Tag Archive for: Trust

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.

Fields in Trust Green Space Index launched

Fields in Trust Green Space Index launched: At an event in Edinburgh, Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge helped to launch the Fields in Trust Green Space Index which reveals that, despite their value for health, wellbeing and climate change mitigation, some parts of the UK have access to 50% less green space than others and 2.8m people in Great Britain live more than a ten-minute walk from their nearest park.

The parks and green spaces that have been so vital to the nation’s wellbeing during lockdown are not equally accessible to all, according to new data from green space charity Fields in Trust. The Green Space Index is an annual barometer of green space provision and distribution and shows that people in the most well provisioned locations have the equivalent of 45m2 of accessible parks and green space per person compared to just 19m2 per capita in others.  Areas with the least provision tend to be those with a higher incidence of deprivation – precisely the communities who benefit most from green space access.

Fields in Trust Green Space Index launched

Fields in Trust Green Space Index launched

The visit came ahead of COP26 climate change conference, which will be taking place in Glasgow later this year, with today’s event one of several projects which have a positive effect on climate change that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have visited across Scotland. Urban parks and green spaces boost air quality, support habitats and mitigate the effects of climate change.

At the event in Starbank Park, Edinburgh’s Lord Provost, Frank Ross, announced that the City of Edinburgh Council would be using the Green Space Index to determine strategic green space locations. He said: “Edinburgh is already a wonderfully green city, and we want to ensure it remains that way for generations to come.

“I’m extremely pleased to announce that the City of Edinburgh Council will be looking to partner with Fields in Trust in protecting in perpetuity a further 25 green spaces – adding to the 34 already protected. This will mean that almost everyone in Edinburgh will be within a ten-minute walk of a protected green space, ensuring that for years to come citizens are guaranteed a lifetime of opportunity for activity, play, learning, recuperation and community.

“Scores of volunteers across the city work alongside the Council to support our parks, green spaces and cemeteries. We are very grateful to Friends of Starbank Park their ongoing hard work and dedication and we will continue to work with them to make sure these important areas are preserved for the benefit of our future generations.”

The City of Edinburgh Council are the first Local Authority in Scotland to adopt this approach and follow the pioneering example set by Liverpool City Council in March 2021 to protect all 100 parks in the City.

During the event Their Royal Highnesses met with volunteers from the Friends of Starbank Park Group and park users of all ages who have found sanctuary in the park over the last year as a place to play, exercise, relax, and reflect.

Fields in Trust Chair of Trustees, Jo Barnett said: “Through the pandemic we’ve realised just how valuable parks and green spaces are to our health and wellbeing, yet across the UK only 6% of parks are protected and access to them is not equitable. The proven physical and mental health benefits of local parks is unchallenged. These are valuable places; places where we can all move, breathe, run and play. Fields in Trust welcome this significant commitment by the City of Edinburgh Council, we need to champion and support these precious spaces by protecting them for future generations to enjoy. Because once lost, they are lost forever.”

Full details of the Green Space Index – including an interactive web app to explore local provision can be found on the Fields in Trust website www.fieldsintrust.org

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

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.

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

Trust Toro genuine parts

Trust Toro genuine parts: Grounds teams across the nation are likely working at a reduced rate due to the focus on essential services, but grass growth stops for no one. When maintenance routines return to normal, make sure your cylinder mowers are ready for the challenge with genuine Toro bottom blades.

Toro parts UK distributor Reesink Turfcare has some advice for grounds teams preparing their machines for work – choose your bottom blades carefully. Michael Hampton, parts manager at Reesink, says: “Bottom blades can be an area where buyers decide to cut corners, choosing an inferior, spurious part in order to save money, but that doesn’t make long-term sense when you have a Toro machine and short-term that could be even worse.

Trust Toro genuine parts

Trust Toro genuine parts

“You need to be sure your machine can go out there and deal with potentially months of uncut grass effectively, with ease, delivering the best possible finish when there’s lots to do and you don’t want to be relying on ‘will fit’ parts for that.”

Well-maintained bottom blades are vital in producing a quality cut and genuine Toro bottom blades are the best there are, outperforming ‘will fit’ inferior quality parts. Research at Toro headquarters in America proves this point. In tests focused on many physical characteristics, in particular the flatness of the blade and positioning of the chamfered mounting holes, results showed that unbranded bottom blades failed in over 50 percent of Toro’s quality specification standards.

Michael continues: “Grounds fleets will be put through their paces when the time comes to start cutting more areas, or more frequently, again. Not only will it be high season but there’s likely a lot of backlog to deal with. The last thing the team needs are delays dealing with worn, damaged or blunted bottom blades or wasted time waiting for replacement parts.”

Reesink is still open for business and teams in our service centres, warehouses and across our supply chain are working tirelessly to deliver parts for our customers.

