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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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‘Fantastic’ Ventrac for Essendon

‘Fantastic’ Ventrac for Essendon: Essendon Country Club, located deep in the heart of the Hertfordshire countryside, has purchased a Ventrac 4500 compact tractor and a trencher attachment to help maintain its two 18-hole parkland courses.

Course Manager Craig Gibson, an industry veteran of 31 years, is delighted with the new addition to his fleet and says,

'Fantastic' Ventrac for Essendon

‘Fantastic’ Ventrac for Essendon

“It’s fantastic; I’m hugely impressed. It’s not often a piece of kit excites us, but this is very different as we can use it all year round. The lads love it, it’s easy to use as you can just jump on and go. It’s really popular with the team.

“I first saw it at another club and was impressed with its tidy finish, then by chance Rupert Price cold-called me to see if we wanted a demo, so I invited him along. We have a clay-based courses and can be very wet in winter, but this machine is brilliant in the wet. Following the demo, it was like a ‘light bulb’ moment, so I made the made the business case to the club management and we agreed the purchase.

“At the moment we have the Trencher attachment as we’re putting in additional drainage, but Rupert kindly loaned me a Tough Cut deck as well, which is an awesome attachment and makes light work of brush and scrub in the woodland margins.

“My next purchase will definitely be the Contour deck attachment. This is an articulating deck which we will use for our bunkers and green surrounds. That’s the unique selling point of Ventrac; it’s so versatile and it can get to areas on the course that other machines simply can’t access.”

After leaving school in 1990, Craig Gibson completed a Level 2 NVQ in Sports Turf Management before taking up his first job at Welwyn Garden City Golf Club. From here he moved to the Forest of Dean, then onto Forest Hills as deputy course manager, where he spent 10 years. He then returned to Hertfordshire as head groundsman at St Christopher’s School in Letchworth before joining Essendon as course manager in 2007.

Essendon Country Club (formerly Hatfield London Country Club) consists of two 18-hole parkland courses, known as The Old course and The New course. The Old course is an undulating 6,800-yard mature parkland course designed by Fred Hawtree and opened in 1976. The New course, opened in 1992, is somewhat flatter but at 7,100 yard offers a challenge to any golfer. The club has a modern approach to golf welcoming all levels of golfer and the clubhouse, built around a 16th century barn, offers excellent facilities.

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Variseeder A Fantastic Asset

Variseeder A Fantastic Asset: Derek McJannet, head greenkeeper at Matlock Golf Club, claims that the SISIS Variseeder 1300 has proved to be a fantastic asset and has signalled some huge improvements to the stunning course in Derbyshire.

Founded in 1906, Matlock Golf Club is situated 850 feet above sea level in the hills of Derbyshire just on the edge of the Peak district, which as one can imagine, offers some fantastic backdrops and scenery.

Variseeder A Fantastic Asset

Derek has been at the club for eleven years and is part of a four-man team which tends to the 18-hole moorland course along with the club’s crown bowling green. Throughout his tenure the team has maintained the course to an excellent standard much to the delight of the club’s members.

Derek admits that maintaining the course can be challenging at times with a relatively small team and it is for this reason that he started to research current machinery which would be of benefit to the greenkeeping team as well as the golf club members.

“In one of my previous roles I had used the SISIS Variseeder and knew that it would be an asset here, however we always had a budget to consider.

“Then there was one incident last year in which we experienced some damage on some areas of the course. We needed to find a quick solution and ended up borrowing a SISIS Variseeder from a neighbouring golf club.  With the machine we were able to double pass all of the tees with seed, feed them and they came back to a better standard than what they were before. This was when we knew that we needed to get one of our own. I think the results from the Variseeder we borrowed convinced the committee as well.”

The SISIS Variseeder is a versatile easy to use tractor mounted seeder with a variable seeding rate ideal for golf course maintenance and for use on lawns and amenity areas. It has a fast work rate, is low maintenance with few wearing parts and enables overseeding to be undertaken without taking ground out of play. Complete with a studded roller, the Variseeder prepares the seedbed by creating thousands of little “plant pots” to receive the seed without linear grooves that can disturb play.

Derek and his team use the Variseeder on all of the tees and also over-seed any bare areas on or around the greens and approaches.

Variseeder A Fantastic Asset

“For us the biggest benefit is that it just saves us so much time,” said Derek. “It is now just a one-man operation, whereas before there were two or three of us doing it all by hand. From start to finish, we can get all of the areas completed in just a couple of days. The Variseeder is also incredibly easy to use, it creates these little pockets and simply drops the seed in.

“It is incredibly fast and effective and we are seeing much better coverage and a more uniformed establishment compared to when we were doing it by hand.

“Maintenance-wise it is a dream and we hardly have to worry about it. There are no hydraulics so there is no risk of oil spills either. I’ve been after a Variseeder for at least three years so I’m pleased I finally have one.

“The members have noticed the difference and are very happy with what we are producing – and if our members are happy then I am happy.”

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 @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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Fantastic Flexibrush At Overstone

Fantastic Flexibrush At Overstone: Overstone Park Resort, based in Northampton, have been left delighted by the fantastic results they’ve received from the SISIS Flexibrush on their fairways, which are looked after by course manager Lawrence Ryan.

