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Oakland Hills highlights role of Bernhard

Oakland Hills highlights role of Bernhard: Oakland Hills Country Club’s South Course has made a meteoric rise in Golf Magazine’s (Golf.com) World Top 100 Golf Courses rankings list, as it celebrates the completion of an extraordinary restoration project and improved course conditioning, through the support of Bernhard and Company.

The South Course at Oakland Hills has played host to 17 major golf championships in its illustrious history, including six US Opens, three PGA Championships and the 35th Ryder Cup in 2004. The restoration project has allowed the course, once again, to offer its originally intended playing style, with larger fairway landing areas and greens. That, coupled with pristine conditioning, has enabled the famous course – nicknamed ‘The Monster’ – to rise a phenomenal and unmatched 41 places in the new rankings list, moving into 31st position.

Oakland Hills highlights role of Bernhard

Oakland Hills highlights role of Bernhard

Following the renovation work carried out by renowned course architects, Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner, Directory of Agronomy, Phil Cuffare, and his team of turf professionals were tasked with elevating the conditioning on the South Course to its highest ever level. With industry-leading grinding equipment and educational support provided by Bernhard and Company, the team was able to work with profound efficiency in delivering attention to detail mirroring that of the very best courses in the world.

Cuffare said: “We are very excited about the recognition that our famed South Course is receiving after the completion of its extensive restoration. To bring back to life something that had been lost for so long is a great feeling and we are continuing to express that through our conditioning efforts.

“The ultimate compliment to great golf course architecture is great conditioning. As such, the most important aspect of our agronomic programmes is turf health, and the cornerstone of achieving that is using our reel and bedknife grinding machinery to sharpen mowing equipment used to maintain our fine turf areas.

“The ability to achieve the perfect cut in an efficient and precise manner is what separates Bernhard and Company from others. We have very high expectations that need to be met and Bernhard is the partner that helps us to achieve those goals.”

The project involved the course being largely stripped back to the bare soil, to make way for a total revamp. When managing the growth and health of the new turf, it was more important than ever to ensure that all grass cutting was carried out with perfectly sharp blades to prevent any damage to the young plants.

What’s more, each hole was covered with sand in traditional USGA specification, meaning that mower blades were constantly subjected to sand damage. However, with the Bernhard and Company Express Dual 4250 Reel Grinder and Anglemaster 4500 Bedknife Grinder machines in the workshop, the maintenance teams were able to sharpen blades as regularly as necessary to ensure that they were operating at maximum efficiency as the course began to blossom.

The latest Golf Magazine Top 100 ranking reaffirms Bernhard and Company as the dominant grinder supplier to the world’s best courses. In addition to Oakland Hills, Bernhard and Company are also the official grinding machine provider for over half of the courses named in the list, including major championship venues all around the globe. Impressively, Bernhard and Company machinery is used by 13 of the world’s top 20 courses and seven of the top 10.

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A matter of trust

A matter of trust: Scott MacCallum visits John O’Gaunt, one of the best golf clubs in England, and talks with Course Manager Nigel Broadwith about achieving results by working with like-minded professionals in pursuit of the same aim…

You know you’ve made it when you get something named after you. Think of Halley’s Comet; Nelson’s Column; the Bosman Ruling or Duckworth-Lewis. All act as everlasting memorials to Edmond; Horatio; Jean-Marc; Frank and Tony, respectively.

A matter of trust

A matter of trust

I have no real insight into the leisure interests of John of Gaunt, the 14th century English Prince, military leader, and statesman, but my guess would be that he wasn’t a golfer. The truth is that the game was very much in its infancy around that time, and while slow play wasn’t the issue then as it is now, the lack of courses, particularly inland, not to mention poor quality clubs and balls, had it down the sporting pecking order behind the more popular pursuits of archery and jousting.

So, the likelihood is that John would have been extremely surprised and delighted to know that he has lent his name to one of the best golf clubs in England.

John O’Gaunt Golf Club boasts two superb 18 hole courses – John O’Gaunt itself, and the newer, Carthagena – which are kept extremely busy by the club’s 1,500 members and guests. The man whose job it is to keep those members happy and produce high quality playing conditions over the two courses is Course Manager Nigel Broadwith, a quietly spoken Yorkshireman who leaves no stone unturned in his desire to achieve the best for his courses.

