charge while the AR 1000 backpack battery is also well suited to the professional FSA 130 and 130 R brushcutters and BGA 100 blower, and can run for up to 230 minutes and 225 minutes respectively. The visiting press were treated to demonstrations of the various pieces of machinery – examining the performance difference between the petrol and the battery versions – before being let loose on the kit itself to experience the performance levels first hand. Also on display was a range of 56 | Turf Matters | May-June 2018

chainsaws which included a look into the STIHL chainsaw future with something which will be released later this year. Next year’s developments, involving the colour change for the Austrian-based Viking company which STIHL acquired in 1992, will enable the STIHL Group to market the entire product line of tools under the STIHL brand name. The change enables it to concentrate all sales and marketing activities on one brand. “We will take advantage of the existing unit sales and turnover potential of the present VIKING product line under the better-known STIHL global brand – internationally,” explained STIHL Executive Board Chairman Dr. Bertram Kandziora. Viking, based in Langkampfen, Austria, has for some years produced battery-powered machines for its big German brother. Development in the field of battery technology is advancing at a rapid pace in many areas. The demand and the importance of batterypowered machine production have therefore also increased significantly for Viking in recent times. The benefit of using batteries in VIKING and STIHL products is that the same energy-efficient lithiumion battery fits all battery-powered products of both brands. The customer purchases one battery and can use it in several different machines. The machines on display at Westonbirt included many which would interest

the amenity of commmercial user and demonstrated just how far battery power has come in recent years. Among there some mowers, blowers and trimmers. The new RMA 443 TC and RMA 448 TC cordless lawn mowers with one speed drive features a height adjustable foldable mono comfort handlebar for compact storage and to make removing the grass box easier. Flow optimised blades and switchable (on/off) eco mode increase battery run time or allow you to use full power for tougher areas. A dual battery compartment allows as spare battery to be on hand when needed. The BGA 100 is a professional, hand held blower for professional gardeners, landscapers and contractors. Weighing only 2.5 kg – not including battery – this lightweight and wellbalanced blower makes for comfortable use over long periods, while the cordless design allows the operator to roam freely to complete a range of clearance tasks around areas such as schools, parks, hospitals or gardens The efficient and powerful motor delivers impressive blowing performance while operating quietly, making it ideal for use in noise sensitive areas. The STIHL HSA 94 R and HSA 94 T offer professional users extremely high-performance and robust cordless hedge trimmers with a variable blade speed, rotating handle. Boasting double-sided cutting blades and a bar length of 60 or 75cm, the blade geometry allows the operator to undertake a variety of heavy pruning or trimming tasks with ease. The HSA 94 R has a lower blade speed for cutting thicker growth and managing tougher hedges, while the HSA 94 T has a faster blade speed more suited to trimming ornamental hedges neatly and efficiently to leave a fine finish.


making turf matter

BUYERS’ GUIDE Statistics reveal scale of

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





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

over 70% of visitors said that there was an excellent mix of products on display. Table 1 shows what visitors were looking for. confirmed the exhibition as the largest turf www.campeyturfcare.com TEL: 01371 875331 Exhibitors at SALTEX 2015 reported management event in the UK with a total Telephone: 01260 224 568 huge3914540 success at the show, suggesting that of 8,714 unique individuals attending. Now, www.uni-power.co.uk 0118 Email: info@campeyturfcare.com the visitors were a very powerful group of the visitor surveys have been flooding in –jamie@advancegrass.com buyers. With deals being done there and revealing a fascinating and in-depth insight AGRONOMY SERVICES MOWERS then on the show floor, it’s no surprise to see into the visitor profile of the show. that over 80% had purchasing responsibility. With visitors traveling from every corner Over 75% of all SALTEX visitors also had of the UK as well as every continent around the ability to sign off purchases of up to the world it was encouraging to see that n Agronomy £100,000. over 70% of theAudits visitors rated their overall WETTING AGENTS n Advisory Services as being good, very As for the type of facilities that the SALTEX experience SOIL SURFACTANTS n Project Management visitors were responsible for, it was great to good or excellent. n Construction ORGANIC seeFERTILISERS such a wide array of visitors (table 2). Over 65% of visitors said that they n Budgets Visitors also found the more central attended SALTEX to source new products, www.gregevansmg.com 01233 633267 location of the NEC to be more accessible services or suppliers, 20% wanted Call: 07951 157208 while or email: UK.aquatrols.com with 70% stating that the new location was to make the most of the free educational gregevansmg@gmail.com either good or excellent. Within the halls of LEARNING LIVE seminars and to receive MARKING Fer�lisers | Bios�mulants | We�ers the NEC, visitors favouredLINE the more compact one-to-one advice through the IOG’s Ask setting with over 70% rating the layout of the Expert feature. With so much on offer over 50 professional products GOLF COURSE TYRES the event either good or excellent. atMANAGEMENT SALTEX, there was something for Overall the visitor survey has everyone and over 80% said that they were demonstrated just how good the was the successful or very successful in meeting quality of attendees – further enhancing their objectives. SALTEX as the must attend event of the With such a large number of visitors Golf Course Management Fleet Line Markers Ltd year. attending SALTEX to source new products Consultant SALTEX 2016 will be held atWorld the NEC, and services; they certainly came to the leaders in the field of line marking paints Golf The Course Advice; is a great way Birmingham on 2 and 3 November 2016. Forand machinery. right place. exhibition Locum and Greenkeeper Tel: 01684 573535 more information visit www.iogsaltex.com to launch showcaseService; new products and Project Management; Practical www.velvit.co.uk sales@flmuk.com www.flmuk.com Solutions for Genuine Problems Available through your



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The industry’s first true hybrid-drive fairway mower has arrived.

