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Golf club vandalised by motorist

Golf club vandalised by motorist: No arrests have yet been made after a vehicle was driven across a golf course, causing damage to one of the greens.

The incident at Salisbury and South Wilts Golf Club occurred between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.

Golf club vandalised by motorist

Golf club vandalised by motorist

A spokesperson for Wiltshire Police said: “We received a report of criminal damage some time between 3pm on February 20 and 7am on February 21.

“At this stage, no arrests have been made.”

As reported, the team at golf club found muddy circular tracks through the green on the third hole, and are now appealing for more information and witnesses.

A spokesperson for the Netherhampton Road course said: “[There is] no updates on the people responsible but we’ve had a good response on Facebook. Greenkeepers have done their best to repair the damage but it will be a while before we can play on it again.”

Club member David Gell added: “It is saddening to think that some people take pleasure in this kind of vandalism and ruining other people’s pastime. But our fantastic greenkeepers are already hard at work to make the repairs.”

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Milestone for golf in the Netherlands

Milestone for golf in the Netherlands: At the Sportive Connect conference on Thursday 23 January in Amsterdam, the Dutch sports sector made an important step in its contribution to the climate agreement by signing the Sustainable Sports Roadmap.

The conference also recognised a milestone in the field of sustainable sport – one hundred golf clubs in the Netherlands have achieved the GEO Certified® distinction. One of the signatories on this agreement is Netherlands Golf Federation Director, Jeroen Stevens.

Milestone for golf in the Netherlands

Golfclub Meerssen in the spotlight

Gerard Dielessen, General Director of the Dutch Olympic Committee and Dutch Sport (NOC * NSF), pointed out that Dutch Golf placed sustainability high on its agenda a long time ago and the sport has already achieved a significant amount as a leader in the field.

Dutch golf’s achievement was celebrated at the congress with the presentation of the GEO Certification to the one hundredth club, Golfclub Meerssen.

Commenting on the announcement, Jonathan Smith, Executive Director, GEO Foundation said: “GEO Foundation is proud to support sustainable golf in the Netherlands in its strategy and delivery of credible, measurable results. The NGF’s vision in creating the future they wanted for the sport is an important example of voluntary leadership.”

“Sustainability because we want to”

In one of the information sessions at the congress, NGF director Jeroen Stevens elaborated on the sustainability of golf through OnCourse Netherlands, the program that golf clubs use on their way to become GEO Certified. Stevens highlighted the shift in golf from “sustainability because we have to” to “sustainability because we want to”. He pointed out that this is also expected by society: research shows that the need for sustainable thinking and doing increases with each generation.

Stevens also underlined the many benefits and opportunities that sustainable management offers. “In 2009, as a volunteer on the golf club’s course committee, I was faced with sustainability for the first time and I have since learned that sustainable management provides a better golf course at lower costs,” he said.

Don’t wait until everyone is ready

Stevens believes that all sports would benefit from the OnCourse Netherlands/GEO programme used by golf. “GEO is about awareness of sustainability and measurement. You have to measure to know what you are doing. GEO is also about community, because that is also sustainability. And I recommend that you just start making your sport more sustainable and not wait until everyone is ready,” he said.

The Netherlands now has more GEO Certified® golf facilities than any other country in the world and has plans for even more to achieve golf’s sustainability distinction in the coming years, benefitting the clubs individually and the sport collectively.

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EcoBunker at unique ‘golf lounge’

EcoBunker at unique ‘golf lounge’: One of the most unusual and innovative golf projects in the world is taking shape in Mexico City, and EcoBunker technology is playing a critical role.

Architect Agustin Piza was commissioned by his client, a leading Mexican executive, to build a golf practice facility in the grounds of the client’s under construction new house. “I think my client had a regular putting and chipping green in mind, but I don’t do regular things,” says Piza.

EcoBunker at unique 'golf lounge'

The architect conceived something he calls the ‘Golf Lounge’, a large, freeform putting green and surrounds that enables users to practice any golf shot they like from up to 70 yards. At the centre of the construction is a large revetted sand bunker, which is where the EcoBunker solution is deployed. And, in the heart of that bunker is to be found the centrepiece of the whole ‘Golf Lounge’ concept – a fire pit.

