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Japanese excellence at Whitefield GC

Japanese excellence at Whitefield GC: Whitefield Golf Club, one of the longest established golf courses in the North West have invested in a brand-new fleet of machinery with a retail value in excess of £250,000 to futureproof the club.

The prestigious 18-hole mature golf course, which boasts superb putting surfaces, undulating, partly tree-lined fairways and spectacular views is also renowned for its par 3 and has a reputation as being deceptively difficult, with golfers coming from miles around to take on the challenge.

Japanese excellence at Whitefield GC

Japanese excellence at Whitefield GC

The club’s ageing fleet had started to become an issue, failing to deliver the standard required and with a prestigious tournament booked for this summer, the team realised that a sizeable investment in an entirely new fleet was required.

Course Manager Danny Chamberlain called upon award winning fine-turf specialist supplier GGM Groundscare. Several considerations had to be taken into account when selecting the best machinery for the job, with reliability and productivity of equipment being key. In addition, being based in the North West of England, it was key for the machinery to perform well in all-weather conditions. The club trialled a range of products from leading manufacturers Baroness and Kubota and the Greens team instantly saw the great results, with the machines staying on cut for longer and giving a precise finish, which is so important for maintaining the image of the course”

Danny was particularly impressed with the results from the Baroness LM2700 Fairway Mower, which  delivers a high work rate while delivering exceptional quality of cut, low whole life service costs and also long life and the Baroness GM2810 Rough Mower, renowned for its fast speed when cutting extensive areas of fast growing  rough, the design of the decks allows cleaner discharge of grass giving a high quality stripped finish.

“It’s the simplicity that I love – not only will it reduce downtime, maintenance and service costs – the Baroness is far easier and safer for the team to use and gives a truly outstanding quality of cut”

Additionally, the Kubota L2501 tractor, RTV X900 Utility vehicle and ZD1211 Zero turn mower are all excellent machines and provide the club with the quality and efficient solutions that it needs. The Baroness and Kubota products work so well together and gives the ideal package to golf clubs.

It was this, along with the reliability and output of all the machines the club trialled and the fixed-cost service and support package that was available that were key factors for Danny. It allows the club to budget better and gave the team peace of mind that they won’t be receiving unexpected repair bills that gave him the confidence to place an order to replace the full fleet.

“It was a huge step for the club to move away from the previous manufacturer, and particularly when it came to making an investment of this size however, GGM Groundscare made the process so easy. Working with the right dealership is essential – after all, they become an extension of your own team. Service levels, parts back up and sales advice are all absolutely crucial. It’s fantastic to know that we’re heading into the future with the very best fleet for our club.”

Chris Gibson, Managing Director at GGM Groundscare said:

“We are absolutely delighted to supply this fleet of machinery to Whitefield Golf Club. It is well known as one of the most prestigious courses in the North West with a reputation for pristine greens, and we are thrilled to play a part in the maintenance of them. It really is Japanese excellence working together with Kubota and Baroness as there are no better machines for golf clubs to use to maintain one of their biggest assets – their course”.

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Procore 648 a hit at Muir-Of-Ord

Procore 648 a hit at Muir-Of-Ord: Muir-Of-Ord Golf Club, located a few miles north of Inverness in Scotland, has chosen to invest in Toro for the first time, purchasing a ProCore 648 pedestrian aerator to enable quality aeration across the whole course.  

Head greenkeeper, Darren Hexley, explains: “We’ve never had Toro at the club before, but once our old aerator was reaching the end of its life, we seized the opportunity to improve the course with Toro. We’d been working with a tractor-mounted aerator and were keen to get a pedestrian aerator so we could access more areas of the course.”

Procore 648 a hit at Muir-Of-Ord

Procore 648 a hit at Muir-Of-Ord

Years of research, customer input, testing and attention to detail went into making the ProCore 648 the most productive and efficient walking aerator on the market, something Muir-Of-Ord is now experiencing.

