Avro Promoted On Greenfields Pitch

Avro Promoted On Greenfields Pitch: After two seasons of playing on their GreenFields 3G pitch, Avro FC have celebrated a second successive promotion which will see them move up from their short-lived stay in the North West Counties First Division to play the 2019-20 season in the North West Counties Premier Division.

Having won the Manchester Premier Division in 2018, then to gain promotion last season (finishing second but gaining promotion with points-per-game), Avro FC are certainly on a roll and definitely a team to look out for. Rob Fuller, Avro FC Chairman attributes their success in part to the installation of the 3G pitch back in Autumn 2017, he commented: “We are about to begin our third season with our GreenFields 3G pitch and we could not be more pleased with it. We are certain that the pitch has played a huge part in our back to back promotions. Last season was our first in semi-professional football, and we received only positive comments from visiting teams regarding the pitch. Several teams pointed out that the GreenFields surface was far superior to any that they had played on previously and they were impressed with the quality of the grass, and the natural bounce and run of the ball during game play. We are proud of our GreenFields pitch and look forward to continuing our successful partnership in 2019/20 as we look forward to playing in the NWCFL Premier Division for the first time.”

Avro Promoted On Greenfields Pitch

Last season saw the club compete in the coveted Buildbase FA Vase for the first time and their most recent promotion which will see them play at step 5 will also open the door to a place in the Emirates FA Cup, a dream for all clubs and footballers alike.

As part of their commitment to supporting non-league football clubs, GreenFields have renewed their sponsorship agreement with Avro FC for the 2019-20 season. Paul Milton, Commercial Director at GreenFields commented: “We are thrilled to see that Avro FC have been promoted for the second year in a row. It’s a brilliant achievement for them and we couldn’t be happier that the GreenFields pitch has played a part in their success. We look forward to seeing them continue to flourish and are proud to be partnering and supporting them for another season.”

More information on GreenFields can be found at www.greenfieldsturf.co.uk

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Complete DLF Range At Goodwood

Complete DLF Range At Goodwood: The Goodwood Estate relies on mixtures from across the DLF Seeds portfolio to deliver results site-wide. With a remit including two 18-hole golf courses, a cricket ground, gardens and farmland, a grass airfield, and a motor circuit, General Manager of Sports Turf & Grounds, Phil Helmn, is certainly kept busy with such a momentous breadth of surfaces to prepare.

Joining the Goodwood Estate four years ago, from a greenkeeping background, has seen a steep but fascinating learning curve for Phil – “everyone says it, but in this job no two days really are the same!  One day me, and anyone of my full-time grounds team of 35, could be working on golf course renovations, or the next coordinating ground preparations for Goodwood’s Festival of Speed which has an attendance equal to that of Glastonbury Festival!  What’s really interesting is how every environment has such different performance criteria so I’ve taken a lot of guidance and advice from companies and distributors, DLF being one of them.”

Complete DLF Range At Goodwood

As a long-standing user of seed from DLF’s Masterline and Johnsons Sports Seed mixtures, introducing those across the estate was one of Phil’s first exercises. “Ryegrass is the primary species used across the estate because of its hardwearing qualities and quick germination making it suitable on a wide variety of sports and fine turf areas. On our cricket wicket, Johnsons J Premier Wicket mixture has been working really well.”

Johnsons J Premier Wicket features a four-cultivar blend of Clementine, Monroe, Dickens and Chardin perennial ryegrass and delivers outstanding shoot density, rapid establishment and high disease resistance. In terms of its usage, Goodwood’s cricket ground has seen a surge in popularity, which is driving investment into the facilities later this year. “We currently host lots of local league matches but developments on one of the wickets will hopefully see that prepared to a higher spec with the J Premier Wicket, along with a £1m new pavilion, in the hope of heading towards county level play.”