“The central bunker is key to the entire composition,” says Piza. “During the day you can practice all types of shots from 70 yards in. Flops, bump and runs, lag putts. Anything you want to create, it’s there. It is a multi-purpose area – during the day the family can enjoy either practicing golf or playing in the sandbox. In the evenings, you turn on the music, turn on the lights, turn on the firepit and relax. You can still putt around it, have a putting contest, whatever you like. I knew I needed the central sandpit to be revetted. I did my research and with the evidence available to me EcoBunker is the most proven system in the world for constructing revetted bunkers, especially in climates like Mexico City’s. I spoke to Richard Allen, the inventor of synthetic revetting, who I had met several times at EIGCA functions and said ‘Send me your best installer’. He sent me Llewelyn Matthews who did a fantastic job.”

Piza says that this job, because it is in a domestic environment, was rather different to most architectural projects. “The safe rule in architecture is that form follows function, but in this case I wanted the function to follow the form. This meant extra detail to creative and engineering work,” he explains. ”I wanted the client and his family to fall in love with it just by seeing it through the windows of their home, whether or not they were golfers. So I conceived it as a kind of ‘grass sculpture’ that would be both beautiful to look at and functional. If it is just a golf facility, it is a waste of space to anyone who doesn’t play golf. This way, it is something for the entire family to enjoy.”

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More support for golf clubs

More support for golf clubs: As sustainability and climate action become increasingly important to all types of businesses, including golf clubs and courses, GEO Foundation continues to add new benefits and services to the OnCourse programme. 

Through continual dialogue with golf club and course managers and golf associations, and as part of the mission to keep adding value to the growing number of people OnCourse, new features include:

More support for golf clubs

  • Annual Sustainability Scorecard– tracks the 32 Sustainability Metrics for Golf, giving clubs easy access to key data and year-on-year trends, plus professional-standard presentations and graphics prepared for each club.
  • OnCourse Carbon Calculator– calculates carbon emissions, sequestration & balance plus guidance on how to improve.
  • Communications materials– more ways to communicate with colleagues, golfers and community – including monthly themed campaigns for clubs that want to do more around a particular issue.
  • Consultations – free call to determine which aspects of OnCourse will best meet a club’s aims and needs, and how to get started or connect with additional support if desired.

Now in eleven languages, the programme is proving to be a valuable resource for clubs and courses of all sizes around the world, with more clubs now joining every day to unlock the many business benefits of sustainability and to play their part.

As described by one club recently, “OnCourse provides a vision of how golf clubs can and should be in the 21st Century – as clubs that act as stewards for the land, use resources responsibly and are integrated as part of their communities.” – Bob Roberts, Market Harborough Golf Club.

Clubs around the world have already shared hundreds of examples of this type of action, their projects and results, provided as an always growing library of ideas in OnCourse and also helping to strengthen the reputation of golf and the value it brings to nature and people.

Over the coming months, many workshops and events are taking place with GEO Foundation and partners, check with GEO or your local golf association for more information.

And in the UK, visit the BTME Sustainability Zone in January 2020.

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Golf greens destroyed with clubs

Golf greens destroyed with clubs: A golf club is counting the cost of a ‘disheartening and stressful’ vandal attack.

Seven out of the 18 greens at Oldham Golf Club were hacked at with a golf club or clubs.

Golf greens destroyed with clubs

Photographs posted by the club on social media show one green with dozens and dozens of divots in the surface after what they described as ‘sustained and mindless vandalism’.

The club’s greenkeeper spoke of his upset and described some of the damage caused as ‘irreparable’.

Nick Lawrence said: “I could have sat down and cried.”

Founded in 1892, the moorland course on Lees New Road in Oldham is noted for its views of the surrounding area at the foot of the Pennines.

Mr Lawrence said he arrived at the club to discover the damage on Saturday morning.

He said he believed the attack took place on Friday night and a golf club or clubs were used.

The cost to repair the damage is unclear at the moment, Mr Lawrence said.

He described it as ‘mostly just time and labour’, but said some of the damage caused would not be able to be repaired.

“It was just a mess,” he said.

“I’ve spent the past three days fixing it.”

Mr Lawrence and Derek Saunders oversee the management of the club.

“There’s just the two of us that work here,” Mr Lawrence said.

“I arrived on Saturday morning to find the damage and have looked through the CCTV. The course suffered damage to seven of its 18 greens.”

He described the attack as ‘disheartening and stressful’ and added: “There’s always kids playing football on the first green.

“The course isn’t meant for that.

“Kids come along with studded trainers and damage the grass.