“We noticed a difference from just the demonstration,” says Darren. “Staff and golfers have commented on the improvement that can be seen already. As a pedestrian aerator, we no longer have to drive over greens, and with no tyre tracks it’s a much cleaner job. But the biggest thing is that we’ve been able to cover areas of the course we weren’t able to before, such as slopes and the backs of bunkers. The benefits of this is huge. With just one Toro addition to our fleet we’re able to vastly improve the course.”

Darren is no stranger to the quality and results from Toro having previous experience with the brand, he says:  “I’ve used Toro before at previous clubs, and indeed the ProCore 648, so it was no surprise that it proved itself here to be a brilliant piece of kit. We could instantly see the benefits of the ProCore 648 over our old kit.”

It’s not just the improvement to the course that matters though. As a club with only three permanent staff members working on the course maintenance, having efficient and reliable machinery is vital. Something the ProCore 648 certainly delivers on.

“With only three of us on the greenkeeping team, having efficient and reliable machinery is very important and goes a long way,” says Darren. “The ProCore 648 will allow us to get out first thing in the summer and cover more ground than we could with our tractor-mounted aerator in the same time. The variable speed setting also really helps with that – it provides a consistent speed for a more even application.”

With the club’s only Toro machine having made such a difference to both the productivity of the staff and the quality of the playing surface, it seems only natural Darren is now wanting to bring more Toro on board.

“Once we’re in a position financially to make further machinery investment, it is certainly my preference to look to Toro. It would be great to invest in some of the latest technology, in particular one of Toro’s hybrid mowers.”

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PRO 34R magnificent at Meadow Lane

PRO 34R magnificent at Meadow Lane: Since using the Dennis PRO 34R rotary mower, the pitch at Notts County FC’s Meadow Lane has never been so clean according to head groundsman Matthew Hallam.

Matthew has been the head groundsman at Notts County FC for just over 18 months. In this relatively short time, he has seen a change of ownership and there is now a new sense of hope instilled at the club.

PRO 34R magnificent at Meadow Lane

PRO 34R magnificent at Meadow Lane

This impressive young groundsman has already made a difference in his short tenure and says that the new owners are certainly on-board with his future plans.

“The new owners have been in charge for 7 months now,” says Matthew. “It’s a slow build and they want to take this club as far as they can. We have been fully backed by them and they have really listened to us.”

Matthew has two members of staff working alongside him and admits that it can be challenging at times and that resources are often stretched, and it is for these reasons that the owners agreed to the purchase of two new Dennis PRO 34R rotary mowers.

“We first had a demonstration and I was instantly impressed with the speed of them and the amount of ground they covered due to the size of them. Prior to the purchase of these machines it was taking four rotary mowers and four people to clean up after a match.

“Purchasing these machines would mean that we would be able to get the pitch cleaned with just two people in a quicker time – it made complete sense and fortunately the owners agreed to it.”

The Dennis PRO 34R is a 34” (860mm) rotary mower which has been designed to help groundsmen achieve an aesthetically pleasing appearance and desired playing surface. It is ideal for sports pitches and lawns producing the enviable ‘Dennis Stripes’ while a powerful vacuum flow collects debris quickly and efficiently.

The angle of the cutting deck and twin blades can be easily adjusted using a single ‘click adjuster’ ensuring the mower is suitable for changing conditions and meeting groundsmen’s requirements.

“The PRO 34R’s are so good at getting all the debris off the surface – the vacuum is absolutely brilliant,” he continues. “We’ve found that after a game we have never seen the pitch as clean compared to how it used to look with the old rotary mowers we were using.

“You also get great presentation and we often use them on a matchday as well. If we have had a training session on a Friday, then we will use the PRO 34R to stripe the pitch on a Saturday morning before a game. We also take them across to the nearby training ground and they can easily fit onto the back of a trailer.

“We did look at other rotary mowers but with Dennis we knew exactly what we would get. We’ve used the machines before, they are reliable, you get great service and if you need parts you can call Dennis and get them straight away.”

