EcoBunker Starts Work On Dumbarnie Links

EcoBunker Starts Work On Dumbarnie Links: The new Dumbarnie Links course at Lower Largo on the south coast of Fife in Scotland – just a little more than ten miles from St Andrews – is now under construction, and EcoBunkerʼs project team has moved onto site to begin the installation of its synthetic edging product in all of the courseʼs formal bunkers.

The course has been designed by Clive Clark, formerly a Walker and Ryder Cup player, and a long-time BBC Television golf commentator, but now an established golf course architect based in the United States. The golf course is being built by American contractor Landscapes Unlimited.

EcoBunker Starts Work On Dumbarnie Links

Fife Council granted planning consent for the project in April 2018, and the construction team moved onto the site in May. Shaping of the golf holes and bunkers is already underway, and the EcoBunker team is gearing-up to finish constructing the bunkers.

Where bunkers are hard against greens, or surrounded by short grass, they will be fully revetted using EcoBunkerʼs synthetic solution. However, where bunkers are positioned to be a transition between maintained grass and native rough, they will be constructed in a hybrid fashion, with elements of chunked, rough edge and also of revetment. Some of these natural bunkers will be quite large and are sure to be a dominant feature of this very special golf course.

EcoBunker global installation specialist Llewelyn Matthews – like architect Clark a former Walker Cup player – will lead a five-strong construction crew to build the bunkers. Matthews will be on site full time during construction, which is scheduled to last sixteen weeks and come to a conclusion in September. Project manager Paul Kimber and the team from Landscapes Unlimited will work closely with the team on the very important bunker construction.

Richard Allen, EcoBunker inventor and CEO, said: “New links courses are extremely rare, and we are very proud and happy to be playing a major role in the construction of Dumbarnie, which promises to be an outstanding golf course that will attract play from all over the world. This is one of our largest ever projects, and we are very pleased to be working so closely with Paul Kimber and the Landscapes Unlimited team to make Dumbarnie a true destination links.”

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Sentosa Golf Club Loses Its Bottle

Sentosa Golf Club Loses Its Bottle: Sentosa Golf Club is reaffirming its commitment to the environment and its ‘Keep it Green’ agenda by announcing that it will no longer permit the use of plastic water bottles on its golf carts, instead favouring the installation of a number of water stations on course.

The reduction of its plastic footprint, which is expected to equate to 150,000 water bottles each year, is a continuation of the world Top 100 club’s pioneering efforts to drive environmental awareness and build upon already established eco-friendly agronomic and operational practices.

Sentosa Golf Club Loses Its Bottle

“Every little helps,” commented Andy Johnston, General Manager and Director of Agronomy. “We are continually monitoring every aspect of our agronomy programs and operations to ensure we are doing all we can to work in harmony with the environment. The decision to remove all plastic bottles from golf carts will allow us to considerably reduce our plastic usage and take another positive step in demonstrating what is possible if golf clubs commit to simple measures.”

Sentosa’s agronomic practice has long been considered at the forefront of the golf industry. Continual efforts have been made in developing the most sustainable methodologies and maintenance programmes, demonstrated best in the reconstruction of the New Tanjong course.

Over the course of an extensive redesign, Sentosa took a number of steps to reduce the environmental impact, including the creation of a temporary nursery to facilitate the relocation and replanting of more than 260 palm trees, the installation of six reservoirs-cum-water features to ensure self-sufficient irrigation and the re-use of concrete from old cart paths as the basis of all new paths.

“The future of the golf industry requires clubs, owners and managers to understand more about what can be done to neutralise and enhance the environment,” continued Johnston. “I hope that Sentosa serves as inspiration in this respect as we continue to find new ways to benefit the environment. From taking food wastage and working it back into the ecosystem to introducing bees into the community, there is a long list of small changes we are implementing and we hope other clubs can make that, when combined, can have a lasting and sustainable impact.”