Drop them a line at info@reesinkturfcare.co.uk or call Spare Parts: 01480 226854

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

Fields in Trust bringing parks to you

Fields in Trust bringing parks to you: Whilst we’re all staying home and less able to get out to enjoy our nation’s parks this spring, green space charity Fields in Trust are bringing parks to people with a virtual tour of the UK, discovering beautiful parks and green spaces which are much loved and valued by their communities along the way.

At a time when communities across the country are revaluing the benefits their local parks usually provide for sport, nature and play, the tour will be moving around the UK exploring locations online by showcasing town and city parks which you can “visit” from your home and get a little virtual wellbeing boost in these challenging times. It’s an opportunity to experience, not just the local green spaces on your doorstep, but to discover new parks across the nations and regions of the UK.

Fields in Trust bringing parks to you

Fields in Trust bringing parks to you

The Fields in Trust website at www.fieldsintrust.org is the start point of the tour which begins by exploring the locations of the Home Nation winners in 2019’s UK’s Best Park award, Blackpool, Antrim, Dunfermline and Merthyr Tydfil. After that, the direction of the tour will be determined by park users who are invited to share their green space stories and suggest new areas to investigate. Whether you think your town or city has great parks that the rest of the country should know about, or perhaps you’re a Park-Friends-Group group or a community organisation who’d like to tell their story, let Fields in Trust know where the tour should visit and why!

Along the way, Fields in Trust will be finding out a bit more about how our usage of parks has been affected at this time with, a short survey of park users on the website www.fieldsintrust.org.

Research conducted by Fields in Trust has demonstrated clear physical health and mental wellbeing benefits from regular use of the UK’s parks and green spaces, yet these vital community assets are not equally distributed. Around 2.6million people in Great Britain live more than a ten-minute walk from their nearest park and are missing out on the physical health and mental wellbeing benefits as well as opportunities to connect with their neighbours.

Fields in Trust Chief Executive, Helen Griffiths, said: “The last few weeks have reminded everyone that the UK’s parks and green spaces are highly valued parts of our local neighbourhoods and shown us just how sorely they’re missed when they are not easily accessible. During these changed and challenging times, we must adapt how we use and enjoy them, in line with Government guidance. We are all experiencing what life would be like without access to these much-loved local spaces. Thankfully right now the loss is temporary, but it serves as a reminder that many of these spaces are lost forever. We hope that bringing the park to you this spring will provide a little virtual wellbeing because green spaces are good, they do good and they need to be protected for good.”

The average amount of green space per person in Great Britain is just over 35 square metres, less than half the size of a six-yard box on a football pitch; however, only 5.7% of the park and green space provision in Great Britain is legally protected with Fields in Trust. It is up to all of us to act to stem the decline and disappearance of our nation’s cherished parks and green spaces. Fields in

Trust are calling for the current level of park and green space provision to be maintained and encouraging communities to fight for those green spaces vulnerable to loss or development.

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

Woodland Work At Fife Golf Trust

Woodland Work At Fife Golf Trust: Thanks to Fife Golf Trust’s purchase of a GreenMech QuadTrak chipper and trailer, almost 20 years of little woodland management across a number of course in Scotland has come to an end. Fife Council owns seven golf courses and the Trust has maintenance responsibilities for all of them. Golf Courses Manager Paul Murphy and his team of 21 greenkeepers has now put the disposal of the woody waste firmly back on the agenda with their recent purchase.

“Each course is equipped with a basic fleet of machinery for routine maintenance, however we also have a bank of equipment that’s shared between the sites” explains Paul, who has been with the trust for five and a half years. Prior to Paul joining, woodland management had been on the back burner, something that changed two years ago. “We’re now a couple of years into a long overdue tree thinning programme, for which we use an external contractor. However, following the work they mainly conduct with tree harvesters, we found there was a lot of material that required clearing.”

Woodland Work At Fife Golf Trust

When hiring a chipper was ruled out for being too costly, Paul lead the search for a chipper that would fulfil the requirements of the various courses. “We looked at a few alternatives, but I was keen on the GreenMech product from previous experience. We had a demonstration of the QuadTrak from local dealer Henderson Grass Machinery and were impressed with how it performed. That, together with the back up support from them as a dealer and the no quibble warranty from GreenMech, sealed the deal.” Paul took delivery of the QuadTrak, together with a bespoke road-towable trailer in February 2018.

“Having the tracked chipper complete with a trailer gives us the best of both worlds. The self-levelling tracks are fantastic for work on uneven ground while the trailer makes it easy to transport the chipper around the course or between sites.” While it’ll earn its keep mainly between November and February, should anything come down during the season, the team are now equipped to deal with it. “The machine is simple to operate, build quality is fantastic and all of these elements combined will help us ensure our courses are tidy for the start of the season, for many years to come.”

