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Praxys impresses at the Royal Birkdale

Praxys impresses at the Royal Birkdale: Chris Whittle, Course Manager at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, claims that Praxys, ICL’s high performance, highly concentrated systemic selective herbicide, plays an integral role in his weed control programme.

Royal Birkdale hardly needs any introduction – it is after all one of the finest courses in England and has held more Championship and International events since World War 2 than any other course in the world including Open Championships, Ryder Cups, Women’s British Opens, Senior Opens, Amateur Championships, Walker Cups and Curtis Cups.

Praxys impresses at the Royal Birkdale

Praxys impresses at the Royal Birkdale

Chris has overseen many of these prestigious events having been at the club for an impressive 26 years. He currently oversees a team of ten members of staff who all work hard to maintain this truly prestigious course.

When it comes to weed control, Chris has reported highly encouraging results from using ICL’s Praxys for the past five years, after it was initially recommended to him from ICL distributor Aitkens.

Praxys, renowned for killing the toughest of weeds, possesses a number of benefits. Featuring systemic uptake right down to the roots with no regrowth, this fast-acting weedkiller allows rapid entry and is rainfast within just one hour. It also has the lowest dosage rates and water volume of any selective herbicide available.

It combines the three most powerful active ingredients on the market, Florasulam, Fluroxypyr and Clopyralid, to wipe out weeds on golf courses, sports and amenity turf and lawns in one application.

Praxys was developed to target common weeds like daisy and dandelion and it completely kills more problematic ones such as Self-heal, Ribwort Plantain and Spear Thistle

The extremely low dose rate, from one litre per hectare, is flexible depending on the weed spectrum to be controlled. Low dose means less packaging and less waste and because only one application is required, it also makes Praxys one of the most cost-effective options available.

Chris usually applies Praxys in June each year and believes it is an essential product in his weed management programme.

“We predominately apply Praxys to our tees and fairways and it has been really impressive,” he said. “We’ll never totally eradicate difficult weeds, because new weeds keep coming through each year. However, Praxys works well in our integrated approach towards managing them and with its low water volume coupled with its low impact on the environment it makes for a great product for us to use”

“After applying Praxys, you can see initial dieback of the weeds within days and then you notice further results a couple of weeks later on the more troublesome ones such as greater plantains.”

Please contact ICL on 01473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk or www.icl-sf.ie if you are in Ireland.

For more news and insightful views, you can follow ICL on Twitter @ICL_Turf

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Rink DS800 impresses in Arbroath

Rink DS800 impresses in Arbroath: A Rink DS800 from Charterhouse Turf Machinery has dramatically improved the efficiency and results of topdressing the 18 greens at Arbroath Golf Links.

A task that used to take the team approximately 24 man-hours can now be completed by Head Greenkeeper Alistair Wylie in just six, since the club took delivery of the disc spreader in early summer 2019.

Rink DS800 impresses in Arbroath

Rink DS800 impresses in Arbroath

“We were previously using a drop dresser which had given us 20 years of loyal service, but an upgrade was needed to make the process of topdressing less labour intensive” explains Alistair, who heads up a team of three greens staff. “Dressing all 18 greens would take the team a whole day to complete so when it came to looking for a new machine, I was clear that we needed a disc spreader to cover wider areas, more evenly and in less time.” On dealer recommendation Alistair looked into the Rink DS800 trailed model and was confident, without even having a working demonstration, that it was the one for the job.

50 tonnes of sand was applied to the greens in two operations last year, the first shortly after delivery and another in October. “Any initial concerns we had about the DS800 moving and turning on its four wheels quickly faded away – it doesn’t mark the surface at all and because it’s so simple to adjust the spreading thickness, we can conduct light dressings and leave barely any trace that any work has taken place. It has certainly reduced complaints from the members which is another positive!”

With a 0.8m3 hopper capacity, the DS800 model offers variable spreading widths of between 2m and 12m, and at thicknesses of 0.5 to 15mm. Alistair adds, “It was evident from the very first green that we’d made the right choice – this used to take 27 passes to adequately cover with the drop dresser and with the Rink, it took us just three! The labour savings we’re achieving frees up the rest of my team to carry out other tasks which is crucial when you’re looking after a large course with a small team.”

