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Covid impact on tee times

Covid impact on tee times: The British and International Golf Greenkeepers’ Association commissioned a survey to find out the impact full tee times had on courses. The results are astonishing.

Read the full article from National Club Golfer here

Covid impact on tee times

Covid impact on tee times

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Makita makes an impact

Makita makes an impact: Leading power tool manufacturer Makita has expanded its XGT 40VMax line up with a new brushless impact wrench. The TW004G is an incredibly powerful machine that can deliver up to 4,000 impacts per minute, for optimum performance.

Powered by Makita’s 40VMax XGT technology, the TW004G (which follows on from the TW001G) is an incredibly versatile machine that reliably delivers the power needed to tackle mid-range torque applications with a maximum fastening torque of 350Nm and nut busting torque of 630Nm. The TW004G also has a half inch Square Drive (C-ring), making it ideal for automotive applications.

Makita makes an impact

Makita makes an impact

Operators can choose from four power settings and six application modes – so the output can be easily adjusted depending on the task and for ease of use, the TW004G features a forward and reverse mode for tightening and loosening nuts effortlessly. To improve user safety, the TW004G includes an electric brake and Makita’s Auto-Stop system to make fastening and unfastening bolts much safer. The constant speed control function ensures smooth operation.

Kevin Brannigan, Marketing Manager at Makita explains more: “The new TW004G impact wrench benefits from our 40VMax XGT technology, that provides operators with high output, tough design and fast charge times – to maximise user productivity and keep the machine working at optimum efficiency for longer. Powered by a brushless motor, the TW004G is also incredibly durable. As there are no moving parts within the motor causing friction, wear and tear and ongoing maintenance costs are minimised. No friction also means that no energy is lost through heat production – which increases run times and reduces the need to regularly stop to replace or recharge the batteries.”

The TW004G benefits from a compact design that makes it suitable for use in tight and awkward spaces. It is also lighter in comparison to alternative models, reducing user fatigue and improving productivity. The in-built LED job light ensures clear visibility (and improved safety) when the machine is in use.

To find out more about Makita’s expanding 40V Max XGT range visit: www.makitauk.com

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Biodegradable tree guards reduce environmental impact

Biodegradable tree guards reduce environmental impact: A NEW RANGE of biodegradable guards are now available, helping to reduce the environmental impact of planting new whips and improving landscape management.

WhiptecBio tree and hedge guards are made from recycled material and are 100% sustainable, biodegradable and compostable. Developed with expert arboriculturists during the past 14 years, the guards have been successfully trialled in a range of scenarios and are now available exclusively from Agrovista Amenity.

Biodegradable tree guards reduce environmental impact

Biodegradable tree guards reduce environmental impact

Landscape Team Manager for Agrovista Amenity, Ed Smith, said: “Although they play a vital role in establishing young saplings, there has also been some negativity surrounding tree guards and their impact on the environment.

“The majority are single-use and not always removed once the tree or hedge has established, leaving micro plastics in the ground and posing a risk to wildlife if ingested.

“The new WhiptecBio range is a great solution. They offer all the usual benefits of plastic tree guards such as improved establishment and protection from grazing animals, whilst also being kinder to the environment.”

The average lifespan of the WhiptecBio range is around 3-4 years, due to the product containing a natural additive that makes the guards biodegradable and compostable. Flat packed and easy to install, the guards are secured with a cane, negating the need for plastic ties.

An additional benefit of the product degrading naturally is there is no need to remove the guards – easing the burden on landscape management and improving workload efficiency.

Ed added: “Tree planting is firmly on the Government’s agenda in order to offset carbon emissions and improve the UK’s sustainable credentials.

“Trees are also often planted to restrict flooding and are therefore near to watercourses. In those instances, using WhiptecBio tree guards is even more important to reduce the risk of plastics entering watercourses and damaging our ecosystem.

“Of course, there will be instances where traditional plastic tree guards are more suitable, such as if they are required for a longer period of time. But, it’s paramount that in those cases, the guards are removed once the trees have successfully established.

“As landscape professionals, we all have a role to play in reducing the environmental impact associated with our work. Something as simple as improving our use of tree guards will be a considerable contribution.”

WhiptecBio tree guards are manufactured by Ezee Tree and available to purchase through Agrovista Amenity.

For more information about Agrovista Amenity, visit www.agrovista.co.uk/amenity

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Coronavirus’ impact on sport

Coronavirus’ impact on sport: The world is witnessing the advance of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impacts on a global scale.

The effects of COVID-19, which is already considered a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation, are bringing thousands of cases in every part of the world and will cause brutal economic damage.

Coronavirus' impact on sport

Coronavirus’ impact on sport

The negative economic impact of the pandemic and its recessive reflexes scared the financial market. The economic losses will be gigantic, and the stock markets melt daily around the world because of it.

