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Newquay GC welcomes Terra Float Air

Newquay GC welcomes Terra Float Air: The unique setting of Newquay Golf Club makes it an iconic coastal landmark. With Cornwall’s glorious surfing destination, Fistral Beach as backdrop, it sits high atop the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

For Dan Kendle, Course Manager, at the Harry Colt-designed links, summer has been as hectic as anything he can remember.

Newquay GC welcomes Terra Float Air

Newquay GC welcomes Terra Float Air

“There’s certainly not been much down time,” he admits. “It’s been mental for the last 18 months. The town has been so busy; actually, sometimes too busy, for infrastructure to cope.

“In the past, the club has never had vast numbers of groups of visiting golfers, just a steady membership made up of locals. However, tourist golfers are loving it. There have been days when there hasn’t been a single tee time available from seven in the morning through to six at night. We imposed a cut off at 7.00 pm for people as we literally can’t fit any more.”

Extra funds have meant Dan Kendle has bought a Wiedenmann Terra Float Air pneumatic seeder, delivered in September, something on his wish list for the last 6½ years since taking up post.

“We’ve never really had a proper overseeder, just a basic one. I considered two or three contenders, spoke to David Barnes at dealers, Mason Kings and narrowed it to the Wiedenmann. I chatted to other links managers who had bought the Air, including Paul Larsen at Royal St George’s. He couldn’t say enough good words about his… that was good enough for me … I had the demo and it backed up all I’d heard.”

The Terra Float Air combines three units in one. A base unit aerates and prepares a seed bed to a max depth of 30 mm by way of fine slits or spikes. Then the top-mounted pneumatic air seeder accurately distributes the seed either pre or post top dressing. Finally, a brush and roller combination gives a desired finish incorporating the materials and leaving the surface smooth. Thanks to finitely accurate electronic static calibration, quantities as low as 1.0 g / m² can be achieved.

Having had his Air less than a month, Dan, and his team of four full timers, have decided to try a few schemes to see what works best.

“In the past, we really only overseeded greens twice a year and annually some fairways.  This involved putting a blunt tine in the greens and the seeds via a broadcast spreader, but this is a different league. Going forward, we will start off overseeding greens probably every six weeks just lightly and see where that takes us. We’ll keep pushing the fescue low, maybe 4-5 grammes per square metre on greens and surrounds.  Tees will be two or three times a year while Fairways once or twice a year, up at about 8 – 10 grammes. Then we’ll review. We’ll be using Limagrain’s MM Coastal mix fescue, something also relatively new for us.

“It’s easy to get the Air on the tractor. The stored electronic memory feature is one of the brilliant details. Once you input your programme you don’t have to touch it again.

“Even before it had arrived word had got out that Air was on its way and a few nearby course managers have already asked if we will be hiring it out. We also own a Wiedenmann GXI8 HD deep aerator and the Terra Float Air are both very similar as they are totally reliable, and we can use them in every area of our course.”

David Barnes, at Mason Kings, Wiedenmann UK dealers for Cornwall, said:The Air also has an assured performance on undulations with good forward speed and leaves a very clean surface.   The beauty of the Wiedenmann is that it respects that seed is a very precious and expensive commodity and meters it so precisely there is no wastage. These days that is a big saving and brings peace of mind to a club or a contractor. With a much busier course, Dan and team can be out in a matter of minutes when opportunity allows.”

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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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Dealer Helps Air Ambulance

Dealer Helps Air Ambulance: Nigel Rafferty Groundcare of Redruth, Cornwall were more than happy to loan one of their Iseki demonstration tractors at short notice to the Cornwall Air Ambulance for the launch of the Charity’s £2.5m New Heli Appeal on Tuesday 24 April.

The tractor was used to tow and position the next generation AW169 helicopter flown in especially for the launch between the helipad and the hanger.

Dealer Helps Cornwall Air Ambulance

Nigel Rafferty says, “We are very pleased to have been asked to help with the launch of this appeal – even in this small way. We were in no doubt that our Iseki TL3400 tractor would cope well with towing the new helicopter to and from the hanger to the helipad.”

Cornwall Air Ambulance are now embarking on a two-year fundraising campaign, the New Heli Appeal, to urgently raise £2.5m to bring this next generation air ambulance helicopter to Cornwall by April 2020, the date the lease runs out on its current aircraft.

To donate visit Cornwall Air Ambulance website.

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Aer-Aid Instils Air Of Confidence

Aer-Aid Instils Air Of Confidence: The Grounds Manager at Shrewsbury School, Andy Richards, is a strong believer that aeration is one of the most important practices carried out by groundsmen, and this is exactly why he has recently purchased a new SISIS Javelin Aer-Aid.

Shrewsbury School is one of the country’s leading co-educational independent schools for 13-18-year-olds and attracts boys and girls from all over the country. It is one of the original seven public schools as defined by the Public Schools Act 1868, and its impressive list of previous pupils boasts a certain Mr Charles Darwin. In line with the work of its most famous “Old Salopian”, the school continues to evolve in a dynamic way, achieving both outstanding academic and sporting results.

Aer-Aid Instils Air Of Confidence

“We have a good blend of academics and sports at Shrewsbury School,” says Andy. “Sport is a massive part of the School and there is a very strong house sport system – in fact the students are willing to run through a brick wall for their school and their house in sporting competitions!”

It is for this reason that Andy and his team leave no stone un-turned when it comes to preparing and maintaining sports pitches of the highest standard. In discussing his maintenance procedures, Andy pin-pointed aeration as one of the most vital.

“Speaking with other groundsmen, we have one of the highest pitch usages in the country. On each pitch we average 10-15 hours per week and we’ve got limited drainage. Therefore, one of the most important things we do is aeration and we aerate pitches all of the time. Grass lives and needs air like anyone else,” he says.

Breathing life into Andy’s grass is his newly purchased SISIS Javelin Aer-Aid tractor mounted aerator, and he had no problem in running it past the School’s bursars – as he explains.

“It was the machine I wanted because I had previously trialled it and had good results. I Clegg hammered the pitches before and after using the Aer-Aid and had noticed a massive reduction in hardness. I know that the Aer-Aid had recently undergone extensive Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) trials and it came out with excellent results – which always gives you confidence and makes it easier to explain to the bursars why you want to purchase it.”

As Andy says, the Javelin Aer-Aid recently gained rave reviews from the STRI. Over a three month period, extensive STRI trials led by Dr Christian Spring were carried out which examined how and if the Javelin Aer-Aid had an effect on the hardness of the turf, the root depth, water infiltration and disease. Christian reported that “it became obvious that the Aer-Aid improved maximum root and depth within the soil profile and also had the benefit of increasing the depth of the average rooting mass.”

With 10mm diameter ‘tipped’ tines working at 75mm (3ins) spacing, air is introduced from the Aer-Aid at a rate of 88 litres (3cu.ft.) per minute. These air injection tines are specially designed to use the maximum air available from the compressor and produces clean, fresh air, while also ensuring that surface disturbance is kept to a minimum. The cam trigger mechanism ensures that the air is always expelled at the bottom of the tine penetration, enabling treatment to be targeted precisely and consistently.

“We do all the normal types of aeration but to actually be able to inject air into the surface as opposed to just a mechanical operation of it is a massive bonus,” says Andy.

“It’s a really good machine, easy to use and we can see significant improvements since using the Aer-Aid.”

For further information or a no obligation demonstration, please contact SISIS on 01332 824 777 or visit www.sisis.com

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