Complete DLF Range At Goodwood

“On our golf greens, we’re currently on a bent grass overseeding programme and over on the grass airfield, which has a resident academy of three Spitfires, we’re using the hard-wearing ProMaster 70 mixture from Masterline. With so many sports arenas, there’s always new challenges, and peaks and troughs in demand, which keeps you on your toes. The seed from DLF gives us one constant we can rely on.”

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GreenFields Award Winners Announced

GreenFields Award Winners Announced: As Official Pitch Partners of the Northern Premier League, GreenFields launched the second Pitch of the Year Awards at the start of the season and crowned the winners at the league’s prestigious annual End of Season Awards on 15 June which took place in Blackpool.

The Pitch of the Year Awards recognise individuals and clubs who work tirelessly to ensure that their pitches look and feel the best that they can despite often having limited resources. With a staggering 90% of member clubs voting for their top pitches, (a 10% increase on last year’s votes), GreenFields then shortlisted the three clubs per division with the highest nominations. The next step was for the experienced, professional GreenFields Grounds Team to visit the nine shortlisted clubs to carry out in-depth pitch inspections.

GreenFields Award Winners Announced

During the pitch inspections the judges marked the surfaces on the following criteria:

Clegg Tests Moisture Tests
Visibility of Lines Overall Grass Coverage
Quality of Grass in Goal Mouth Areas Overall Surface Stability

The judges also interviewed each Groundsman on aspects such as fertiliser frequency and Summer renovation plans as well as taking into account the staff used for pitch maintenance, the maintenance equipment owned by the club, the weather on the day of the visit, the geographical location and weather implications, the average hours of pitch usage and the level of irrigation in place at the club. Whilst visiting each club, GreenFields documented the visits by using a dedicated app and by taking a series of photos.

GreenFields Marketing Manager, Louise Henderson and Commercial Director, Paul Milton attended the awards with Paul presenting the three winning clubs with a trophy along with £500 to spend on pitch maintenance materials or services from GreenFields. Paul commented: “For the second year of running these awards we have been impressed with both the calibre of pitches and the dedication displayed in the individuals we met. Many of the Groundsmen at these clubs are volunteers with limited resources, yet they work tirelessly with passion and enthusiasm to provide their clubs with the best possible match ready surfaces. GreenFields want to ensure that these passionate individuals and clubs receive the recognition they deserve, and we would like to thank all the shortlisted clubs for welcoming us so warmly during the pitch inspections.”

Well done to all the shortlisted clubs and the winners of the awards:

PREMIER

WINNER: South Shields FC

2nd: Bamber Bridge FC

3rd: Nantwich Town FC

EAST

WINNER: Tadcaster Albion FC

2nd: Cleethorpes Town FC

3rd: Stamford AFC

WEST

WINNER: Trafford FC

2nd: Colwyn Bay FC

3rd: Kidsgrove Athletic FC

GreenFields Award Winners Announced

Trafford FC’s Secretary, Graham Foxall commented on their second successive win of the Pitch of the Year Award: “It’s really great to see that our hard work has once again been recognised by our fellow clubs along with GreenFields for the Pitch of the Year Award for the second season in a row.”

Northern Premier League Chairman, Mark Harris commented: “The GreenFields Pitch of the Year scheme has helped the Northern Premier League to focus attention on the quality of all pitches, grass and artificial. By recognising high standards, we encourage others to raise their own, which has to be a positive step.”

More information on GreenFields can be found at www.greenfieldsturf.co.uk

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Greenkeeper Support Team Revealed

Greenkeeper Support Team Revealed: The Director of Golf and Greenkeeping at Wentworth Club has spoken about his pride at the return of a greenkeeper support team to assist with course maintenance during the BMW PGA Championship this September.

Members of the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) will head to Wentworth for the European Tour’s flagship event, which for the 2019 season has shifted from its traditional May hosting to September.

Greenkeeper Support Team Revealed

The shift in dates has been necessitated by changes to the world golf calendar and reduced competition from other events should mean a star-studded field of players head to Virginia Water for the Rolex Tour event, taking place from 19 to 22 September.