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FCC Environment impresses with Toro

FCC Environment impresses with Toro: For several years Toro machinery has been helping FCC Environment’s grounds maintenance department achieve excellent results for its clients, which is why it continues to invest in Toro.

Richard Moss, FCC Environment’s grounds foreman, explains: “We have several clients we work with on a range of projects and across all types of surfaces, from parks and public sports grounds, to highway verges. So it’s very important for us to have reliable machinery that helps us achieve results that keep our clients happy.”

FCC Environment impresses with Toro

FCC Environment impresses with Toro

Making up the bulk of FCC Environment’s maintenance fleet are three LT3340 heavy-duty triple mowers and a T4240 high-output cylinder mower which were purchased four years ago, and most recently a LT-F3000 triple flail mower.

“The T4240 and LT3340 mowers we’ve had for four years and we invested in a LT-F3000 triple flail mower last year,” Richard tells us. “We needed another machine to help with an increase in our workload and it wasn’t really a question that we would look to Toro again and it’s certainly a decision that has paid off! Not only has the LT-F3000 really impressed me thanks to its versatility coping with both long and short grass, leaving an excellent finish every time, but also, despite the wet weather at the start of the year, all the Toro machines have still seen excellent results and really impressed our clients.”

The 21-person-strong grounds team at FCC Environment are out in force every day using Toro machines during peak season, which is why reliable machinery and excellent after sales service make up the vital combination that Richard looks for in a machinery partner, something that together Toro and UK distributor Reesink Turfcare provide.

“We have such a full on schedule that the biggest problem we could face would be machinery downtime,” says Richard. “If our machines were constantly breaking down or it took too long to order parts in for repairs, it would be disastrous. Good reliability is why our frontline grass cutting machines are all Toro. We’ve seen this in action with our T4240 and LT3340, and despite being in use nearly every day for four years, our machinery downtime has stayed at an absolute minimum.

“Not only are Toro machines incredibly reliable, but the after sales service from Reesink is excellent,” Richard concludes.

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GKB Vstrong impresses again

GKB Vstrong impresses again: Based in Woolpit, Suffolk and with over 35 years of experience and knowledge, Parkers Pitches added a GKB Vstrong to their range of robust and dynamic machinery, through GKB’s distributor Ernest Doe.

Parkers Pitches have a passion for sports pitches and knew the perfect partner to support their passion was the GKB Vstrong. The sports turf management company, run by hands-on Owner Will Parker, have been impressed with the performance of the machine so far, stating: “We pushed the machine very hard this Autumn renovation season with over 40 cricket square scarified in 3 directions.“

GKB Vstrong impresses again

The beating heart of the machine is the CombiRotor, with its generically developed 3mm carbide scarifying blades. “The heavy duty nature of this machine has meant this year we have managed to scarify deeper and with closer blade spacings than in previous years, due to this we have seen great results with superb germination and coverage at all pitches renovated” Will adds. Thanks to the blades being rigidly attached to the rotor, the GKB Vstrong allows you to easily attain an operating depth of 5cm, not to mention it has a working speed of up to 10 kph.

Always completing high-quality work to improve and maintain surfaces and pitches the GKB Vstrong was a perfect match. Will explains “With the great results seen from a machine that is faster and cleaner than any we have previously used, we are in no doubt the Vstrong is the best machine on the market for cricket renovations and many other tasks.”

By scarifying and letting the material fly when you collect afterwards with a vacuum or a cut and collect mower, you are collecting less material. This leaves the soil behind and just takes the green waste off the top.

GKB Vstrong impresses again

Parkers Pitches Vstrong features an optional collection box. This is specially designed for work on golf green and cricket squares.

For more on GKB Machines and their reliable and robust range of machinery for natural, hybrid and synthetic turf, please visit www.gkbmachines.com or contact Tom Shinkins on 07495 883617.