Sentosa introduced its ‘Keep it Green’ campaign at the SMBC Singapore Open, where stars of world golf voiced their praise of Sentosa’s approach to sustainability. Further activity at the inaugural Women’s Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship and the LPGA Tour’s HSBC Women’s Champions provided opportunities for the club to promote its practice to a global audience and campaign messaging has so far been viewed by over 500,000 golfers.

The golf club is home to the renowned Serapong Course and the New Tanjong Course, and will host the 10th Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in October 2018; the culmination of a landmark year of major events.

Sentosa Golf Club lies at the heart of the Singapore golf and leisure community. Located on the famed Sentosa Island, which attracts millions of visitors each year, the club is home to the R&A’s Asia Pacific office and is the Official Headquarters of the Asian Tour.

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A Look At The Polaris Opole Factory

A Look At The Polaris Opole Factory: Founded by David Johnson and brothers Edgar and Allan Hetteen in 1954, Polaris Industries is now a global powersports leader. Employing over 10,000 people worldwide with annual sales in 2017 of $5.4 billion, Polaris has been the world leader in off-road vehicles for over 30 years. In 2014, Polaris enhanced its manufacturing capability by opening the first Polaris factory intended for the production of off-road vehicles outside of North America in Opole, Poland.

With over 300 employees, the 33,700m² Opole facility plays a pivotal role in the production, homologation and development of off-road vehicles for Europe, Middle East and African markets for Polaris. In 2017, the Opole Distribution Centre was built which occupies an area of 17,500m².

A Look At The Polaris Opole Factory

The average journey for one of the 7000 active components coming into the facility from one of the 200 vendors from around the world, would start upon their arrival into the warehouse area. There are over 3300 pallet locations in the racking system and 1000 supermarket flow rack locations for the components to be housed and sorted. Any parts that come from overseas in disposable packaging are repacked into internal reusable boxes.

Next stop is the Welding area, which currently produces 46 ATVs and 26 SXS each day. Each of the 10 dual stations for ATV or 20 stations for SXS chassis are fitted with fume ventilation systems and a Visual Work Instruction screen which presents an isometric view of the parts to the operator. There’s a robotic welding cell too, where suspension components are manufactured.

Painting operations consist of both plastic and metal painting areas. The plastic paint areas have two spraying ovens installed and the metal painting system has an automated painting line which takes care of the whole process from chemical pre-treatment to curing. All painters are trained in house to ensure they’re perfectly qualified.

The facilities and plant service team ensure the factory runs smoothly and equipment is maintained. There is also a dedicated test team who put the vehicles under scrutiny on the 2km test track, situated at the rear of the factory – this also includes an asphalt test area, to simulate on-road experience. This data, along with the experiences of the test drivers, is used to further develop vehicles with the US team.

Once the components have been welded and painted, they make their way to their penultimate stop – assembly. There are two horse-shoe shaped assembly lines – one for RZR, RANGER and GENERAL vehicles and one for ATVs and ACE vehicles. Operators are provided with visual work instructions – 3D image files and the operator can rotate the image to view different angles – instead of paper instructions. The material is presented in convenient packing and locations so that there’s little material handling for the operator.

Designed with efficiency at the heart, all of the operators are visible from any point on the line so that the group leaders can see how the production is flowing and make any corrections should there be any problems. The length of the assembly process depends on the complexity of the vehicle. An example of a complex vehicle would be the RANGER, which takes around one hour 20 minutes to assemble. Staff are rotated between the different assembly lines to ensure they are skilled on both lines and their minds are fresh.

Once assembled, vehicles are tested on a rolling road to check all functions and then put directly into a crate and wrapped, ready for distribution. Random vehicles are pulled from the line and checked for extra quality checks. Nearly 40,000 have been produced since the ISO 9001 certified factory opened in 2015 – it was the first Polaris factory with a certified Quality Management System.

