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Lochemse raise standards with Jacobsen

Lochemse raise standards with Jacobsen: After greenkeepers and members became frustrated with the quality of cut and condition of the fairways at Lochemse Golf Club, head greenkeeper, Geert Olthuis, switched brands to Jacobsen and has used a Fairway 305 to turn things around.

No stone was left unturned by Geert in his search for a new fairway mower. He trialled five machines from different suppliers before the cut quality, and simplicity of the Jacobsen 305 was picked to elevate the fairways aesthetics and performance.

Lochemse raise standards with Jacobsen

Initially, Geert was sceptical about the mower specification compared to the machine he had been using, but he explains how his opinion was soon changed.

“When we saw the cutting finish, we couldn’t believe it because it was so good. I was unsure of the Fairway 305 when I first saw it because it only had seven blades and no groomers, but it cut better than our mower that had groomers and 11 blades.

“We were looking for a simple machine with a better quality of cut and higher capacity. We had demos of four other mowers but the 2.94m cutting width, cut quality and simplicity of the 305 really impressed us.

“Nicely cut fairways make a course better, but our members, and us as greenkeepers, weren’t happy with the results of our old machine, even when we were mowing three times a week. Now, we as greenkeepers and our members are very happy with our fairways again.”

The success of the 305 stems from its simplicity. It’s a machine that’s built to be reliable and gives operators unsurpassed productivity while providing an unrivalled quality of cut.

This cut quality comes from the five 66cm floating head cutting units that follow all contours and undulations to ensure an even cut on all areas. The floating head system works with the four-wheel-drive – provided as standard – which provides greater traction and causes reduced turf compaction.

Productivity is increased across the machine in several areas, including the cutting units that don’t require any tools to adjust the reel to bedknife. Quick changes from collection to rear discharge can be easily made using the adjustable grass discharge section, and for prolonged use, the radiator pack and hood have been optimised to increase airflow in hot, dusty conditions, preventing downtime due to overheating.

Because of the increased productivity of the 305, operators spend less time cutting the course, but operator comfort remains a priority. An arm-rest mounted joystick is used for all mower lift and lower functions, and a deluxe adjustable high-back suspension seat has been fitted for optimum operator comfort.

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Standards Maintained at Ladybank

Standards Maintained at Ladybank: Designed originally by Old Tom Morris, Ladybank Golf Club is a rare thing in Fife, enjoying as it does a reputation as one of the finest inland layouts based in Scotland and providing a classic heathland challenge to golf lovers away from the sea.

Recently ranked #2 in Great Britain’s Top 100 Courses under £100 by National Club Golfer magazine, Ladybank is established on the Fife Open Championship Qualifying Trail, and has hosted final qualifying on seven occasions since 1978 for the Open Championship played at St Andrews. It was also a qualifying venue in July for this year’s Senior Open Championship on the Old Course.

Standards Maintained at Ladybank

Managing secretary Gordon Simpson joined the club over two years ago and carried out a comprehensive assessment of the whole club and course set-up. He knew the course and its quality from playing regularly in qualifying tournaments as a PGA professional, and immediately recognised that the combination of an ageing machinery fleet and increasing repair bills meant a replacement policy needed to be implemented.

Gordon therefore asked the six-strong greenkeeping team led by course manager Colin Powrie and head greenkeeper David Gray to put together a wish list of new machinery from scratch, that would help them to maintain the golf course to the required high standard. As a result, the club has made its first ever John Deere fleet purchase, with equipment supplied by John Deere dealer Double A of Cupar in Fife.

The new machines include a 7500A fairway mower with TechControl display and smaller QA5 cutting units, a 4049R compact tractor, a Pro Gator utility vehicle equipped with an HD200 low-profile amenity turf sprayer and two 220SL walk-behind greens mowers.

“We conducted the usual tender process and gave the different manufacturers a list of the priority kit we required to replace the older machines,” says Gordon. “Double A and the dealership’s golf specialist John Bateson were superb throughout the process, both in supplying demonstration machines throughout 2017 and in their overall level of service, support and advice to help us develop the golf course in the way we wished.

“The process was admittedly a lengthy one but the ongoing feedback we had from the membership was invaluable to me in the decision-making process, particularly with regard to the high levels of presentation and finish right across the course. This ultimately showed us that the quality of cut from the John Deere machines was far superior and sharper looking.”

“We have quite undulating fairways, so the smaller QA5 cutting units on the fairway mower suit our terrain very well by getting easily into the dips and hollows,” adds Colin Powrie. “The new hand mowers are used on the 1st and 18th tees and the collars, so these are now nicely striped up for better presentation.”

Gordon Simpson admits John Deere would not have been his original number one choice, having never done a deal with the company before in his previous roles. However, he is now happy to state that everything the club experienced over the 20-month process of choosing a new supplier proved that he wanted to partner with John Deere as a brand and Double A as a local business.

“With the volume of kit that had to be replaced, it was always the case that the club would need to spread the investment over several years to make it more manageable,” says Gordon. “With all the work they put into the tender, John Deere and Double A simply stood out a mile, and we knew this was the manufacturer and dealer we wanted to partner with.

“We were looking for a long-term relationship with our supplier, which is why it took us so long to make the decision, but we certainly feel that we’ve picked the right route for us and our ambitions for the club.”

