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FairWays Foundation nears $300,000 in grants

FairWays Foundation nears $300,000 in grants: As it enters its second grant cycle, the global foundation has now awarded over $272,000 / £200,500 worth of funds since launch.

Having received a 50% increase in grant applications over year one, The FairWays Foundation has awarded over $166,000 / £122,400 worth of funds in its second grant cycle.

FairWays Foundation nears $300,000 in grants

FairWays Foundation nears $300,000 in grants

The funds have been awarded to a varied cross-section of environmental projects in both the USA and UK.

The funds are available as a result of Aquatrols committing to transferring a percentage of sales to The FairWays Foundation. In the USA, Aquatrols customers are also able to donate points earned through the Approach points redemption platform, if they so wish. This has been seen as another way for the green industry to support conservation and environmental efforts.

Successful grant projects range from butterfly and bird garden rehabilitation, riparian restoration and establishing pollinator wildflower patches to assistance for turf acreage verification, a wash pad bioswale and general ecology improvements on course.

To view more information about all the projects that are being supported this year, click here.

Matt Foster, CEO & President of Aquatrols and President of The FairWays Foundation said “I could not be prouder of the efforts from the team at The Fairways Foundation. In 2 years, we will have awarded just under $300k to industry operators dedicated to making a difference in their community. That is no small commitment. We also understand making a difference locally takes tremendous grit from a local champion. It might be a green keeper or parks manager or a program volunteer. Regardless, without their will these projects would never move forward. Our message to those individuals out there with a will for a healthier environment is The Fairways Foundation can help with the way to get there. Please apply.”

The FairWays Foundation is now looking for ambassadors to help reach those who wish to champion environmental projects but are unable to proceed due to lack of resources. Find out how you can get involved here.

The 2022 funding cycle opens in April 2022. Find out how to apply.

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Flexibrush key to fantastic fairways

Flexibrush key to fantastic fairways: Worm cast dispersal, dew removal, standing grasses up prior to mowing and excellent presentation – the versatile SISIS Flexibrush is having a positive impact on the fairways at the Herefordshire Golf Club according to Head Greenkeeper Jeremy Browne.

Jeremy has seen many changes in the 31 years he has been at the club, but he believes the arrival of the new owners is proving to be one of the most beneficial.

Flexibrush key to fantastic fairways

Flexibrush key to fantastic fairways

“The new owners have come in and are really starting to make a difference,” he said. “They have invested in the club house which is having a renovation; they are planning on introducing more drainage around the course and they are committed to investing in new equipment.”

As an ex-mechanic, Jeremy has always prolonged the life of his greenkeeping equipment by servicing and repairing it himself, however he admitted that the opportunity to get his hands on new machinery was music to his ears.

“I like repairing machinery but all the time I’m doing that, I’m not out on the course,” he said. “I was delighted when the owners came to me directly and asked what I needed. I told them that to keep me out on the course, then I needed the most reliable equipment.

With fairways being his first port of call, and with an increasing amount of worm casts appearing, Jeremy narrowed his search down to two possible machines.

“We thought that the SISIS Flexibrush would be the better product for us,” he said. “With all the moving brushes it seemed to follow the contours and the undulations on the course a lot better than the alternative.”

The SISIS Flexibrush is a tractor mounted brush which is equally effective dispersing top dressing and removing excess material on natural turf or synthetic surfaces. The versatile Flexibrush can also be used for dew dispersal and striping for improved presentation. It has a 5.35 metre working width, its brush sections ‘float’ to follow ground contours and the outer sections fold for transport and storage.

“Wormcasts was the main issue, obviously they smear when you are cutting and can be a bit of a nuisance,” said Jeremy. “With less chemicals now available, we must look at going back to more effective natural ways and the SISIS Flexibrush was the best solution because it can be used for multiple tasks.