Wentworth’s Director of Golf Courses and Greenkeeping, Kenny Mackay, is eager for the BIGGA volunteers to get the most out of their time as part of the team and so the group is divided between those who will undertake bunker raking duties and those who will play an active role in the preparation and maintenance of the West Course for the duration of the event.

Kenny said: “With the change in the schedule, the hosting of the BMW PGA Championship is going to be a completely new experience for the Wentworth team. The preparation of the course each morning is going to be very tight if we’re to stay ahead of the golf and so the BIGGA volunteers will prove vital as we work to achieve our aims of preparing a course fit for the European Tour’s flagship event.”

“Over the last two years we’ve really evolved the support team experience, so a portion of the volunteers have the opportunity to fully integrate with the Wentworth team. If you ask the volunteers who come regularly, every year is getting better and better. We want to ensure they learn many things that they can then take back to their own club.”

BIGGA members are invited to participate in the BMW PGA Championship Volunteer Support Team as an opportunity for career development that is provided as part of their membership. July will also see a separate team of members head to Royal Portrush to assist with The Open, while teams will also attend other major events, such as the Ladies British Open and the Solheim Cup.

To hear more from Kenny Mackay about the changes to the European Tour schedule and what it means to the Wentworth team, listen to episode 8 of the Green Room Golf Course Podcast, available on Apple Podcasts and via the BIGGA website.

The BIGGA Support Team for the BMW PGA Championship 2019 is:

Preparation support team

Adam Baldwin, Lilley Brook; Anthony Duffield, Ham Manor; Craig Woodman, Bramshaw; Daniel Evans, Maesdu Llandudno; David Ball, Thetford; Josh Dunn, Bramcote Waters; Kevin Tigg, Merrist Wood; Leigh Powell, Windlesham; Phillip Slater, West Herts; Rob Patrick, Stoneham; Sam Ewing, Crane Valley; Jonny Peacock, Rugby; David Taylor, The Bristol; Peter Meek, The Wisley; Seamus Gaughan, Migros Golf Park (Switzerland); Tim Leat, Rich River (Australia); Luke Lacey, Exminster; Callum Atkinson, Prestbury; Harry Misselbrook, Harewood Downs; Henry Aggar, Windlesham.

Bunker support team

Jeff Drake, Newbury & Crookham; Oliver Kirk, unattached; Sam Amey, Basingstoke; Nathan O’Sullivan, China Fleet; Kevin Weller, Dale Hill Hotel; Iain Biggs, Chesterfield Downs; Oli Norfolk, Tylney Park; David Westwood, Kingswood; Jamie Ingerson, Rochester and Cobham; Nick Street, Crews Hill; Billy MacArthur, Temple; Craig Gibson, Essendon Country; Steven Maples, Coventry; Oliver Clark, Mill Hill; Matthew Winney, East Sussex National; Jacob Kennard, Milton Abbey School; Aaron Stead, Surrey Down; Ashley Darnley, The Bristol; Charlie Cripps, Cams Hall Estate; Sam Bethell, Chipstead; Steve Bridgeman, Woking; Steven Hirons, Kirtlington; Tony Bartram, Wentworth; Stuart Simmonds, Boundary Lakes; Robert Brown, Bognor Regis; Adam Young, The Players Club; Daniel Allsworth, Drayton Park; Nicholas Edwards, Remedy Oak; Stevie-Jon Hood, Forest of Galtres; Lewis Turner, The Dyke; Ryan Lindsay, East Sussex National; Matthew Lindsay, Highwoods; Chris Mitchell, Maidenhead; Ryan Frankish, Spalding; David Smith, Newmarket Links; Gary Nimmo, Oundle; Jordan Belong, Camberley Heath; Patrick Redmond, Woking; Stuart Fry, Old Thorns; Jakob Schur, Rudding Park; Jorge Manso, Coombe Wood; Daniel Cowley, Stanmore; Lee Williams, Phoenix; Martin Coe, China Fleet; Kevin Hensman, Rowlands Castle; Steven Morgans, Harrow School; Jack Holman, Middleton Hall; Graham Down, Harewood Downs;

James Lomas, Hadley.

