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BIGGA & Syngenta to host major industry event

BIGGA & Syngenta to host major industry event: This summer will see the return of BIGGA’s popular Continue to Learn Extra webinar series and kicking off the programme of learning is a talk with industry expert Glenn Kirby about the high levels of leatherjackets and chafer grubs that have caused tremendous damage to many courses during the early part of 2021.

A recent social media survey by BIGGA Partner Syngenta found that during 2020 just 1% of UK golf courses reported no damage due to these insects. Hidden below the surface of the nation’s golf courses, leatherjackets are threatening the enjoyment and economic viability of the sport. Of the 400 course managers who responded to the survey, almost all reported that their course was negatively impacted by an infestation of the larvae of craneflies – also known as leatherjackets – and chafer grubs.

BIGGA & Syngenta to host major industry event

BIGGA & Syngenta to host major industry event

On 13 May BIGGA will be hosting an important industry event, when Syngenta Technical Manager Glenn Kirby will explain the reasons behind the damage and why it is important for the golfing industry to unite to support golf club teams during this distressing time.

Extensive damage to sports turf is caused by the larvae feeding on the turfgrass, while predators can also cause significant and widespread damage as they hunt for these larvae. The impact on a golf course can be serious, with increased costs as greenkeeping teams battle against the damage and the potential for large losses in revenue as golfers choose to play at courses that have been unaffected by the pests. However, unaffected courses are increasingly in the minority.

Alongside the webinar, BIGGA and Syngenta will be distributing a white paper to the golf industry that will provide an in-depth study of the situation including its causes, impact and potential solutions and will also be encouraging golf’s leading bodies to share this information to a wide audience.

This Continue to Learn Extra webinar is free to attend for anyone involved in golf club our course management. You can register for this vital industry event online now on the BIGGA website.

Syngenta’s Glenn Kirby said: “My goal when I started investigating the problem of leatherjackets was to get all golf courses to zero damage, as that’s what is being expected of course managers. But it has become increasingly clear to me that we are going to have to adjust our expectations. We all want perfect surfaces year-round, but without additional tools in our armoury I suspect that may not be a realistic goal.”

The ‘Managing the Leatherjacket Challenge’ webinar kicks off a summer of online learning for BIGGA members, with other webinars being hosted from May until September 2021. Taking a leading role will be management expert Tyler Bloom, while other topics for discussion will include golf course ecology, Women and Girls’ Golf Week and representatives of the European Institute for Golf Course Architects discussing ways of making golf courses more appealing to a wider audience. Head to the BIGGA website for more information.

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KAR’s guide for the irrigation industry

KAR’s guide for the irrigation industry: KAR UK, the leading wholesaler of irrigation equipment in the UK, has announced the launch of its new product brochure for 2021/2022.

The new 2021/2022 brochure is now available to download on the KAR UK website or from a company representative.

KAR's guide for the irrigation industry

KAR’s guide for the irrigation industry

From hoses, hose reels, lances and fittings to valves, meters and controllers. From filters and fertigation to drip irrigation and sprinklers, the new brochure features products from the world’s best-known names in water management such as:

  • Hunter
  • Kasco
  • ODIS
  • Amiad
  • Lowara
  • Grundfos
  • Perrot
  • Bermad
  • VDL
  • Rivulis
  • Unidelta
  • Hansen
  • NaanDan
  • Tefen
  • Even Products

Not only does the new brochure contain detailed information about the products but they also include valuable technical advice and prices.

For more information, please visit www.karuk.com

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

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Spurred on to enter the industry

Spurred on to enter the industry: Little did Spurs fan Harley Coplen know that his visit to last year’s WorldSkills UK LIVE exhibition would culminate in him winning a tour of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and the club’s training ground – and spur thoughts of him and a fellow student entering industry apprenticeships.

Entering the prize draw on the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) Young Board’s ‘careers in grounds management’ stand at the Birmingham NEC event in November with tutors and fellow students from the Robert Clack School of Science in Dagenham, Essex, Harley won the trip for him and a group of peers from more than 200 entries.

Spurred on to enter the industry

Spurred on to enter the industry

“I am proud to say that I am a Spurs fan,” says Harley, “and the stadium is phenomenal. I was taken aback by just how big it is and especially by how much work goes into the pitch to make it look so good for the spectators and for it to accommodate the players’ needs. I have learned a lot about becoming a groundsman and the hard work involved, and I have decided that I would like to pursue an apprenticeship in the industry.

“I would like to say a massive thank you to the IOG and everyone at the stadium and training ground for the experience, and for ensuring we got the most out of our trip.”

Jane Meaden, one of the tutors who accompanied the group, added: “A big thank you to the Spurs grounds staff who gave us an incredible tour and insight into the workings of the training ground and the stadium – where we saw how things worked pitch-side as well as ‘underground’ where the sliding pitch is stored.