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

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

Wolves Put Trust In ICL Granulars

Wolves Put Trust In ICL Granulars: Wayne Lumbard, Head Groundsman at Wolverhampton Wanderers FC has reason to celebrate. Not only has the team been promoted to the Premier League, but in his opinion the pitch is at the best it has ever been throughout his thirteen-year tenure at the club – with a little help from ICL.

It is safe to say that Wayne has experienced some highs and lows at the club. However, after being relegated twice, optimism at the club is now at an all-time high.

Wolves Put Trust In ICL Granulars

“Collectively, what everyone at the club has done has been the main ingredient behind our success,” he says. “The football has been the best I’ve ever seen here the pitch has been consistently great all season – everything on and off the pitch has just clicked.”

Wayne acknowledges that the relatively new owners have been instrumental in Wolves’ rise back to the highest heights of English football, and they have certainly signalled some substantial improvements.

Last year, a state-of-the-art Desso Grassmaster hybrid pitch was installed at the Molineux Stadium and after being hugely impressed, the owners sanctioned three more to be built at the Sir Jack Hayward Training Centre in Compton Park.

With a completely new stadium pitch to work with, Wayne chose to adhere to a granular fertilizer programme from ICL.

“It was our first season on the new pitch at the stadium so it was a case of testing the products but the programme worked so well. I am confident that we now have everything down to a tee,” he said.

“Straight from renovation and two weeks after seeding, I applied SierrablenPlus Renovator 20-20-8 as a base feed at a rate of 30 g/m² and continued to apply this all the way through the season until the final game of the season.

“After the initial base feed, it was a case of applying the spring and summer fertilizers at the correct time. We had huge success with Greenmaster Pro-Lite NK 12-0-12 which we applied at 30g/m2 before we moved into Autumn with Greenmaster Pro-Lite Double K at 30g/m2 because we needed more potassium than nitrogen at that time of year. Into winter, we decided to go with a Greenmaster Pro-Lite Invigorator 4-0-8 at 30g/m2 while still continuing with regular feeds of ProTurf 20-0-7 at 25g/m2 – which we had been applying since June.

“It is all about applying the right products at the right time and in the right place. Personally, I think what is more important than anything, is the overlap of the products so that you have that even line of consistency throughout the season.

“I’ve been using ICL products since 1983 and they give you everything you want, not just technically, but aesthetically as well. What I like is that there is something for whatever the problem, whatever the issue. Whatever you want, there is a product.

“With the pressures that groundsmen are under today with having to produce a pitch for match day, I want guarantees and that is what I get with ICL. Quite simply, they are products that I can trust and along with the back-up assistance I receive from Emma Kilby (ICL Technical Area Sales Manager) is as good as the products themselves.

“I sit down with Emma at the end of each season, we look at the iTurf programme we had in place and how the pitches at the stadium and training ground performed. At this stage, if we need to make any tweaks to our programme, then we will. Based on the last twelve months, I can’t see us making too many changes – the pitches have performed fantastically well and along with the grounds team, ICL products have played their part in our success.”

Please contact ICL on 01473 237100 or visit http://www.icl-sf.co.uk or http://www.icl-sf.ie if you are in Ireland.

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

Woodhall Spa Puts Trust In Toro

Woodhall Spa Puts Trust In Toro: Woodhall Spa Golf Club, has signed its fourth five-year exclusivity agreement with Reesink Turfcare and Toro.

Sam Rhodes, courses manager for 12 years and at the Lincolnshire club for 23 years, says it was the complete package offered by Reesink that sealed the deal: “The machinery is obviously a very important aspect to the deal, but it’s one element in a very big package. We signed on again for everything Reesink offers, but especially the back-up and service. We’ve really enjoyed building a relationship with Fineturf Machinery, the new dealer for the area, too, which played a part in the decision.”

The deal coincides with the club’s three-year restoration project to return the course back to its original heathland appearance. Leading architect Tom Doak is overseeing the project, which has become known as being one of the biggest in-house renovation projects in the UK.

Woodhall Spa Puts Trust In Toro

Sam says: “Working alongside Natural England we’ve removed a large number of trees to allow the site to regenerate and restore the course to its original heathland state. Not only is this important work to maintain our course as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, but the removal of some vegetation and scrub will open up the course and provide new strategy for the players, who in recent years were having to play around the encroaching trees.”

With these site changes come new requirements from the machinery maintaining the course, as Sam explains: “Things are different with this order. Because we have different requirements now with regards to the finish and feel we’re after, we’ve moved away from rotary mowers, opting for cylinder mowers instead. The Reelmaster 3100-D will be one of our main workhorses. The DPA cutting units were a real draw as they hold adjustments well and will give us the tightness of cut around the heathland landscape.”