With 15 years at the club Nigel has seen his challenges change over his time at the helm, starting out with a need to improve greens.

“For the first three or four years it was just a case of aeration, aeration, aeration, to remove thatch from the greens,” recalled Nigel, as we sat on the clubhouse veranda looking out over the 18th green of the John O’Gaunt course.

“My first reaction had been that we were going to have to rebuild up to 12 of the greens, which would obviously have been expensive, but through our aeration programme the greens began to drain much better which was fantastic news,” he explained, adding that he restricted it to needle tining, to give himself the opportunity to carry it out more extensively without the disruption to play hollow coring would have caused.

“It became such a regular thing that members would come up to me and ask if I was micro-coring again, but after a year they started to see the improvements it brought.”

With the greens showing steady improvement, Nigel and his team turned their attention to the bunkers, another of the areas where there had been member concern, particularly about the type of sand used and the drainage. “We did a full bunker refurb on John O’Gaunt in-house and got contractors in for Carthegina,” explained Nigel, who also oversaw the levelling of all but five of the tees, putting in irrigation at the same time.

“We now only have one or two left to finish.”

But if you harboured thoughts that with improved greens, bunkers and tees meant that the work was done, you would be sadly mistaken.

The more regular weather extremes we are now all experiencing cause problems at John O’Gaunt.

“Last year drought meant that the only part of the course that was green were the greens. The rest was brown.”

A matter of trust

A matter of trust

The simplistic solution would be to install wall-to-wall irrigation, but nothing in life is straightforward.

“We are trialling fairway irrigation on the 12th fairway at the moment, and it is going very well. However, we are very limited in the amount of water to which we have access. Our summer licence allows us just 9,090 cubic litres, while over the last three years we’ve probably taken 3,000 to 4,000 cubic litres off the mains.

That is obviously expensive and is one of the reasons that we don’t have fairway irrigation,” said Nigel, who has been spending £10,000 per annum overseeding fairways for the last eight years, the effectiveness of which is obviously enhanced with natural and/or artificial watering.

Not to be denied, however, there is a John O’Gaunt masterplan.

“The trial was intended to show what we could achieve if we were able to get enough water for a full irrigation system. Since the start of the trial, we have moved on and installed a new ring main into the John O’Gaunt course so that irrigation can be added. The plan is to bolt on another 12 fairways in January.”

So, how are they going to get over the water limitations?

“We’ve just applied to increase our mains water limit and are getting a new meter installed. However, we also have a water treatment plant next door to us, so we are examining the option of being able to use the effluent water from there.”

Our clubhouse veranda meeting wasn’t a two-person affair. There were two other guests around the table, and while they are pertinent to the latest of Nigel’s John O’Gaunt improvement phases, to be discussed anon, their contributions stretch further than that.

David Snowden, of Agronomic Services, and Matt Corbould, of MR Amenity, have worked with Nigel for a number of years covering an increasing number of course-related issues.

A matter of trust

A matter of trust

“We analysed the water from the treatment plant to assess its quality and impact on the turf. The upside was obviously the quantity, the quality was the downside. While not perfect it was still usable,” explained David, who uses a world-renowned testing laboratory, Harris Labs, in Nebraska, who operate in conjunction with Ana-Lync. Ana-Lync provides a precise soil and water analysis giving an in-depth look at turf soil, comparing data from over 30,000 samples. This can reveal nutrient deficiencies and is exclusive to Floratine products.

The estimate for fairway irrigation is that they would require just short of 300 cubic litres per day and with 500 cubic litres of effluent water, of which 200 to 300 could be available to the club, a solution would be within touching distance.

So, with the irrigation piece soon to be placed into Nigel’s John O’Gaunt jigsaw, you would have imagined that he was delighted with progress during his time at the club.

Not entirely…

“About four years ago I was playing a bit of golf at other courses, some close to here and some further afield, and, while people had been saying that our greens were great, I was looking at those I was playing on and thinking I want my greens like these,” revealed Nigel, who was Deputy at Fulford, In York, before moving south.

Density, grass variety, evenness and the growing habits in winter and spring his main niggles.

At that point he chatted with Matt, who had been both a supplier and a trusted friend for some years, who in turn put Nigel in touch with David, a man with over 35 years industry experience.

When Nigel approached his committee and explained his thoughts, they agreed with his assertion about the benefits of moving up a level, the budgetary increase was signed off.