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Innovative Leadership In Sustainability Reporting By Golf

Innovative Leadership In Sustainability Reporting By Golf: GEO Foundation, supported by multiple partners and stakeholders, has announced the development of a new and ground-breaking framework for golf’s social and environmental reporting – this news was shared in front of an audience of global sustainability systems, government agencies, non-government organisations, corporations and other institutions.

The announcement represents a significant watershed in how the sport can quantifiably and consistently track and demonstrate its progress and value.

Innovative Leadership In Sustainability Reporting By Golf

The Independent Chair of the project’s Strategic Advisory Group is Paul Druckman, former CEO of the International Integrated Reporting Council. Druckman said: “Golf is a large and influential sport, comprising over 34,000 grassroots facilities in over 200 countries, hundreds of professional tournaments and with a significant supply chain. It also has powerful media and reach, and can inspire hundreds of thousands of fans.

“Golf is not unique amongst business to increasingly recognise the need to consistently measure and communicate with credibility its environmental and social impact. Through this work, golf is also gearing up to show how the sport delivers against global priorities, principally the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals’’.

Jonathan Smith, Executive Director of GEO Foundation, the international not-for-profit dedicated to helping advance sustainability in and through golf, added: “The goal is to enable golf to accurately monitor, measure and communicate real impacts, and to connect that locally, nationally and internationally. It has been a complex but enjoyable challenge – studying, collaborating, developing a deep understanding of the priority metrics, mapping audiences and building user-centric software to simplify data gathering at scale.

The project began a year ago after discussion hosted by the Vidauban Foundation and the response from golf associations, as well as externally, has been tremendous. We’d particularly like to thank strategic partners: The R&A, Vidauban Foundation, Toro Foundation, and the ISEAL Innovations Fund, plus over 150 scientists, association leaders and grassroots golf course and club managers – who contributed to the various consultations.”

The framework is designed to help golf more consistently quantify and communicate its ‘net impact’ across golf’s ‘Sustainability Agenda’. As such it covers the material environmental and social issues across three main themes: fostering nature, conserving resources and supporting communities.

To ensure credibility and connectivity, the framework aligns closely with mainstream sustainability goals and reporting systems and is underpinned by the core principles of inclusiveness, materiality, reliability and context. It will be available in the coming months.

With both golf’s voluntary standards and the new metrics fully integrated into OnCourse, the software solution used to engage golf facilities, tournaments and associations; the next phase is to work closely with partners to roll-out, engage and drive active participation. OnCourse is currently used in 76 countries around the world and is available in nine languages.

“We look forward to working with many partners across golf to roll-out the framework and the software, empowering them, their golf facilities and their tournaments to drive individual performance and at the same time pool real data and stories from thousands of sources. This will support the strengthening advocacy and policies of a growing number of international and national associations,” Smith added.

Initial support for the project

Patrick Mallet, Director of Innovations, ISEAL Alliance: “Anyone who’s serious about sustainability knows that the ability to measure performance and impacts is key.  What we like about GEO’s approach is that here we have an example of a sector that is seeking to become more transparent, and shortening the distance between commitments, actions and communicable outcomes.  Building a framework and associated software for issues as complex as these, and for small and medium-sized enterprises like sports clubs is no mean feat and we congratulate everyone involved for their commitment and their creativity.”

Steve Isaac, Director of Sustainability, The R&A: “The R&A has long advocated the value of golf building a robust database of key performance indicators to measure and report on golf’s sustainability performance locally, nationally and internationally. Our support of the GEO Foundation and this project, in particular, should help golf understand its current performance, identify priority areas for improvement, enhance the sport’s image and help the sport become more resilient to the many environmentally and socially driven challenges we face related to the changing climate, regulation or resource constraints. We are extremely pleased to see this initial milestone achieved and look forward to further collaboration with GEO and our affiliates around the world to engage grassroots clubs in the gathering, analysis and communication of data back across the sport of golf and to external audiences.”