“Working at the Polaris factory here in Opole isn’t just a job for our employees – our staff take part in charity events, attend Polaris events and are able to experience the Polaris product for themselves. We foster a positive working environment and as a result have a low staff turnover. Since opening the factory, the nearly three-quarters of the staff who started with us in 2015, are still with us and we have members of the same family who work here. We look forward to the future of the Opole facility – and see it going from strength to strength due to our capacity and our employees skills.”, said Director of Operations at Polaris Opole, Bogusław Dawiec.

‘Understand the riding experience. Live the riding experience. Work to make it better.’

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Woodhall Spa Puts Trust In Toro

Woodhall Spa Puts Trust In Toro: Woodhall Spa Golf Club, has signed its fourth five-year exclusivity agreement with Reesink Turfcare and Toro.

Sam Rhodes, courses manager for 12 years and at the Lincolnshire club for 23 years, says it was the complete package offered by Reesink that sealed the deal: “The machinery is obviously a very important aspect to the deal, but it’s one element in a very big package. We signed on again for everything Reesink offers, but especially the back-up and service. We’ve really enjoyed building a relationship with Fineturf Machinery, the new dealer for the area, too, which played a part in the decision.”

The deal coincides with the club’s three-year restoration project to return the course back to its original heathland appearance. Leading architect Tom Doak is overseeing the project, which has become known as being one of the biggest in-house renovation projects in the UK.

Woodhall Spa Puts Trust In Toro

Sam says: “Working alongside Natural England we’ve removed a large number of trees to allow the site to regenerate and restore the course to its original heathland state. Not only is this important work to maintain our course as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, but the removal of some vegetation and scrub will open up the course and provide new strategy for the players, who in recent years were having to play around the encroaching trees.”

With these site changes come new requirements from the machinery maintaining the course, as Sam explains: “Things are different with this order. Because we have different requirements now with regards to the finish and feel we’re after, we’ve moved away from rotary mowers, opting for cylinder mowers instead. The Reelmaster 3100-D will be one of our main workhorses. The DPA cutting units were a real draw as they hold adjustments well and will give us the tightness of cut around the heathland landscape.”

Joining the RM3100-D in the order are two Workman GTX utility vehicles, a Greensmaster 3250-D, Reelmaster 5010-H, TriFlex Hybrid 3420 and a Groundsmaster 4300-D, the only rotary mower.

Sam explains some of the reasons why he went for this selection: “We’ve been using the Toro TriFlex 3420 for some time and it’s performed so well and given us such fantastic results that I had 100 percent confidence in choosing hybrids again with the TriFlex 3420 and the RM5010-H. What’s interesting about the RM5010-H is how maintenance-friendly it is. The maintenance team often comments on how well it stays on cut, and it’s making us big savings on fuel.”

Also included within the renovation work is the repositioning of some tees which the GR3250-D is now tasked with looking after, says Sam: “We chose the GR3250-D for the tees and collars mainly because it can go forever!” Plus, the GR3250-D is good for mowing near bunkers thanks to its triangle wheel stand, and bunkers are certainly something to be considered at Woodhall Spa!

Sam says: “In this project we’ve reopened old bunkers, reshaped many of the existing ones and built new ones. We’ve always been renowned for our bunkers and this work ensures we maintain that reputation. The project as a whole will ensure we retain our status as one of the ‘Top 100 courses in the world’, and the decision to stick with Toro for another five years ensures we will maintain the course, in its refreshed form, to the standards for which we’ve been known for the last 15 years.”

Sam returns to his first thought to finish our catch up: “When you undertake such a big project as this, which spans years and is all-encompassing, it really is vital to have the right back-up and support, and the reassurance that there is always someone on the end of the phone should you need them. It’s a partnership of many elements and there’s no question that Reesink and Fineturf are the best choices to partner us on this journey.”

For more information, visit: reesinkturfcare.co.uk

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Exeter City’s Problem Fox

Exeter City’s Problem Fox: Exeter City have had their fair share of fox in the box strikers over time, but currently, it is one of the feral variety that is causing them a huge headache at St James Park.

Head groundsman Clive Pring says he is being harassed by a young fox that is breaking into the ground and digging up the pitch, which the club spent thousands of pounds on over the summer.

