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Ventrac exposure at The Game Fair

Ventrac exposure at The Game Fair: Rupert Price and the team from Price Turfcare had a superb response to their first visit as exhibitors at The Game Fair, held at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire at the end of July.

With almost 120,000 visitors across the three-day event, the exposure for the Ventrac brand was outstanding. It was the busiest ever opening day in The Game Fairs 62-year history, with a three-day total of 119,378 people enjoying the return of the festival of the Great British countryside.

Ventrac exposure at The Game Fair

Ventrac exposure at The Game Fair

Commenting a couple of days after the show, Rupert Price said,

“This was our first time as exhibitors at The Game Fair and it was an incredible experience. Visitors to this event are a prime section of the target audience for our Ventrac all-terrain compact tractor together with its range of attachments and there was huge interest. We marketed it as the Estate Manager’s Swiss Army Knife and it certainly drew a lot of attention.

“I think it helped that we had moving demonstrations on our stand, which enabled visitors to get a glimpse of what the machine can do. We had ramps at 20 and 30 degrees to demonstrate its unique climbing ability and also had a bit of fun when we balanced a football in the airflow of one of the leaf blower attachments, which tended to stop people in their tracks. This is a family-friendly event and it was great to see so many young children besotted with machinery, especially tractors. We had hundreds of photos taken with them sitting on our static display and we exhausted our supply of ‘Venny Ventrac’ colouring books midway through the second day.

“At this type of event you don’t expect to sell large price-ticket equipment such as ours, but it does provide the opportunity for exposure and to talk to prospective purchasers. I have to say that we have come away with some superb leads and it’s going to take quite some time to follow them up, but that’s a nice problem to have. We’ll definitely return next year.”

The Ventrac all-terrain compactor has over 30 different attachments that can be front-mounted to provide an extremely versatile machine for a wide range of estate management applications. With a choice of eight mowing decks, it can maintain grassed areas ranging from fine turf to thick brush. Other attachments include aerators, aera-vators, brushes, blowers, overseeders, rotovators, buckets and grabs, stump grinders, trenchers and snow removal accessories. In its eight-wheel configuration it can operate on slopes of 30 degrees – the only ride-on machine in the UK certificated for such steep gradients.

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Polaris to attend The Game Fair

Polaris to attend The Game Fair: Polaris Off Road Vehicles has confirmed its attendance at The Game Fair 2021 alongside the prestigious gunmaker and top UK shooting ground, E.J. Churchill, on Gunmaker’s Row.

Entering its seventh decade, The Game Fair is a premium festival celebrating the great British countryside and is set to return to Ragley Hall, Warwickshire from 23-25 July this year. Bringing together over 800 leading brands linked to countryside living, this year Polaris will showcase its newest line-up of off-road vehicles with specially selected UTV and ATV models suitable for utility use and outdoor pursuits.

Polaris to attend The Game Fair

Polaris to attend The Game Fair

“Partnering with E.J. Churchill for The Game Fair is a superb fit – we’ve got a longstanding history together as they have exclusively run Polaris vehicles across their shooting grounds for over ten years now,” said Polaris UK National Sales Manager, Richard Coleby. “We’re very excited to be working in collaboration with the experienced team at E.J. Churchill at The Game Fair this year: Gunmaker’s Row is at the heart of the event and we can’t wait to engage with customers from all around the country and showcase just how versatile our vehicles really are, with applications in everything from field sports like hunting, shooting, and fishing, to land management, equine, dogs and garden maintenance.”

Polaris will be displaying the new 2021/2022 line-up at The Game Fair, including the all-new Hunter Editions specially designed for hunting and outdoor pursuits and complete with a special edition camouflage design – available for the 2021 Sportsman 570 EPS, Ranger XP 1000 EPS Deluxe, Ranger 570 and Ranger EV models – alongside the bestselling and class-leading Ranger Diesel UTV.

Not only that, but Polaris will also have the range of its next-generation ATV model for 2021 – the Sportsman 570 – on display, featuring a bold, modern design with new features and product improvements, all while featuring the same legendary ride and handling, unrivalled versatility and reliable performance that the Polaris Sportsman is renowned for. Available to view on the Polaris stand will be the base Sage Green option, premium SP model as well as two special editions; the Agri Pro Edition with Geofencing technology and the Hunter Edition.

Polaris enhances its utility line-up with a wide range of new parts and accessories available to customise the vehicle for the job at hand. Choose from the Lock & Ride Pro-Fit cab system for ultimate weather protection, cargo boxes and clever storage options, as well as speciality products like gun and chainsaw mounts.