“We got a lot of support from the General Manager, Gordon MacLeod, who had recently joined the club and who was very proactive in his desire to make improvements wherever possible,” revealed David.

“His view was that if Nigel wanted to do it, let’s push on and do it.”

So, with the green light given, Nigel, David and Matt began to implement the required changes.

The word most used between Nigel, David and Matt is trust and you get the feeling from the three of them that the excellent professional relationship they have has spilled over into personal friendships.

“It was a process like that of gently turning around an oil tanker, slowly. That started with improving the quality of the growing medium – the root zone. Nigel had taken the plant as far as he realistically could, given the tools he had at his disposal at the time. He’d done a phenomenal job,” said David.

David has been a consultant for Floratine for over 30 years and has been a huge advocate for the company, the only one in the world that has developed and manufactures products specifically for turf.

“The concept behind true foliar feeding, using high quality raw materials, means that we would enter into a programme of regular feeding at small rates, which will get the plants growing at the same height with the same nutrition,” David explained.

Matt, whose previous career as a Course Manager has given him a certain empathy with his customers. MR Amenity is now an established distributor for Agronomic Service’s products, and they work together alongside the Course Managers and Greenkeeping Teams, bringing their combined expertise.

“There are not many brands in the world, other that Floratine, which can give you specific solutions for specific problems. To my mind, no other brand out there gives you such control,” explained Matt.

The Floratine scientists have pulled cool and warm season plants apart and looked at the DNA to identify the ratios of elements, then they source raw material from around the world to build the products which work most sympathetically with the plant.

A matter of trust

A matter of trust

In layman’s terms Nigel was provided with a toolbox containing 40 different “tools”, in the form of soil conditioners, foliar feeding and thatch busters, among a host of others.

That toolbox has given Nigel exactly what he has needed to make the improvements he was looking for.

“This year has probably been the best because I’ve done something every week for the last 10 weeks.

It’s a case of rather than thinking they look fantastic, but I’ll leave it a week before the next application, I’ve given them a little feed the next day,” said Nigel, who relies on his own increasingly informed judgement as well as advice from David. David’s heritage is from five generations of family farmers, so understanding plants and crops, is a way of life. He was fortunate to have worked for Lindum Turf for ten years, prior to his move to Floratine.

“We are working with a crop that grows 365 days a year, but from which you don’t want a yield. In farming terms you’d want to generate five tonnes to an acre by filling the plant full of nitrogen and other goodies but in our case the grass is growing all the time, but we don’t want a yield. We just want consistent new growth and it’s a never-ending process – a case of constant tweaking and riding the crest of the wave,” said David.

Nigel has also experimented in dropping the height of cut to 2.9mil something that has only been possible thanks to a healthier plant and well performing root zone.

“If you want to have a grass that can be cut lower you have to have a whole raft of things in place and take so much into consideration,” said David

“Are you going to hand mow or mow with a triple? Is your thatch level able to cope with the lower height of cut as you can’t cut low on spongy greens? How do you manage a cool season grass in 25 to 30 degrees”? David uses the analogy using the IV drip, replenishing the sport’s turf to avoid stress.

Nigel has trust in his processes and his products and has achieved his aims. He has received incredible feedback from members and guests, saying how fantastic his greens are – he thinks they are pretty good now too!

So, while John of Gaunt knows nothing of the golf club which carries his name, you can be sure that if he did, he would be more than delighted with the improvements Nigel and his team have implemented in recent years.

Fentons of Bourne a new Etesia dealer

Fentons of Bourne a new Etesia dealer: Etesia UK is delighted to welcome Fentons of Bourne to its vast dealer network.

Fentons of Bourne, a local family-owned business situated between Bourne and Market Deeping, is the most recent company to join the Etesia dealer network. Supplying high-performance equipment and garden maintenance, Fentons of Bourne continues to go from strength to strength and has recently bolstered in two key areas.

Fentons of Bourne a new Etesia dealer

Fentons of Bourne a new Etesia dealer

“We have stopped domestic business and have instead decided to go down the professional and commercial route,” said Glen Bellamy, Managing Director. “In addition, we have also focussed on increasing the hire side of the business, and we feel the Etesia brand will fit nicely into both of these.”

Fentons of Bourne will be offering the full range of Etesia products in the areas of South Lincolnshire, North Cambridgeshire, and some parts within the Norfolk border.