Exeter City's Problem Fox

When DevonLive visited St James Park earlier this week for an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the new stand, we were alarmed by several significant sizeable holes on the surface, which Pring says were created by his furry fiend.

“I reckon the fox now is about four or five years old because he’s been there for a little while and I would say once every two or three weeks, he will come in during the season and will literally dig a hole about a foot deep and two foot long,” Pring said.

“He will do that over the drain lines because they are sand and easier to dig but, during the pre-season, when we have a pitch that we are trying to grow in and the drain lines are exposed and less grass on them, he probably digs that hole in two or three places every night, so we are constantly having to deal with it every morning.

“We actually have a tool that digs out a section that allows us to dig it out and replace it with a better section of turf and that can confuse him because what he does is very scent-based. If we move his hole, then he can’t find it, so that sometimes helps.”

The likes of Darran Rowbotham, Jamie Cureton, Tony Kellow and Alan Banks made a career for themselves with City as fox in the box-type strikers. The Grecians even had a man by the name of Fox between the sticks as well, the goalkeeper and former manager Peter Fox.

“The goal mouth seems to be his favourite spot, possibly because the grass is weaker in the goal mouths and he can pull it out in seconds, but we are not even sure what he is doing,” Pring added.

“He doesn’t go in and use it as a toilet, maybe he is practicing making a burrow, but he has been adolescent for too many years now and needs to move on.

“We have a trap there that we sometimes bait, but he knows what he’s doing. He usually sets the trap off from outside and takes the bait through the bars! They are wily old things and very curious about everything.”

Perhaps the fox is trying to find Dido, the famous parrot that returned to Exeter with the party that toured south America in 1914 and provided the national Brazilian side with their first ever opponents.

Legend has it that the bird, unused to British conditions, didn’t last long here in old Blighty and after passing away, it was laid to rest in the goal mouth at St James’ Park.

City’s poor form in front of goal the following season was put down to Dido ‘cursing’ the Grecians, so he was dug up and buried elsewhere, although there is a different type of bird that is causing Pring and City another problem up at the Cliff Hill training ground.

They are feeding at a nearby waste plant before heading to the training ground to rest up, leaving Pring and his ground staff with plenty to clean up afterwards.

“The last thing you want on the new artificial surface is something that shouldn’t be there and bird poo isn’t what you want!” he said. “They seem to come in and rest there for a few hours in the evening and during that time, they obviously do their business on the surface.

“If you let it settle, it becomes an organic matter and things will start to grow within the surface, so we are constantly brushing it to make sure it doesn’t deteriorate and causing us a problem.

“We will get some bird scarers put in at some point, but they often get used to things like that. There can be 200-300 sat there and it isn’t beneficial for what we are after!”

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CMAE Launch Young Managers Group

CMAE Launch Young Managers Group: The Club Managers Association of Europe (CMAE) have launched a new networking group, the CMAE Young Managers Group, which was launched at an inaugural event on 30th May.

The CMAE Young Managers Group is targeted at CMAE members who are aged 35 or under and who will be invited to attend quarterly events specifically for the group to enhance their career development and provide a network of other young managers.

CMAE Launch Young Managers Group

The first event took place at Roehampton Club on 30th May, with 41 delegates in attendance and featured an inspirational talk from keynote speaker 4 x Paralympic Gold Medallist Marc Woods, who is also the Chairman of CIMSPA. Delegates then enjoyed a tour of the host venue Roehampton Club before Marc Newey CCE explained how the CMAE pathway has helped Roehampton Club achieve Investors in People Gold Award.

Adam Walsh CMDip, General Manager of Farleigh Golf Club, is the man behind the initiative and led round table discussions with attendees to understand what the membership wants from the group and agree aims going forward.

Speaking of the inaugural event, Adam commented: “It’s extremely encouraging to see colleagues coming together from so many different backgrounds with the common goal of improving themselves.  I feel that the group will create a relevant reference point for all of the under 35’s from varied parts of the leisure and hospitality industry under the banner of CMAE for inspiration, education and networking.  It’s a pleasure to be involved and we look forward to building on the success of our inaugural session in the future.”

