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Shaun Anderson joins Rain Bird

Shaun Anderson joins Rain Bird: Shaun Anderson has joined Rain Bird Europe as Golf Sales Specialist for the UK, Ireland and Iceland. Hailing from ‘The Home of Golf’, St Andrews, Shaun steps into his new role following Alastair Higgs’ recent promotion to Europe Service Manager.

Before joining Rain Bird, Shaun’s previous roles at Piperdam Golf and Leisure Resort in Angus, more recently as Golf and Leisure Manager and previously as Head Greenkeeper and Deputy across the group’s three courses, covered a broad scope of operational and managerial responsibilities and support for the greenkeeping team in tackling agronomic challenges.

Shaun Anderson joins Rain Bird

Shaun Anderson joins Rain Bird

Educated at Elmwood College, Shaun gained his Sports Turf SVQ Level 3, studying Soil Science and Agronomy as part of his Greenkeeping National Certificate. Winning a scholarship at The Duke’s Course in St Andrews in the early 2000’s sparked his keen interest in environmental management which has developed into a lifelong passion for sustainable practices.

Throughout his career, Shaun has been closely involved in many golf course construction projects involving tees, bunkers, greens, fairways and water features including a major £250,000 redevelopment of the Osprey Golf Course at Piperdam.

Shaun comments: “I’m very excited about joining the Rain Bird Europe team. I can’t wait to get out into the field and support users to get the very best performance from their Rain Bird systems”.

A keen runner, in his spare time, Shaun enjoys relaxing with his family, playing golf and being outdoors.

Jimmy Sandison, Regional Golf Sales Manager, Rain Bird Europe adds: “We’re delighted to welcome Shaun to our team. With managerial, operational and greenkeeping experience to offer, he easily relates to the challenges that courses face as they seek to improve courses through irrigation efficiency and more sustainable water management practices”.

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Royal Norwich joins Ventrac club

Royal Norwich joins Ventrac club: Royal Norwich, the first ‘Royal’ golf club ever to relocate to a new site, is the latest organisation to appreciate the multiple benefits of Ventrac. Situated on the Weston Estate to the north of Norwich, they recently took delivery of a Ventrac 4500 all-terrain compact tractor in dual-wheel configuration and a Contour mowing deck.

Peter Todd is the highly respected turf manager who, in his role as estate manager and director on the Club’s board, specified the purchase following a demonstration earlier this year.  He began his career in 1990 working for Transcontinental Golf Construction, a hands-on role that included constructing the Nicklaus Signature courses at both Gleneagles and then the London Golf Club. He stayed on for the grow-in at the London, rising through the ranks to course manager, and managed the staging of numerous televised tournaments including the Volvo World Match Play Championship 2014 and the European Opens in 2008 and 2009.

Royal Norwich joins Ventrac club

Royal Norwich joins Ventrac club

“I first met Rupert Price, the owner of the UK Ventrac franchise, at London Golf Club just prior to leaving to take up this appointment,” he said. “I was extremely impressed by it’s all-round capabilities, but as I was leaving to join Royal Norwich, I didn’t think it pertinent to pursue the purchase.

“However, that positive impression stayed with me and I contacted him for another demonstration, so that my new team could see it on our course and have the chance to evaluate it; a structured process of evaluation that we always go through when considering a major cap-ex machinery purchase.

“My primary concern is the safety of my staff when operating equipment, especially on sloping terrain around greens, bunkers and tee surrounds. We demoed machines from the major manufacturers, but none could safely carry out these two prime tasks on the sloping ground.

“The Ventrac is the only machine that can handle the pronounced shaping around the course without scalping. It’s exceptionally stable, especially with its dual-wheel configuration, articulating frame and low centre of gravity. The Contour deck flexes superbly to follow the ground contours and its counter-rotating blades ensure the cuttings are thrown backwards and not on to the greens. Its manoeuvrability around our rectangular tees is exceptional, allowing it to turn through 90 degrees easily and efficiently. What you get is all the attributes of a four-wheel mower with the manoeuvrability of three-wheel machine.

“I also like the out-front set-up of the Ventrac with all the attachments clearly visible to the operator. The 3-point hitch at the back is useful as we can attach drag mats and, because of its very low ground pressure, use it on greens for brushing in top dressing.

