Best overall SME UK 2019 for AGS

Best overall SME UK 2019: 2019 has been a multi award winning year for Advance Grass Solutions Ltd (AGS). In only their second full year of trading AGS have won 5 prestigious National Business Awards including:-

Best overall SME UK 2019: 2019 has been a multi award winning year for Advance Grass Solutions Ltd (AGS). In only their second full year of trading AGS have won 5 prestigious National Business Awards including:-

Best Business Awards 2019 – Winner of “UK Best New Business”

UKBA 19 – Winner of “Best New Business UK”

Growing Business Awards 2019 – Winner “Growing Business” of the year UK

SME National Business Awards – Gold Winner “Best New Business”

SME National Business Awards – Overall Gold Winner

In addition to these awards the company also became the youngest UK company to achieve ISO 9001 accreditation providing a TQM system that enables AGS to provide a consistent level of service to their customers. “We are determined to become a more environmentally friendly company in the future” says Sam Honeyborne MD “ISO 14001 is the next step to reduce our environmental foot print and we shall endeavour to achieve this in 2020.”

AGS team celebrating at the SME awards, holding one person holds award, 10 other people have their hands in the air.

Commenting on Advance Grass Solutions Ltd, the winner as the Best New Business and overall winner Best SME UK  the chairman of the judges said:

 “Advance Grass Solutions has come up with a sound formula for the perfect playing surface that incorporates consultancy, agronomy programmes, scientific and technical analysis, product selection and solid turf management principles. Through its all-in-one package and policy of using environmentally-friendly products, AGS has grown a quick reputation for creating sustainable, top-quality playing surfaces for major sporting venues including Premiership Football Stadia, Top 100 Golf Clubs and Independent Schools”.

“The AGS management have shown exceptional entrepreneurial skills setting credible foundations around a solid business model which augurs well for the future. Congratulations to AGS for coming up with market leading solutions and achieving strong growth in terms of turnover and new business.”

Jamie Bennett, Chairman and CEO said: “We are extremely proud to have won these national business awards and being recognised for excellence in our in our particular field is extremely satisfying. These awards are a credit to the whole AGS team whose dedication is directly related to our success. I would also like to thank our loyal customers who have shown faith in our products and support which has made these awards a reality.”

The Best Business Awards are one of the UK’s highest profile awards and winning this accolade speaks volumes about the quality of your organisation. Due to its high profile, the Awards attract a wide range of entries from across all sectors from large international PLCs and public sector organisations to dynamic and innovative SMEs. The winners all have one thing in common – they are truly excellent at what they do and Advance Grass Solutions Ltd (AGS) have proved this by winning a Best Business Award.

 

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AVANT appoints Davies Implements Ltd

AVANT appoints Davies Implements Ltd: AVANT UK will be partnering with Davies Implements Ltd to provide Full range of AVANT Loaders and Attachments to customers in South West Wales.

Established in the 1930s, Davies Implements Ltd is a family run company with its origins based on sales, service and repair of agricultural machinery, in the South West of Wales. Whilst continuing to serve the farming community, the experience gained over the years has enabled them to diversify into other product lines and industries including that of arboriculture, forestry, horticulture and hire. In tandem with diversification the company’s customer base has shifted to straddle both rural and urban communities as well as the public sector.

AVANT UK’S After Sales Manager Richard Jenkins commenting on the recent addition “I am enormously happy to have such a well-respected dealership such as Davies Implements Ltd joining the AVANT® family, with a vast amount of knowledge in a vast array of market sectors and a passion for customer service it makes for the perfect partnership. Its easy to see that the Davies Implements team has an infectious enthusiasm for the machinery industry, I can honestly say hand on heart that it is truly refreshing to meet people with the passion that this dealership emanates!”

Upbeat about their NEW Partnership with AVANT UK Heulwen Davies, Director Davies Implements Ltd commented that she greatly enjoyed an “Enormously inspiring visit to Finland.” And that “Seeing the construction of the product, the range of models and the wide range of attachments was invaluable to set us off on what we hope will be a long and successful relationship with the  AVANT brand.”

 

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Going for the buzz at Sawgrass

Going for the buzz at Sawgrass: Each year John Deere, in association with the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of Ireland, sends seven association members to Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida to join the agronomy team on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass for the duration of The Players Championship – the unofficial fifth men’s Major tournament.

It’s an incredible experience, where the volunteers get completely immersed in the hosting of the PGA Tour’s flagship event with flights, accommodation and other costs all thrown in. Representing the British and Irish associations, the successful seven selected to join the John Deere TPC Sawgrass Volunteer Programme in March 2020, working alongside the home greenkeeping team as part of the volunteer course maintenance force of over 90, are:

7 BIGGA and GCSAI volunteers stand together in front of the John Deere Stand at BTME 2020

The BIGGA and GCSAI volunteers on the John Deere stand at BTME 2020 in January (left to right): Eddie Irvine, Alex Brougham, Mark Tucker, Peter Lewis, Dean O’Connell and Ben Hunter. (Inset) Yannick Weber on his home course in New Zealand.