For further information or a no obligation demonstration, please contact Dennis 01332 824 777 or visit www.dennisuk.com

For more news, reviews and insightful views, you can follow Dennis on Twitter @DennisMowers and like the company’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/DennisMowersUK. You can also view the latest Dennis videos by visiting www.youtube.com/DennisMowers

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New appointment at Indigrow

New appointment at Indigrow: Indigrow are delighted to announce the appointments of Joe Russell as area sales manager, helping us expand and enhance our areas of operation within the UK.

For the last few years, Joe has been working in Landscaping and Lawncare, including a spell travelling and working in Sydney, Australia. He studied Sport and Outdoor Education at University and is a keen runner who regularly takes part in local 10k races. Currently training to run marathons, Joe also enjoys playing cricket and golf and for many years has helped prepare wickets at his local cricket club.

New appointment at Indigrow

New appointment at Indigrow

Joe will be responsible for the Sussex and Kent. His knowledge and expertise from the world of sports turf and agronomy are priceless to us and invaluable to our customers. If you wish to Joe, their contact details are as follows:

Joe Russell 07483 082 903 jrussell@indigrow.co.uk

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Husqvarna Automower® at the Tower of London

Husqvarna Automower® at the Tower of London: Husqvarna Automower® has been tasked with a very special assignment, keeping the lawns at the Tower of London in tip top condition.

As reported this week in the Evening Standard, Husqvarna Automower® has been deployed at the Tower of London to ensure the capital’s oldest lawns are well maintained as we head in to spring.

Husqvarna Automower® at the Tower of London

Husqvarna Automower® at the Tower of London

The first battery powered machine was installed last year, and due to its success, its fleet was expanded earlier this year to include three new residents.

Purchased by The Tower of London’s Ground’s maintenance contractor, Ground Control, two Husqvarna Automower® have been installed on the lawns surrounding the castle moat, and will be deployed each morning, come rain or shine.

Husqvarna Automower® 535 AWD has also been installed on the lawn of the White Tower and will work throughout the night to avoid disturbing the resident ravens. The AI-enabled robotic mower has been designed with all-wheel drive and can manage rough terrain and slopes with an incline of up to 70%.

Made in the UK, the robotic mowers will replace the ride-on diesel mowers previously used by Ground Control.

They will provide head gardener, David Williams, with a more environmentally friendly way of keeping the prestigious lawns in outstanding condition and contributes to Ground Control’s Green strategy of 50% of all of hand tools being battery operated by 2025.

They also produce less noise than regular mowers and have the ability to work day or night, rain or shine. The machines are environmentally friendly and are controlled via the Husqvarna Fleet Services and Connect app.

Husqvarna UK Professional Manager, Kevin Ashmore said: “It’s fantastic for us to showcase Husqvarna Automower® at such a prestigious and prominent attraction in our country’s capital. Lee Squires, David and his team will see huge benefits from the installation, not only environmental but in time saving, allowing his team to spend their time on other tasks.”

To mark the installation, the Tower of London has challenged followers to name their new resident. To put your suggestion forward, visit the Tower of London’s Twitter page.  

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Greenworks UK Earth Day event

Greenworks UK Earth Day event: Greenworks, the world’s leading garden cordless products brand, plus Cramer, with its professional cordless range, will both be showcasing their latest products and green credentials at the very first UK Earth Day event on 7th April at the Castle Bromwich Hall hotel, Birmingham.

As a sponsor of Earth Day, which is celebrated worldwide on the 22nd April, Greenworks will be launching the innovative new 48V lawnmower plus highlighting its whole range of battery-powered garden products. All are designed to be kind to the environment and easy to use.

Greenworks at UK Earth Day event

Greenworks at UK Earth Day event

Cramer will be demonstrating its 82V range designed for the most demanding users. Developed for the toughest jobs, this range offers optimal power and excellent ergonomics. Cramer’s 82V products are designed to provide professional power with no direct emissions of carbon dioxide.

Cramer’s battery-operated tools use brushless motors which require no maintenance and are lightweight. The 82V equipment delivers significant power and this optimal voltage means the battery cells do not always need to be fully powered, increasing their life expectancy. With Cramer you get full power, with green energy.