Flexibrush key to fantastic fairways

Flexibrush key to fantastic fairways

“For example, in the winter when we are unable to cut the grass, we can use the Flexibrush to stripe and ensure that the fairways are nicely presented. We have also used the Fleixbrush to stand the grasses up before cutting because it provides us with a better finish; and it is great for knocking the dew off.

“The size and width of the machine are ideal,” continued Jeremy. “We can cover larger areas and it folds up so it can be stored nicely, and you can get through small gaps if needed.

“I wanted something reliable, and I have that in SISIS. The Flexibrush is certainly an important part in our armoury.”

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

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

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Fairways GM brings Jacobsen GP400 to Pitlochry GC

Fairways GM brings Jacobsen GP400 to Pitlochry GC: A busy course manager to two golf courses in the central Highlands has raised over £9,000 in his spare time for Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance Service.

Almost a year ago, a helicopter rescued Stuart Griffiths after an on-course accident left him trapped for nearly two hours under a machine. Emergency surgery and thirteen nights in hospital followed, with Stuart happily making a full recovery and back to work in October.

Fairways GM brings Jacobsen GP400 to Pitlochry GC

Fairways GM brings Jacobsen GP400 to Pitlochry GC

Stuart’s day job is split across two glorious Perthshire courses, eight miles apart. Pitlochry GC has 18 dramatic and scenic holes plus a tricky six-hole Pitch & Putt course while near neighbour, Blair Atholl GC has nine holes, also with stunning backdrops of the Cairngorms’ National Park.  Both courses are owned by Pitlochry contractors, RW Bell Electrical, which in the last five years has successfully harnessed positive community momentum and a resurgence of visitors from near and far, to win some prestigious tourism accolades.

“I joined Blair Atholl in 2010 as head greenkeeper. In 2015, when Stephen Carruthers, owner of Pitlochry, decided to merge the two, he asked me to manage them together, which frankly, took a lot of heat off me, as I was caring for a nine-hole course with a large expenditure,” explained Stuart.

“So, I became course manager of both; the first couple of seasons took a little bit of sorting, in respect of taking staff and machinery between two places, but soon we were in a better routine than before. We are very lucky.  Blair Atholl had a decent set of machinery prior to Pitlochry taking over, so actually, there is very little machinery swapping, only say, when we are spraying or top dressing.

“Staff wise, we work it out, essentially, everyone’s at both. We’re a team of five – full timers Billy Hoggins, Douglas Black, Sean Menzies, and Rob Coughlan, plus our long standing volunteer mechanic, and cutter of rough, Frank Brennan. Traditionally, there’s a big weekly Wednesday competition for visitors at Pitlochry, so on Wednesdays after set up, we all come to Blair Atholl.

To boost their fleet, in April, Stuart purchased a Jacobsen GP400 ride on greens mower, exclusively for Pitlochry’s greens. Mike Lindsay, Area Sales Manager, from local dealer, Fairways GM at Kinross, was on hand to provide sales support and demonstration know how.

“It’s May, there’s snow on the hills and we’ve been out cutting with it twice,” laughed Stuart. “That sorts of says it all for the season so far, but we’re extremely positive and excited for warmer temperatures. Feedback from the team on the GP400 is very good. The overall cutting experience is great. Technology-wise, it is a big step up from what we’ve had; it’s got great design, is precise and clean and we’ll be able to cut the greens so much quicker.”

Fairways GM’s, Mike Lindsay, said: “It’s such an all-rounder when you’re against time and got greens to prepare. The swing-out centre cutting unit allows easy access for changing height of cut and routine inspection.  For access, there’s a neat step behind the front wheel and for visibility, the angle of the curved steering arm gives the best view of the right-hand cutting unit. Also a steering arm clamp, lets your arm take up a really comfy position.  It’s a machine that makes life easier.”

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Jacobsen double from Fairways GM

Jacobsen double from Fairways GM: Track Manager, Darren Bissett, says Hamilton Park’s turf will be more than ready for the start of their flat racing season scheduled to begin in May. 

