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Greens transformed with Suståne programme

Greens transformed with Suståne programme: 16 bowling greens across Hampshire and South Dorset have undergone a huge transformation thanks to new maintenance contractor Paul Wright and his organic approach to turf nutrition.

Utilising a range of products from across the Suståne portfolio, some of the greens are now 100% organic, and the remainder are not far away – with all seeing improvements in density, strength and overall plant health.

Greens transformed with Suståne programme

Greens transformed with Suståne programme

Following recommendations and some first-hand experience in his years spent contracting on golf courses, Paul has now been using Suståne products for six years. “I got to know Suståne’s Russell Riley and speaking with him was the final confirmation I needed that converting fully over to organic feeding was the way to go. With assistance from fellow contractor Steve Hill, I took over the maintenance of the bowling greens which had previously been undertaken by the local councils and came straight in with the organic approach.”

The programme consists of Suståne 4-6-4 slow-release fertiliser through the winter, switching to
5-2-4+Fe fine grade for late summer application to provide a quick, even green-up followed by long-lasting sources of organic nitrogen. This is supplemented with applications of Suståne’s Turf Revival
6-2-4 in the spring and Bolster humic acid bio-stimulant, blended with seaweed & iron, which is applied periodically over 10 months of the year to boost the swards tolerance to stresses – drought, salt and disease.

“Within a timeframe of just two or three seasons, you can see the effects and benefits of the organic feeds as you overcome any inherited problems. After this, and in conjunction with the regular mechanical maintenance, you end up in a situation where the sward is denser, with better rooting structure and improved resistance to disease. Because of this, and especially on those greens that are now 100% organic, we are also enjoying being herbicide and fungicide free.”

“From an application perspective” Paul adds, “it feels cleaner and better for me than spraying various chemicals all day long and in turn it’s better for any people around and the players themselves as they now return to the greens post-lockdown.” He concludes, “Being able to say you’re organic is one thing but ultimately if the products don’t deliver results, then you quickly find yourself out on your ear! With 16 contracts and counting, it’s safe to say that the effectiveness of the Suståne products speak for themselves.”

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New seed blend for golf greens

New seed blend for golf greens: Germinal has introduced a new seed mixture to its Grade ‘A’ portfolio of golf-specific grass blends: containing two top-performing perennial ryegrasses and a high-ranking creeping bentgrass, A8 Ultrafine Ryegreens is the perfect ‘rescue’ mixture for the eradication of early season scarring.

A8 Ultrafine Ryegreens contains a blend of three of the very best cultivars: 45% Cabrio (ultrafine perennial ryegrass), 45% Escapade (perennial ryegrass) and 10% 007 DSB (creeping bentgrass).

New seed blend for golf greens

New seed blend for golf greens

Conceived specifically for greenkeepers who want to overseed their golf greens with a blend containing ryegrasses, the new mixture produces an exceptionally fine-leaved sward which is tolerant of low cutting heights (down to 3mm). It also delivers rapid germination and establishment in cooler conditions and boasts the added advantages of good disease resistance and excellent winter colour.

Cabrio was first introduced as a new cultivar in 2016 and went straight to the top of the BSPB’s Table L1 in 2017 with a fineness of leaf score of 8.8. It subsequently retained this position in 2018 (8.8) and 2019 (8.7) and holds the top spot again in 2020 thanks to another score of 8.7: a rating which puts it half a point clear of its nearest rivals at 8.2. Cabrio also ranks highly on Table G4 (perennial ryegrasses mown at 4-7mm) where it’s 8.4 score for fineness of leaf is the highest.

Escapade also boasts exceptional fineness of leaf (8.1 in Table L1) and offers superb resistance to Red Thread (6.1). It also displays excellent shoot density (7.7) and visual merit (7.6) as well as strong winter and summer greenness scores (5.8 and 6.0 respectively).

Meanwhile, 007 DSB, which was bred in the US using 24 parent plants to produce a single cultivar with a prostrate growth habit, high shoot density and good wear tolerance in a wide range of climatic conditions, has won plaudits wherever it has been used including at Ryder Cup and US Open courses and at the PGA Masters at Wentworth.

“By combining two top-performing perennial ryegrasses with a modern ‘superbent’, A8 Ultrafine Ryegreens creates a contemporary blend of seeds which is suitable for all greens renovation works, but especially when making good damaged areas: the ryegrasses provide initial rapid cover but will not persist in the long-term once cutting heights are consistently lower than 4mm – but by then their job will have been done and the creeping bentgrass will take over,” explains Richard Brown, Germinal Amenity Sales Manager.