All decisions imply losses. Damages to teams, leagues and players, but also to an entire production chain that is impacted by the high degree of induction to different economic sectors.

We also have the Tokyo Olympic Games, the biggest event on the planet, which at this time has not the slightest condition to be held. The UEFA EURO Championship has already been postponed from 2020 until 2021.

Rio de Janeiro in 2016 received more than 500,000 foreign tourists, not to mention the millions of domestic tourists, athletes, professionals from different sectors and the press. In London, there were more than 590,000 foreign tourists. At this point, the Olympics would be irresponsible.

The more developed markets are closer to this index. It is the multiplier effect that makes sport a single sector.

The sport’s greatest strength is to gather interest and drag crowds. This impact that can reach 2.5 times the direct revenue is only possible thanks to its dynamism and emotion, which induces the economy and leverages cities and even countries.

There are impacts on an huge production chain, which includes transportation, food, drink, entertainment, product purchase and government taxes.

What is the economic impact of all this?

According to analysis by Sports Value, the global sports market moves US$756bn annually. This is the direct value moved by industry: the USA are responsible for US$420bn and Europe for another US$250bn.

China, the fastest growing market in global sport, makes about US$150bn annually and projects or projected its sports industry to reach revenues of US$350bn over five years.

The industry’s largest revenue source is sports retail, which accounts for more than a third of the global business.

Professional sport, although not the main source of revenue, is undoubtedly the one that most impacts the production chain, with its matchday revenues, sponsorships, TV rights, players’ transfers and its high media and employment character. And obviously its indirect and induced impacts.

Thus, a match with closed gates, the cancellation of competitions or calendar changes, directly impacts the entire industry.

Losses will be inevitable. Projected earnings will be nullified, revenues will plummet, there will be less impact to the sponsors’ business, less tourist flow, ultimately a heavy recession for all those involved with sport.

Click here to read the original article

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Inquiry Into Japanese Knotweed Impact

Inquiry Into Japanese Knotweed Impact: The Science and Technology Committee are holding an oral evidence session in early 2019, specifically to explore the science behind the effects of Japanese Knotweed on the built environment. To inform that session, written submissions were invited and the Amenity Forum has made a response.

The Amenity Forum welcomed the inquiry. Whilst there has been research and studies on the topic, it is felt more is needed if we are to fully understand the impact and implications. There has been a number of studies observing specific sites where structural damage has been caused but it is felt that more scientific studies are very much required. The Forum also feels that more economic analysis is needed and indeed is vital to establish the financial implications now and in the future. This would assist Government greatly in establishing both its strategy and future plans to combat the issue. It is undoubtedly the case that the presence of Japanese knotweed rhizome within a construction, if left unchecked, can produce significant damage especially within masonry and hard surfaces.Inquiry Into Japanese Knotweed Impact

The Forum also states that what has already emerged, in looking at the range of controls, is the importance of chemical products including those with the active ingredient, glyphosate. Whatever approach has been trialled, chemical treatment remains extremely important and provides the most effective approach in any integrated plan for knotweed management. They go on to say knotweed management is a long term plan and cannot be seen as a quick fix. Clearly it can be controlled by treatments but the point at which such a treatment plan is complete remains uncertain. There would appear to be a need for more research and examination of the rhizome that remains following professional treatment. Establishing the facts relating to the viability of that material when disturbed is key to establishing protocols for sites that have been subjected to a treatment programme.

Professor John Moverley, Chairman of the Amenity Forum, very much welcomed the focus on this topic and emphasised the need to use professionally trained operatives in managing the problem. He said ‘’What is vital is that knotweed control needs to be undertaken properly and by professionally qualified operators and organisations who fully subscribe to the standards and best practice laid down. The Amenity Forum is currently developing an overarching assurance standard for the sector and we would urge all employing any operators to ensure that they can deliver to such a standard and, in so doing, fully support the work and objectives of the Amenity Forum. Bad practice and unqualified operators can make the situation far worse and sadly there is evidence of such practices existing. The need for assured practice and the need for users such as local authorities to adopt these is vital’’

The Amenity Forum is holding a series of half day Updating Events across the UK over the coming months. These are free to attend and will update those attending on current issues and concerns. There will be time for questions and essential networking. For more information on the location and timings of these events, please contact admin@amenityforum.net. Whilst free to attend, it is important that you register in advance.

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The Impact Of A Heatwave

The Impact Of A Heatwave: Ten weeks of drought has posed a major challenge to Irish golf courses. Kevin Markham interviewed two greenkeepers to assess how course conditions have been impacted.

Listening to Met Éireann tell us we haven’t had weather like this since 1976 makes you realise how much we miss hot, dry summers.