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Trilo Makes Leaf Collection Easier

Trilo Makes Leaf Collection Easier: Four SU60 vacuum units from Trilo are the latest additions to fleet at the City of Wolverhampton Council, and have quickly made the momentous task of leaf collection that much easier.  At just shy of five million square metres in area, the grounds maintenance and street cleansing operation is certainly ‘large in scale’. The 131-person team, including six dedicated grass cutting teams, is headed up by Citywide Area Manager for Environmental Services Richard Macvicar.

“Our leafing period usually lasts from October through to Christmas and the New Year” explains Richard, who has been in his current role for 26 years. “During this time, the mechanical road sweepers are out but trying to collect all the leaves saw them blocking up quite quickly, so we looked around for something that could be used in conjunction with our current activities.”

Trilo Makes Leaf Collection Easier

With the team having previous experience of Trilo equipment and recognising its reliability and effectiveness, Richard went to local dealer Oakleys who carried out a demonstration. “We looked at a few alternatives at Saltex but after seeing the SU60 on demonstration, together with our past experience, we had no problem in placing the order.” The council took delivery of two units at the beginning of 2017, and another two in the autumn, split between the two city depots. They went into the leafing period with four units ready for full-time operation, shared between the parks, highways and street cleansing teams.

“The Trilo SU60’s are towable on a general license and can be detached and easily manoeuvred for easy transportation around the yard and out in the field. The manual wonderhose helps us get to
space-restricted areas, with the size and capacity of the machine ideal for roadside work, where you’re additionally restricted by traffic and pedestrians. As planned it’s also been great working alongside our road sweepers, which gather the leaves into piles before the Trilo’s come along and collect them.”

Final word from Richard, “For many years, the lads swore by our previous Trilo unit for leaf collection. This doesn’t look like it’ll change now with our new fleet – my supervisor on the ground said the operation over 2017/18 had never gone so well.”

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Pitch Renovations At Wycombe

Pitch Renovations At Wycombe: Campey Turf Care Systems has assisted contractors Turf Tonics with the first in-house renovation of Wycombe Wanderers Football Club’s award-winning pitch at Adams Park.

 The Buckinghamshire club enjoyed success on two fronts on the pitch during the 2017/18 season, not only achieving automatic promotion to League One but also scooping the League Two Grounds Team of the Year for the work conducted by Turf Tonics, led by full-time groundsman Sean Woodley.

Pitch Renovations At Wycombe

Preparations are now underway for the Chairboys’ first campaign back in League One since the 2011/12 season, with the playing surface playing an integral part to the team’s aspirations of another successful year, as Wycombe Wanderers general manager Michael Davies explains:

“We aspire to have a pitch which complements the football team rather than inhibits them, and it worked extremely well for us last season. Naturally, the players and the management staff request the best possible pitch that we can provide with the resources available to us, and our long-standing partnership with Turf Tonics enables us to meet those requirements with an outstanding surface.

“It’s testament to Turf Tonics and their hard work, expertise and dedication that we won the League Two Grounds Team of the Year award. It’s a phenomenal achievement and it is something we will be striving for again in League One.

“Last season we staged 50 games on the pitch, including 28 of our own in league and cup fixtures, plus Reading Ladies and Reading Under 23s matches as well as tournaments after the season had finished.

“Our club president, Ivor Beeks, is effectively the custodian of the pitch and carefully manages its usage and availability to ensure it remains in the best possible condition. The pitch is a highly sought-after commodity, and we receive many requests for private hire for matches or commercial use, but football comes first and it’s vital that we strike the right balance,” he added.

Bringing in additional income via third party pitch usage is important to the club, and whilst it’s clear that they respect the limits of the surface, the recent success has led to expectation and for Steve Gardner, a managing partner of Turf Tonics, a successful first in-house renovation is vital for the club’s financial and football plans.