Etesia has been leading the way in building high quality grass cutting machinery for both the professional and domestic market since 1989. Over the years the company has grown rapidly and now offers a wide range of products that include a variety of walk-behind, ride-on mowers, green technology, the popular Attila range of brush cutters and the all-new award-winning ET Lander electric utility vehicle.

“I’ve been familiar with the Etesia brand for many years, and I have been speaking to the company for about 15 years,” continued Glen. “It now felt like the ideal time to become an Etesia dealer because it fits in perfectly with everything we do.

“They are great commercial products, no one can say otherwise. The machines are well built and rightly so, they command a better price. We are looking at targeting schools and colleges, where there is a big need for products such as those from Etesia. Furthermore, many of our customers have older Etesia pedestrian mowers which could do with upgrading. We feel it is time for them to see just how far the brand has developed because they will see the benefits.”

As well as being optimistic about the products, Glen revealed that he is looking forward to working more closely with Ian Collington – Area Sales Manager for Etesia UK.

“With Ian we know his phone is always on and he is there to support us. To be honest it is nice to see that we have an area manager that still has a van with some kit in it and is prepared to get his hands dirty! That goes a long way in my book.”

For further information, please contact Etesia UK on 01295 680120 or visit www.etesia.co.uk.

For more news, reviews and insightful views, you can follow Etesia UK on Twitter @EtesiaUK and like the company’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/EtesiaUK You can also view the latest Etesia videos by visiting www.youtube.com/EtesiaUK

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Bayer raise awareness of mental health at BTME

Bayer raise awareness of mental health at BTME: Bayer is celebrating a successful 12-month collaboration with mental health charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) at BTME this year, with a representative from the charity on the Bayer stand for the event’s duration.

Timothy Peeling, Bayer product manager, says that with suicide being the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK, Bayer is committed to raising the awareness of mental health in the typically male dominated turf and amenity sectors.

Bayer raise awareness of mental health at BTME

Bayer raise awareness of mental health at BTME

“Taking the time to listen and understand what people are going through is incredibly important. By listening you could be helping far more than you’ll ever know.

“Attendees at BTME will be able to talk to CALM in confidence, as well as find positive practical solutions to deal with mental wellbeing, which resonate with practically minded people,” he explains.

“I encourage anyone who needs someone to talk to pop by the stand, or alternatively use their online service.” Find out more about CALM here: https://www.thecalmzone.net/.

As well as raising the profile of mental health, the Turf Solutions team will be on hand to talk about all things Harmonix® Tri-Nema.

Colin Mumford, Bayer technical manager, says chafer grub and leatherjacket populations have been on the rise over recent years, with limited solutions to control them.

He explains how Harmonix® Tri-Nema is different to any other nematode solution on the market.

“Harmonix® Tri-Nema offers three different modes of activity in one solution, by utilising a unique blend of three entomopathogenic nematodes, providing a more effective distribution through the soil profile, leading to more consistent results,” he says.

For more information visit the Turf Solutions team in the green zone on stand 338 at BTME, alternatively visit www.environmentalscience.bayer.co.uk, call 00800 1214 9451, or email turfsolutions@bayer.com.

Understanding glyphosate

Register now for our ‘Understanding glyphosate’ seminar at BTME. On the 25 January at 2pm our technical manager Colin Mumford will provide all of the latest updates on glyphosate, regulations surrounding the active, as well as advice on best practice when using it.

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Foundations of a first-class course

Foundations of a first-class course: Visitors to the DLF stand 270 located in the Red Zone at BTME 2022, can expect a range of market leading products from the world’s leading grass seed breeder and producer.

The MM brand and mixtures are now part of DLF UK and will benefit from access to the full DLF breeding and research programme. This will bring many benefits including a greater portfolio along with increased research and development.

Foundations of a first-class course

Foundations of a first-class course

BTME 2022 will also mark the launch of the exciting new MM Supreme Ryegreen mix which will offer golf course managers a 100% Ryegrass mixture for use on greens and fineturf areas. This unique new mixture benefits from the inclusion of Singapore Perennial Ryegrass, which is extremely fine leaved with good shoot density along with high disease and wear tolerance.  Furthermore, MM Supreme Ryegreen bring the main benefits of Perennial Ryegrass – fast establishment and wear tolerance in close-mow situations.