To register your attendance please contact: marketing@handydistribution.co.uk. You can also visit www.greenworkstools.eu or www.cramertools.com for more information on the range of battery products.

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Groundsman recognised at seminar

Groundsman recognised at seminar: Westbury & District Cricket Club’s groundsman, Gordon Gill, was invited to join top groundsmen from across the country to speak about his experience at a seminar held last month. 

He was joined by Vic Demain (head groundsman at  Durham CCC), Karl McDermott (head groundsman at  MCC/Lords), Sean Williams (head groundsman at Gloucestershire CCC) and former Australian test batsman Marcus North at Durham CCC.

Groundsman recognised at seminar

Groundsman recognised at seminar

 Gordon spent two days at Durham County Cricket Club speaking to both paid and volunteer groundsmen from clubs all over the country about the experience he has gained over the years at Westbury & District Cricket Club, Bath Cricket Club and as an ECB pitch advisor. 

Gordon Gill said, “It was a very informative and enjoyable experience, it was great to share a platform with head groundsmen from prestigious stadiums such as Lords, Twickenham and Murrayfield  as well as from top venues such as Gloucestershire CCC and Durham CCC. 

“A very big thank you should go to Dennis/Sisis for sponsoring this annual event to get grassroots cricket groundsmen together to share their experience and knowledge.”

The club said, “As a club we are proud to know that Gordon is up there with the best groundsmen in the country and it is a pleasure for ex-players and current players to have played/play on pitches that Gordon has produced. If anyone has any questions about maintenance of a pitch and would like to learn, please do not hesitate to contact the club at www.westburyanddistrict cc.co.uk.”

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Bobcat innovation at Conexpo 2020

Bobcat innovation at Conexpo 2020: Coming to the show with a bold vision to reinvent the industry and introduce more new products than ever before, Bobcat has a strong presence at this week’s Conexpo Exhibition in Las Vegas, USA, where more than 120,000 visitors are expected to visit what is one of the world’s largest construction equipment fairs.

On the Bobcat Stand Number N10001 in the North Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center, a specially designed Innovation Stage is spotlighting the latest news and insights about Bobcat’s new products, innovations and vision for the future.

Bobcat innovation at Conexpo 2020

Bobcat innovation at Conexpo 2020

Electrifying Concept Machines

One of the highlights of the Bobcat stand at Conexpo is a trio of electric concept machines: the E17e, an electric/hydraulic excavator; the S70e, an electric/hydraulic loader and the T76e, an all-electric loader.

Bobcat electric prototype machines will be ideal for the indoor demolition market. With zero emissions and a durable lithium-ion battery, they will work just as hard as diesel models with fewer maintenance needs. The fully-electric concept machines have the potential to completely revolutionize the compact equipment industry. Bobcat plans to be the first to engineer an all-electric loader.

New Products for the EMEA Market

Alongside the concept machines, the new products on the Conexpo stand include R-series loaders, set to be launched in Europe later this year. Offering enhanced performance and comfort compared to their predecessors, the new R-Series loaders offer more comfort and less noise and feature a new one-piece cab design and a new LED lighting system for better visibility at night. More detailed, machine operation information is available through the new standard 5-inch and optional 7-inch touch screen displays.

All R-Series loaders feature new cast steel loader arms (20% stronger than the previous fabricated steel design). They also feature a redesigned cooling package in response to demand for higher capacity cooling.

In addition, all R-Series compact track loaders offer high stability thanks to the five-link torsion suspension now incorporated on all the track loader models in the range.

Bobcat MaxControl System

Another exciting Bobcat development at Conexpo is the Bobcat MaxControl system, which provides a new IOS(Apple) based plug and play remote control solution that uses a smartphone to control Bobcat loaders. With its similarity to gaming joysticks or an Xbox controller, MaxControl ensures operators have a tactile feel when remotely operating Bobcat loaders.

For operators using Bobcat MaxControl, it means that there is no need to get in and out of the machine to open gates, park the machine, load it on to a trailer or loading and dumping material. Bobcat MaxControl enables the operator to perform most tasks remotely, that would normally be carried out while sitting inside the machine. The system has been launched on a limited basis in North America and is being tested in the EMEA region.