“We’ve seen the renovations Premier Pitches have done at Adams Park in the last two seasons and they used what I’d regard as the industry standard machines by Campey,” he said.

“Because it was our first in-house renovation, it was important to us that we used the best equipment and Ben Taylor at Campey has really helped us out. We used their new 1.6-meter Koro FTM with Universe Rotor because it’s a Desso Grassmaster pitch and that went one direction across the pitch yesterday and took a majority of the top off.

“We also used Campey’s Raycam TB 220 brush, Raycam Speedresser and Raycam Aeraseeder to complete the rest of the work. Our first game is on 14th July, we’re making excellent progress to be able to provide the highest quality of surface for the season ahead.”

As part of the renovation, groundsmen were invited to attend and view the machines in action to gain the first-hand experience of best practice and learn more about renovating a hybrid pitch as they continue to grow in popularity throughout all professional tiers of football and rugby.

For more information, visit: www.campeyturfcare.com

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Fertilisers Enhance Pitches In Russia

Fertilisers Enhance Pitches In Russia: A specialist range of phased-release granular fertilisers is being used at all 12 of the Russian stadiums hosting the current FIFA World Cup.  Designed specifically for use on all sports pitches where a consistent and long-acting supply of nutrients is required, the Floranid®TWIN range of fertilisers from COMPO EXPERT provides up to 16-weeks of nutrients from a single application.

Due to the high demands placed on a World Cup stadium pitch, and the hot, dry conditions which are symptomatic of a typical summer in Russia, most of the 12 stadia hosting the tournament are using hybrid turf pitches which contain a combination of artificial fibres and natural grasses to achieve improved root zone and sward stability, a consistently even surface and optimal functionality.

Fertilizers Enhance Pitches In Russia

Pitches of this type, and indeed any hard-working sports turf facility, require specialist nutritional products to keep the natural turf in prime condition, not just during the tournament itself, but in the run-up to the opening match and after the final game has been played on 15th July.  All 12 of the World Cup stadia are therefore using specialist FloranidTWIN phased-release fertilisers from COMPO EXPERT.

These fertilisers are specifically designed to provide a consistent and efficient source of nutrients to enable the pitches to perform well under difficult weather conditions.

“Floranid fertilisers have been used by the majority of Germany’s Bundesliga pitches for several years, where they are chosen for their ability to give a phased release of nutrients over a 16-week period,” explains Richard Brown of Germinal – COMPO EXPERT’s UK distributor.

Floranid fertilisers contain a proportion of fast-acting nitrogen in ammonium and nitrate forms, as well as a phased-release element based on the advanced isobutylidene diurea (IBDU) or ‘Isodur®’ molecule.  They also contain a second phased-release element in the form of crotonylidene urea or ‘Crotodur®’.

The inclusion of Crotodur raises the Activity Index of FloranidTWIN fertilisers from approximately 95% to over 98%.

“By comparison, the slow release fraction in conventional methylene urea (MU) fertilisers only contains around 40-60% of ‘true’ slow release N at best, whilst many contain less than half.  Put simply, that means the remaining nitrogen is either quick release, and therefore no more value than standard fertiliser, or so insoluble that it may take years to be released,” Mr Brown continues.

“In contrast, Isodur and Crotodur fertilisers have an efficiency rating of 98-99%, meaning that almost all of the N supplied will be slowly and steadily released into a form which can be taken up by the pitches over a period of around 16 weeks.”

In addition to supplying fertiliser to each of the 12 World Cup stadia, COMPO EXPERT has also invested a great deal of time and resource into ensuring that each pitch performs and looks as good as possible in the run up to and during the tournament.  “COMPO EXPERT has been working with the groundsmen at each stadium since 2016 to provide detailed sward nutrient advice via a programme of seminars,” Richard Brown adds.  “As anyone who has been watching the tournament will know, the pitches have performed perfectly as well as looking incredible, and are a credit to the hardworking groundstaff who have produced excellent playing surfaces for the world’s largest sporting event.”