“Obviously, mowing slopes in the wet is challenging for most equipment, but this is where the Ventrac excels. However, in dry conditions the grass becomes ‘glassy’ and can be equally slippery, but again, not an issue for this machine.

“We had a demonstration of the Trencher attachment and I can see this being beneficial in soft areas, especially in the autumn and the blower is a definite possibility as we are a parkland course and can get out in the very wet winter and spring conditions that have become a feature of our weather. This is undoubtedly, a very versatile machine.”

The Royal Norwich course at Weston Estate opened on 16th September 2019 with Ryder Cup legend Ian Poulter playing the inaugural round to mark the completion of the 10-year project to create a world-class sporting venue in East Anglia.

The 18-hole genderless course was designed by Ross McMurray of European Golf Design and built by the UK’s leading golf course contractors to the highest industry standards. It is capable of hosting the sport’s leading events in the future. It also includes a 6-hole academy course, built to the same specifications as the main course and designed to both encourage new players into the sport and limit playing time to under an hour; something which has been identified as key to growing engagement in the sport.

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Clive Betts MP joins Fields in Trust Board of Trustees

Clive Betts MP joins Fields in Trust Board of Trustees: Senior Parliamentarian, Clive Betts MP, has joined green space charity Fields in Trust as a new Trustee and will take on the volunteer role with immediate effect.

Clive Betts MP has served his home-town of Sheffield as an elected representative since 1976, first as a City Councillor and, since 1993, as a Member of Parliament.  His longstanding Chairmanship of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, in particular the oversight of the 2016 Parliamentary Inquiry into public parks, puts him in a unique position to advance the work of Fields in Trust, protecting parks and green spaces for future generations. Clive Betts MP was one of the first MPs to sign up to Fields in Trust’s Parks Protector Pledge during the 2019 election campaign.

Clive Betts MP joins Fields in Trust Board of Trustees

Clive Betts MP joins Fields in Trust Board of Trustees

Following the landmark decision of Liverpool City Council to legally protect their whole portfolio of parks and green space with Fields in Trust, Clive Betts will support the charity’s work to encourage other local authorities across the country to replicate Liverpool’s civic leadership, ensuring the benefits of green space access can be extended to more communities.

Fields in Trust Chair of Trustees Jo Barnett says “Parks were one of the unsung heroes of the pandemic and they should be an important part of the green recovery plans. We believe this is a pivotal moment for the UK’s parks and green spaces and Clive Betts joining the team will help us achieve a better outcome for our communities, now and for generations to come “.

As he joins as a Trustee, Clive Betts MP said:” I’m really looking forward to working with Fields in Trust. Over the past year our parks have been valued more than ever, particularly by those people without access to private gardens, and yet the future funding and long-term access to these spaces is at risk. I look forward to working with Fields in Trust to champion, support and protect green spaces and secure the health and wellbeing benefits they provide.”

Over many years Clive has made use of public parks and green spaces personally as a keen cricketer, a former captain of the Parliamentary Football Team and training runs for his participation in the Sheffield Marathon.

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David Timms joins the Reesink team

David Timms joins the Reesink team: David Timms is delighted to be working with Toro again after 18 years as the new regional business manager for Reesink Turfcare in the Southwest and Midlands.

Having started his career in the turfcare industry as an area sales representative in Sussex working with Toro and Hayter machinery in 2003, David went on to become sales manager within the distribution company of JSM in 2007 before relocating to Somerset with Textron in 2011. Now he has come full circle as he returns to working with Toro machinery.

David Timms joins the Reesink team

David Timms joins the Reesink team

“It’s great to be back working with Toro and Reesink,” says David. “I’ve had a love for the brand since working with them 18 years ago and for some time now, I’ve had the desire to again work with and promote the leading brand, so when the opportunity arose it was a really easy decision. The build quality, innovation and range that Toro provides is above and beyond competitors, so I feel very fortunate to be in a role where I can confidently sell the best machinery in the market. With over 100 years trading as a stand alone mower company, it really speaks volumes about Toro and its future.”