“Cabrio is still the number one choice for greenkeepers who want to produce an exceptionally fine-leaved, hard wearing and aesthetically attractive sward that can not only tolerate a close mowing regime, but which will also give good ball roll or bounce. Similarly, Escapade provides added sward resilience, whilst the addition of 007 DSB, which has a lower water and nutrient requirement than older creeping bent varieties, is the ideal companion as it adds useful sward density to complement the bunched growth habits of Cabrio and Escapade.”

A8 Ultrafine Ryegreens is suitable for cutting down to a height of 3mm and has a recommended sowing rate of 20g/m2 (200kgs/ha) and overseeding rate of 10-15g/m2 (100-150kgs/ha). It is also suitable for sowing and overseeding tees and collars.

For more information contact Germinal on 01522 868714 or visit www.germinalamenity.com

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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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Shelton Transform Golf Club Greens

Shelton Transform Golf Club Greens: Lincolnshire drainage experts Shelton Sportsturf Drainage returned to Ross-on-Wye Golf Club earlier this year in the first week of September to install drainage on the remaining 13 greens after the first five had been completed one year previously. Prior to any of the work starting, flooded greens had been causing course closures and the use of forward pins.

The Shelton Lightning Drain System installed in the first 5 greens, had performed so well over the 1st year, turning the most waterlogged greens into their driest greens which remained in play all year, that it was decided to complete the programme, and drain the remaining 13 greens this September using  the same technique. Lightning Drain is a drainage technique pioneered by Shelton using their System 25 trencher; where 35mm wide trenches are excavated into the green using a high-speed digging wheel, 25mm perforated land drainage pipe and Lytag® are installed in a one-pass operation. The club recruited a team of volunteer members who worked alongside Sheltons and the work was completed in just 9 days.

Shelton Transform Golf Club Greens

Seeking advice from the club’s agronomist (STRI) on a post recovery programme the greens were then re-seeded using a mixture of dwarf rye (as a nursery crop) and Fescue grass mixed in with the top dressing, giving excellent results; the faster growing rye grass seed emerged quickly allowing the greens to recover and they were back in play in 4-6 weeks, whilst the slower growing Fescue came through before the rye started to respond to mowing. Ross-on-Wye’s Greens Chairman Hugh Elliott said: “The results have been excellent, the grass was growing through the trench lines within 10 days, and it has made a huge difference to the playability of the course. The whole project has been a great success and thanks must go to our brilliant volunteer members, STRI and the team from Shelton – I would recommend Shelton Lightning Drain System to any Club needing to drain their greens”

Shelton Drainage Ltd is a global business, based in Lincolnshire, England. Shelton design and manufacture specialist drainage machinery for the sportsturf and agricultural market which is engineered to maximise the efficiency of drainage systems and minimise the disruption of installation. As a result, and unlike some more traditional drainage methods, Shelton’s machinery and drainage techniques leave minimal impact on the surface.

Shelton machines are sold all over the world and the overseas business is growing quickly in over 20 different countries. Shelton work to an extensive research and development program, they are regular users of their own machinery allowing for continuous improvement. They appreciate customer feedback and use it to ensure that with a Shelton machine you will always get outstanding performance.

Shelton Transform Golf Club Greens

Ross-on-Wye Golf Club is a Members Club situated in Herefordshire, www.therossonwyegolfclub.co.uk

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Four Golf Greens Vandalised

Four Golf Greens Vandalised: Tayside Police are carrying out enquires after four greens were vandalised at a golf course near Dundee.

The damage occurred at Camperdown Golf Course after motorbikes were believed to have been ridden around the greens, ripping up large areas of the putting surfaces.

Four Golf Greens Vandalised

The 1st, 3rd, 4th and 9th holes were affected.

A Leisure & Culture Dundee spokesperson said: “We can confirm there has been extensive damage to Camperdown Golf Course.

“As this is now a police matter, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time although we would encourage anyone with information to contact Police Scotland.”

Police are asking if anybody knows who is responsible and to call 101 if you do, quoting 0608 of 25 Feb.

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Salsco Greens Rollers A Timesaver

Salsco Greens Rollers A Timesaver: A top golf venue has reduced greens rolling time by nearly a third after investing in leading-edge machinery.

Since purchasing two Salsco HP11-III greens rollers, The Royal Automobile Club has cut time devoted to the task from five and a half hours to three and a half hours daily, it reports.

Salsco Greens Rollers A Timesaver

“This is a massive reduction,” states Golf Course Manager Lee Strutt, who test-drove the machine on a visit to the Golf Industry Show in 2017. “The time saved frees up operators for other duties and that’s a major benefit.”

The HP11-III’s powerful Honda petrol engine delivers speeds up to 11mph, while three independently controlled rollers with 73in operating width cut a swathe through the time operators have traditionally taken for this aspect of greens upkeep.