As the demand and pressure placed on the modern-day greenkeeper to produce a consistent playing surface continually grows, seed quality, purity and vigour are the essential ingredients for a first-class golf course and Limagrain’s MM range of seed mixture provides exactly these.

For over 30 years, greenkeepers and course managers have been enjoying the benefits by choosing the MM brand and the high-quality varieties used in MM mixtures. All varieties are thoroughly tested at the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) – ensuring that the finished product will meet your requirements for play, appearance and maintenance.

For golf greens MM9 – a three-way Browntop bent mixture continues to be a leading mixture for renovations and species exchange. For links style courses and sustainable golf, MM8 offers a great option – a three-way fescue mix with excellent disease resistance, drought tolerance and minimal fertiliser requirements gives course managers a fine, dense sward, MM Coastal is great option to MM 8 where salt spray is in issue, the 100% Slender Creeping Red Fescue mix provides excellent salt tolerance for golf greens and also tees and fairways.

If you are looking for a mixture ideal for tees and fairways, then the 100% Ryegrass MM50 should be considered. It is capable of rapid establishment and fast recovery from divot scarring plus high wear tolerance and has extremely fine appearance.

For links style fairways where damage and wear are lower, MM12 or MM13, are both well suited to this challenging environment as they are drought tolerant and have low maintenance requirements.

Visitors to the stand can also find out more about DLF Pro Flora and Colour Boost range Wildflower mixtures. The mixtures are ideal for those wanting to establish a traditional perennial flower meadow or a high impact colourful display of annuals and perennials.

The MM team of amenity seed specialists will all be on hand at BTME to discuss the products in more detail and will also be available to offer their expertise on any queries you may have.

For further information, please contact MM Sports Seed on 01386 791102 or visit the company’s new website www.mm-seeds.co.uk. You can also follow the company on Twitter: @MM_Seed

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Timberwolf announces expansion of area

Timberwolf announces expansion of area: Timberwolf have announced the expansion of area for its dealer Lister Wilder. The machinery dealer recently announced the opening of its Bristol/Bath branch at Keynsham. Following this announcement Timberwolf have awarded Lister Wilder official dealer status for the surrounding area of their new depot.

Phill Hughes (Sales & Hire Director) pictured commented “This is a very exciting announcement for us as we look to increase our coverage in the Arboriculture market. We are already Timberwolf dealers from three of our other branches and have a great relationship with them as the UKs leading chipper franchise – Our Arb customer base spans groundcare contractors, councils and tree surgeons, all of which know and use Timberwolf chippers as their go-to brand. With the opening of the new Bristol/Bath branch we will be able to offer #SaleswithService across the two cities, and provide the service levels that our Arb customers expect”

Timberwolf announces expansion of area

Timberwolf announces expansion of area

Lister Wilder have held the Timberwolf franchise for 20 years and built up a reputable customer base from its three depots. This new appointment will allow for Lister Wilder to further expand its arboriculture customer base in a new area.

Guy Marshlain, Sales and Marketing Director at Timberwolf said, “Having worked with Lister Wilder for 20-years, the Timberwolf team would like to congratulate them on their ongoing developments and the planned opening of their new dealer branch at Keynsham.”

We look forward to continuing our positive relationship and would like to encourage all arborists in the local area to pop in and meet the Lister Wilder team to discuss their wood chipper requirements.”

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Waterscapes takes advantage of Rain Bird irrigation training

Waterscapes takes advantage of Rain Bird: Waterscapes Limited, the UK’s leading water feature and irrigation specialist, has been the recipient of the first in a series of irrigation training events hosted by Rain Bird in the UK.

Sponsored by UK distributor Landscape Watering Services (LWS), it took place in Slough during Autumn 2021 and covered Rain Bird’s IQ4 Central Irrigation Control system and IVM smart valve irrigation technology. Some 14  Irrigation Installation Engineers and members of the contracts management team from Waterscapes attended the event.

Waterscapes takes advantage of Rain Bird irrigation training

Waterscapes takes advantage of Rain Bird irrigation training

The hands-on training covered the technical capabilities and applications of IQ4 and IVM products which offer users maximum irrigation efficiency through advanced real time water management and diagnostics capabilities. “As a company we continually invest in training at all levels. This ensures that Waterscapes can give clients the best advice and service for their water feature and irrigation projects, saving them money and conserving water throughout the lifetime of an installation,” says Waterscapes’ Managing Director Paul Jeffery.