 

BIGGA

  • South East: Ben Hunter, deputy course manager, The Richmond
  • South West & South Wales: Mark Tucker, head greenkeeper, Neath
  • Central England: Alex Brougham, deputy head greenkeeper, Trentham Park
  • Northern: Peter Lewis, greenkeeper, Royal Liverpool
  • Scotland: Eddie Irvine, deputy head greenkeeper, Trump International Aberdeen
  • International: Yannick Weber, assistant superintendent, Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand

GCSAI

  • Ireland: Dean O’Connell, greenkeeper, Grange Golf Club

Previous successful applicants of the scheme have described the experience as life changing and overwhelming. One of BIGGA’s 2019 delegates, Welshpool Golf Club course manager Jon Gamble, said: “TPC Sawgrass is an amazing venue and is out of this world. The presentation of the whole site is fabulous, from the condition of the course to the flowers and grandstands that sit very high on 17.

“They really do gear the tournament up so that everyone who goes has an awesome time, from a spectator point of view. Going to Sawgrass has made me want to go back every year now, just to get that buzz from what you experience. I would encourage and push anybody that wants to go there, to do so.”

This year’s tournament dates are March 12-15, 2020; the John Deere sponsored group flies out to the US on Friday March 6 and returns on Tuesday March 17.

 

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Qualified Greenkeeper

Location: Muswell Hill Golf ClubMuswell Hill GC Logo - the name circling 4 gold Roman coloumns
Closing:    21st February 2020

Muswell Hill Golf Club is looking for a Qualified Greenkeeper. Muswell Hill is a member’s golf club which opened in 1893 and is situated in North London. Set over a parkland setting the club continues to invest in improving & upgrading the facilities.

Job Description

Reporting to the Course Manager, we are seeking to employ an enthusiastic, highly motivated individual to assist in the preparation and maintenance of the golf course, continuously delivering high standards.

The ideal candidate should be able to demonstrate the following: –

  • Previous experience as a greenkeeper and minimum NVQ Level 2 or equivalent in Sports Turf Maintenance.
  • To be able to achieve a high level of attention to detail in all tasks being undertaken.
  • To be highly motivated and productive with a strong work ethic and able to work as part of a close team.
  • Good time management and communication skills.

The Qualified Greenkeeper position is full-time, based on a 40-hour week with weekends worked on a rota basis. Salary, uniform and staff meals will be offered commensurate with qualifications, experience and suitability.

If you are interested in the above position then please apply via e-mail to The Course Manager at coursemanager@muswellhillgolfclub.co.uk

Milestone for golf in the Netherlands

Milestone for golf in the Netherlands: At the Sportive Connect conference on Thursday 23 January in Amsterdam, the Dutch sports sector made an important step in its contribution to the climate agreement by signing the Sustainable Sports Roadmap.

The conference also recognised a milestone in the field of sustainable sport – one hundred golf clubs in the Netherlands have achieved the GEO Certified® distinction. One of the signatories on this agreement is Netherlands Golf Federation Director, Jeroen Stevens.

Milestone for golf in the Netherlands

Golfclub Meerssen in the spotlight

Gerard Dielessen, General Director of the Dutch Olympic Committee and Dutch Sport (NOC * NSF), pointed out that Dutch Golf placed sustainability high on its agenda a long time ago and the sport has already achieved a significant amount as a leader in the field.

Dutch golf’s achievement was celebrated at the congress with the presentation of the GEO Certification to the one hundredth club, Golfclub Meerssen.

Commenting on the announcement, Jonathan Smith, Executive Director, GEO Foundation said: “GEO Foundation is proud to support sustainable golf in the Netherlands in its strategy and delivery of credible, measurable results. The NGF’s vision in creating the future they wanted for the sport is an important example of voluntary leadership.”

“Sustainability because we want to”

In one of the information sessions at the congress, NGF director Jeroen Stevens elaborated on the sustainability of golf through OnCourse Netherlands, the program that golf clubs use on their way to become GEO Certified. Stevens highlighted the shift in golf from “sustainability because we have to” to “sustainability because we want to”. He pointed out that this is also expected by society: research shows that the need for sustainable thinking and doing increases with each generation.

Stevens also underlined the many benefits and opportunities that sustainable management offers. “In 2009, as a volunteer on the golf club’s course committee, I was faced with sustainability for the first time and I have since learned that sustainable management provides a better golf course at lower costs,” he said.