E.J. Churchill Managing Director, Rob Fenwick commented, “Having Polaris as a neighbouring partner with E.J. Churchill at The Game Fair is an exciting concept as it adds a new flavour to what we’re all about – delivering an all-round premium experience for our clients with the best possible tools available, and that extends to the utility vehicles that we operate across the shooting grounds and estates that we run.”

With both stands combined with an exclusive hospitality area, Polaris and E.J. Churchill will be hosting VIPs on the stand with a selection of typically British food and drink.

Press are welcome to join Polaris at The Game Fair on stand J657.

For a VIP experience, journalists can RSVP for an exclusive hospitality lunch from 23rd to 25th July, for the opportunity to learn and talk about the full vehicle line-up, as well as an early opportunity to book test units for 2022: RSVP here.

For more information on The Game Fair 2021, please visit https://thegamefair.org/

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ECB statement on recreational game

ECB statement on recreational game: “Following the Government’s latest advice around social distancing, it is with sadness and reluctance that we recommend that all forms of recreational cricket are for now suspended.

“This extends to training, pre-season friendlies and any associated cricket activity.

ECB statement on recreational game

ECB statement on recreational game

“Sport plays an absolutely vital role in the nation’s mental and physical wellbeing, and it helps people find meaning where there is fear and uncertainty, so one of our goals in the coming weeks will be to explore ways that we can support some levels of physical activity in communities – particularly at junior levels.

“Using our cricket community to support others could be one of the most important services we can offer during the difficult next few months.

“It will be critical that any decisions we do make are medically-led. And we will continue to work with Government and their advisors to ensure we are informed by science in our decision making.

“Over the coming weeks we will work with the game to understand what support is required across the cricket community, particularly local clubs and leagues – who will have such a huge role to play in our nation’s response to coming out of this situation.”

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Amenity Standard a game changer

Amenity Standard a game changer: At the 2019 Amenity Forum conference and exhibition, the new Amenity Standard was introduced, prior to its full formal launch in 2020. This Standard is akin to the Red Tractor in food and agriculture.

Those operating to the Standard and displaying its logo will demonstrate their adherence to recognised assured standards in all tasks undertaken.

Amenity Standard a game changer

There is much greater public and political interest related to weed, pest and disease management, especially linked to chemical use. The reasons why chemicals need to be used, as part of a fully integrated approach, in seeking to provide safe, healthy amenity spaces and sports surfaces, is not always clear to the public and stakeholders.

The wider public users of amenity spaces need to have clear assurances that all those involved in creating and maintaining safe, healthy sports grounds and other amenity spaces, operate at the highest professional standards; and whether using chemical or non-chemical methods, such operations are undertaken by competent, trained personnel following well designed and managed plans.

The introduction of the Standard has already generated widespread support including from the national governments of the UK. It will be formally launched in Scotland by a senior government minister at a conference in early February and a similar event is planned for Wales with on-going discussions in England and Northern Ireland on how best to promote and support.

Speaking about the Standard, Professor John Moverley, Chairman of the Amenity Forum, said ‘’We feel this to be exactly the right time to introduce this Standard which we hope will be sought and demanded from all who operate in amenity management. It will give assurance that work undertaken is of the highest professional standards by those committed to best practice in every aspect of operations. Those who work in amenity management undertake important and essential operations seeking to create safe and healthy amenity and sports spaces fit for purpose. Introduction of the Standard is we believe a major step and demonstrates once again the high levels of professionalism to be found in our sector’’

“This initiative from The Amenity Forum has been set up by the industry for the responsible use of chemicals. Endorsed by regulatory trade bodies and completely voluntary, we are delighted to be one of the first foundation partners to join. PCA members can also use the new Amenity Standard logo to demonstrate their adherence to recognised assured standards in the use of chemicals.”Steve Hodgson, CEO, PCA.

The Amenity Standard is a bespoke quality management standard that has been developed, as a partnership, by all sides of the amenity sector. Those operating to the Standard will be committed to an integrated approach to amenity management and to the highest professional standards. They will be members of an approved assurance scheme recognised by the Standard. The cost of operating the Standard is covered by fees from providers of these recognised assurance schemes and there will be no extra cost to individual organisations.