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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 gregevansmg@gmail.com


GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT Bringing technical excellence and service to turf and groundcare Golf Course Management www.wiedenmann.co.uk Consultant 0141 814 3366

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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TC1038 Turf Matters Buyers Guide.indd 1 Leading by

ble 2


uni-power of Saltex 2015 success

s arrived.

ble 1


design 21/12/2015

• Turf Cutters • TurfBringing Aerators technical

excellence and service to turf and groundcare

• Core Collectors



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TC1038 Turf Matters Buyers Guide.indd 1


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

To advertise in our Buyers’ Guide contact Marie Anderson Email: marie@turfmatters.co.uk

Table 2

21/12/2015 17:35

Bringing technical excellence and service to turf and groundcare www.wiedenmann.co.uk 0141 814 3366 Turf Matters | May-June 2018 | 57 Turf Matters | February-March 2016 | 33


I watched last month’s Masters with greater interest than usual. Not that I’m ever not enthusiastic about the first Major of the year. No, this time I was glued. Yes, I know the build up was more hyped than usual, with the media and bookies heaping expectation on the rejuvenated Tiger Woods. Easy to say after the event, but he was never going to win. It’s been so long since he crossed the finishing line first that he’s going to need a few more experiences of being

58 | Turf Matters | May-June 2018

on the back nine with a chance, and what the adrenaline does to his body, and from my vast experienced gleaned from sitting on the sofa in front of the telly I know that he’ll need to winning a couple of regular Tour events before adding to his Major haul. Don’t get me wrong it was great to see him back and playing decent golf, and I was willing him on, but he’s still playing every shot as though his life depended on it. I digress. The reason I was so keen on this year’s Masters was the winner – Patrick Reed. Now I know he’s the American version of Ian Poulter, and not universally popular, but to me he’s the man. Short legs, a bit of upholstery around the middle – he could have been me 30 years ago. Patrick proves that you don’t need to have the body of Henrik Stenson or, indeed, the aforementioned Tiger, to succeed in this great game of ours. Those in the 30 Inch Leg Or Shorter Club need a talisman – a leader, and in Patrick I think we’ve found one. Not since Craig Stadler have we had someone who’d struggle to straddle a picket fence and whose vital statistics decrease from waist measurement

up, rather than the reverse. I do think that the broad shouldered, slim waist look is a sign of a misspent middle age. Who in their right mind would rather have a dumbbell semi permanently attached to their right hand than a home measurefilled tumbler of single malt? I reckon, and I don’t know this for sure, but Patrick turns left towards the 19th hole rather than left towards the gym. Let’s all hope so anyway. As I was saying to Biffo and Harvey, both fellow members of the 30 Inch Leg Or Shorter Club on the 1st tee the Tuesday morning after the win, we need to salute Patrick for bringing us all back into fashion. I don’t think the double vent of that Green Jacket has been nearer the floor of the Butler Cabin since, well, since Craig Stadler won in 1982, or perhaps Ian Woosnam. And thinking about it his Shropshire pal, Sandy Lyle, and former Open Champion and World Number One, David Duvall could also become honorary members of 30ILOSC – Ok, I think we’ll need to come up with a more memorable acronym. Those long limbed, flat stomached rivals of ours will be looking at us with newly discovered envy from now on. We are now the genetically chosen ones, adapted perfectly to play the game of golf. Think about it, our moving parts are nearer the ball at all times, reducing margins for error. Those thoughts alone with give us added confidence and I’m sure, like our hero, we’ll be eagling more par-5s and chipping in more often than ever before. Or in my case cutting down from my average of seven three putts per round. *As told to Scott MacCallum

making turf matter

as seen on




Paul Barker | @PaulioThePro

Everything having a nice cut this morning......looking smart @WorcsGolf @GreensMalvern Nene Golf | @neneparkgolf The Peterborough equivalent of the Augusta mower

procession! A pair of Toro RM3100s trying to get the driving range looking smart for the #heatwave Tanya Lovely Greens | @LovelyGreens

Build an Easy Wooden Compost Bin using Pallets http://dlvr.it/QPxJ9G greenfingers | @ greenfingersSCO

It’s arrived! Our G26-II just in time for the grass starting to grow @KubotaUK and @ HendersonGMLtd

Follow us on Twitter @TurfMatters Tea Break Teaser answers 1. Hungary; 2. Mexico 1986 with six goals; 3. Five; 4. Italy; 5. Martin Peters; 6. Russian; 7. 1994; 8. Italy’s Roberto Baggio; 9. Germany’s Mario Gotze; 10. 14 bookings and one sending-off; 11. Three – 1974, 1978 and 2010; 12. He issued three yellow cards to the same player – Croatia’s Josip SImunic; 13. Franz Beckenbaur. Captain 1974, Manager 1990; 14. Pele; 15. Mexico. 25 defeats, but set against 14 wins and 14 draws

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www.turfmatters.co.uk Turf Matters | May-JUNE 2018 | 59

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Turf Matters May / June 2018  

In this issue: Exclusives with Carnoustie and the World Cup in Russia, features on synthetic surfaces, aeration , irrigation, stadium lighti...

Turf Matters May / June 2018  

In this issue: Exclusives with Carnoustie and the World Cup in Russia, features on synthetic surfaces, aeration , irrigation, stadium lighti...