“The rollers average five to six minutes a green,” explains Lee, who manages the 36-hole Championship Old and Coronation courses with a team of up to 26.  In his three and half years in post, Lee has rung the changes in cultural practices across the 36-holes of what is one of Britain’s most prestigious member clubs and the HP11-IIIs fit into that strategy.

His investment in the high-end rollers is delivering benefits for both the greens team and players, by improving presentation and playability.

“I had met Salsco’s owner on their stand at the GIS, tested the roller and liked it instantly but my biggest issue was that the team would be unable to try it first as it was important that they enjoyed using the machine,” Lee explains.

“The performance of the HP11-III gave me the confidence to buy and it was well-founded, as the team really like working with the rollers. We also use them after topdressing instead of brushing-in and the powered brushes ensure there is no debris build up on the rollers, so leaving a clean finish”.

“Dual drive oscillating rollers and articulated steering provide consistent roll to ground contact, which helps improve surface smoothness and trueness, all factors key to providing the level of quality our members expect.”

Salsco Greens Rollers A Timesaver

“Speed, productivity, robustness, build quality and ease of use, with strong dealer support, are all wins for us,” he adds.

“The HP11-III can cover a serious amount of green quickly, without compromising quality of finish,” confirms Peter Stanley, Sales Representative for sole Salsco UK distributor CLS Selfdrive.

Lee was aware of the roller from his US greenkeeping visits and could see the design and build quality could further improve the courses. The rollers would have a big impact on both the greens and time taken for rolling them, so was delighted when Salsco appointed CLS as UK dealer.

Since then, sales confirm the benefits the rollers offer hard-pressed greens teams. The club savings in green rolling time is particularly impressive when you consider that travelling between greens is the same, whichever brand of roller teams use. Rolling is a skill usually left to a particular team member but the Salsco opens it up to anyone.”

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Vandals Target Golf Greens

Vandals Target Golf Greens: Two greens at the Keilor Golf Club in Australia were last week ripped up after vehicles were deliberately driven across the course.

Brimbank infrastructure and city services director Neil Whiteside said the vandalism was unacceptable.

Vandals Target Golf Greens

“Council is disappointed that reckless vandals have damaged the Keilor Public Golf Course by deliberately driving vehicles over the 2nd and 4th greens,” he said.

“Council works hard to care and maintain its public spaces for its community, so naturally any incidents of vandalism are upsetting and disappointing.”

He said the greens were vandalised some time between Saturday, January 19 and Sunday, January 20.

It’s not the first time vandals have destroyed a much-loved Brimbank green area.

Last September, vandals rode a motorbike through the newly opened Sunvale Park, damaging lawn and garden bed.

The then mayor Margaret Giudice labelled the vandalism an “affront to our community” and said security around the park would be increased.

But vandals were undeterred, hitting the park a further two times within a month of it opening.

The attacks frustrated the community so much that groups vowed to patrol the park in a bid to establish an around-the-clock presence and ensure it remained secure.

The vandalism to the golf course has elicited a similar reaction.

Mr Whiteside said the golf course would be repaired in the near future and security efforts would be bolstered.

“Council will work to repair the course as soon as possible,” he said. “Council is also looking at the installation of security cameras and other security initiatives at the Keilor Public Golf Course. Theft and vandalism are serious offences under Victorian law and we continue to work closely with Victoria Police to investigate these types of matters.”

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New Greens Team At Sleaford

New Greens Team At Sleaford: It’s all change at Sleaford Golf Club after new faces were brought in to look after their greens and fairways.

There have been many changes in the greenkeeping team at Sleaford Golf Club in recent weeks after the retirement of the club’s longest-serving greenkeeper Arthur Simpson, and the decision of head greenkeeper Ian Batty to change careers after nine years at the club.

New Greens Team At Sleaford

Brian Sharp takes over as head greenkeeper after similar positions at Crail Golfing Society and The Roxburghe Hotel, in Scotland, and latterly at Westerhope Golf Club, near Newcastle

“I felt it was the right time for a new challenge and I wanted to get back to managing a links-style course from where I learnt my trade in Scotland,” said Brian (49).

Sleaford GC have also taken on two apprentices to learn their trade and qualify as greenkeepers, and after a huge response to their advert on Facebook, Chloe Lea and Mark Payne were appointed.

Chloe is breaking new ground as the club’s first female greenkeeper.

She said: “I wanted to find a job working outdoors in a natural environment in a role that was physically active; it was a perfect opportunity.”

For Mark, the Sleaford course will be highly familiar territory as a member of the club and a keen golfer.

For over 20 years Mark has worked on the perimeters as a landscape gardener, tree surgeon and irrigation engineer for more than 20 years.

“This was a great opportunity to put all my skills to the test in one job and so far is the best move I’ve ever made. I’m loving the job,” he said.