The Amenity Standard is designed to:

• Provide an industry benchmark
• Provide a basis for continuous improvement
• Focus on quality as an objective
• Provide assurances about the quality of the approved organisation and maintenance of the amenity space
• Ensure that quality assurance scheme operators recognised under this Standard use auditors with technical knowledge and experience of the sector concerned
• Promote confidence in organisations operating and providing resources in the amenity sector by provision of a robust and transparent standard

The Amenity Standard will be operated by the Amenity Forum who will maintain, review and regularly update matters as required. They will audit each scheme operator to quality assure that they are operating to agreed standards. In turn, the scheme operators audit their members and approved organisations to assure that they are meeting the requirements of the Amenity Standard. At its launch, three Assurance Schemes are to be recognised by the Standard – the Property Care Association Scheme for Invasive Weed Management and two schemes offered by BASIS Registration, Lawn Assured and Amenity Assured. The aim is for more schemes to be recognised as the Standard develops so that all sectors of amenity are covered.

The need to move quickly on this is recognised by the sector. Clearly embedding the Amenity Standard will need time; it is not a quick fix. Its introduction will need to be accompanied by a communication strategy both externally and internally. However, if this step is not taken, the great progress made to date in increasing the recognition of the professionalism within the amenity sector may be threatened. It will not always be easy, but it is the right step, at the right time.

Hopefully the logo will soon appear on amenity areas across the UK and be upheld with pride by operators. For more information contact Admin@amenityforum.net

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Le Golf National’s Short Game Area

Le Golf National’s Short Game Area: Not content to rest on its laurels after the stunning success of last year’s Ryder Cup, the team at Le Golf National is continuing to invest in its facilities, building a substantial new training area for short game practice.

Located between the sixteenth green of the Albatros course and the club’s driving range, the new short game area housed a large grandstand during the Ryder Cup. “When the stand came down after the event, all the grass in the area was dead, so it was clear we needed to do something with the ground,” said Lucas Pierré, golf courses and estates manager at Le Golf National. “At the same time, we decided to rebuild all our training areas using better materials. They are really important for us and get a great deal of use, both from our paying golf customers and from our coaches running clinics for local schoolchildren.”

Le Golf National's Short Game Area

“The area between the sixteenth green and the driving range was ideal for this use, as it was already covered by our irrigation system,” said Pierré. “The new short game area was designed in house, jointly by me, by Alejandro Reyes [LGN’s former superintendent, now an agronomic consultant] and by our head golf teacher. We saved as much of the USGA rootzone as possible – it is quite large, with 3,000 sq m of green space, 4,000 sq m of surrounds and 1,000 sq m of sand, in two big bunkers.

“We already have Capillary Concrete on the Albatros course, and we are used to working with their French distributor, Stan Chapus of Greenmix,  so we know that the system works, and we decided on EcoBunker to create the bunker edging. Together they make an advanced system – not cheap, but they work well together. We can keep the sand on the bunker faces; it doesn’t wash down every time there is a big rain.’”

The new area will open in September for use by the local childrens’ golf schools, and be in use when the French Open returns to Le Golf National in October.

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New TYM Mower At The Game Fair

New TYM Mower At The Game Fair: A new TYM mower with the capabilities of a tractor is set to change the way customers maintain their land and will be on TYM’s stand at The Game Fair in Hatfield in July.

The innovative T194 is generating acclaim in the market because it means customers can have a product that has the features of a ride on mower, with the additional functionality of a tractor.

New TYM Mower At The Game Fair

TYM sales manager Steven Haynes says: “As the nation’s largest celebration of the Great British countryside, The Game Fair is a perfect fit for the new T194. It appeals to the woodland and forestry, estate management and gardens sectors with its ability to maintain lawns and gardens to an excellent standard, as well as comfortably dealing with the clearing, carrying, transporting and towing jobs you’d associate with a tractor.”

Equipped with a 54-inch mid-mounted deck, mowing height can be adjusted from the seat via the onboard height-of-cut lever which is easy to use and intuitive to set. Its tractor credentials hinge on the category one three-point linkage and 540 rpm rear PTO which allows for many rear-mounted attachments to be fitted and enabling it to be used for numerous tasks around the garden, orchard, woods and fields.

It can just as easily handle the tasks of summer and autumn, as well as winter sweeping and clear-up, and spring aeration (among many!). This is what gives it its reputation as an all-season machine.

Joining the T194 on stand will be a selection of tractors all suited for rural countryside applications. The TS25, T293, T353 and T433 and T503 will be representing the subcompact and mid-duty ranges from TYM.

Also returning to the show is a selection of SICMA attachments including flail mowers and rotary tillers, which launched at The Game Fair in 2017 to great success, plus 1st Products’ UA40 AERA-Vator which features a unique oscillating tine system that simultaneously prepares the soil surface while aerating up to a depth of 9cm. All will be displayed attached to a TYM tractor to show how versatile these machines can be and what a perfect match they make with these attachments. TYM Tractors, SICMA and 1st Products are all distributed in the UK by Reesink Turfcare.