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Hunter I-80 impresses at London Stadium

Hunter I-80 impresses at London Stadium: James Williams, Head Groundsman at the London Stadium, has praised the simplicity and efficiency of the new Hunter I-80 rotary sprinklers which were supplied by KAR UK.

Originally built to host London 2012, the Olympic Stadium, as it was formerly called, is now known as the London Stadium and is home to West Ham United FC – but that’s not all. The stadium also hosts UK athletics and concerts and has been a venue for the Rugby World Cup, The Race of Champions, Major League Baseball and the RFL Four Nations.

Hunter I-80 impresses at London Stadium

James, who started in the industry as an apprentice at Swansea FC, is now the man responsible for overseeing the maintenance of the pitch at arguably one of the most iconic stadia in the UK.

With a team of five, the young groundsman does a stellar job in keeping the pitch in immaculate condition despite the heavy usage but, ever the perfectionist, James is continuously looking at improvements he can make to raise the bar even higher. Therefore, when he felt that he wasn’t getting the best out of the previous irrigation system, he knew that it was time for a change.

James looked to see what was available on the market and it wasn’t long before a meeting with KAR UK was arranged. KAR is the UK’s leading wholesaler of irrigation equipment, and after admitting that he was hugely impressed with everything the company showed him, James’ attentions soon turned to a new Hunter Industries irrigation system which included the most technologically advanced commercial rotor on the market – the all-new I-80.

Engineered for sports turf, the I-80 is built with a robust, dirt-tolerant gear drive that offers the highest torque output of any rotor in the commercial sphere, and extends a radius range from 11.3 to 29.6 meters. The I-80 features a wide range of highly efficient, dual-trajectory, wind-fighting nozzles for highly efficient performance in a range of applications. It also provides total top serviceability (TTS) via its integrated, surface-mounted snap-ring for no-dig easy maintenance – something which James is particularly impressed with.

“It is just so simple – you can take off the turf caps and grow them in in a shed or under a light and then you can just put them straight back on. Even cleaning them is so much easier because you just whip them out like a normal sprinkler instead of having to dig them all out every time.”

James had eight I-80 rotors installed in the pitch and his system is further complimented by the ACC2 controller which is ideal for delivering advanced water management to meet the demands of large-scale commercial projects and the Roam remote – which eliminates the need to go back and forth to the sprinkler controller.

“This new Hunter system is so modern and advanced and the remote is brilliant,” he continued. “In the click of a button you can change the times of the sprinklers, so for instance, on a match-day we can water at half time as and when required.

“The ACC2 controller is also easy to use and that is what I wanted. I didn’t want it to be too technical because I want all of my staff to be able to use it as well as myself.”

James reported that the manager and players are pleased with the new system and he went further in explaining how he uses it in the run up to match-days.

“Obviously a lot of it is dependent on weather, but we tend to give the pitch around 8mm of water on a Thursday or a Friday to prepare the surface for a game. We will then give it a top up before kick-off and then again at half-time if it is required.

“I see it similar to the way you would build a sandcastle. If you use wet sand to build a sandcastle then it will hold it all together and you’ll have a good castle. If you use dry sand then it will just all fall out. It’s exactly the same with a football pitch – keep it wet and it will stay nice and firm and hold together.”

Hunter Industries is distributed in the UK by KAR UK. For more information, please visit www.karuk.com or www.hunterindustries.com.

You can also follow KAR UK on Twitter @KARUK_LTD for much more news, reviews and insightful views.

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Toro Technology Impresses

Toro Technology Impresses: Leading the way with the latest technology in turfcare, Toro’s myTurf Pro fleet management software program is proving to be a popular addition at UK golf clubs across the country.

Word is spreading about the software which automatically logs information about all machines in operation at the club meaning greenkeepers can track data for their Toro or non-Toro equipment, order parts, schedule services, and gain access to information such as parts and service manuals. And so far, it has not failed to impress.