Antony Scanlon, Chief Executive of the International Golf Federation: “This is a really exciting project and one that we can see is at the forefront of the Olympic sustainability movement. It is good to see golf sharing knowledge and experiences with other sports and throughout the Olympic family, as we all work together to make sport as sustainable as possible.”

Judson McNeil, President, Toro Foundation, Toro Giving and Community Relations at The Toro Company: “Every sector’s use of critical natural resources such as water is under scrutiny. We have to be able to account for every drop and show how we are maximising efficiency. That can only happen with data, which is expertly analysed. That is why the Toro Company has supported GEO Foundation in their endeavours over many years and why we will continue to lend our support and expertise in the future.”

Julie Duffus, Olympic Movement Sustainability Manager, International Olympic Committee: “This framework is excellent news for golf, the Olympic Movement and global sustainability. As the leader of the Olympic Movement, the IOC looks forward to engaging further on this exciting initiative and supporting its implementation. We hope that GEO’s leadership will inspire others to adopt such a systematic and holistic approach to sustainability.”

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J Premier Delivers At Bournemouth

J Premier Delivers At Bournemouth: If it ain’t broken, then why fix it?! That’s certainly the motto of Ian Lucas, Head of Grounds at AFC Bournemouth, when it comes to the choice of grass seed across both the Vitality Stadium and two pitches at King’s Park training ground. When Ian joined the club 18 months ago, Johnsons J Premier Pitch mixture was the seed of choice across the two first-team facilities, and having delivered reliable coverage, colour and wear tolerance, it looks to be a decision that’s set to stay.

Supported by a grounds team of seven, Ian is now into his third season of using J Premier Pitch. “I had obviously heard of the mixture but had not used it previously so when I inherited the seeding programme of my predecessor, it was my first real experience of the Johnsons Sports Seed mixture. It hasn’t disappointed!” Ian oversows with J Premier Pitch at a rate of 45g/m2 during renovations in April and at a lower rate of 15g/m2 in October, depending on the weather conditions and how the pitch is wearing.

J Premier Delivers At Bournemouth

Through the season, they adopt a ‘pre-germinated seed’ strategy for ongoing recovery and repair of high wear areas. “It’s a well-known-tactic but not one that seems to be frequently employed in the industry” he explains. “We fill a bucket ¾ full of Premier Pitch, then top it up with water and place it in a heated container for three to four days until it pops, before applying it to areas such as goal mouths and corner spots. This method shaves up to two weeks off germination, giving us a real advantage especially during the colder months.”

“We’ve achieved good wear tolerance, disease resistance and the germination we need throughout the year. The colour is one of the main things for us, and the J Premier Pitch is unbeatable for this, backed up by the respective cultivar ratings in the STRI listings.” Ian will discuss requirements with his local DLF technical support advisor Ian Barnett, who keeps him up to date on new developments and provides guidance on seed selection. “He’ll always pop in at key times, such as renovations, and advise us on current supply to ensure we get delivery in time – vital to keeping us on track.”

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Capillary Concrete & EcoBunker At Ryder Cup Venue

Capillary Concrete & EcoBunker At Ryder Cup Venue: The first phase of construction work has been completed on the rebuild of the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club course outside Rome, the venue for the 2022 Ryder Cup. This phase has seen the back nine of the golf course reconstructed, and the holes are now growing in. The front nine is to be rebuilt at a later date.

The construction crew provided by contractor SOL Golf, finished its work at the end of May. For the last three weeks of work, a specialist subcontract team from EcoBunker was on site installing about 500 metres of the company’s AquaEdge lake edging product on two separate ponds, one on the left of the home green, and the other to the front right of the sixteenth, with logistic and labour support from SOL. EcoBunker CEO Richard Allen, the creator of AquaEdge, says: “Dave Sampson, the course architect from European Golf Design, wanted to make the sixteenth into a feature hole, as he knows that more Ryder Cup matches end at the sixteenth than anywhere else. It’s a pretty drivable par four, downhill, with a huge spectator area around the green.”