“Course maintenance wise we are on schedule with the first cut of both the track and the lawns due within the next week, assuming conditions prevail,” said Darren.

Jacobsen double from Fairways GM

Jacobsen double from Fairways GM

Darren joined the team at Hamilton Park from Ayr Racecourse exactly 12 months ago, and his first year in the job could hardly have been more unexpected.

In June 2020, a delayed and shortened fixture list got underway with eleven race meetings successfully staged behind closed doors by the time the season concluded at the end of September.

One huge positive for 2020 was that local grounds care dealer, Fairways GM, delivered two new Jacobsen mowers – the HR500 Rotary Mower for the track and the TR320 for Hamilton Park’s extensive fine turf areas.

“The machines were ordered by my predecessor after several very positive recommendations. They’ve worked fantastically and I’m genuinely very impressed at how effective they are. The HR500 has great width at 3.5 metres which allows us to cut the whole track with just five circuits in around 2.5 hours. It makes quick work and leaves a very clean cut.  The room that you get in the cab is exceptional; really spacious, so it’s great for the operator. Also, once you are finished, it’s incredibly easy to maintain.

“In March, we will probably only cut the track once a week until it gets a bit warmer and soil temperatures rise, however come May we’ll have increased that to at least twice a week.  Over the summer months cutting increases to three or four times a week as the fertilisation programme takes effect.

During the racing season we like to cut the day before a fixture, and then again 48 hours afterwards. Height of the cut is set at 6cm for the next month or so and when racing starts, we’ll allow it to grow a bit longer before cutting it to around 9cm. Changing the height of cut on the decks takes around half an hour and it’s a case of moving just ten pins, so it’s very straightforward.”

“Away from the track, our lawns are a great backdrop for weddings and events as well as racedays, and hopefully this summer they will see a lot more visitors. Because it’s been a bit milder these past few weeks the lawns are starting to grow. The TR320 delivers an exceptionally fine, effective cut and it is so good at striping the lawns and leaving a professional finish – everything is really level. We cut the track and the lawns on the same day so there will be times when we are cutting lawns four times a week throughout the summer.

Last year, sadly, we were unable to welcome racegoers and event guests alike and so we’re working hard to ensure the grounds will be at their spectacular best for when we can open our gates to the public once more.

Rob Hogarth, Fairways GM’s Area Sales Manager, said: The HR500 can cut all day long.  Robust and smooth, it has built in consistency delivered via a feature called Automated Assist Drive, so no matter the conditions the finish remains clean and sharp. The big cab that Darren likes gives the operator a superior view of what’s going on out-front; controls are positioned exactly where they are required, so you can also be extremely precise. The TR320 is good in tight spaces and challenging terrain.  It’s a wizard at stripes so is great at keeping locations pristine and interesting, a nice touch for important wedding photography.”

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FairWays Foundation second grant cycle

FairWays Foundation second grant cycle: With one successful grant cycle under their belt, The Fairways Foundation will begin accepting their second round of applications for grants on March 1, 2021. Their submission window will remain open until April 30, 2021 and final grant recipients will be notified in October 2021.

Last year The FairWays Foundation awarded over $106,000 / £80,000 worth of funds to a varied cross-section of environmental projects in both the USA and UK. Successful grant projects ranged from stream and grassland restorations to environmental conservation education for children. To view more information about all of the projects that have been supported by The Fairways Foundation, click here.

FairWays Foundation second grant cycle

FairWays Foundation second grant cycle

The conservation-focused non-profit encourages all businesses or individuals to apply who are looking for funding assistance for projects pertaining to our environment and natural resources. Find out how to apply here.

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The FairWays Foundation completes inaugural grant cycle

The FairWays Foundation completes inaugural grant cycle: After Aquatrols founded The FairWays Foundation in January 2019, the global not-for-profit has completed its first grant cycle this summer, with successful grant announcements having now taken place.