Toro Technology Impresses

Neil Mcloughlin, course manager at Deeside Golf Club, says that having myTurf Pro has made a “real difference” at the club: “We have a full fleet of Toro machines at Deeside. Being able to log everything from scheduled maintenance to our inventory, all in the same place, is incredibly useful. Plus with service and parts manuals accessible as well, all the information that I might need is just a click away.”

Designed to make a difficult job easier, having everything at your fingertips has shown to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of greenkeeping fleet management. Something Andrew Airlie, mechanic at The Royal Automobile Club, wholeheartedly agrees with.

“It gives you easy access to everything you need, which has made a huge difference,” he says. “For example, we used to spend endless amounts of time logging the hours on machines manually, but with myTurf Pro, it submits the data in real-time via wireless internet connection. Now we spend less time logging data and more time focusing on maintaining the machines to a high standard.”

As well as providing information and logging data automatically, myTurf Pro also sends notifications when a machine needs servicing, which has been a “huge help”, says Neil Corley, head mechanic at The Grove Golf Club.

“We used to do all of our servicing at the end of the year. But with myTurf Pro, it notifies you when machines in your fleet need to be serviced,” explains Neil. “Now, our servicing is spaced out across the year which is great. It means we can take preventative measures, rather than trying to fix bigger problems which is often harder to do and more expensive. We can spread out our budget throughout the year, which helps us financially.”

He continues: “The software is so simple to use, and it’s made it easier to stay on top of everything. Now that we have myTurf Pro, I don’t think we can manage without it.”

With its many features created to help with the maintenance of greenkeeping machinery, regardless of brand, the myTurf Pro software is becoming a fast favourite for UK greenkeepers.

For more information, visit: reesinkturfcare.co.uk

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TYM Impresses At Elland Road

TYM Impresses At Elland Road: Elland Road, home of Leeds United Football Club, has been using TYM at its training grounds since 2017 and has now chosen the tractor brand for the stadium too. 

And the reason for that is TYM has proven to provide high-quality performance and deliver the results required across both surfaces says head groundsman, Kiel Barrett.

TYM Impresses At Elland Road

“We’ve recently invested in another TYM tractor because what we’ve been using has performed so well,” he says. “Thanks to the range of tractors available, we’ve found models to suit the surfaces at both the stadium and the training grounds which are very different despite being the same length and width.”

It all started in 2017 with the arrival of the T503 at the training ground: “The T503 has delivered over and above expectations and worked brilliantly for our annual renovation work at the training ground as well as for topdressing and stripping turf off. It’s a really reliable workhorse.”

With such an assured performance it made sense to invest in TYM again for Elland Road, but with such different requirements at the stadium Kiel requested a demonstration from local dealer Russell Groundcare who brought the mid-duty T393 for Kiel and the team to trial.

Kiel says: “The demonstration proved the T393 could deliver the same quality of work at Elland Road, although in less heavy-duty roles. Its user-friendly operation really impressed me as well as the cab, which is really comfortable to work in. It’s a productive all-rounder and we use it to help move equipment, carry out drainage, aeration and spraying.”

Since having the machine, Kiel has not been disappointed: “The T393 is the perfect addition to the stadium’s maintenance fleet. Like the T503 at the training ground, the T393 is a huge improvement from the previous equipment we were using and we can really tell the difference.

“In terms of a compact tractor range, TYM is one of the best around and I foresee that in the coming years it’s going to be seen more and more across the grounds industry,” Kiel says. “That’s what happens with a range that delivers innovation, reliability and value for money. Plus, it has the benefit of Reesink as its distributor who I trust to provide high-quality products. That’s why we have Toro machines and irrigation as well.”

For more information, visit: reesinkturfcare.co.uk

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Sherriff Impresses At Sweetwoods

Sherriff Impresses At Sweetwoods: Two tank mixes containing a range of Sherriff Amenity products have been impressing at Sweetwoods Park Golf Club in Cowden, Kent, with Course Manager Allan Tait reporting excellent results. Based on the borders of Kent and Sussex in an area of outstanding natural beauty, Sweetwoods Park offers a fantastic golf experience through its par 72, 18-hole golf course.