In addition to bringing near two-decades of experience with him, David also starts the role with a philosophy to work according to the fundamentals of selling machinery, something he feels will help him in his role and benefit customers.

“In my time in the industry I’ve learned what is really fundamental when it comes to selling turfcare machinery,” says David. “First and foremost is building strong relationships with customers, dealers and colleagues. People don’t buy from people they don’t know. Secondly, backing both the product and customer through the machine’s life is very important, and simple aspects which are all too easily overlooked. All customers are asking is for you to go out and do a good honest job.”

David is already enjoying the work and is excited for what’s to come: “The most exciting part of the job is definitely the opportunity it provides to build on existing and new relationships with customers in the industry, made even better by the fact I have the confidence that customers now genuinely want to buy the brand, with it already at the forefront of most customers wish lists.”

With the industry starting to move forward from a time of uncertainty, David is optimistic about the future of golf, and Reesink and Toro’s part in that.

“I would hope that over the next 12 months we see a resurgence in golf, particularly as people appreciate the chance to get outside more than ever,” David concludes. “With Reesink and Toro having the most comprehensive and reliable offering of machinery, servicing, parts support and warranties in the market, and customers more concerned with whole life costs and longevity of equipment, we are well placed to meet customer needs.”

David can be contacted via Reesink on 01480 226800.

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New Managing Director joins STIHL GB

New Managing Director joins STIHL GB: Kay Green has today joined STIHL Great Britain as Managing Director, following the retirement of long-standing predecessor Robin Lennie in December 2020.

For the last three years, Kay has been UK and Ireland Country Manager for Hasbro UK Ltd. During her career at Hasbro, she also held a number of senior commercial roles including director level positions in both sales and marketing, and a two-year period as Nordic Country Manager in Copenhagen.

New Managing Director joins STIHL GB

New Managing Director joins STIHL GB

Kay joins a thriving and resilient STIHL GB, with the business recording over a decade of year-on-year growth and a doubling of turnover from £57m in 2008 to £125m in 2020.

Commenting on her new role, Kay said: “I’m delighted to be joining this iconic global brand and to be building on Robin’s tremendous legacy. 2020 was a record year for STIHL GB, despite the global circumstances. The business saw growth across most markets and categories thanks to the support and commitment of the STIHL Approved Dealer network and of course our professional and domestic end-users. I’m very much looking forward to meeting our partners across the industry as soon as the situation allows.

It’s a genuinely exciting time to be taking the helm at STIHL GB. We have a game-changing new range of pro cordless tools launching this year, continued investment in consumer brand-building and plans continuing apace for our sustainable new GB Headquarters in Surrey. 2021 has all the potential to be another landmark year for the brand and our customers.”

Kay is STIHL GB’s first female Managing Director and joins an ever-increasing number of women in senior positions across the global STIHL business. Kay spent her childhood growing up on a farm and is married with two teenage children.

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GreenClub joins PGA Partnership programme

GreenClub joins PGA Partnership programme: GreenClub – The PGA’s new principal partner – is set to offer a significant financial boost to golf clubs and resorts as part of its ambition towards becoming a carbon neutral sport.

Co-founded by PGA Member Paul Cuddy and respected environmental engineer Karl Gallagher, GreenClub aims to invest in partnerships with golf facilities to generate electrical energy through solar installations on clubhouse roofs or suitable ground-mounted sites.

GreenClub joins PGA Partnership programme

GreenClub joins PGA Partnership programme

As well as reducing energy costs and delivering new revenue streams with the sale of any surplus energy, ambitions are high for a concerted shift towards carbon neutrality for many golf clubs across the world.

Liam Greasley, chief executive of GreenClub and former commercial director at The PGA, is helping to drive the company’s initiative to deliver free solar energy installation, and he believes it could be the difference between prosperity or closure for some golf facilities.

Greasley commented: “We’re delighted to announce this exciting new partnership with The PGA and we look forward to helping PGA members and their golf facilities save money while helping golf become a carbon neutral sport.

“Club management will be looking at different and innovative ways of minimising their overheads and looking for potential new revenue streams. The GreenClub proposition addresses both of those areas and I believe it could be the difference for many clubs between remaining open and having to close their doors.