Steven concludes: “The Game Fair is a key event in our calendar. We have a broad product line which is perfectly suited to customers who visit the show. We have products to meet and exceed their needs and expectations and are delighted to be bringing the T194 which only serves to strengthen our standing in this market.”

For more information, visit: reesinkturfcare.co.uk

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St Andrews Unveil New Short Game Area

St Andrews Unveil New Short Game Area: A major revamp of the short game facility at the St Andrews Links Golf Academy is almost complete.

The project, which aims to further enhance the facilities at the Home of Golf, has seen the golf and greenkeeping team at the Links work closely with award-winning Golf Course Architecture firm Mackenzie and Ebert.

St Andrews Unveil New Short Game Area

The work began at the end of October and with the project nearing completion, excitement is now building for March 2019 when the area will open for golfers to enjoy.

Director of Golf John Grant said: “We are very passionate about our work and being able to offer golfers great practice facilities where they can work on improving their game. In recent years we felt the short game area didn’t offer enough variety or replicate the conditions and types of shots golfers experience across the seven courses at the Links.

“We were delighted to be able to work with Martin and the team at Mackenzie and Ebert and believe we have been able to redesign the site and create something that reflects the world class quality of our courses and facilities, enhancing the services we currently offer at the Golf Academy and improving the overall experience.”

Renowned Golf Course Architect Martin Ebert added: “It has been very fulfilling to have contributed to the Short Game Area at St Andrews Links. The beautiful undulations which are present throughout all of the courses at St Andrews have served as the best possible inspiration for the design and shaping of the greens and surrounds which have been created.

“Formerly, the large flat green with the five bunkers on one side was disappointing in terms of the short game shots on offer. This has been replaced with four new greens, three of which have been raised and shaped to replicate shots which might be found around the greens on the courses at St Andrews. The fourth green has been kept at ground level to allow pitch and run shots and flat putts from off the green to be practised and the five bunkers have been shaped and located in positions to allow all different types of bunker shots to be practised.”

With the Old Course regularly hosting Major events, including the 150th Open in 2021, the design also took into account the infrastructure requirements, retaining some flat areas to accommodate a grandstand as well as ensuring an existing putting green – Harry Colt’s wonderful old 2nd green of the Eden Course – remains an integral part of the short game area.

Work began in October 2018 with Director of Instruction Steve North, Eden, Strathtyrum and Balgove Course Manager Kevin Muir and his greenkeeping team working closely with Mackenzie and Ebert throughout all aspects of the project.

The new design has also freed up some additional space, which will be utilised to increase parking provision to cater for the increasing number of golfers visiting the Eden Clubhouse and Golf Academy all-year round.

Elsewhere on the Links, winter projects are continuing apace, including the creation of a permanent catering facility at the rear of the 9th green of the Old Course.

Previously a mobile catering unit has serviced the needs of golfers on both the Old and New Courses, however renovation work has now begun to extend the footprint of the toilet block and shelter to include a dedicated catering facility.

Director of Operations Ewen Bowman said: “We have long held ambitions to find a more permanent catering solution, both for our staff and golfers, as we strive to deliver a five-star experience.

“The new Halfway House will enable us to provide a great facility for golfers to pick up a selection of fresh snacks and refreshments before taking on the challenge of the back 9.”

Finally, work will continue over the winter to improve access routes around the Old Course with a new road routing taking shape between the Old and New Courses. This work has involved moving an existing track several yards away from golf as well as creating better screening to ensure the safety of golfers and staff.

The road, which is predominantly used by greenkeeping team and golfer’s assistants will be completed in the new year with tarmac treatment whilst the former track will be backfilled and turfed.

To keep up to date with all the latest news at the Home of Golf visit standrews.com for regular updates, blogs and insight into these winter projects and many more.

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Foley ‘Up The Game’ In Russia

Foley ‘Up The Game’ In Russia: Twenty Neary grinders are upping the game at training centres and stadiums across Russia for the 2018 World Cup.

In March 2018, well before the latest festival of football kicked off at the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Foley United’s / Neary European sales representative, Arjen Spek, delivered a grinding workshop at a Turf Professional event in Moscow, organised by the Russian Neary distributor Unisaw, with 130 attendees getting hands on experience with the Neary machines while learning the benefits of grinding to OEM specifications.

