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Pitchworks Grow With New Area Manager

Pitchworks Grow With New Area Manager: Pitchworks, market specialists in supplying superior ground equipment and products to the sports industry, have confirmed the appointment of Lee Williams as its new Area Manager. Lee’s role will involve covering North Wales, Shropshire, Merseyside, Cheshire and surrounding areas.

Founded in 1993 by former Manchester United FC player Garry Worrall, Pitchworks has significantly grown in size and reputation over recent years.

Pitchworks Grow With New Area Manager

The company prides itself on its commitment to develop close customer relationships which are created through its dedicated sales representatives who provide in-depth one-to-one consultations.

Lee’s previous roles have included being the Head Groundsman at Rydal Penrhos School – a position which he held for 30 years. With experience in the polo industry as well, Lee is also a keen golfer and has represented the County of Flintshire.

As the company continues to grow, the appointment of Lee is another step in the right direction and continues to ensure that the Pitchworks team is perfectly placed to understand the daily demands faced by modern day groundsmen and greenkeepers.

Lee can be contacted at lee@pitchworks.co.uk

For more information please visit www.pitchworks.co.uk or call 0161 427 0857.

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Gleneagles’s New Golf Courses Manager

Gleneagles’s New Golf Courses Manager: Gleneagles, the iconic Scottish hotel and sporting estate, has announced the appointment of Craig Haldane as its new Golf Courses Manager.

South African Craig, a well-known figure in the global golf industry, joins Gleneagles from Emirates Golf Club, Dubai, where he held the position of Director – Golf Course Maintenance, and had led golf course operations at the iconic Middle East venue for the past 11 years.

Gleneagles's New Golf Courses Manager

Previous to this, Haldane’s international experience included senior roles at Nad Al Sheba Golf Club, Dubai; Riffa Golf Club, Bahrain; Ria Bintan Golf Club, Indonesia; and Fancourt Hotel, South Africa.

Haldane arrives at Gleneagles as it prepares for the staging of two significant tournaments over the next 18 months – the inaugural European Golf Team Championships on The PGA Centenary Course this August and The Solheim Cup 12 months later – as well as the centenary of The King’s Course next year.

The James Braid-designed King’s Course will also welcome the 100th playing of the Scottish Stroke Play Championship this year, while The Queen’s Course will see the second PING Scottish Mixed Championship.

Commenting on this important announcement, Gary Silcock, Director of Golf at Gleneagles, said: “I’m incredibly excited by Craig’s appointment and his global experience and expertise will be a huge asset as we continue to invest in our golf business and customer experience.

“His industry knowledge and tournament preparation skills – The Majlis Course at Emirates Golf Club stages the European Tour sanctioned Omega Dubai Desert Classic each year – will be invaluable. Bringing together Craig’s experience with Scott Fenwick, our Director of Agronomy & Estates, who has 38 years of tournament expertise here at Gleneagles, is helping us create one of the strongest tournament teams in golf.

“We are now blending a growing international team with home-grown talent and Craig’s appointment will allow us to further develop our succession planning goals within our Greens Team Apprentice programme, which started two years ago.”

Haldane’s appointment at ‘The Glen’ coincides with the 850-acre Perthshire estate winning a host of industry accolades, including being named the ‘No.1 Golf Resort in Britain & Ireland’ by Golf World Magazine, and the ‘Ultimate Golf Resort’ at the recent 59club Awards.

Craig Haldane, said: “Gleneagles is one of the world’s great golf estates and the opportunity to work with Gary and the team to deliver the next chapter in its illustrious golfing history is something I am hugely looking forward to.

“The King’s, The Queen’s and The PGA Centenary Course are already recognised the world-over as exceptional golf experiences and I am confident that in my new role, and with the support of the incredible golf team at Gleneagles, we will be able to take the management, conditioning and preparation of all courses to the next level.”

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Kubota’s New Field Service Manager

Kubota’s New Field Service Manager: Kubota UK has announced the appointment of Martin Tyler as its Field Service Manager. This is a new management role created within the organisation to offer more support to its extensive independent dealer network and end-user customers.

Martin will take full responsibility and control of all Kubota UK field service activities. This will include field product quality reporting, Kubota’s Customer Satisfaction Survey, Dealer Service Excellence, the development of service business activities and the resolution of any customer or dealer warranty enquiries.