Committee member Nick Lawson added: “After a lot of searching for the right staff we have hopefully recruited the best people to take the club forward with our existing greenkeeping team of Jimmy Smith and James Bonser.”

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Dennis Razor Improves Greens At Mapperley

Dennis Razor Improves Greens At Mapperley: Michael Dickson, deputy head greenkeeper and mechanic at Mapperley Golf Club, has reported a notable improvement in the quality of the greens at the Nottingham-based club since purchasing two Dennis Razor mowers.

Mapperley is a beautiful parkland course with rolling fairways which have, for more than a century, presented golfers with an interesting challenge from the tee. The 600 plus members also find the tight greens testing while they soak up the stunning views of the nearby Gedling Country Park.

Dennis Razor Improves Greens At Mapperley

Michael is part of a four-man greenkeeping team that works tirelessly to keep the course in immaculate condition all year round. He admits that it can, at times, be a challenge with just four in the team and that it is therefore imperative they have the correct maintenance equipment in place.

In particular, cutting by hand in summer at Mapperley is just too tall a task for the four-man team but in winter there is no other option.

“You don’t get much hillier than Mapperley, says Michael. “It can get incredibly wet in winter and no vehicle can get to some of our greens without either marking the ground or sliding all over the place – and that can be very dangerous.

“Our previous greens mowers were getting old, they were always breaking down and the quality of cut was never brilliant so we knew that we wanted to upgrade. Ultimately, what we wanted was a good quality mower to cut the greens in winter.”

Michael visited BIGGA’s BTME exhibition to see what was on the market and after visiting a number of stands he drew up a shortlist of potential greens mowers – one of which was the Dennis Razor fine turf mower. Upon returning to Mapperley, various mowers were demonstrated but for Michael and the team there was one which particularly stood out.

“We had the Razor on demo and were instantly impressed. The members loved it and they could instantly tell which green it had been demonstrated on. Even when the treasurer came out, he saw the quality of cut and said ‘”right, we’re having them now.”’

Dennis Razor Improves Greens At Mapperley

“The other mowers we tried just felt very heavy and more difficult to manoeuvre in comparison to the Razor. It was the best option by far.”

Superbly balanced and ideal for golf greens and other fine turf surfaces, the Razor features a 560mm (22in), 11 blade cutting cylinder for a perfect finish. An ultra-short wheelbase ensures easy manoeuvrability and excellent performance, even on undulating surfaces. The Dennis Razor encompasses the simple ‘no tools required’ click height adjusters for quick and easy operation, a feature which particularly struck a chord with Michael and his team.

“I don’t like machines with too many gizmos – I like one that is simple, straight forward to use and does the job which it is supposed to do. We’ve been using the Razors for a year now and they have been fantastic.

“In my opinion the best features on the Razor are that they are reliable, incredibly well built and easy to use. They keep the weight off the greens in winter and the cut that it offers in terms of presentation is fantastic. Since we’ve been using the Razor the greens have been a different quality.

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

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Vandals Damage 16 Golf Greens

Vandals Damage 16 Golf Greens: Within the next few days, test results should reveal the chemical that vandals used to damage 16 greens at a popular golf course in Skagit County.

A swear word was also spelled out in the grass on one of the holes at Swinomish Golf Links.

Vandals Damage 16 Golf Greens

Employees believe the vandal or vandals picked their targets here carefully. The greens closest to the clubhouse are covered by surveillance cameras and were not hit.

“It’s stupid. I don’t why people vandalize. It doesn’t make sense to me,” said golfer Walt Matye.

“Very disgusting. Just like graffiti and that, there’s no point. It doesn’t accomplish anything except make matters worse,” added his cousin, Marshall.

Sometime within the past week, the vandals trespassed on the 100-acre course overnight and sprayed some type of grass-killing chemical on most of the greens, investigators told KOMO News. A swear word was also left behind on hole 11.

“It had to be a very involved process. One that was thought out. And for them to have access to the course by either driving or bringing this stuff with them is something that was well planned out,” said Chairman Brian Cladoosby, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community.

Tests are now being performed on the damaged grass and soil to try to figure out what chemical the vandal or vandals used.

If the chemical damaged the soil, it’s possible the course may have to temporarily close until expensive repairs can be made, employees said.

A temporary closure would be a huge hit considering the time of year.

“These individuals knew what they were doing. They know golf. They know the peak season. They know that the majority of the income produced by golf courses in the northwest is right around Memorial Day to Labor Day,” Cladoosby said.

Right now, this course is still playable.

Employees have drastically reduced rates for players because of the damage left behind.

“It just takes a few people to ruin it for the majority of the people to have a good time,” said Marshall Matye. “I guess the only thing they think about is themselves.”

The course does have insurance, employees said. But it’s possible the damage could climb to more than $500,000, they added.

The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads to an arrest in the case.

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