The FairWays Foundation has awarded over $106,000 / £80,000 worth of funds to a varied cross-section of environmental projects in both the USA and UK. The funds are available as a result of Aquatrols committing to transferring a percentage of sales to The FairWays Foundation. In the USA, Aquatrols customers are also able to donate points earned through the Approach points redemption platform, if they so wish. This has been seen as another way for the green industry to support conservation and environmental efforts.

The FairWays Foundation completes inaugural grant cycle

The FairWays Foundation completes inaugural grant cycle

Successful grant projects range from stream and grassland restorations and environmental conservation education for children to Ayrshire coastline pollinator movement The Irvine to Girvan Nectar Network in conjunction with The Scottish Wildlife Trust. To view more information about all the projects that are being supporting this year, click here.

Matt Foster, CEO & President of Aquatrols and President of The FairWays Foundation said in a recent interview with Scott MacCallum of Turf Matters, “The most important message for us to share is this is not a contest.  Applicants do not have to “beat” one another to get funding.  They simply must qualify as a sound project supporting conservation, stewardship or education.  As a former greenkeeper, I can remember wanting to cultivate environmental projects that made sense for our land and operation.  But I did not always have access to necessary resources.  Now those resources are available through The Fairways Foundation to greenkeepers across the land.  Truly a grass roots approach to making a difference to their world.” You can view the full interview here.

The FairWays Foundation now looks ahead to the 2021 funding cycle which opens in April 2021. Find out how to apply.

About The FairWays Foundation

The FairWays Foundation is a stand-alone not-for-profit organization dedicated to safeguarding our environment, supporting conservation-based projects; big and small, as well as educational events for professionals, newcomers to the field and for future minds.

Environmental stewardship is not an initiative. It is a long-term investment into our future and the future of our industry. The FairWays Foundation directly funds local and global projects that advance the conservation of our natural resources. These projects will help to preserve the environment we live and work in whilst encouraging education and stewardship not only within our own industry but also within wider communities.

More information: www.thefairwaysfoundation.com

About Aquatrols

More than 60 years ago, Aquatrols introduced the world’s first commercially available soil wetting agent. Since creating an entirely new product category to address water management challenges and opportunities, the company has remained a top innovator and producer of high-performance soil surfactants and related technologies. In addition to its core business of wetting agents, Aquatrols has launched four active ingredients and is the exclusive distributor for Redox’s portfolio of turf products. Aquatrols’ advanced product suite optimizes soil-water-plant interactions in agricultural, professional turfgrass, and horticultural industries in more than 40 countries. Headquartered in southern New Jersey, Aquatrols also has offices in the United Kingdom and conducts business on six continents.

More information: www.aquatrols.com or call (800) 257-7797

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Fairways Create Unique Training Feature

Fairways Create Unique Training Feature: Scottish contractor, Fairways Sportsgrounds, has helped the organisers of the sell-out Celtic FC Festival, create a training academy at Glasgow’s Scottish Event Campus (SEC).

The first ever Official Celtic FC Festival runs Friday, July 26 – Sunday, July 28 with thousands of fans expected.  Two indoor pitches, one of 1200 m² and the other 400 m², using the latest non-infill AstroTurf Soccer Zero XI 30 carpet, have been created in a custom built arena. The new surface will be home to the Celtic soccer academy which will feature ‘train & play’ sessions, plus a host of family events throughout the weekend.

Fairways Create Unique Training Feature

Dave Gibson, Fairways Sportsgrounds’ Contracts Director, said:

“This is an indoor pitch with a difference. Event team PSP Media commissioned a top-of-the range surface which will measure up to high use, and then after the weekend, it will be lifted and used elsewhere.”