Capillary Concrete & EcoBunker At Ryder Cup Venue

The bunkers of the back nine are shaped, but are planned to be finished in September, when they will be lined with the Capillary Concrete system and then filled with sand. Sampson himself specified Capillary Concrete for the course’s bunkers, having seen its performance elsewhere – including at Le Golf National in Paris, host to the recent 2018 Ryder Cup.

“The first phase of bunker works amounts to about 5,000 sq m of Capillary Concrete,” said the company’s European representative Kneale Diamond. “Construction of the second nine is expected to start as soon as the first nine holes are open – and to be finished by next May.”

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Century Up At Gleneagles

Century Up At Gleneagles: Gleneagles in Perthshire, Scotland has recently celebrated the 100th birthday of its iconic King’s and Queen’s Courses, with a little help from local John Deere dealer Sandy Armit of Double A.

Designed by James Braid and created using nothing more than manual labour and horse and cart, both courses were officially opened on 1 May 1919 and have an illustrious history.

Century Up At Gleneagles

The King’s Course hosted a famous match between the ‘Big Three’ of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player in 1966, as well as the popular Bell’s Scottish Open on the European Tour from 1987 to 1994, the largest spectator event after The Open at the time. The Queen’s Course has also hosted great names from entertainment and sport, including Sean Connery and Alan Shepard, the only man to hit a golf shot on the moon!

In more recent times, and under Gleneagles’ new ownership by Ennismore, both courses have benefited from extensive renovation projects. These have seen them realigned to Braid’s original design vision with wider fairways, bringing strategically placed bunkers back in play, and the reintroduction of Scottish heather in key areas.

As part of the special centenary celebrations, Gleneagles staff recreated several historic archive photographs from the 1920s, including an image of a tractor pulling a set of gang mowers on a fairway. This was replicated with a 1941 John Deere Model B tractor, equipped with a set of trailed cylinder gang mowers. The tractor is owned by Sandy Armit and is usually on display at the dealership’s headquarters in Cupar, Fife.

Gleneagles signed an exclusive contract with John Deere in 2017 for the supply of golf course maintenance equipment and related technology to the three championship golf courses at the award winning hotel and golf resort.

Century Up At Gleneagles

John Deere also celebrated its own centenary last year, as March 14, 2018 marked the 100th anniversary of the day Deere & Company bought the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company of Waterloo in Iowa and officially entered the tractor business for which it would become famous worldwide; tractors are still made at Waterloo to this day. The Model B tractor that was loaned to Gleneagles is still John Deere’s all-time bestselling model, with 300,000 sold from 1935 to 1953.

For more information, visit: www.JohnDeere.co.uk

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Riptide Plays Key Role At JCB

Riptide Plays Key Role At JCB: ICL’s Riptide, the no1 ranked creeping bentgrass, has been a key player in the development of the greens at the stunning JCB Golf and Country Club.

Set amid the lush green rolling countryside of Staffordshire lies one of the most exciting new golf courses to be built in the UK over the last decade. No stone has been left unturned in the creation of this remarkable 18-hole course designed by British architect Robin Hiseman of European Golf Design.

Riptide Plays Key Role At JCB

“This is a high end facility that people might only visit once a year or even just once in their lifetime. The whole experience has to be there and it is down to us to deliver that on the golf course,” said Callum Wark, Golf Course Manager.

No doubt those who play the course will be fully immersed in the experience and will marvel at the imaginative design concepts of the course. It is also inevitable that the course will provide the backdrop for compelling drama to unfold – history will be made and the finest players in the world will steal the limelight but the unsung heroes responsible for this magnificent course deserve every bit of credit.

The story that will not be told, is that throughout this four year journey, the greenkeeping team at the JCB Golf and Country Club have been involved in the whole construction process from start to finish.