The Impact Of A Heatwave

Golf courses that were under three feet of snow in March are now burned brown by the long days of sun. If you’ve been on social media, you’ll have seen an unforgettable image of Ballybunion, which looks more like the Sahara than a golf course.

The heatwave may have cooled but the trouble is, 10 weeks passed without significant rainfall and greenkeepers have had their work cut out to maintain their courses.

Here are the views of two head greenkeepers: Paul Coleman (PC), Golf Course Superintendent at Dromoland Castle; and Dave Edmondson (DE), Links Superintendent at The Island.

What are the key challenges facing golf courses in a heatwave?

PC: “The main challenges facing parkland courses are trying to provide good quality playing surfaces in the face of intense and prolonged drought. The golfer’s expectation is still the same no matter the weather and we need to at least offer a product worth the money.

“As the majority of playing areas are comprised of sand for the purpose of better drainage, they obviously dry much faster and consequently wilt. Also, having staff working in this heat is not ideal as there is prolonged exposure to the sun.”

DE: “Dormant turfgrass is not growing or recovering from daily wear and tear, such as traffic patterns. Areas of The Island are also becoming hydrophobic (water repellent) due to lack of precipitation.”

Have you experienced anything like this in your career?

PC: “The last time I can remember a similar prolonged period of hot and dry weather was in the summer of ’95. I was working as a seasonal greenkeeper at Woodstock Golf Club, and there was no irrigation on the course. The only method of applying water was through a bulk tanker which drew from a nearby river.”

DE: “In my six years at The Island, 2013 was similar with prolonged dry conditions. I have also experienced similar low rainfall years in France and Belgium, although these were slightly easier to deal with due to lower traffic.”

How do you tackle these issues?

PC: “Irrigation. We have an automated system on tees and greens but it’s not as simple as just turning them on and forgetting about it. Moisture levels need to be constantly monitored as too much is worse than too little. Some members are amused when they see us out with hoses, knowing we have sprinklers.Without getting technical some areas on the greens become water repellent and will not wet with just water. They need to be treated with wetting agents.

“Unfortunately, it’s a logistics game and we do not have the capacity to water the entire golf course.”

DE: “We are targeting our water onto key areas: greens, tees, greens surrounds, and heavily divot-prone landing zones. As a classic links, based on sand, The Island is prone to drying quickly and we are utilising wetting agents for moisture retention and to avoid water repellancy issues.

We are also using traditional watering methods, i.e. hand-watering on putting surfaces, as much as possible. This allows us to target water onto the high parts of greens (slopes) and leave lower lying areas. This method has allowed us more uniformity of moisture throughout our putting surfaces with an improvement in playing characteristics.

“With all of our watering practices we utilise soil moisture probes daily to determine the needs of specific areas. This is deemed to be good practice, allows us to micromanage our greens and conserves water.

“The club recently purchased a pogo moisture meter that allows us to test moisture content in a given GPS location, sends the information to a cloud network, and creates a map which helps the greenkeeper handwatering for the next day to target dry areas or hotspots.”

How much time is spent dealing with the current challenges?

PC: “We have two guys each watering for approximately 50 hours per week. Mowing has decreased and so we can tackle other jobs we normally wouldn’t be able to get done.”

DE: “As turfgrass is presently mainly dormant, our mowing has reduced drastically so I have three guys hand-watering during the day. One of these will be collecting moisture content data to help us make key decisions regarding the next day’s watering.”

Are the grasses able to cope with these conditions?

PC: “Typically we go by transpiration rates of the grass plant and this can mean approximately 5mm to 10mm of water is required per night (in or around 8,000 to 12,000 litres).”

DE: “Native links grasses are Fescue and Browntop bent, and both species are native to links sites and are extremely drought resistant. They can withstand periods of stress. In many areas these species are predominantly dormant at present but will bounce back once the rain returns. From a sustainability perspective, these grasses require little to no pesticides, and limited fertiliser or water inputs.”

How serious a threat is a prolonged drought to the golf course?

PC: “It is serious as 90% of the course is burned out and in great water deficit. It will take a few weeks of rainfall to recover. No water means dead grass on greens and tees. This can make the course unplayable. There will also be a cost down the road in regressing some turf areas lost.”

DE: “I don’t see it as a major problem as long-term forecasts predict a break in the current weather. If we do get any thinning of turf coming out of the dry weather, we are due to overseed again in August with fescue throughout.”

What can golfers do to help the course and greens staff during these periods?

PC: “Members and guests can help by not driving golf buggies carelessly on fairways and where they don’t need to be. The wheel lines are being burned into the grass.”

DE: “Golfers should understand that greens teams throughout the country are doing there utmost to produce quality products for their members and guests. Patience is required through these challenging periods until we all return to normal weather conditions.”

Click here to read the original article

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