Tag Archive for: Rotherham

Rotherham GC’s Greens Flourish with MM35

Rotherham GC’s Greens Flourish with MM35: Andy Unwin, Course Manager at Rotherham Golf Club, relies on Mansfield Sand’s MM35 for top dressing, ensuring the greens remain in impeccable condition year-round.

Rotherham Golf Club, established in 1903, is celebrated for its rich history and picturesque parkland setting. Designed by Open Champion Sandy Herd and later modified by the famed James Braid, the course offers a challenging yet enjoyable experience for golfers of all abilities. With rolling tree-lined fairways and meticulously cared-for greens, the course has hosted top professionals and amateurs alike.

Rotherham GC’s Greens Flourish with MM35

Rotherham GC’s Greens Flourish with MM35

Andy, who has been associated with Rotherham Golf Club for 15 years, is committed to upholding the course’s prestigious reputation. With a dedicated team of six members of staff, he ensures the greens are in pristine condition, utilising Mansfield Sand’s MM35 Golf for top dressing. “We use MM35 Golf from Mansfield Sand because we think it is the best top dressing for the greens – and certainly the most compatible,” Andy explains.

“Every fortnight through the growing season, we apply a light top dressing of 5 tonnes. In the spring and autumn, we do a heavier top dressing, applying 30 tonnes each time.”

Mansfield Sand’s MM35 Golf, a pure silica sand sourced from the company’s Two Oaks Quarry, is renowned for its benefits, including improved recovery, firmness, smoothness, and an enhanced rootzone. “We use it mainly for smoothing the surface out,” Andy notes. “It helps drainage and the overall health of the grass.”

Andy’s relationship with Mansfield Sand spans his entire 21-year career as a greenkeeper. “We’ve had a really good relationship with the company over the years,” he says. “Louise Barrington-Earp, our rep at Mansfield Sand, has been really good. Louise visits us regularly and is always available on the phone if ever we need anything. If I ever need advice, Louise is quick to offer their assistance.”

Rotherham Golf Club’s use of MM35 Golf underlines the product’s exceptional quality and reliability. “We have never used anything else and wouldn’t need to because the product is fit for purpose,” Andy says. The superior performance of MM35 Golf ensures that Rotherham Golf Club’s greens remain smooth, well-drained, and healthy, providing an optimal playing surface for golfers year-round.

For more information visit www.mansfield-sand.co.uk

You can also follow the company on Twitter – @MansfieldSand and Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MansfieldSandSportSurfaces/

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New Verti-Drain at Rotherham GC

New Verti-Drain at Rotherham GC: After delivering more than 25 years of reliable service, a Redexim Verti-Drain has been replaced by… another Redexim Verti-Drain at Rotherham Golf Club!

With ever-increasing restrictions on chemical usage impacting on plant growth and root development, Course Manager Andy Unwin cites an increase in the amount of aeration work taking place as the stimulus for the purchase of their new Verti-Drain 7316, delivered in March 2022.

New Verti-Drain at Rotherham GC

New Verti-Drain at Rotherham GC

Rotherham offers a true test for golfer and greenkeepers alike, as Andy and his team of five deal with thousands of mature trees and historic push-up greens across the 18-hole parkland course. “A lot of work has gone into the greens over the years, lots of aeration and topdressing which now means we’re in a good position with sandy, free-draining greens” explains Andy, who took over as Course Manager last year. “However, things are always changing and one of the biggest issues we now face is the changes in chemical legislation, making aeration more important than ever for retaining root strength and plant health.”

“With our Verti-Drain® 105-145 we would traditionally have two main ‘aeration weeks’ – one in March and one in August, with spot treatments as and where required. This machine was purchased in 1994 and gave us years of trouble-free and effective aeration, but with more work on the cards, the time was right for an upgrade. Redexim’s Andy O’Neill and Tony Dodson of Cheshire Turf Machinery brought in a 7316 and it ticked every box.”

With a 1.6m working width, the 7316 is one of the most versatile models in the Redexim Verti-Drain® range. Small enough to suit smaller chassis tractors, but weighty enough to handle compacted ground, it is available with a range of tine options to suit all sports turf applications and maintenance tasks throughout the calendar.

“Of course we’re all noticing the differences between the two machines. This one is smoother, with much less vibration during operation, and it’s all really user-friendly – adjustments to speed and depth are nice and straight forward.” Andy adds, “With the Verti-Drain® you know what you’re going to get and that’s reliability, which is going to be critical as we continue to undertake more aeration work around the course over the next few years.”

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Rigby Taylor Praised At Rotherham

Rigby Taylor Praised At Rotherham: 2018 IOG Industry Award winner Dave Fellowes certainly has his work cut out at Rotherham United FC. Because, as head groundsman, not only is he and two assistants charged with looking after the stadium pitch but they are also tasked with maintaining the training ground which has two pitches, including one for the first team and reserves’ training, as well as reserves’ matches. The trio also help out with the maintenance of an additional pitch used by the club’s under 18s.