“Myself and four senior greenkeepers were equally involved in all aspects of construction,” said Euan Grant, General Manager. “We had all been around constructions in the past but none of us had ever had direct construction experience. For greenkeepers to jump on excavators and dumpers, and to be ploughing and turning soils over is really quite remarkable. We have been fully engrossed in the project working seven days a week making the best of the weather when we can.

“It is a heavy clay site so we had to work when it was dry. If we got two days of rain then we couldn’t work for ten days and if that meant working at 8 o’clock on a Sunday night then we were working at 8 o’clock on a Sunday night.”

It is no wonder that Euan, Callum and the team speak about their involvement with an overwhelming sense of pride. After all, they have helped to create a world-class golf complex that will stand shoulder to shoulder with the very best. However, these modest greenkeepers are not allowing themselves to get that far ahead…yet.

Riptide Plays Key Role At JCB

“The tournaments will happen but first of all we need to achieve agronomic excellence,” said Euan.

“In order to achieve that, and in order to host tournaments, you have to be in that top percentile of golf course reputation and quality,” added Callum.

With the construction coming to an end, their attentions quickly turned to ensuring that they had the correct suppliers and products in place which would indeed help them to reach that top tier – and the greens were the first port of call.

In order to select the ideal grass seed for the greens, Euan created a trial area and split a nursery into five different rootzone amendments which consisted of a profile product – which was porous ceramic, a green waste product, two zeolite products and a straight sand. Six different grasses from six different suppliers were then applied to the rootzone plots.

“We monitored the germination rates, density, colour and disease to find out which product would be the best for our site,” said Euan. “We didn’t put any fungicides on them throughout winter because we wanted to know which diseases would be more prevalent. Based on all of the results, and also by looking closely at which was the strongest grass coming out of winter, we decided that we would go with ICL’s Riptide on a green waste compost / sand mix as per USGA specification.”

Exclusive to ICL, Riptide is the no1 ranked creeping bentgrass variety, it is ideal for seeding new areas or when used for interseeding as part of a course renovation programme. This fine-leaved, densely-shooting, creeping bentgrass establishes quickly, especially in spring, growing upright but low to the ground with high tiller shoot density and keeping its bright mid-green colour right through autumn and winter.

Riptide responds very well to lower nutritional inputs and less frequent watering, potentially significantly reducing costs involved in a higher maintenance programme and offering a more sustainable approach; less fertilizer, fungicide, scarification and verti-cutting.

Furthermore, Riptide was given top rankings for quality of appearance and disease resistance by the The Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) and the United States based National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP).

Riptide Plays Key Role At JCB

Sowing at an application rate of between 6-8g/m², the team at the JCB Golf and Country Club used Riptide to seed and grow-in eleven greens in the first year and then nine the following year.

“We were germinating in five days and mowing in ten days,” said Euan. “Because it was our first year and it was a soft opening, we were under no pressure whatsoever to cut the grass down to achieve fast speeds. However, we were still getting 10.5ft without significantly chasing that. It is an incredibly fine grass.”

“We haven’t looked back,” added Callum. “The rooting has been amazing – we are 300mm of rootzone over 100mm gravel and even now, a year on from opening, the roots are way down into the gravel. They are incredibly strong roots.”

Commenting on the use of Riptide at the JCB Golf and Country Club, Emma Kilby, Technical Area Sales Manager for ICL, said: “I’m really proud that Riptide has played a big part in the greens here and the development of our seeds is growing all of the time – you just have to look at the new cultivars we’ve got which have a very high rating within the STRI.

“It has been incredible to be involved from the very start. From coming in here and just seeing clay to where they are now is a fantastic achievement. JCB is a great company to work with, in terms of their history, their ethos and their direction.”

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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Hybrid Pitches To Transform Cricket

Hybrid Pitches To Transform Cricket: SIS Pitches has installed pioneering hybrid cricket pitches at County Cricket Clubs across the United Kingdom ahead of the 2019 cricket season.