“Our ambition is to become the premier renewable energy company in golf and beyond. We want to partner with PGA Members who see the real value of working with us and we want to engage with as many clubs as possible.”

Initially operating in Great Britain and Ireland, GreenClub already has plans to expand into Australia and USA, which provides access to 24,000 golf clubs.

To date, feedback from potential partners has been overwhelmingly positive with several facilities already expressing an interest in becoming the GreenClub standard-bearers.

Greasley continued: “There is an opportunity for clubs to be seen as leaders in the area of sustainability. But the big draw is that the initial benefit will be at least a 15 per cent discount on current electricity bills, increasing to more than 30 per cent once the investment is paid down. At the same time, if clubs have any surplus to your own needs, there will be an opportunity to sell directly to the local businesses and residents, bringing golf clubs even closer into the heart of their communities.”

As a PGA principal partner, GreenClub will join an elite band of businesses that represent the highest level of partnership with The PGA. They are leaders in their business area and benefit from a marketing reach to PGA members and the wider golfing community.

Robert Maxfield, Chief Executive of The PGA, commented: “The PGA is delighted to welcome GreenClub to its partnership network.

“The PGA recognises the need to do more to help preserve golf for generations to come by acting on important issues such as climate change and the environment. The partnership with GreenClub is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.

“It’s also a relationship that can benefit members at a time when many golf facilities may be struggling with the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic, providing an opportunity to make instant savings while providing another potentially valuable revenue stream.

“We look forward to working with the GreenClub team as we all play our in part in helping the game of golf become a carbon neutral sport in the near future.”

For more information visit www.greenclub.energy, email info@greenclub.energy or call 0800 999 1904.

CLICK HERE to find out more about how to become a PGA principal partner.

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JCB joins national call to action

JCB joins national call to action: JCB is poised to re-start production at a factory closed as a result of the Coronavirus crisis in order to join the national effort to manufacture ventilators, the company announced today.

JCB received a direct appeal from Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier this month to help plug the national ventilator shortage and to help save lives of Coronavirus patients. Following the approach, JCB Chairman Lord Bamford promised to help in any way the company could and immediately mobilised a research and engineering team to examine potential ways to assist.

JCB joins national call to action

JCB joins national call to action

Now JCB is ready to restart production at a factory which has been closed for nearly two weeks as a result of the Coronavirus crisis. But instead of making cabs for JCB diggers, the plant is being mobilised to make special steel housings for a brand new design of ventilator from Dyson. A minimum of 10,000 of the JCB housings are earmarked for manufacture once Dyson receives regulatory approval for its design.

The first prototypes of the housings have been delivered to Dyson after rolling off the production line at JCB’s £50 million Cab Systems factory in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, which Boris Johnson visited during the election campaign. The factory fell silent on March 18th along with eight other JCB UK manufacturing plants after a fall in demand caused by the Coronavirus crisis. Mass production of the housings could start in a matter of days.

Today JCB Chairman Lord Bamford said: “When we were approached by the Prime Minister we were determined, as a British company, to help in any way we could. This project has gone from design to production in just a matter of days and I am delighted that we have been able to deploy the skills of our talented engineering, design and fabrication teams so quickly at a time of national crisis. This is also a global crisis, of course, and we will naturally help with the production of more housings if these ventilators are eventually required by other countries.”

JCB’s response to the national call to action would see the return to work for around 50 employees affected by an extended company shutdown announced last week. JCB suspended production at its nine UK production plants until at least the end of April as a result of the Coronavirus crisis and furloughed the vast majority of its 6,500 workforce. The company is paying them 80% of their basic pay for the next month, regardless of what they earn.

Employees returning to work to help manufacture the ventilator housings will be paid 100% of their normal pay.

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Adam Cooper joins GaNTIP

Adam Cooper joins GaNTIP: The Institute of Groundsmanship-led Grounds and Natural Turf Improvement Programme (GaNTIP) has announced the appointment of Adam Cooper, a practising groundsman with more than 31 years’ experience, as regional pitch advisor (RPA) for the North West.