Kubota's New Field Service Manager

Keith Miller, Service & Training Manager at Kubota UK, said: “At Kubota, we are constantly investing in new and innovative ways in which we can enhance the service we provide to both our dealer network and end-user customers. The creation of this new role will provide a more focused approach to Kubota UK’s service provision, and is yet another example of our continued commitment to provide service excellence.”

Bringing more than 20 years industry experience to his new role, Martin joined Kubota in 2014 as a Regional Service Manager for the East of England, before being promoted to Service Supervisor for Agricultural Tractors. Previous to this, Martin spent the majority of his career at a New Holland dealer. He started as an apprentice and quickly rose through the ranks of Senior Service Technician, Warranty Administrator and finally to Service Manager.

Martin commented: “Our dealer network plays a pivotal role in sustaining our position as a first-class machinery provider, so ensuring we can provide them the highest levels of service and support is paramount.

“The creation of this new role will enable Kubota to enhance its close working relationships with its dealers. It will ensure they have dedicated support and access to all the necessary tools and advice needed, to enhance their business operations. This in turn will lead to better service levels provided to our end-user customers.”

For more information on Kubota UK visit www.kubota.co.uk or call 01844 268000.

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New ICL Area Sales Manager

New ICL Area Sales Manager: ICL has announced the appointment of Craig Lalley as its new Technical Area Sales Manager, with Craig set to cover North East England, Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire. 

Craig joins ICL with a wealth of experience having spent his entire working career within the turf and landscape industry. It all started in greenkeeping where Craig enjoyed 13 years working on golf courses. He then moved into amenity sales before joining Mansfield Sand as Football and Golf Sales Manager – a position he excelled in for the past four years before joining ICL.

New ICL Area Sales Manager

Complimenting Craig’s experience is his impressive list of qualifications which includes BASIS, Level 2 and 3 in Amenity Sports Turf, a Technical Certificate, a degree module in Construction & Design and certificates PA1, 2 and 6 in the Safe Use of Pesticides.

Craig starts his new role with ICL on 1st May and will be responsible for providing support to distributors and end users by offering high quality technical advice and product recommendations as well as creating tailored nutritional and disease control programmes.

For further information, please contact ICL on 01473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk or www.icl-sf.ie

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New Territory Manager For Kioti

New Territory Manager For Kioti: To cover Scotland and Northern England, Kioti UK have confirmed the appointment of Richard Green as Area Sales Manager.

Richard is based in central Scotland and brings with him a large amount of knowledge and experience of Compact tractors and the Groundcare industry.

New Territory Manager For Kioti

Richard also has the advantage of already being familiar with the Kioti range of products having sold them successfully in his previous employment.

Richard also has experience in the Agricultural and Construction industries.

For further details of the Kioti range of products please do not hesitate to contact Richard Green on 07876 593216.

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Course Manager Brian Owen Retires

Course Manager Brian Owen Retires: As Tadmarton Heath Golf Club’s course manager Brian Owen retires after 44 years in the industry, 25 years at the club and 15 years using Toro machinery exclusively, he looks back at the biggest change he has seen in his accomplished career.

Brian has worked at a variety of courses across the country, beginning at Southerndown Golf Club’s championship links course in Wales and finishing at the Oxfordshire-based, heathland course of Tadmarton.

Course Manager Brian Owen Retires

And throughout almost 50 years in the business, it’s the dealer support and service Brian thinks has changed the most and made the biggest difference to working life. He recalls: “Working at a remote Cornish links golf club in the eighties, you were lucky to get any service at all; we had to be very self-sufficient. Nowadays you can completely rely on your distributor or dealer for all your maintenance needs, just as we have at Tadmarton with Reesink Turfcare and Toro for many years.”

Changing the way Tadmarton purchased and maintained its machinery has also made a big difference. When Brian joined as course manager in 1992, the club was buying one machine a year, had a fleet twice as big as it does now, and yet the condition of the course still needed a lot of work.

Brian explains: “I convinced the board to lease hire instead of owning machines, meaning service came fully included, and gradually turned the fleet completely Toro to keep the course in the best possible condition. When it comes to machinery, quality over quantity is key, as is reliability.”

And so it happened that five years after becoming all-red, Tadmarton switched to Toro UK distributor Reesink Turfcare for back-up services who, Brian says, have been incredibly supportive: “Reesink offers the best support in the industry. I’ve worked with Reesink’s Robert Rees for ten years and he’s been brilliant on a professional as well as personal level.

“In fact, we met at a local pub the other day with Reesink’s regional manager John Pike and they presented me with a Toro decanter for all the work we have achieved together. It was a marvellous surprise and I shall think of them every time I pour a glass of port.”