The surface installation technology has been developed exclusively by industry experts SIS Pitches and comes as new research reveals it could have significant benefits for players and clubs.

Hybrid Pitches Set To Transform Cricket

The breakthrough has been possible thanks to SISGrass Universal, a compact and 100% electric machine with patented fibre injection technology, which combines speed, mobility and laser precision to deliver high-quality hybrid turf surfaces.

SISGrass hybrid cricket pitches have been installed and trialled in practice net areas and on main ground squares at a number of County Cricket Clubs since 2017.

Together with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), SIS Pitches commissioned research by Dr Iain James, cricket pitch specialist at TGMS Ltd, on SISGrass installed pitches at the Kia Oval, home to Surrey County Cricket Club, designed to provide insight into playability, durability, maintenance and renovation of hybrid wickets.

The report found that the pitches improved surface stability, reduced wear, reduced bowler foot holes and significantly extended hours of playing time. Futher research this summer will be carried out to ascertain whether there is increased pace and carry, and more consistent bounce from hybrid pitches.

The ECB became the first to install two trial wickets using SISGrass technology at the prestigious National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough and they have now approved hybrid pitches for use in the Royal London One Day Cup, Vitality Blast and all formats of second XI cricket for the 2019 season.

The pitches combine a majority of natural turf grass with less than 5% of uniquely engineered, soft polyethylene yarn, a system which has also been used to improve the quality of golf tees, goal areas, tennis courts and pitch surrounds.

Hybrid Pitches Set To Transform Cricket

In addition, repair works after play were reduced with a faster grass recovery time, while the surface remained more than 95% natural turf, meaning it will crucially still behave like a normal wicket.

Chris Wood, ECB’s Pitches Consultant, said: “The ECB is delighted with the incredibly positive results of these stitched, reinforced hybrid pitches to date and feedback from County Clubs has been most profound and encouraging.

“SIS Pitches have demonstrated their willingness through imaginative foresight, attention to detail and technological development towards converting a notion into reality which through the ongoing research since conception.

“This product has the potential to be a real gamechanger for the future of cricket, particularly in the lucrative, limited over, whiteball form of the game through increased usage and possible freeing up of central TV pitches, most importantly, without sacrificing quality over quantity.

“I’m aware that many clubs and indeed international governing bodies are viewing the ongoing progress with increasing interest.”

Weighing less than two tons and standing at 1.20m wide and 2m in length, the SISGrass Universal machine provides quick, accurate and flexible stitching, with different depths and spacing using precise laser guidance making it a practical solution for groundskeepers who are challenged to maintain uniform grass quality in high-wear areas.

One 10ft cricket pitch strip contains approximately 190,000 individual stitches of SISGrass fibre, made up of 46kg of yarn, totalling 38km, and can be installed in just five hours using SISGrass Universal.

After installation, pitches are maintained for a minimum of eight weeks to allow the profile to settle and for all holes to close and anchor the SISGrass fibres.

Phil Blackwell, SISGrass Director in the UK, said: “Some of the world’s biggest professional rugby and football teams have already seen significant benefits from the introduction of our hybrid pitch technology, and SISGrass Universal has the potential to transform the maintenance and durability of cricket pitches.

Hybrid Pitches Set To Transform Cricket

“We’re excited to see the impact it’s already having in the UK and anticipate demand from cricket clubs around the world.

“Our research and feedback from clubs and ground staff has been extremely positive so far, and our hope is that in the future hybrid pitches can be used as an alternative option to traditional wickets for practice and short formats of the game.”

Following successful trial installations, and positive feedback from players, coaches and ground staff, the demand for hybrid cricket pitches has increased with many of the top county cricket grounds choosing to have between two and six installed.

Hybrid cricket pitches have now been installed at Surrey, Lord’s, Lancashire, Nottinghamshire, Glamorgan, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Durham, Worcestershire, Warwickshire and at Loughborough University.

Watch the SISGrass Universal cricket pitch installation at The Oval, Surrey County Cricket Club

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