Other New Developments for EMEA

Since inventing the compact equipment industry, Bobcat has consistently demonstrated its commitment to delivering the best products and services. As the company enters a stage of new product launches and advanced innovation, Bobcat will continue to be a driving force in the industry.

The Bobcat stand at Conexpo provides a great demonstration of the company’s ambition with a wide range of new products and pioneering technologies, that are currently only available for the USA market, but might be coming to the EMEA market in the future, including:

  • Small articulated loaders
  • R series 4-6t mini-excavators
  • E145 and E165 excavators
  • Machine IQ Wireless Communications
  • Features On Demand

For more information about Bobcat and Bobcat products, visit www.bobcat.com

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STRI at the Saudi Cup

STRI at the Saudi Cup: World-leading sports surface solution provider, STRI Group, recently completed one of the most ambitious projects in its 90-year history – a turf racetrack in the challenging terrain of Saudi Arabia.

STRI was chosen by his Excellency Prince Bandar Bin Khalid Al Faisal (chairman of the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia) to support his vision of making Saudi Arabia a destination for world class horse racing on turf. Critical to achieving this was the delivery of an elite turf track in time for the inaugural running of the world’s richest horse racing event, the Saudi Cup.

STRI at the Saudi Cup

STRI at the Saudi Cup

As the Principal Contractors for engineering and construction of the new turf track at The King Abdulaziz Racecourse, STRI provided an end-to-end design, build and operate solution to Riyadh Equestrian Club. Here’s a sneak peek into how STRI delivered this mammoth project.

Making racing history Prince Bandar’s vision was to create the first ever elite turf racetrack in Saudi Arabia. The course had to perform to the highest possible standards and be constructed using the finest materials available. The entire design required the construction and establishment of the track to be undertaken in a record-breaking period of just six months, requiring a large-scale resource input to achieve such a fast turnaround.

Key challenges The major hurdles to overcome were timescales and climate. Following our engagement in July 2019, STRI’s teams of researchers and consultants quickly established the most effective way of producing a surface that would meet the needs of our client. Our on-theground mobilisation was immediate, to ensure we made the most of the time available to us to deliver the track and deal with the challenging and variable climate of Saudi Arabia.

Design and build Engineering a track of this standard is a highly complex process requiring input from our world-leading experts in drainage, irrigation, construction, materials analysis and biomechanics.

The primary constituents that make up the track are relatively few in number, but the type and amounts of those constituents are critical to making the track a success. First steps are to understand the baseline environment of the development site. Our team conducted a detailed study of the site including a comprehensive review of climatic conditions.

From there, an extensive materials selection regime was undertaken, taking a range of sands and gravels from around the Kingdom and testing them for their compatibility to create a firm surface ideal for racing. This rootzone, once mixed with stabilising fibres, provides the perfect medium within which to install the grass surface.

The construction process itself was rapid and extensive resources were drafted from across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to excavate the existing track material and install the new one. Timing was critical and the earth movement work had to be completed at breakneck speed as we needed to be ready to sow with the selected grass species as soon as temperatures reached the optimal level.

The turf track To meet the needs of a winter race in Saudi Arabia, the track was established with a “cool season” grass species – ie a species usually found in more temperate climates. This grass thrives in the winter climate of Saudi Arabia and, when combined with a special blend of stabilising fibres incorporated into the mix, it provides a surface which not only performs exceptionally well but also looks visually stunning.

Once sown, a daily bespoke maintenance regime was developed to ensure the correct levels of water and fertiliser were applied to maximise strong sward establishment. Deep rooting was critical to develop a grass surface that not only looked fantastic, but also held together under the stresses created by a galloping horse.

After several months of careful maintenance, we are delighted to have presented and demonstrated, a track that is befitting of this prestigious race event.

A note on sustainability and future-proof design Sustainability underpins STRI’s approach to all design projects. Our R&D teams are continually innovating technologies to make developments more sustainable, through the construction and operational phases of their lifecycles.