Widely praised by its 450 members, the Championship course is kept in impeccable condition from season to season thanks to Allan Tait and his greenkeeping team.

Sherriff Impresses At Sweetwoods

Allan, who has been the Course Manager at Sweetwoods Park for just over 4 years, predominantly uses Sherriff Amenity products on key areas of the golf course and has singled out two tank mixes for particular praise.

“The majority of products I use on my greens, fairways, tees and approaches are all from Sherriff Amenity and I’ve always had consistently good results. I’m a fan of foliar feeding as I feel I have more control over growth and more flexibility with regards to tank-mixing,” said Allan.

Therefore, on his fairways, tees and approaches he relies on a liquid tank mixture which consists of Evolution Xtra 46.0.0 Soluble, Ferromel 20 – a water soluble formulation of iron sulphate hepta-hydrate and Primo Maxx II growth regulator.

“I use this mix for recovery in spring; Evolution Xtra encourages steady growth, whilst Ferromel 20 provides colour and discourages moss. The Evolution Xtra provides rapid greening, while the iron in the Ferromel 20 discourages the moss and the Primo Maxx II keeps control of the growth.

“For fairways I normally budget for two applications per year of this mix and that is more than enough because it has great longevity. It is nice and controlled and you don’t get a flush from it. I also like how soluble the product is. With some solubles you really have to grind them down but with the Evolution Xtra 46.0.0 Soluble, you simply run a hose over it and it disperses perfectly into the tank. I never get any blockages either. For me, it’s been a game changer.”

Allan admits that he prefers the preventative route, but most recently, following a prolonged dry spell, he turned to a tank-mix containing Aqua-Zorb 45 wetting agent, Rootmass Plus soil and plant conditioner and Amino Turf – a bio-stimulant.

Sherriff Impresses At Sweetwoods

“I’ve experimented with wetting agents before but for the past couple of years I’ve not really touched them – I’ve mainly used penetrants. However, after the recent weather conditions the greens were beginning to show signs of heat stress, drought stress and disease. I had watered them quite heavily and it was clear that it wasn’t enough or that it wasn’t getting into the right places so I decided to look at Aqua-Zorb 45 as a solution. I had heard of numerous golf clubs reporting great results from it so thought I would give it a go. With the seaweeds and amino acids in the mixture, which have been proven to reduce the stress and lessen the chance of getting disease, it seemed like a perfect tank-mix.

“We applied it down and the next day, literally within 24 hours, the greens had a completely different look to them – they were so much healthier. I will continue to apply that mixture every four to five weeks right through until the end of the season. It has made a huge difference to the greens and it means that I could sleep easy at night!”

Ever the perfectionist, Allan is always looking at ways in which he can take the course to another level and he believes that the technical support he receives from Amenity Specialist Joseph Dormer is another benefit in his decision to work with Sherriff Amenity.

“I like to think I’m quite technically minded and I like to know every product inside out – Joseph is exactly the same and we are quite often having discussions about the technical aspects of greenkeeping. It’s great to be able to bounce ideas off one another.”

For further information, please contact Sherriff Amenity on 01638 721 888 or visit www.sherriffamenity.com

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GoGreen Impresses At Rustington

GoGreen Impresses At Rustington: According to Head Greenkeeper Rob Hill the unique nine-hole course at Rustington Golf Centre in West Sussex is looking the best it has ever been thanks to Sherriff Amenity’s GoGreen Select.

Rustington Golf Centre was opened in 1992 and offers a number of unique facilities for golfers of all abilities. It boasts a driving range, a putting green, a par 3 academy course and a nine-hole, 18-tee par 70 course.

GoGreen Impresses At Rustington

Rob, who has been in the greenkeeping industry throughout his whole career, has been the Head Greenkeeper for just over two years. His team consists of four greenkeepers, including himself, as well as a horticulturalist.

“There is a common misconception that we have quite a large team for a nine-hole course,” says Rob. “However, it is actually very challenging because there are 18 tees and effectively people are playing the course twice which means we have a lot of wear – it is double the traffic of a normal 9-hole golf course. We also have a hectares worth of greens and land wise we look after a 4 acre garden which belongs to the owner.