“Grass re-growth in the winter months will be the biggest issue in restoring the golf course to its previous condition

“The seeds won’t grow at low temperatures.

“It needs to be around 10 to 12 degrees for them to grow. It won’t be the same again until at least March or April next year.”

Mr Lawrence said the club hasn’t contacted police about the incident.

Instead, the club has taken to social media to raise awareness and appeal to anyone with information to come forward.

“We need your help to find the offenders and bring them to justice,” said a statement on the club’s Facebook page.

“Our greens have been subjected to sustained and mindless vandalism overnight – seven greens severely hacked with golf clubs.

“Extremely upsetting for our greenkeeper, members and visitors.

“Who would do this?

“What is the point of it?

“This is criminal damage. We need your help to find the offenders and bring them to justice.

“Have you heard anyone bragging about it?

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Relationships renewed at Glasgow Golf Club

Relationships renewed at Glasgow Golf Club: Founded as a members club in 1787, Glasgow Golf Club is proud of its heritage as the ninth oldest golf club in the world. The club jointly operates its heritage parkland course at Killermont on the outskirts of the city and its championship Gailes Links Course on the Firth of Clyde at Irvine in Ayrshire.

Between them, course managers Brian Dickson at Glasgow Gailes and Stuart Taylor at Killermont have nearly 70 years of experience leading their respective greenkeeping teams. They have recently re-established their working relationship with local John Deere dealer Nairn Brown Ltd of Busby by investing in a John Deere Financial deal for new course maintenance equipment worth more than £1 million in total, spread over five years.

Relationships renewed at Glasgow Golf Club

The finance package, a mix of mostly contract hire plus some finance lease, includes John Deere’s PowerGard Maintenance and Protection Plus service and repair plans, which provide comprehensive, budgeted cover for the full five-year period.

A total of 19 John Deere machines plus a Tru-Turf greens roller were initially delivered this summer, with the greater number going into Glasgow Gailes. These include E-Cut hybrid electric triplex greens mowers plus PrecisionCut walk-behind greens mowers and fairway mowers, tees & surrounds and TerrainCut rotary rough mowers, two ProGator utility vehicles equipped with amenity turf sprayers (one featuring a Rogers covered spray boom), XUV Gators and 4R Series compact tractors.

“We’re constantly arranging demonstrations of various manufacturers’ machines to see what’s available on the market and keep up with the latest technology,” says Stuart Taylor. “John Deere has made a lot of changes and adaptations in recent years to make jobs more efficient, such as the A Model mowers’ TechControl display, rear roller power brushes on the reels and different size cutting heads to suit ground conditions and undulations better.

“The 2653B utility triplex mower, which we use with 30in heads for cutting round bunker edges in particular, has had some big changes to make it easier to operate, including the SpeedLink quick adjust cutting units for really fast height of cut changes. The quality of cut is very consistent and the mowers hold their cut without needing to make lots of adjustments.

“Greasing the mowers with groomers fitted used to be quite awkward, but John Deere has made the machines easier to service now. The sprayer is also easier to attach and detach as well as to operate, using the automatic rate controller.

Relationships renewed at Glasgow Golf Club

“As the customer we need to look at the bottom line very closely, and we found the John Deere Financial package very straightforward as well as competitive. It provided an excellent paper trail, and everything was laid out clearly with nothing hidden away – this made a big difference. John Deere may not make everything we need, but we’ve been able to mix and match and get the best deal for the club.

“We already knew Nairn Brown is first class at providing prompt service and repairs when necessary, and John Deere’s overnight parts delivery is second to none. When you’re dealing with a big contract like this one, it’s also important to build the right relationship – you need to be flexible, accommodating and to work together. Build in the right machines and backup service, and the whole package just looked to be the best and most attractive option.”

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BGL Golf invest in 175-vehicle Club Car fleet

BGL Golf invest in 175-vehicle Club Car fleet: Club Car, a brand of Ingersoll Rand and Official Supplier to The European Tour, has delivered a new fleet of 175 golf vehicles to leading multi-course owner, Burhill Group Ltd.

The fleet consists of 162 new Tempo golf cars and 11 Precedent cars. It is the fourth Club Car fleet the golf and leisure group has invested in over the past 11 years, underlining BGL’s commitment to maintaining the highest standard of customer experience at its 10 UK golf venues.

BGL Golf invest in 175-vehicle Club Car fleet

Colin Mayes, CEO of Burhill Group Ltd, said: “By upgrading our fleet to the latest Club Car models we know that we’re getting a reliable product that is easy to work with and that our customers will value the comfort and look of the cars.