Waterscapes undertakes new and regeneration projects across many sectors, from business parks and public spaces to commercial spaces, roof gardens and residential schemes. In London alone, the company has completed installations within many prominent developments including Sky Garden, Crossrail, The Kings Cross Estate, Kew Gardens and RHS Wisley. Clients cover many disciplines from commercial property development & construction to architectural practices, landscape contractors and homeowners.

“We recognise the importance of being fully up to date and informed with the latest Rain Bird irrigation technology as it forms an important element of all our irrigation projects, ” concludes Paul.

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Guardiola names ‘men of the match’

Guardiola names ‘men of the match’: Pep Guardiola hailed his ‘brilliant’ players but felt the Etihad Stadium groundsmen were the real heroes of Manchester City’s victory over West Ham United.

Read the full article from TeamTalk here

Guardiola names 'men of the match'

Guardiola names ‘men of the match’

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The Grove invests in stars of the future

The Grove invests in stars of the future: The Grove, Hertfordshire’s ultimate country escape, today announces two important promotions within its green-keeping team to continue its long-running heritage of developing the golf industry’s stars of the future.

Since opening in 2003 a host of young talent have crafted their skills at the Top 100-ranked venue, under the leadership of Golf Course and Estate Manager, Phillip Chiverton, who has been at the forefront of The Grove’s green-keeping operation for 20 years.

The Grove invests in stars of the future

The Grove invests in stars of the future

The latest green-keepers to rise through the ranks of the young team are 27-year-olds Sam Reid and Callum Herbst.

Sam is The Grove’s new Head Green-keeper, with immediate effect, and Callum is promoted to Deputy Head Green-keeper. Both joined The Grove in 2012, Herbst as an apprentice, and Reid as a casual worker, while studying at Buckinghamshire University.

Reid’s rise to Head Green-keeper status has seen him help prepare the championship course for The British Masters in 2016, achieve an R&A Greenkeeper Scholarship in 2018, and work with the course’s world-renowned architect, Kyle Phillips, during an extensive bunker redesign and rebuild project in 2020.

Herbst’s journey has included being a Toro Student Green-keeper of the Year finalist, along with work experience during the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow in the USA, and at the French Open at Le Golf National.

Commenting on the promotions, Phillip Chiverton, said: “In Sam and Callum we have two certain agronomy leaders of tomorrow. The Grove has always invested in young talent and we have a rich history of coaching green-keepers through the early stages of their careers.”

A consistent development programme with scope for continual internal promotion has seen many of The Grove’s young stars go on to secure senior industry roles at other world-renowned golfing destinations, including Trump International Golf Links in Scotland, Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai, San Roque Club in Spain and Abu Dhabi Golf Club, UAE.

“While our day-to-day objectives always remain keeping The Grove in pristine condition all-year-round – something our customers consistently recognise us for – it is also important we offer the next generation of green-keeping stars a platform from which to succeed and prosper. Seeing young talent develop at The Grove and then go on to prosper in all corners of the globe is hugely rewarding.”

The Grove proudly covets its position as a premium open-to-all leisure facility and one of the UK’s Top 100 golf resorts, just 18 miles from central London.

It’s 18-hole parkland golf course, the only venue in the UK to have hosted a World Golf Championship event in 2006, won by Tiger Woods, continues to receive critical acclaim and was recently ranked within Europe’s Top 100 Modern Courses, by Golf World.

The World Golf Awards has also named recognised The Grove as ‘England’s Best Golf Hotel 2021’.

The Grove’s 18th-century Mansion houses 26 rooms, suites and lounges decorated with a 21st-century spin on vintage glamour. There’s also the thoroughly modern West Wing with a further 189 deluxe, superior and family rooms. Many of these rooms have balconies/terraces looking over the immaculate Formal Gardens.

For further information: www.thegrove.co.uk

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Diamond Green – Continuation of Product Trials

Diamond Green – Continuation of Product Trials: Indigrow developed Diamond Green as a liquid fertiliser based on potassium, calcium and magnesium. It contains essential plant oils to enhance plant health and increase disease resistance in turf grass. The combination of nutrients in Diamond Green improves the plants natural resistance to many known pathogens.