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

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High Standards From MM Seed

High Standards From MM Seed: Cheltenham College’s Christian Brain has praised Limagrain UK’s range of MM grass seed mixtures for their role in helping him to maintain the high standard of pitches in his role as head of grounds at the prestigious school.

Located in the heart of the Cotswolds, Cheltenham College is a leading independent boarding school which dates back to 1841. Well known for its classical, military and sporting traditions, Cheltenham has approximately 700 pupils between the ages of 13 and 18 with many of whom go onto world-class universities such as Cambridge and Oxford. The College also features a prep school with pupils aged between 3 and 18.

High Standards From MM Seed

Christian is the man responsible for maintaining the grounds at both the main site and the prep school, and was initially drawn into the world of groundsmanship through his involvement with club cricket. He went on to work in a number of deputy roles in public schools before getting his opportunity at Cheltenham College.

Christian now oversees a team of four and ensures that the sports and surrounding grounds are at a consistent quality all year round.

“As you would expect, we have cricket in the summer term and then we change into rugby which lasts pretty much up until Christmas,” he says. “After Christmas, it is mainly football and rugby sevens until Easter with hockey which is played on our artificial surfaces.”

Christian relies on both Limagrain’s MM50 and MM60 grass seed mixtures which he uses on the winter pitches, outfields and cricket squares.

“We overseed our winter pitches with MM60 and this is done twice a year,” he says. “Once in August so we are ready for rugby and then we apply again in the spring. We overseed with MM60 after we’ve scarified the smaller cricket squares during the renovation period – purely because it is a stronger mix and can withstand winter sport.”

As Christian says, Limagrain’s MM60 grass seed is renowned for performing incredibly well on winter pitches and produces an excellent playing surface. It is a 100% Ryegrass formula which is perfect for renovation and divot repair, has a high disease resistance, fantastic aesthetic qualities and offers extremely fast germination. MM50, is arguably a more popular choice for cricket groundsmen. This superior mix contains the perennial ryegrass cultivars, Venice, Alison and Malibu, which are renowned for providing a great sward. It features excellent shoot density along with tolerance to close mowing making it particularly suitable for cricket squares.

High Standards From MM Seed

“I’ve been using MM mixtures throughout most of my groundsmanship career and I don’t have any reason at all to change. Both MM50 and MM60 are very strong mixtures, we’ve never had any problems with them, the recovery is very good and they withstand a lot of wear.”

Both MM50 and MM60 are boosted by the inclusion of Headstart GOLD®. Developed using the latest scientific findings and field experience, Headstart GOLD® is a natural revolutionary grass seed treatment that ensures rapid germination and is perfect for enhancing performance on grass seed coatings for sports fields, golf courses, lawns and amenity turf.

“The seed is always quick to establish – it is strong and has good rooting. They are just great products which perform well and provide great colour all year round. The mixtures are always available and are easy to get hold of which is another benefit.

“I also have a good relationship with Matt Gresty who is always on the other end of the phone if I need him. He is also quick to offer technical advice as and when it’s required.”

For further information, please contact Limagrain UK on 01472 371471 or visit the company’s website www.lgseeds.co.uk/mm

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R-VAN Nozzles Set New Standards

R-VAN Nozzles Set New Standards: Rain Bird now offers a full range of R-VAN rotary adjustable, full circle and strip nozzles, ensuring efficient irrigation of both large and smaller areas in residential and commercial applications.

Coupled with fast installation and simple maintenance – no tools required – R-VAN nozzles set new standards in performance, with just nine models required for full 45 to 360 degree coverage and ranges from 2.4 to 7.3 metres. This compares to up to fifteen if alternative brands of nozzles were to be specified, keeping investment costs lower from the outset.

R-VAN Nozzles Set New Standards

All R-VAN nozzles can be quickly hand adjusted for arc and radius. Simply by pushing down and turning the nozzle cap, the arc can be increased by up to 270 degrees and by turning the radius adjustment dial clockwise, the throw distance is increased without needing to use a separate adjustment tool. With these two actions, areas of any shape can be effectively irrigated.

The precipitation rate of the R-VAN nozzles is matched with the Rain Bird 5000 series rotors. Long-distance watering is effectively increased to up to 10.7 metres within the same zone. Precipatation rates are also matched across all the different types of R-VAN nozzles, making irrigation design layouts and zoning much easier. There is no longer any need for multiple zones and valves to accomplish the same irrigation coverage that would be required with other makes of nozzle.

Producing gentle rotating streams of water, R-VAN nozzles provide uniform coverage with lower precipitation rates. This lessens the risk of wasteful run-off that can lead to ground erosion. R-VAN nozzles can require up to 33% shorter run-times, providing significant water savings and making them ideal for applications where there are time restrictions on irrigation cycles.

With larger droplets and thicker streams of water, R-VAN nozzles have high wind resistance and can be used in windier conditions without misting. Irrigation is kept within the target zone and not wasted on surrounding hardscapes and other areas.

R-VAN nozzles have been specifically designed to let dirt and debris pass through, but if a nozzle sticks, a simple twist ensures easy debris flushing. There is no need to replace the nozzle in the event of clogging. Overall, R-VAN nozzles are claimed to be up to 30 percent more efficient than alternative makes and are compatible with all Rain Bird spray bodies, risers and adapters. Each of the nine units are colour coded for easy identification.

For more information, visit: www.rainbird.eu/golf

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