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Headland Deliver Strong Fairways At Abridge GC

Headland Deliver Strong Fairways At Abridge GC: In what was a challenging year for Greenkeepers up and down and the country, Course Manager at Abridge Golf Club Geoff Smith had no complaints with the way the course emerged from the prolonged period of hot weather. The fairways, in particular, came out looking better than ever, which he puts down to the timely installation of a new Perrot irrigation system, and his tried and tested nutritional programme from Headland Amenity. 

Geoff joined Abridge, a Regional Open Qualifier 2009-2013, as an assistant greenkeeper 17 years ago, on the back of learning his trade at The London Golf Club. “When I took charge 12 years ago in the autumn of 2006, I found out within my first 3 months at the helm that we were going to be hosting a large national tournament in the summer of 2007, which was a daunting challenge to say the least! I decided to call on the expertise of some trusted industry contacts – one of whom was Claire Harley of Headland Amenity.”

Headland Deliver Strong Fairways At Abridge GC

“All those years ago she recommended we apply Multigreen® 28-3-15 temperature-controlled release fertiliser on the fairways, a programme we still follow to this day.” Multigreen® is the only long-term fertiliser where nutrient release is governed by soil temperature only and not affected by other factors such as moisture, pH or microbial activity. Ideal for use on fairways, coarse turf or winter sports pitches, the prills contain their nutrients within a permeable resin-coating to prevent severe leaching loss.

“Abridge can be a bit of a grass factory but with the controlled release of Multigreen®, we get a consistent, healthy growth on the fairways that continues for months. Last year was a great test for our nutritional programme and we’ve emerged with flying colours!” Geoff applies Multigreen® once a year, and compliments this with a tank mix of TriCure and Elevate Fe, applied in September/October, to help in the management of Dollar Spot – another recommendation from Claire.

Geoff adds, “I have a great working relationship with Claire and know she’s always on the end of the phone if I need help or guidance. Undeniably, the Multigreen® feeds, together with a verti-drain and scarification programme, has helped me to produce fairways that our visitors and members describe as carpets! They love to play on them and that’s really what counts.”

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Aquatrols Launch FairWays Foundation

Aquatrols Launch FairWays Foundation: Aquatrols used BTME as the platform to launch an exciting new venture to help promote and support conservation, stewardship and education throughout our industry.

The FairWays Foundation launch event was well received and attended by over 100 delegates from all sectors of the industry across UK and Europe. The audience heard how Aquatrols are putting words into action and will be committing a substantial percentage of their revenue to help fund the new, not-for-profit, FairWays Foundation.

Aquatrols Launch FairWays Foundation

The purpose of the foundation is to fund local and global projects that advance the conservation, stewardship and education of the challenges that we face in our environment. Sarah Vousden, Aquatrols European Business Manager invited the audience to get involved by submitting project funding applications, taking a deeper interest in the foundation itself through becoming a committee member or contributing to funding of the foundation, either directly, or indirectly through the purchase of Aquatrols products.

“I can’t imagine someone wanting to debate the merits of environmental stewardship or conservation. I’ve been in this business for 25 years, I understand how companies spend their resources and I believe Aquatrols can take a leadership position in making a difference in a way that goes beyond a conversation. Everyone that works in this industry doesn’t just like to be outside, they love to be outside; whether its on the course, the farm or on a hike with their family. Shouldn’t we do everything we can to preserve that? Aquatrols is.” – Matt Foster, Aquatrols CEO and founder of the FairWays Foundation.

Bob Taylor, head of Ecology and Environment at STRI contributed to the evening with his very insightful thoughts on where he believes the industry is now in terms of its understanding of Conservation topics, and where we need to be going forwards.  He encouraged everybody in the industry to play their part in securing the future of our courses and congratulated Aquatrols on pushing this Foundation forward.

The final accreditation of the FairWays Foundation, which is expected later this year, will see a true link between business and preserving the natural resources we all depend upon to ensure positive use of the land we occupy.

To follow the progress of the foundation, or to get involved go to www.thefairwaysfoundation.com

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