“Managing the vehicles at each of our venues has been easy and using Club Car has served us well over the course of our partnership. We look forward to that continuing and many more years of a positive relationship.”

Watch Video: Colin Mayes interview

Delivered by Club Car’s UK dealer, Bradshaw, the high-spec vehicles feature a rust-proof aluminium frame, new alloy wheels, premium comfort seats and a spacious dashboard, as well as proven engineering and industry-leading durability, designed to deliver enhanced ride comfort.

In addition to the golf fleet, BGL has taken delivery of two Villager 6 vehicles, part of Club Car’s Carryall range. These utility vehicles include ergonomic seating to accommodate up to six people and a Kohler 429cc overhead valve engine with electronic fuel injection for increased horse power and fuel efficiency.

The new fleet comes on the back of significant investment across the BGL portfolio of golf venues, including enhanced facilities and improved sustainability measures both on and off its golf courses.

The group recently reported an increase of 25% in golf club membership over the past four years.

Kevin Hart, Sales Director Golf for Club Car Europe, Middle East and Africa, says: “BGL is a leader and innovator in the industry, and the root of that success is its clear, customer-centric ethos.

“Club Car has an important role to play in the customer experience at contemporary golf venues and we greatly value the endorsement of the quality and reliability of our products, and the successful long-term commercial partnership we have with BGL.”

For more information on BGL, visit: https://www.bglcompany.co.uk

For more information on Club Car, visit: https://www.clubcar.com

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Mere Golf Resort opt for ProLine H800

Mere Golf Resort opt for ProLine H800: Versatility is a long-cited reason for many Toro machinery purchases, and that’s certainly the reason for The Mere Golf Resort’s decision to opt for the ProLine H800 in its latest Toro fleet deal which sees the brand’s relationship with the club reach 30 years.

Course manager John Quinn explains: “We’ve stayed with Toro for so long because they provide the most versatile and robust machines on the market, and whatever the terrain, the performance is always excellent. That’s why we decided to look at the ProLine H800 to help tackle leaf collection across our busy parkland course.”

Mere Golf Resort opt for ProLine H800

The 18-hole, 6,882-yard, par 71 Championship course was created out of 150 acres of Cheshire parkland by James Braid in 1934. Now the surrounding mature trees provide not only considerable charm but a considerable amount of leaves to clear up!

Having been recommended the ProLine H800 and then seeing it in action, John requested a demonstration of the high-volume collector, which was organised by Cheshire Turf Machinery, and where the ProLine H800 certainly impressed.

“We have a tree lined course here, and as such we get a lot of leaves that need collecting. Particularly in winter when it’s wet, it can be a lot of work to clear up everything by hand,” says John. “We gave the ProLine the toughest test it will have here and organised the demo to take place in winter to see how it would cope in difficult conditions, and it really impressed us all.

“I’ve used a cut and collect machine before, but not one with enough capacity and power to pick up large piles of leaves, which was no issue for the ProLine. Plus, it will serve us well for core collecting after aerating and is agile enough to easily manoeuvre while cutting in and around the trees.”

The ProLine H800 is in good company in the club’s new fleet which includes five Workman GTX utility vehicles, three Reelmaster 3575-D mowers, and Greensmaster TriFlex Hybrid 3420. And the new fleet couldn’t have come at a better time with the club turning its focus this year to improving the playing surface and plant health.

“Last year was particularly trying with the weather,” says John. “This year we’re going to be doing everything we can to ensure the ultimate health and condition of the turf so no matter what conditions the weather throws at us, the turf is in the best position to cope and deliver the best play possible for our members. There was no doubt that in helping us do that would be Toro.”

And it’s not just versatility that appeals to The Mere in its enduring relationship with Toro, longevity of the machines is an attributing factor too. “We have some of our machines from the last fleet that we’re keeping,” says John. “They’re still in mint condition and working excellently, as a result we haven’t had to upgrade them which shows the value that Toro provides.”

It’s for those reasons that John “didn’t look anywhere else when renewing the fleet”. He concludes: “Obviously, I always have my eye on the market to see what’s out there, but in my heart, I knew it was always going to be Toro again to continue the good work at the club.”

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Golf Research Enterprise Driving Knowledge In Course Management

Golf Research Enterprise Driving Knowledge In Course Management: Golf course managers and greenkeepers have the unique opportunity to determine the direction of an innovative new research programme led by STRI and supported by BIGGA.