“We tend to every facility here and I feel we have to be slightly more intense with our maintenance procedures.”

To maintain the impressive course and teaching facilities at Rustington Golf Centre, Rob chooses to use a variety of Sherriff Amenity products which includes the GoGreen range. Throughout his career Rob has seen impressive results from the long-lasting iron granules (GoGreen Granules) and in liquid form (GoGreen Plus), as well as GoGreen Energy – a concentrated bio-stimulant, formulated to assist plant health and relieve stress symptoms. It was the performance of these products which led to him using GoGreen Select.

“With GoGreen Select you apply it out and an hour later you see a dramatic change in colour – it provides an instant green-up. In fact, I bought one drum and before I had even finished it I was on the phone ordering another one – it is that good.”

GoGreen Select is a unique complex iron sulphate that may be used as a stand-alone product for rapid greening of turf or more flexibly, as a tank-mix partner with fertiliser and herbicide. Unlike ferrous sulphate and chelated iron, that can react forming precipitate and rendering the spray solution unusable, GoGreen Select is stable and provides a range of spraying options not normally associated with the use of iron.

GoGreen Impresses At Rustington

“It works incredibly well as a tank mix partner,” says Rob. “Initially, I used it at the start of May on my fairways which was mixed in with a three-way selective herbicide mix and Evolution Xtra 46.0.0 Soluble. The results were brilliant and it was a great boost to start the season – not only did it get rid of the weeds thanks to the herbicides, but it gave us really good colour and presentation.

“It is such a versatile product and I have started mixing GoGreen Select with Primo Maxx II on my tees and approaches as well. The course presentation is arguably the best it has ever been and that is based on feedback from the golfers as well.”

GoGreen Select was recommended to Rob by Joseph Dormer, Amenity Specialist for Sherriff Amenity, and Rob was quick to praise the support he receives.

“Joseph offers fantastic knowledge and will always give me that little bit extra advice when I need it. Quite regularly we will go for a walk around the course, look at anything the turf might require and talk through what improvements we could make.”

For further information, please contact Sherriff Amenity on 01638 721 888 or visit www.sherriffamenity.com

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Toro Impresses At SALTEX

Toro Impresses At SALTEX: At SALTEX 2017 last November, Toro’s LT-F3000 triple flail mower stood out from the crowd to Harlow Council-founded facilities management company, HTS Group Limited. In fact the company, which deals with grass cutting and landscape maintenance for the postcode, was so impressed it promptly invested in two machines.

As Andrew Bradley, landscapes manager at HTS Group, explains: “The LT-F3000 not only stood out with its signature Toro red, but for looking professional and robust. After making some enquiries, it was clear that it would tick all of our boxes, too.

Toro Impresses At SALTEX

“Post-show, I got in touch with our local Reesink Turfcare representative, Danny Lake, who took me on a tour around the Spellbrook Toro Factory in Bishop Stortford. Seeing machines hand built before my eyes convinced me that for quality and robustness, Toro was the way to go.”

Two LT-F3000 flail mowers join HTS Group’s fleet of 19 grounds machines and replace a 12-year-old cylinder mower to maintain medium-sized open spaces across the Essex district too small for a tractor-drawn mower and too large for a rotary.

Another box ticked for Andrew is that the LT-F3000 is road legal. He says: “With most sites six miles away, and their proximity to busy roads making parking a nightmare, being able to drive our machines to jobs is a must. A bonus with Toro’s triple flail is that it has a good road speed of 15.5mph.”

And the machines are proving their worth in action too, meaning Andrew’s show instincts were well-founded: “The wet spring has made grass grow like mad, but the flail mowers are chewing through it effortlessly. This would have been too much for our cylinder mower,” he says.

“The Toros, however, make light work of the grass and even leave a beautiful striped finish to really top it all off,” Andrew concludes.

To find out more about Reesink’s groundscare range, tailored to the needs of the UK groundsman, visit: reesinkturfcare.co.uk

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