“We all had a great time and we now have a couple of future groundsmen in the making.  A special thank you to Darren Baldwin, head of playing surfaces and estates at Tottenham Hotspur FC, for making the day so entertaining.”

WorldSkills UK LIVE at the NEC is one of a number of events attended by the IOG‘s Young Board to raise awareness of the industry as a career option, highlighting the sector’s inherent science and technology to also aid teachers in contextualising maths and science in the classroom. The Young Board strategy is based on developing promotional material and engaging with young people, guiding them towards a clear pathway into a rewarding career in grounds management. Young Board members give up their own time to organise and support Young IOG initiatives attending and supporting a range of career events through the year.

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Industry Award For Edgbaston

Industry Award For Edgbaston: Warwickshire head groundsman Gary Barwell and his team at Edgbaston have been awarded two of the biggest grounds industry accolades by the Institute of Groundsmanship.

The groundstaff, who received global recognition for their work in the summer on England’s Test match against India and throughout the 2018 domestic season, were named Professional Cricket Grounds Team of the Year at the IOG Awards at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole.

Industry Award For Edgbaston

Barwell was also presented with the awards’ marquee accolade of Groundsman of the Year, which represents groundstaff across a variety of sports and industries.

 He said: “My team have worked incredibly hard in the most challenging conditions over the last 12 months and are always striving to produce the very best pitch, outfield and practice facilities for all cricket at Edgbaston, whether it’s for a Test match watched by millions of people around the world or a friendly match.

“There are some exceptionally talented people working across grounds care in cricket and we are regularly in touch to discuss new ideas and best practice across our profession. For our team to be recognised with these awards by our industry peers is a great honour.”

The IOG was originally founded in 1934 and aims to be the leading professional organisation for grounds management .

“Having this year suffered extreme weather conditions, with the winter’s ‘Beast from the East’ through to this summer’s unprecedented record heatwave, the climate has tested groundsmen to their limits,” said IOG chief executive Geoff Webb.

“It has not been easy, yet we have seen how fantastic our profession is and this year’s awards had a fantastic array of nominees, who have all achieved very high standards.”

The glittering awards ceremony is the tenth to be staged by the IOG and the Edgbaston groundstaff were also recognised at the 2013 event as winner of Professional Cricket Grounds Team of the Year.

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Industry Award Brings Big Benefits

Industry Award Brings Big Benefits : The Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award, which is now in its 29th year, is recognised and respected across the greenkeeping industry for discovering the most promising talent in the country, thanks to the support of the profession’s college lecturers.

Here we speak to John Millen, sportsturf tutor at Plumpton College, someone who has witnessed firsthand the benefits of a student being nominated and winning the acclaimed award:

Industry Award Brings Big Benefits

“I have nominated a student most years I have been a lecturer and that’s more years than I care to remember! There are plenty of good reasons for this. To start with the award generates career interest and that’s something I wholeheartedly support. I think more needs to be done to push greenkeeping as a viable career option and this is one way to do that.

“It’s also a positive way to promote the college. It’s important for students coming into college to see the success and recognition of their course peers and be confident that their college is going to support them too, in any way it can. I believe being consistently attributed to such an award as a nominator will attract more people to the course and college.”

This year was the first year that the award had opened up nominations to employers, and having been a course manager himself for many years, this is a development John welcomed.

“I think of this industry as one big family; we all play a part in supporting the next generation, nurturing them and helping them achieve their goals. As such I don’t think it makes a difference who nominates the student, it’s just important that we all keep spotting the talent and not assuming someone else will.”

In fact, this year’s winner, Nick Machin, was nominated by his employer, the course manager at Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club, a decision supported by John as Nick’s lecturer at Plumpton College. David Cole, managing director of the award sponsor Reesink Turfcare, reiterates: “This year’s winner Nick didn’t just prevail through his own efforts, but through the support of his employer and educators. Nick has benefitted from the excellent support of his employer and we are pleased to recognise Plumpton’s important influence on his career to date. It’s a successful combination.”

Not only has John been a lecturer and a course manager, but he was also chairman of the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) in 1994, so it goes without saying that anything developing the profession of greenkeeping is a good thing in his eyes. “Education and training are paramount in any industry, no matter whether you are fresh out of college or, like me, decades into your career,” he says.

With the paid-for prize of a scholarship to the University of Massachusetts, which consistently ranks in the top 100 of The World’s Most Innovative Universities, for the winner and a trip to the Golf Industry Show in America for the student and nominator, there’s huge benefits at stake here, as John confirms:

“Having been to the show as a result of one of my nominations, I can vouch that it’s an incredible show; the learning experiences, whether you are a lecturer or employer, are fantastic and well worth the application form!”

For more information, visit: reesinkturfcare.co.uk

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