Foley 'Up The Game' In Russia

Arjen Spek was delighted with the interest shown and the subsequent installation of twenty Neary Grinders across the World Cup venues in Russia,says “Neary distributor for Russia; Unisaw, organised this event very well in March and all the groundsmen from the stadiums and training grounds attended, with the main goal to educate / train and the Neary seminar “quality of cut and after cut appearance” was a high topic during this event.

“The already highly qualified groundsmen went home with the correct knowledge of how to maintain a cutting unit according OEM specification.”

32 teams will compete in 64 games at the World Cup with hundreds of training sessions taking place in-between. The heavy usage of the pitches at the stadia and training centres over the four-week tournament makes a first-class cut imperative and the quick high-quality grind offered by the Foley United brand of machines stands to be the reason a majority of venues opted for Neary.

Tests carried out by leading manufacturers have established that relief ground cylinders stay on cut up to three times longer than spun ground ones and require less horsepower to drive the unit, resulting in greater fuel efficiency and less stress on the hydraulic power systems. In addition, a relief ground cylinder will with stand the abrasive effects of topdressing far better than one spun ground because the relief edge on both the bed-knife and the cylinder allows the topdressing to clear the cutting blades easily, helping to prevent the dulling effect seen on spun only units.

Foley 'Up The Game' In Russia

Continual relief grinding also decreases the squeezing and tearing of the grass as the units get dull and, most importantly, it allows the cylinder to be returned to a factory specification perfect cylinder as quickly as possible.

The overall cleaner cut achieved by relief grinding gives a better after-cut appearance, increased recovery rate due to the clean cut of the grass and reduces the stress on components because less horsepower is needed to drive the cylinder.

Foley United and Arjen Spek are proud to play a part in the preparation of pitches for the world’s biggest tournament.

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Sierrablen Plus A Game Changer

Sierrablen Plus A Game Changer: Course Superintendent at Castleknock Golf Club in Dublin, John Jennings, always used to have difficulty with achieving longevity from the fertilizers he was using – that was until he applied ICL’s Sierrablen Plus Stress Control 15-5-22 +2MgO.

Located in the leafy suburbs of Dublin, Castleknock Golf Club is one of the finest parkland courses in the country. With its undulating greens, the course is designed to test golfers while maintaining that all important element of fairness. There are a number of memorable holes on the course, most notably the 9th and 18th, and two par 3’s over water that share a double green, with the clubhouse providing a stunning backdrop.

Sierrablen Plus A Game Changer

Tasked with keeping the course in impeccable condition is John Jennings. John started his career at Castlebar Golf Club before moving to the Grange Golf Club in 1984 – where he worked for 16 years.

In 1999 John accepted the position of Assistant Superintendent at Carton House where he worked under John Plummer. During this time he undertook the responsibility of the grow-in of the O’Meara and Montgomery Courses. He spent four years in this position before taking the role of Course Superintendent at Castleknock Golf Club in 2004 – which corresponded with the opening of the course.

Now a vibrant club with a growing membership which currently stands at approximately 900 members, Castleknock can see up to 40,000 rounds of golf a year played on the course. As you would expect, to cater for this high amount of usage the course is maintained to the highest standard.

Generally, John does not encounter too many issues, which is testament to his work, but he does admit to a slightly problematic area on his fairways.

“I have used many controlled release fertilizers over the years and struggled to get longevity and colour due to the high sand content in my fairways. However, since I began using Sierrablen Plus fertilizers two years ago it has become a game changer.”

John is one of many turf managers who has benefited from using a range of products in the Sierrablen Plus portfolio. This is largely thanks to the Poly-S and PACE technologies which are contained within each analysis. They have been scientifically proven to provide consistent feeding, enhanced longevity and a low-scorch risk. Furthermore, its small-sized granules allow for even coverage and equal nutrient distribution. These fertilizer products offer a wide choice of analyses for proper nutrient input for every growth phase of the turf, and John has certainly noticed significant improvements since the product.

Featuring high potassium content to strengthen cell walls, John applied the analysis to his fairways in September 2017 and despite the incredibly harsh winter, it was still having a positive effect in March 2018. John was so impressed with the product that this year he applied Sierrablen Plus Stress Control to his tees and was pleased to see remarkable progression so soon – again in unfavourable weather conditions.

“I am extremely impressed with the early response and sward density achieved when using the product, giving uniform growth that lasts 6 – 7 months. I will continue to use it and would highly recommend it to anyone,” he said.

For further information, please contact ICL on 01473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk or www.icl-sf.ie

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