The Golf Research Enterprise (GREEN) is aimed at identifying and finding solutions to the problems facing golf course professionals now and in the future.

Golf Research Enterprise Driving Knowledge In Course Management

Crucially the decision as to what GREEN has to research is down to you – the people who manage golf turf. What do you think are the most difficult aspects of golf course management, where a focused investigation could determine best management practices?

The challenges of golf turf management are varied; they could be UK wide or may be very localised. What keeps you awake at night? What turf issue do you Google most? These are the issues GREEN would like to identify, investigate and disseminate the resulting knowledge for the good of the golfing industry.

How GREEN works

Tell us your burning issues on your golf course by logging into and completing a short questionnaire survey at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GRenterprise. We will collate all the responses and prioritise those of greatest concern. The priority list will be presented and discussed at BTME 2020.

Next steps

Once priority topics are established, GREEN will develop a research programme to investigate priority issues with trials work commencing at STRI’s research facility in Bingley in 2020.

Depending on the nature of the research programme instigated, you may have the opportunity to be part of the GREEN research programme by completing parts of the research objective on your golf course under the guidance of STRI. Therefore, we would be grateful if you would indicate your willingness to be part of any trials work on your returned questionnaire.

The results

The results from the research programme will be updated periodically in seminars at BTME and STRI Research Days, online and via social media as well as through articles in Greenkeeper International and STRI’s Bulletin.

STRI and BIGGA are both committed to working closely with this initiative to assist in successful delivery and dissemination of results.

Dr Ruth Mann, head of global research at STRI, said: “The Golf Research Enterprise will give all golf turf managers the opportunity to influence decisions on where research should be focused to create solutions to the everyday problems on the golf course. I’m looking forward to discovering how we can address these challenges and further enhance golf course management.”

BIGGA chief executive officer, Jim Croxton, said: “What makes the Golf Research Enterprise different from those initiatives that have come before it is that greenkeepers are being placed at the very heart of the project. BIGGA members have the opportunity to help shape the direction of the research and they will also be able to play an active role in any trials and practical studies that arise.

“In such a rapidly changing industry, it’s vitally important that there’s clarity in the advice being given to our members. If we are to meet the ever-rising challenges of golf course management, we need to have answers to the questions that are being asked and so this initiative from the STRI is very welcome.

“STRI are making a significant investment and we are delighted to be working alongside them. We urge everyone in the turf industry to get involved in this initiative”.

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Vandals Leave Golf Green ‘Completely Shredded’

Vandals Leave Golf Green ‘Completely Shredded’: This was the scene of devastation left at a golf course after an off-road buggy was seen performing ‘doughnuts’ on the greens.

A section of the course at Prestwich Golf Club has been ruined after the act of vandalism, which took place at 4.40pm last Friday.

Vandals Leave Golf Green 'Completely Shredded'

It is believed someone managed to gain access to the golf club via a path from nearby Kersal Moor before driving across a green, fairway and teeing complex.

The course has been left badly damaged, with evidence of tyre marks and mounds of turf having been torn up.

Furious golf club bosses estimate it will cost them tens of thousands of pounds to repair the damage.

Police are investigating. No arrests have been made.

Golf course manager, Chris Harding, said: “The damage is horrendous, it has been completely shredded.

“It is going to cost a hell of a lot of money to repair.”

A major course remodelling, costing just shy of £1m is currently taking place at the club.

The work has been funded by a payment from a developer as part of an agreement to build 17 luxury homes on part of the old course.

Half the course has been closed since last September while contractors carry out work on the scheme, which will see 11 holes altered.

Mr Harding said the damaged section of course had only been laid down for three months and is yet to be played on.

It had been hoped that the course would be ready to play on by June, but the latest act of vandalism has proved a major setback to that schedule and has left members ‘gutted’.

“The club doesn’t deserve this,” said Mr Harding.

“There has been a good buzz about the place, but everyone is just feeling flat now.

“It’s heartbreaking after all the work and dedication that has gone into it.

“A lot of time and money has gone into building the course and making sure it is ready to play on.”

“It is going to take a lot of time and effort to get us back on schedule.”

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police confirmed the force had received a report of the incident, adding: “The damage is believed to have been caused by an off-road four wheel drive vehicle that has been driven on the green.

“No arrests have been made at this stage and anyone with information should contact police on 101.”

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