On a personal level, a particular highlight of Brian’s career was driving the recently completed bunker renovations forwards at Tadmarton: “The bunkers hadn’t undergone any big changes since the course was established in 1922, so they needed to be brought up to the same standard as the rest of the course. The renovations began five years ago and, this year, we completed the 64th and final bunker. To see it finished is the perfect sign off to my career!”

For more information, visit: reesinkturfcare.co.uk

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Rigby Taylor Help Course Manager Meet Expectations

Rigby Taylor Products Help Course Manager Meet All Expectations – Whatever The Weather: Apart from weather patterns that nowadays often mean the seasons seemingly merge into one another, one of the biggest challenges facing Course Manager Justin Robinson is coping with the large temperature differences that he sees at different holes on the Henley-on-Thames Golf Club.

“It’s not unusual to record 6degC variations, on the same day, at different tees and greens due to the topography of the course”, he says. “But after 24 years here and knowing how to vary the treatment of the different greens and tees so that we ‘work with the weather’ – plus help from some world-class amenity supplies – we get things right, despite the vagaries of mother nature.”

Rigby Taylor Help Course Manager Meet Expectations

Justin ‘gets it right’ by inspecting the course every day, deciding exactly what is needed and when by every green and tee. He also works hand-in-hand with Rigby Taylor’s area sales director, Gareth Acteson, to instigate a best-in-class nutrition (spring) and fungicide (autumn) programme of turf care.

“I’ve been utilising Gareth’s knowledge for the past six years or so and the course has definitely benefitted. Based on our twice yearly soil analyses, we plan a treatment programme and I use a range of Rigby Taylor products to give me what I want and when I need it.” He also insists: “I always buy everything I use on a cost versus benefits basis.”

Justin admits that club members ‘play with their eyes’ so first and foremost he ensures the greens look lush and his choice of amenity supplies reflects this quest for top-class presentation.

He continues: “Our agronomist is this year suggesting we incorporate more bent (Rigby Taylor’s 105 browntop bent) grass species on the greens and while this plan will take at least two/three years before we see the full effect, in an attempt to stress the poa annua we have this year applied only one granular and one liquid feed between April and July.

“We’re trying to get the finer grasses on the tees and aprons; often in areas where they wouldn’t normally survive. It is difficult to get dwarf perennial rye to ‘take’ on the tees; the grass is simply not large enough to take that level of play.

Also in an attempt to improve the push-up greens (and the tees and aprons), after the members had spent all year round, due to a mild winter, playing the traditional summer course, Justin implemented a concerted programme of coring, tining and overseeding (with Rigby Taylor’s R105 treated with Germin-8, a unique treatment that stimulates and supports accelerated germination and emergence) plus liberal doses of sand – he often distributes about 100 tonnes throughout the course – “and the course very quickly recovered”.

Justin, plus six full time greenkeepers as well as part-time help from July through to September, keep the greens at 3.5 mm or occasionally down to 3 mm for competitions (and roll them three times a week), while the tees and aprons at maintained at 8 mm (10 mm in winter) and fairways at 15 mm (18 mm in winter) in the quest to consistently produce “true and pure greens” across the 18-hole course.

While Justin says he “loves producing a good golf course for the members”, he points out that course presentability plays a key role in meeting members’ aspirations. This is where Rigby Taylor has been a great help, he says.

“For example, we were having a lot of problems with daisies – being on chalk we always struggle to control these – and Gareth suggested I try the Crossbar selective herbicide. I was blown away by the results!

In addition to the Propel R wetting agent (applied in monthly liquid applications as well as tablet hose-end spot treatments), SeaQuest 100% concentrated seaweed extract is applied for added stress tolerance.

Activate XL biostimulant is also used to assist in the breakdown of organic thatch matter and increased microbial break down; indeed, both biostimulants are used all year round, especially at renovation time to help the establishment of new seed.

Justin also uses a variety of Rigby Taylor fertilisers which, he confirms, “are second to none, including Apex and especially PolyPro which I use on tees, surrounds and fairways”. The micro-granule PolyPro, for consistent, predictable and gradual release, features added calcium and magnesium for improved turf disease tolerance.

“At the end of the day,” Justin adds, “our players want the course to look good and play well. My job is to ensure that is the case, and I will utilise all my experience – and use any products necessary – to give the players exactly what they want.”

For more information, visit: www.rigbytaylor.com

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