This not only relates to sustainability from a climate perspective, with the key pressures being water and resource use, but we also work with clients to design facilities which will fit their business model needs in the short, medium and long-term. For example, water use per capita in the Middle East is amongst the highest in the world. Current forecasts suggest that local aquifers will run dry in the next 20 years. STRI develops technologies and techniques to reduce the water requirement of natural turf.

Final thoughts HRH Prince Bandar’s project in Riyadh is a great example of our ability to problem solve. STRI has made its name developing elite sports surfaces across the world and our in-house R&D combined with global network means that we are able to adapt to even the most challenging of situations. However, it is exactly these kinds of projects that we relish the opportunity to get involved in.

The timescales, climate, resource availability and the need to have a surface of exceptional quality all made this project a challenge. Striving to achieve the wider National Vision 2030, we believe this facility will form part of a network of world leading venues in the region and create a global powerhouse of natural turf racing.

“I’m very happy, although I’m not surprised. We engaged some of the best people in the world to design and work on the track. They said they would deliver and they have, so I’m extremely happy. STRI has done an amazing job.” His Excellency Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al Faisal (chairman of the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia)

“What has been achieved in a short period of time is staggering. We know STRI are world class, world leaders in their field, I think what they’ve done is superb. The detail and the attention that they’ve gone to is phenomenal. It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with them. This track is unbelievably consistent, I don’t think you’ll walk on a more consistent racing surface anywhere in the world. It’s level, beautiful cambered bends. It’s some achievement.”

Clerk of the course and Newmarket Head of Racing, Michael Prosser.

“I’m very happy with the ground on the turf track. After three months when you see what the team has done here, they’ve worked very hard and done a fantastic job. I have ridden here for a very, very long time and at the other track and I see the construction here and it’s very good.” Oliver Peslier, jockey, Call The Wind, 1st: Longines Turf Handicap

“What they’ve done in the space of two months (with this turf course) is remarkable.” Frankie Dettori after his win on Dark Power, 1st: The STC 1351 turf sprint

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Johnsons fungicide savings at Norwich

Johnsons fungicide savings at Norwich: After switching over to Johnsons Sports Seed four years ago, the grounds team at Norwich City Football Club haven’t looked back.

The combination of Johnsons J Pitch, and J Premier Pitch, have been used at the Carrow Road stadium and across the surfaces at the club’s training ground. While delivering improved disease resistance and great wear tolerance, it’s the speed of establishment that has really impressed Grounds Manager Gary Kemp.

Johnsons fungicide savings at Norwich

Johnsons fungicide savings at Norwich

“One of the main issues we have is the very short turnover period between the end of the season and the start of the next” explains Gary, who heads up a team of nine grounds staff. “With concerts and other events we often have just a few weeks to complete our renovations.” With the advice of his DLF Seeds Regional Technical Manager Craig Spooner and external contractors, this is now possible. “As our window of opportunity reduced, we trialled various seed mixtures and found that Johnsons delivered the quickest and strongest germination and establishment.”

Now solely using the Johnsons J Premier Pitch and J Pitch mixtures, Gary has been very happy with the results across the two facilities. “Year on year it helps us deliver our renovations on time, giving great wear tolerance and great colour which is particularly important for our stadium pitch. This last year has also been one of the best years we’ve had in terms of disease occurrence, despite the peaks and troughs we had with temperatures and rainfall. We think we’ve saved close to £10,000 in fungicide applications this year, and this is only going to become more important, with changes in legislation, moving forward.”

“With Johnsons, you know that there’s a huge amount of research and development going on behind the scenes to develop mixtures that help us out with everyday problems, such as disease resistance, the ever-challenging issues with the weather and shade issues in stadia. The results we’ve achieved with their mixtures are proof that we can withstand those factors and it puts us in the best position to cope with whatever is thrown at us moving forward.”

J Pitch and J Premier Pitch deliver deep rooting, rapid growth – ready to mow in under five weeks. Their hard-wearing nature makes them ideal for football & rugby pitches, training grounds and hybrid surfaces.

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