So, he says, everything he does must have a purpose – “I don’t have any time to waste” – and every product he uses must have the desired effect during a busy season.

Rigby Taylor Praised At Rotherham

Between May 2017-May 2018, for example, there were 46 games at the stadium, including the UEFA U17 European championship (two group games, one quarter-final, the semi-final and final), as well as 28 training sessions.The two-pitch training ground hosted 455 hours of use during that period.

Dave joined the south Yorkshire club in 2011, after nine years at Fulham FC – seven years as head groundsman there, moving to Craven Cottage from a groundsman role at the University of Sheffield where he gained Levels 1 and 2.

He admits it was a bit of a shock to the system moving from a Premier League club with a team having all the groundscare aids at its disposal, including undersoil heating and grow lights, to a club where the budget was very different. Indeed, for his first year, he was working alone.

“I wanted to get back to this part of the country for personal reasons,” he says, “and because The Millers were then in the throes of planning the new stadium I needed to be part of the new build, particularly the construction of the fibresand pitch. So, I spent a considerable amount of time commuting between London and Yorkshire before joining the club when it was using the Don Valley Stadium while awaiting the completion of the New York Stadium.

“I had experience of fibresand at Fulham, but the environment here is a bit different to London, not least the fact that little air gets onto the pitch, which we try to overcome by regular drag-brushing in an attempt to stimulate some airflow. There’s also a huge temperature difference between here and London, which affects grass growth in particular.

Rigby Taylor Praised At Rotherham

“But you have to work with what you’ve got and the weather you’re confronted with, and we’re always trying to improve things.”

He adds: “It is crucial that I use quality amenity products to complement our groundscare techniques to ensure the pitch plays well and looks good. Of course, we have to meet the expectations of the players and the board [Dave says he has an excellent relationship with the chairman and chief executive] but it seems that every spectator becomes a grounds expert when they enter the stadium – then they are referees and managers when the game is underway – so we have to ensure the pitch always looks great. And thanks to Rigby Taylor products, it does.”

Working closely with Rigby Taylor’s Technical Representative Mike Brear, the benefits of an annual pitch care programme are clear to see and, says Dave, it is spearheaded by a number of products:

[] Microlite Activ8 micro-granular fertiliser – applied six times a year – “the best one on the market”;

[] Activate R biostimulant – applied once a year – “a fantastic product that makes a real difference to rooting”; and

[] Magnet chelated liquid iron – “we apply it on a Thursday before a Saturday game and it really kicks in quickly; it looks like a different pitch within 12 hours”.

Also used are Microflow and PolyPro controlled-release fertilisers (each twice a year) and Magnet Dynamic chelated iron (once a year, for long-term greening).

Dave adds: “We also rely on the biostimulant Activate R in the winter, for good rooting, and we top up the surface regularly by adding R140 seed and, especially in winter, I find that it germinates well at low temperatures. Three bags every six weeks makes a big difference. I do regularly compare products but have always found Rigby Taylor’s to be the best.”

Rigby Taylor Praised At Rotherham

The challenges that Dave faces continue unabated, following his recent success in the IOG Industry Awards – where he and his team won the SISGrass Professional Football Grounds Team of the Year Award, open to grounds teams from the English Leagues 1 & 2, National League, National League North/South, Scottish Championship & Leagues 1 & 2, Ireland & Wales Professional Leagues.

The Championship club’s stadium has also been selected as a host venue for the 2021 Women’s European Championship: “I’m already thinking about the timescales between the end of our season, the European Championship fixtures and the start of our new season.

“I’m planning mini renovations to accommodate those needs rather than having the usual seven-week break. And I’m confident that Rigby Taylor will help me effectively re-establish the pitch twice in one summer.”

For more information, visit: www.rigbytaylor.com

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Award For Rotherham Grounds Team

Award For Rotherham Grounds Team: More than any footballer could ever hope to Rotherham United head groundsman Dave Fellowes covers every blade of grass, suggesting he can clock up 100 miles a week on the pitch at AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Up and down, across and back, up and down, across and back.

Award For Rotherham Grounds Team

Dave Fellowes reckons he can clock up 100 miles a week on the pitch at AESSEAL New York Stadium as head groundsman of Rotherham United.

“There’s no such thing as an average week,” he says. “Everything changes depending on what’s going on at the stadium or up at the training ground. In the summer we can be cutting the grass anything up to eight times a week.”

Such dedication has earned him and his team yet another prestigious honour. Fellowes, New York assistant Mykel Parkin and Roundwood man with the mower Dave Burton have been named the Institute of Groundsmanship’s Grounds Team of the Year.

“It’s down to hard work. It’s a great joint effort,” Fellowes says. “I wouldn’t ask any of the lads to do a job I wouldn’t do. It’s not one individual.

“It’s just old-fashioned hard work, looking at the elements and reacting in the right way to that with the tools that you have.”

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