Joining the RM3100-D in the order are two Workman GTX utility vehicles, a Greensmaster 3250-D, Reelmaster 5010-H, TriFlex Hybrid 3420 and a Groundsmaster 4300-D, the only rotary mower.

Sam explains some of the reasons why he went for this selection: “We’ve been using the Toro TriFlex 3420 for some time and it’s performed so well and given us such fantastic results that I had 100 percent confidence in choosing hybrids again with the TriFlex 3420 and the RM5010-H. What’s interesting about the RM5010-H is how maintenance-friendly it is. The maintenance team often comments on how well it stays on cut, and it’s making us big savings on fuel.”

Also included within the renovation work is the repositioning of some tees which the GR3250-D is now tasked with looking after, says Sam: “We chose the GR3250-D for the tees and collars mainly because it can go forever!” Plus, the GR3250-D is good for mowing near bunkers thanks to its triangle wheel stand, and bunkers are certainly something to be considered at Woodhall Spa!

Sam says: “In this project we’ve reopened old bunkers, reshaped many of the existing ones and built new ones. We’ve always been renowned for our bunkers and this work ensures we maintain that reputation. The project as a whole will ensure we retain our status as one of the ‘Top 100 courses in the world’, and the decision to stick with Toro for another five years ensures we will maintain the course, in its refreshed form, to the standards for which we’ve been known for the last 15 years.”

Sam returns to his first thought to finish our catch up: “When you undertake such a big project as this, which spans years and is all-encompassing, it really is vital to have the right back-up and support, and the reassurance that there is always someone on the end of the phone should you need them. It’s a partnership of many elements and there’s no question that Reesink and Fineturf are the best choices to partner us on this journey.”

For more information, visit: reesinkturfcare.co.uk

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

AllGrass Put Trust In Campey

AllGrass Put Trust In Campey: Scottish turf contractors AllGrass Turf Care, part of the Allstone Glasgow Group, wanted to invest in the latest technology when starting their business, so decided on multiple Campey Turf Care Systems machines.

This purchase included a new 5th generation Koro FIELDTOPMAKER (Koro FTM) fitted with a Terraplane rotor, Raycam Uni-Rake and Dakota spreader to name a few. The new 2.5m Koro FTM with Terraplane rotor provides total surface clean up and removes organic matter using carbide tipped blades and leaves a level surface to work on as part of a high-quality renovation.

AllGrass Put Trust in Campey

Although the machinery decisions were made based on decades worth of experience, AllGrass director John Rushforth also listened to the needs of groundsmen and sought advice from others in the industry, such as Premier Pitches owner Carl Pass and director Russell Latham.

For a new company, the importance of picking the correct machines for a first fleet is vital and it was the trust in Campey as well as John’s own experience and the advice from others in the industry that made it an easy decision.

“I’ve got a massive amount of confidence in Richard Heywood, Richard Campey and Campey as a company,” he said.

“Throughout my career, it’s always been Campey I’ve dealt with and I knew the Koro FTM  was a good machine. “The 5th generation Koro FTM 2.5 model is phenomenal. It’s a breath of fresh air when you take a machine on a park and it leaves it clean regardless if the conditions are dry or damp.

“We came from using the old one but the new one is easier to set, it’s a better-balanced machine because it has the weights on one side, so it reacts better to the tractor. I’ve got a smile on my face every time I see it work because the pitch is always spotless and then I know we’re onto a winner.

“The machines have all been exactly what we wanted, we’ve not been disappointed in one bit of kit, we’re actually looking to purchase another Dakota spreader and probably a ShockWave.”

A strong part of AllGrass’ ethos is to expand on existing maintenance practices and offer effective alternatives to customers who operate on a smaller budget. A machine that fits this aim perfectly is the Raycam UniRake, which offers high-intensity grooming that can be calibrated in its severity.

AllGrass Put Trust in Campey

“I’ve been especially impressed with the UniRake,” John said. “I think a lot of clubs will have one in the future. Not everyone can afford decent scarification or to take the pitches back to bare-bones, so we need to come up with different ways to renovate pitches.

“When we first started AllGrass we got a lot of support from Scottish groundsmen which we are very grateful for. I was fortunate to shadow a number of grounds teams on match days and I learnt more about how to maintain and renovate from ground staff because everything from training grounds to stadium builds are different. That’s why we have to constantly keep up with what’s on offer and make sure we’re using the best.”

The forward-thinking approach of AllGrass doesn’t stop there. The company are also conscious of the impact their work has on the environment and have taken steps to ensure that all the waste products from the pitches they work on is recycled rather being dumped at a landfill.

For more information, visit: www.campeyturfcare.com

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.