The FloranidTWIN range of fertilisers is available in the UK via an exclusive distribution agreement with Germinal.  For more information visit www.germinalamenity.com

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Terra Float Air Delights in Lancashire

Terra Float Air Delights in Lancashire: In a previous life Stuart Hogg, Course Manager at The West Lancashire GC was among the first to own the Wiedenmann Terra Float & Terra Seed. Last year, more by coincidence than by design, he found himself back in the market for an overseeder just as the Terra Float Air was re-engineered and relaunched with an added computerised pneumatic unit.

“We bought one of the original launch Terra Float and Terra Seed combinations in autumn 2010 when I was Course Manager at St Anne’s Old Links, on the Fylde coast. They served extremely well. When I moved to The West Lancashire in April 2015, I inherited a more traditional type seeder. For the first couple of seasons we made do then we hired in equipment. Last winter a funding package allowed us to invest in a new machine. Darren Barker at dealers, Balmers GM, showed me some others but I liked that the three Wiedenmann drums are floating so cope well with undulations of a links green.  I knew I liked it before and the Air version was better again,” he said.

Terra Float Air Delights in Lancashire

Offering maximum accuracy at quantities as little as 1 g / m² the Terra Float Air, combines three units in one. A base unit aerates or loosens soil to 30 mm using either spikes or fine slits assuring a receptive seed bed either pre or post top dressing. Next the distribution of the seed is absolutely uniform via the air flow and deflector system.  Finally, a brush and roller combination incorporates top dressing materials to the ground before smoothing the surface.  With its very fine seed rollers exact calibration is achievable. Those with expensive or ‘rare seed’ can be confident of success while memory function on the control pad stores input and calibration data for the next use.

The West Lancashire GC is a proud host of R&A and England Golf competitions as well as featuring in the Top 100 Golf Courses in Great Britain.  It is one of England’s ten oldest clubs and will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2023. The role earmarked for the Wiedenmann Terra Float Air has been well considered to help deliver incremental improvements to the quality of the course and take advantage of the machine’s versatility and potential.

“This purchase is not just about one area or one type of grass or indeed just limited to seeding,” said Stuart Hogg.  “We want to be able to do tees, greens, fairways and walkways with different grass species.  The fact that the seed delivery hoses are kept dry and clean with the airflow is a big plus. If we want we can brush the greens without overseeding or we can sarrel roll the greens. There is much that can be done. But for now we’re going with little and often; playing the long game. It will take a period of time before we see a change of any botanical composition in the grass but that’s where we want to be in seasons to come.

“So far the Air has had one outing around the pathways with dwarf rye fescue mix, a couple of passes on the tees and three passes on the greens both with a pure fescue mix but we’re on a break until after The R&A’s Open qualifying and the club championships.  During August, September and possibly October, weather dependant, I expect it to be constantly overseeding the greens every two to three weeks to let germination happen ahead of winter.”

Terra Float Air Delights in Lancashire

Where the Air comes into its own is its high performance air stream which effortlessly directs precise amounts of the seed to the prepared perforated holes A series of steel deflector plates ensures uniform depositing of the seeds from a short distance while lifting the unit automatically triggers a shut off.

“The in-cab control saves time and effort.  Our team really likes this. If one of the greens, or a specific area is a bit weaker there’s no requirement to get out and recalibrate the machine.  It’s a couple of presses of a button and the machine does it for you, storing the data for next time. You are far more in control of which green gets what and such versatility on a golf course makes the job a little bit easier,” concluded Stuart Hogg.

Stuart Hogg is one of a rare breed of course managers having spent his entire career on links courses.  He took up his Course Manager post at The West Lancashire GC after 11 years at St Anne’s Old Links and before that spells at two other links courses, Fortrose & Rosemarkie GC on the Black Isle and West Kilbride GC at Seamill in Ayrshire. At The West Lancashire he is supported by a team of seven full time plus three seasonal staff.

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