Don’t wait until everyone is ready

Stevens believes that all sports would benefit from the OnCourse Netherlands/GEO programme used by golf. “GEO is about awareness of sustainability and measurement. You have to measure to know what you are doing. GEO is also about community, because that is also sustainability. And I recommend that you just start making your sport more sustainable and not wait until everyone is ready,” he said.

The Netherlands now has more GEO Certified® golf facilities than any other country in the world and has plans for even more to achieve golf’s sustainability distinction in the coming years, benefitting the clubs individually and the sport collectively.

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Johnsons celebrate 200 years

Johnsons celebrate 200 years: The Johnsons Sports Seed team were joined by members of the press and over 30 distributors and customers to toast their 200th anniversary at BTME 2020.

At a special drinks reception that took place on their stand in Harrogate, they celebrated the company’s rich and varied history since it was founded by 17-year old William Wade Johnson in 1820.

Johnsons celebrate 200 years

Reflecting on the event, Amenity Sales and Marketing Manager Derek Smith said, “BTME was a fantastic platform for staff and key contacts to raise a glass to mark such a huge industry milestone. Their drive to raise industry standards reflects the position that Johnsons has in today’s market, and this is very much testament to the passion of those involved with the brand over the years. We at DLF, look forward to continuing that ethos for many years to come.”

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More Toro for Badgemore Park

More Toro for Badgemore Park: Following on from Toro’s success at The Drift Golf Club in Surrey, Toro arrives at Badgemore Park Golf Club in Henley-on-Thames, its sister club, for the first time.

Since it was founded in 1972, Badgemore Park has operated a like-for-like machinery replacement plan and never benefitted from the advantages of having a comprehensive machinery fleet, until now.

More Toro for Badgemore Park

For the last 20 years course manager Lindsay Anderson has wanted that to change and now’s the time, with the club choosing Toro for its first ever fleet package deal.

“We’ve undergone a lot of development at the club recently,” says Lindsay. “Making changes with new greens and tees and re-developing all the bunkers. Investing in a complete Toro machinery package is part of a massive investment in the club and another step in the right direction to improve the course, completing our five-year plan of course improvements in time for our 50th anniversary in 2022.”

And it was a very thorough process for Lindsay when it came to choosing a new equipment provider. “We had demonstrations from a few brands and asked around other golf courses for recommendations,” he says. “It became clear fairly soon that Toro was the way to go. Toro is renowned in the industry as being the best and the demonstration cemented that.”

The machines entrusted with maintaining the beautiful parkland course include three Toro Greensmaster TriFlex 3400 mowers, two Groundsmaster 4300-D mowers, two Greensmaster 1000 pedestrian mowers, two Workman MDX-D utility vehicles, a Groundsmaster 4000-D and a ProCore 648 with quick tine change collars fitted, which Lindsay says is his favourite.

“It’s just fantastic. We have a massive aeration programme proposed for the next six months so it’s going to get a lot of use and I know it will be up to the task. It’s a real quality piece of engineering built for ease of maintenance and ease of operation. Plus, it’s durable and reliable.

“In fact, all the machines are, which makes my job easier on a daily basis. I’m no longer constantly answering the phone to members of the greenkeeping team and having to run to fix issues with the machines, and that’s had an effect on us all. We’ve all got confidence in the machines and it’s really boosted morale and productivity.”

Of course, committing to one machinery brand usually means a change in dealer with Reesink being keen to demonstrate to Lindsay how it offers its customers more.

Reesink sales manager Robert Rees soon made the introductions for Lindsay with his local Toro service centre, CTH Engineering, which reassured Lindsay about the backup service available. He says: “I was unsure where we would go for our servicing if we switched brands, but Robert was great. He put me in touch with another local dealership that dealt with Toro machines and discussed the whole thing in detail which cleared up the concerns I had. And the backup to date – well there have been no issues.”

But when it comes down to it, what has impressed the team and members of the club alike most are the results seen across the course.

“The quality of cut is incredible,” concludes Lindsay. “Within a month members were commenting on the quality of the playing surfaces having improved.”

This is no surprise considering The Drift experienced a similar improvement in both the aesthetics and quality of the playing surface too!

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New Case IH front axle

New Case IH front axle: A new suspended front axle option is now available for Case IH Quantum tractors, bringing to the specialty tractor sector the same levels of on-road and in-field comfort that operators of larger models in the Case IH range already benefit from, helping to reduce fatigue and increase productivity.

New suspended front axle

The new suspended front axle suspension option has been designed by Case IH engineers along similar lines to the established design proven on larger tractors. Utilising a swing arm design connected by a saddle-type pivot, the layout of the suspension system means the structure is particularly robust which ensures no friction is created between the saddle bar and the front axle.

New Case IH front axle

With its pivot center located in a higher position than on alternative systems, the suspension provides higher levels of rolling comfort. There is +/- 3° of movement at the compression end-stop position, and +/- 8° at all other positions.