After the successful development the additive formulation, trials of Diamond Green at different application rates were carried out to assess its impact on the spread of Fusarium and Red Thread. It was tested three different application rates to assess it’s effectiveness.

Diamond Green – Continuation of Product Trials

Diamond Green – Continuation of Product Trials

Diseased turf cores were harvested from infected areas of turf on a parkland golf course. The cores were harvested in late Summer 2021 when these diseases were very active. Disease levels were consistent across each core at the time of harvest.

Throughout the trials, our aim was to find our the effectiveness Diamond Green had of different turf grass diseases without killing the fungus. As Diamond Green is a fertiliser with additives, it was important for us to show how this formulation would prevent the spread of the fungus within the cores taken from the parkland golf course.

Treatments

The following treatments were tested for their potential to reduce disease spread in already infected turf stands:

Number               Treatment                                                                                                           Rate

1                              Water:                                                                                                                  Untreated

2                              Fungicide (Tebuconazole 200 g/lt + Trifloxystrobin 100 g/lt):         1 lt/ha

3                              Diamond Green:                                                                                              10 lt/ha

4                              Diamond Green:                                                                                              20 lt/ha

5                              Diamond Green:                                                                                              40 lt/ha

Methods

The turf cores were harvested for each treatment, one infected with Fusarium Patch and one infected with Red Thread. The cores were then sprayed with each treatment until the turf surface was fully covered. The treated turf was then sealed in clear boxes to provide the humidity conducive to active disease spread. The development of the disease and the health of the turf was then monitored over the next 4-5 days.

Fusarium – Observations 4 Days After Treatment

Over a period of 4 days, the active Fusarium had spread freely on the untreated turf core and white, active mycelium was observed. The fungicide treatment has suppressed the spread of Fusarium, but there is still a small amount of active mycelium present.

Number               Treatment                                                                                                           Estimated Disease

Spread (%)

1                              Water:                                                                                                                  47%

2                              Fungicide (Tebuconazole 200 g/lt + Trifloxystrobin 100 g/lt):         14%

3                              Diamond Green:                                                                                              19%

4                              Diamond Green:                                                                                              8%

5                              Diamond Green:                                                                                              3%

At 10 lt/ha, Diamond Green has supressed the spread of Fusarium, but like the fungicide there is still a small amount of active mycelium present.

At both 20 and 40 lt/ha, Diamond Green has not only supressed the spread of Fusarium but allowed the turf to start to fill in disease scarred areas of turf. There is only a very small amount of active mycelium present on the turf

Red Thread – Observations 5 Days after Treatment

Over a period of 5 days, the active Red Thread has spread freely on the untreated turf core and active red areas can be observed.

At only 10 lt/ha, Diamond Green has had a limited impact on disease spread. However, at 20 lt/ha, the Red Thread has been almost completely suppressed and the turf has had a noticeable green up response and there is an obvious increase in growth rate.

Effect on Disease

It is important to state that Diamond Green is not a fungicide, it is a fertiliser with additives. We trialled both the fertiliser formulation without additives alongside the full Diamond Green formulation with additives. We found that when treated in isolation, the fungal growth is the same for just the fertiliser component as it is for the finished formulation containing the additives.

This confirms that it is the systemic acquired resistance within the plant that stops the spread of the disease.

Figure 1 – Diamond Green – Fertiliser component only

Figure 2 – Diamond Green Final Formulation Fertiliser component + additives

Diamond Green – Continuation of Product Trials

Diamond Green – Continuation of Product Trials

Other Diseases

As Diamond Green acts as a trigger to the plants natural defences, rather than having a direct effect on the fungus itself, it is safe to assume that the activity shown here on Fusarium and Red Thread would be similar on other turf grass diseases including: Anthracnose, Dollar Spot, Snow Moulds and Leaf Spot.

Conclusions

The applications of Diamond Green have been successful in reducing the spread of Red Thread and Fusarium and the higher the application rate of Diamond Green, the stronger the effect is on disease.

At higher application rates of Diamond Green, the treatment also produces a strong growth response, with turf able to quickly ‘fill in’ previously diseased/scarred areas. Although this trial was only observational, we have a strong indication that Diamond Green can play a vital role as part of an integrated disease management strategy. With the benefits to turf health (shown by increased growth response and improved colour), we predict that turf treated with Diamond Green will have improved resistance to future disease attack.

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