His appointment comes at a time when sports clubs up and down the country are suffering the devastations of storms Ciara and Dennis, and the skills and advice of GaNTIP’s team of RPAs – now nine, plus two key account managers – will be essential in helping grassroots clubs recover from the devastation.

Adam Cooper joins GaNTIP

Adam Cooper joins GaNTIP

GaNTIP is the successful programme that is improving the standard of grassroots football and cricket pitches, as well as the skills of those who look after them, throughout England. It will now be working closely with the England & Wales Cricket Board and Country Cricket Boards, as well as with County FAs, to offer advice and help to clubs when the flood waters subside.

Based in Preston, Lancashire, Adam – who entered the groundscare industry after qualifying as a quantity surveyor – brings to the role extensive experience in maintaining cricket surfaces as well as surfaces for tennis, football, bowls, hockey, croquet and golf. He also spent the past two years in an advisory support role within the GaNTIP programme.

His CV includes work at four Premier League cricket clubs, as well as at AFC Fylde and Accrington Stanley FC plus managing the cricket, hockey, tennis and football surfaces at Lytham Cricket and Tennis Club.

Adam has also been involved in many volunteer grounds roles over the years, particularly at his local cricket club and at the various sporting venues where his children played football, tennis and hockey.

He says he “is looking forward to helping grassroots clubs by applying this understanding of the challenges faced by volunteers, especially now as they face a tumultuous task in reinstating pitches that have been destroyed by the storms.”

Out of work, Adam is a keen sportsman and plays hockey and cricket. He also enjoys salmon fishing and sailing.

GaNTIP is a joint programme between the Institute of Groundsmanship, The Football Association, Football Foundation and the England & Wales Cricket Board, and programme director Jason Booth, says: “Adam’s appointment reinforces how GaNTIP continues to apply the best skills in order to help grassroots sports clubs up and down the country.

“Their experience and advice will be now also be vital in helping grassroots clubs recover from the awful flooding that we’ve experienced in recent months.”

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Andrew de Wet joins Symbio

Andrew de Wet joins Symbio: Andrew de Wet has been appointed by Symbio as Technical Sales Manager for the Midlands.

A former Golf Course Manager with a passion for sustainability and ecology, Andrew went on to launch a successful turf care and landscaping company before joining an organisation whose ethos and products he has long advocated. He is looking forward to working with a broad range of customers in his area which extends from Leicester to Birmingham, up to the Peak District and across South Yorkshire.

Andrew de Wet joins Symbio

Andrew de Wet joins Symbio

He comments, “Recognising that golf courses are such valuable urban ecosystems, good environmental stewardship was at the heart of everything I did as a greenkeeper. I committed to reducing inputs and with Symbio’s help I was able to, growing finer grasses in a healthier rootzone and redirecting that expenditure to other areas of the golf course. I’m looking forward to giving confidence and support to other turf managers looking to do the same.”

Established in 1990, Symbio was the first company to combine soil biology and chemistry to develop a range of industry-changing products, including Thatch Eater to convert thatch to plant food, mycorrhizal fungi to promote perennial grasses and in some cases more than halve fertiliser use; Liquid Aeration to oxygenate the rootzone, and compost teas to restore life to chemically damaged and compacted rootzones.

Andrew can be contacted on 07513 125554 and by email at andrew@symbio.co.uk

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Alan Prickett joins ISEKI UK

Alan Prickett joins ISEKI UK: ISEKI UK & Ireland are pleased to announce that Alan Prickett has joined the growing team in the role of Business Development Manager, responsible for dealers in the central band of the UK, along with key and national account sales.

Alan is a very well-known figure in the industry having previously worked for many years at Ransomes Jacobsen Ltd. Prior to his leaving there in July of 2019 he held a number of positions ranging from Regional Sales Manager to Managing Director.

Alan Prickett joins ISEKI UK

In Alan’s early career he studied agricultural engineering in Oxfordshire, before commencing a career in the professional turf industry from 1981, initially working for professional machinery dealerships in the midlands, rising to the level of sales management and key accounts.

Commenting on the appointment David Withers adds; “Alan will be a great asset to the team at ISEKI, he will be looking to further drive market share gains in the compact tractor and collecting mower categories where ISEKI excel.”

For more information, visit: www.iseki.co.uk.

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