Suspension height can be set up manually from the cab, and this also allows any front implement to be attached and adjusted more easily. The system has four ride modes to suit all applications: locked, soft, medium and hard.

Additional features have been developed in order to further improve the driving experience of the new suspended front axle Quantum models. These include automatic ride height control, which ensures the full travel of the suspension is made available regardless of the load on the front axle.

An anti-dive/squat feature is designed to maximize tractor stability even when heavy implements are attached, while axle roll control balances the oil flow between the two cushioning cylinders, providing greater stability and comfort in hilly terrain.

Availability of the new features

The new suspended front axle option can be ordered on Quantum V, N and F models specified with a cab, and is available whether the tractor is fitted with front axle brakes. Operation of the front linkage, where specified, is unaffected.

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Tempest in a Toro

Tempest in a Toro: Reesink Turfcare is extending its Toro genuine parts range to include Tempest flail blades to keep the UK’s flail mowers in the ultimate condition.

While suited to all flail mowers, Tempest blades are certainly a match made in heaven for Toro’s LT-F3000 triple flail mower.

Tempest in a Toro

Since its arrival in the UK the LT-F3000 has been widely viewed as a game changer for meeting the increasing demands of maintaining short and long grass in the face of restricted budgets for groundscare customers. And making sure this workhorse delivers consistently and constantly are Toro’s exclusive Tempest blades.

The independent, dedicated flail cutter units of the LT-F3000 are complex with numerous benefits. They have 48 unique blades to enable a variable cutting width from 75cm (30ins) to 212cm (83.5ins) to be as productive in wide open areas as on narrow verges or in tight spaces. The blades fold away with ease on impact of foreign objects and are easily and safely sharpened without needing to be removed, but should they need to be replaced or removed that’s easy to do too.

The fine cut it delivers produces very little debris blow-out and post-cut clean-up operations with strimmers and blowers is reduced which is surely music to any groundsperson’s ears, resulting in far less grass clipping ‘clumping’ and hence their reputation for unrivalled performance in all types of grass and in all types of weather.

But Toro’s Tempest blades are a match for all of that, ensuring a flail’s advanced cutting system never fails says Michael Hampton, parts manager at Reesink Turfcare: “It’s clear in the design of Tempest blades that Toro completely understands the needs for grounds customers to have the parts to match the machine. All Toro’s flail machines and the LT-F3000 in particular are built to always deliver even in the most challenging of environments, so it makes sense that the blade designed to suit the specific needs of a hard-working, heavy-duty flail is the uniquely crafted strong, durable and ergonomic Tempest.”

Quite frankly it had to be something pretty impressive to be paired up with the unmatched LT-F3000 and in long and short grass the advanced blade design of Tempest leaves a clean cut and even clippings dispersal for a great after-cut finish each and every time.

Michael concludes: “Ironically, Tempest blades do anything but create a tempest in a Toro. With these blades in your flail everything is calm, reliable, dependable delivering time after time and never letting the side down.”

To find out more or place an order, contact Reesink’s parts department on 01480 226870.

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ICL’s quadruple success

ICL’s quadruple success: ICL Turf & Landscape is celebrating the success of four members of staff after two became FACTS Qualified Advisers and two were awarded their Full BASIS Amenity Advisor Awards.

BASIS is an independent standards-setting and auditing organisation for the pesticide, fertilizer and allied industries. It offers a range of recognised qualifications for people working in those sectors, including the BASIS and FACTS schemes, and manages the Professional Register for qualified advisers.

ICL’s quadruple success

The BASIS Award is the national qualification for all those advising on the use, selling or supplying of plant protection products in the amenity industry. It is designed to enhance the understanding of turfgrass management, pest, weed and disease control, environmental issues and legislation. Those who gain the certificate become members of the BASIS

Professional Register; and newly added to that list are Matt Nutter and Andrew Pledger, ICL Technical Area Sales Managers operating in South Central and South East England.

Barry Browne, ICL’s Landscape & Industrial National Sales Manager, and Craig Lalley, Technical Area Sales Manager for North/East successfully completed the Fertilizer Advisers Certification and Training Scheme (FACTS).

FACTS is available to those who have already qualified for the BASIS Professional Register and want to gain Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. The course builds on an individual’s prior level of agronomic knowledge and candidates must have at least one year’s experience of fertilizer and nutrient management planning in the UK.

Successful FACTS participants demonstrate a full understanding of the role of fertilizers on the main crop groups in the UK and are able to make recommendations that are agronomically, economically and environmentally sound.

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

Please contact ICL on 01473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk or www.icl-sf.ie if you are in Ireland.

For more news and insightful views, you can follow ICL on Twitter @ICL_Turf

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