Set in 193 acres of Victorian countryside, Overstone Park Resort boasts a wide array of incredible facilities including a 31 room hotel, 115 Scandinavian style lodges, a state-of-the-art gym, tennis courts, a bowling green; and arguably the jewel in the crown – a stunning 18 hole parkland golf course.

Fantastic Flexibrush At Overstone

Lawrence, who has been a greenkeeper since leaving school, has held the position of course manager for the past two years and by all accounts it appears to be an exciting time for all involved at the resort – new owners have signalled their ambitions by heavily investing in Overstone and the membership, which currently sits at around 600, and continues to grow significantly on a yearly basis.

The course is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the premier golfing venues in Northamptonshire, which is testament to the work of Lawrence and his five members of staff who ensure that the course is kept at a consistent quality all year-round.

With a vast selection of turf care equipment in his armoury, Lawrence is particularly impressed with his SISIS Flexibrush – a tractor mounted brush which is ideal for both synthetic and natural turf surfaces. In Lawrence’s case, he has reported great results from using it for a number of tasks on his fairways. Featuring a 5.35 metre working width, its brush sections ‘float’ to follow ground contours providing maximum efficiency on large areas.

“It’s a great piece of kit which is extremely versatile,” he said. “Primarily we use it prior to cutting which ensures a quality cut every time. In the mornings, we will go out with the Flexibrush to remove the dew from the fairways. Also, because we block cut them, we will use it to stand the grasses up before cutting. We simply run the brush in an opposite direction to the way we block cut which results in a nice and even cut.

Fantastic Flexibrush At Overstone

“Presentation wise, the Flexibrush provides us with fantastic striping which the members really like and appreciate. We can follow up with it behind the fairway mower, enhancing the presentation. This summer, due to the dry weather we’ve experienced, we’ve reduced the amount of cutting and used the Flexibrush for striping instead. It means we can skip cuts which saves a significant amount of time for the team as it’s quicker than mowing and gives us the presentation that is expected by the members.”

The SISIS Flexibrush, which is also commonly used for effectively dispersing top dressings, has hydraulically folding outer sections for storage and movement between areas and Lawrence claims that this feature provides him with even more versatility.

“You’ve got the hydraulic arms on it as well which means you don’t have to have all three of them down at the same time. Therefore, if you want to work on smaller areas with it then you can. It’s very versatile, offers extremely low maintenance and it fits onto our tractor incredibly well. The Flexibrush is also a time saver when you need a quick turnaround. You can whizz round the fairways with it within a couple of hours, whereas you could spend all day cutting and striping them beforehand.”

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

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“Fantastic Results” From Toro

“Fantastic Results” From Toro: Scarborough Borough Council’s recently appointed parks and countryside manager, Tim Allison, has invested in Toro for the first time in the form of five new Toro LT-F3000 triple flail mowers, and the green spaces of the North Yorkshire seaside town are already benefitting from the change.

Previously cut by cylinder mowers that struggled with long grass and dandelions, the highway verges, small open spaces and mini golfs of Scarborough are now being maintained by the five innovative flail mowers, five days a week.

"Fantastic Results" From Toro

With 28 years’ experience working in various roles within Scarborough’s parks and countryside service, Tim wanted to re-evaluate the council’s grounds strategy to uphold its national reputation for prestigious green flag award-winning parks and open spaces, such as Peasholm and Falsgrave Park.

He explains why he decided to take this new approach of using flail instead of cylinder mowers and Toro, which is distributed in the UK by Reesink Turfcare: “Jon Wright from our local dealer Russells Groundcare was especially helpful during the decision-making process by helping organise a demo of machines across the market.

“We lined up five different cylinder, rotary and flail mowers from different brands and put them to use in a local park. The Toro LT-F3000s were agreed to be by far the best, both in build quality and the standard of cut they produced.

“In fact”, he continues, “the machines are only on their second cuts across the borough and already we’ve received positive feedback from the public, councillors, managers and, most importantly, the operatives about the quality of cut and improvement in after-cut appearance.”

Tim compares the after-cut appearance produced by the machines to a ‘green carpet’: “Thanks to the ability of the LT-F3000 to tackle longer grass, we’ve raised the height of cut and there are many benefits to doing this.

“Firstly,” he says, “there are shorter grass clippings, which are swept into the freshly-cut sward. Because of the space in the flail head, where grass does not build up, clippings are not left in clumps but spread evenly in the machine’s wake and hidden from view – giving the impression of a green carpet.”

Reduced grass growth is another, says Tim: “The higher you cut grass, the less you promote its growth. So while grass isn’t cut as short as when we used cylinders, it remains a neater length for longer. This is ideal because time is of the essence.”

Finally, and most importantly, Tim adds, there is public perception: “Rather than seeing short grass for a moment followed by a long period of rapid growth, the public is now seeing spaces across the borough maintained at a constant rate. The build-up of grass cuttings have gone and they are reassured that we are out looking after the green spaces of Scarborough regularly.”

Buoyed with positive comments from all angles, Tim concludes: “Councils can quite often become stuck in the old ways of doing things, so by going against the status quo there was additional pressure for the machines to perform. With such fantastic results, these new Toro LT-F3000 flail mowers have left no room for doubt that they are up to the job.”

For more information, visit: reesinkturfcare.co.uk

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