Tag Archive for: Up

PM36 serves up competition-ready courts

PM36 serves up competition-ready courts: As a sole Groundsman, Robin Wilcox has his work cut out looking after the 19 courts and 5 croquet lawns that make up East Dorset Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (EDLTCC).

On the sites nine grass courts, DLF’s ProMaster 36, and its tolerance of low cutting heights, has given Robin the advantage – freeing up time for the other tasks which keep the courts and lawns competition ready.

PM36 serves up competition-ready courts

PM36 serves up competition-ready courts

One of Robin’s key goals when he joined EDLTCC two years ago was to bring the grass courts up to standard required to be selected, once again, as a host for the qualifying stages of The County Cup. “Over the years the courts had accumulated layers of thatch, so we could have gone down the road of scarifying and adding additional loam, but we decided to go for a full renovation.” During his first year at the club, Robin skimmed off the top layer, cultivated, levelled and seeded with Masterline PM36 perennial ryegrass mix.

“A great combination of warmth and rain in the late summer/early autumn of 2018 meant the courts were green in under three weeks and I carried out the first cut at six weeks – everybody at the club was amazed at the germination. Our artificial and clay courts took the strain while the grass courts were under renovation but when they re-opened for play in 2019, there was a new wave of members wanting to play on the grass and they coped, and recovered, from the high levels of wear very well.”

The decision to go for a pure-rye mix gives Robin the playing and resistance characteristics he requires, even under close mown conditions. “Because of my workload, I have to split my time between the artificial courts, grass courts and lawns so this means I am limited to mowing just twice a week. With the PM36 mix, it is hardy enough to cope with going as low as 5mm without any detrimental impact on turf quality.”

While a final decision by the LTA is expected at the end of May, at the time of writing the County Cup remains in the tournament calendar and the improvements Robin has achieved sees EDLTCC chosen as a host venue, after a few years absence. “It’s fantastic news for the club.” Robin concludes, “Everybody is delighted with the results of the renovations – the PM36 has delivered great quality courts fit for top level play once again.”

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JCB serves up 10,000 meals

JCB serves up 10,000 meals: JCB’s ‘Food for our Communities’ initiative today served up a major milestone as the 10,000th meal was despatched from the company’s kitchens for those in need in Staffordshire.

Since the launch of the scheme  – the idea of Carole Bamford, wife of JCB Chairman Lord Bamford –  catering staff at the World HQ in Rocester have been busily preparing cottage pies, macaroni cheese and bolognese dishes for disadvantaged families and individuals across the region during the Coronavirus crisis.

JCB serves up 10,000 meals

JCB serves up 10,000 meals

Today the 10,000th meal was cooked and despatched from the JCB kitchen – just a month after the initiative started. So far, the team has used around two tonnes of potatoes, more than one tonne of minced beef and almost half a tonne of both pasta and onions to prepare the dishes.

In India – where JCB has factories in Delhi, Pune and Jaipur – the scale of the initiative is even greater and staff there have now prepared a staggering 100,000 meals.

Carole Bamford, wife of JCB Chairman Lord Bamford, said: “I’m very proud of all the work the teams in the UK and India are undertaking. Their efforts are making a real difference to the lives of so many people in our communities.”

Thousands of the meals made in Staffordshire are being distributed across Stoke-on-Trent by the Burslem-based Hubb Foundation, to children and families in need across the city.

Founder Carol Shanahan said: “You cannot underestimate the impact the JCB ‘Food for our Communities’ initiative is having on families in our city. Those receiving the food are just so very grateful that companies like JCB are stepping in to help at this time. It’s simply amazing.”

Since launch, the project has been expanded to include sandwiches and so far, more than 2,000 have been made for distribution to the homeless in Stoke-on-Trent and for inclusion in food parcels for vulnerable people in the Uttoxeter area. JCB is also supplying St. Michael’s Church Support Group in Rocester with 100 meals a week for villagers who are in need.

JCB Chef Alastair Rowe said: “It is very rewarding for the whole team to be involved in this project. We have had some wonderful feedback which shows our communities really do appreciate what JCB is doing at this time.”

As well as providing thousands of meals, JCB has also donated vital PPE to front line workers and JCB and its employees have volunteered to produce facemasks for the NHS. Inspired by these efforts,  JCB-sponsored athletes, slalom canoeist Adam Burgess and triple jumper Ben Williams, took on a marathon weight lifting challenge and have so far raised more than £2,400 for the Royal Stoke Hospital.

JCB’s kitchens in Staffordshire are being supported with the provision of food from organic farms at Daylesford in Gloucestershire. Daylesford – founded by Carole Bamford – has supplied organic beef mince to the project, with staff working seven days a week to support the food aid initiative.

In the UK, JCB is also working with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, which is distributing JCB meals to vulnerable adults and children across the city.

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MHM get tanked up

MHM get tanked up: “Deciding to invest in a range of fluid tanks was one of the easier decisions we’ve had to make during our ten years in business,” comments Mat Llewellyn, MHM’s managing director. “Naturally, our line of generators, lighting towers, and welders all need refuelling from time to time, so having the option to offer our clients a complete package seemed a sensible conclusion.”

The first of these fluid tanks that MHM have brought to the market place is the Fuel Buddy. The Fuel Buddy is available in both 950, 2000 and 3000 litre sizes with the 950 and 2000 models available either skid mounted or fitted onto road tow braked trailers.  Presently, the 3000 litre version is only available skid mounted. All are delivered with a three year warranty. To assist against ground contamination, they each feature a fully bunded base which retains all spilt fluids and their handy stackable design is particularly useful for safe storage, when space is at a premium. Each Fuel Buddy is equipped with a lockable access/storage hatch for the pump kit (electric or hand) and the generator or heater connection kit. For added versatility, the tanks have been designed to be quickly interchangeable, as only a few bolts are required to secure the tank to the trailer. A user also has the alternative to either manually operate the fuel delivery pump or take up the option of a 12, 110, or 230 volt system.  There is also a further option for petrol driven pump. For added protection, an anti-slip chequered plate is fitted at the front for steady access to the cabinet space.

MHM get tanked up

MHM get tanked up

All of these features help to make the Fuel Buddy ideally suited for hire companies – enabling a rental firm to offer either static or towable tanks with their clients’ preferred transfer pump option. It only takes around fifteen minutes to change to the preferred pump.

For sound loading and unloading the Fuel Buddy is supplied with four forklift pockets and lifting eyes. Its attractive and protective galvanised framework with a durable powder coated paint finish, renders the Fuel Buddy robust, rugged and ‘rental-ready’ in just about any environment.

With environmental considerations at the forefront, MHM have included the option of having a 30w solar panel fitted to the Fuel Buddy. This system is designed to trickle feed a charging kit situated inside the cabinet, which in turn, provides a similar charge to a 12v battery. This dual operation results in supplying sufficient power to the 12v fuel transfer pump.

All MHM tanks are available for purchase brand new or, quality used. They are also available for rehire to bona fide UK and Ireland rentals firms. Currently MHM have an extra offer of some attractively priced ex demo units which include the three year warranty.

MHM have appointed Brad Ireland as their new UK and Ireland sales manager, with a particular responsibility for marketing the MHM range of fuel, fluid and water storage distribution systems. Brad already has a wealth of experience in these market places and he is keen to impart his knowledge to all interested organisations.

“Brad is a key appointment for MHM as we expand our range of equipment and in particular our new line of fluid distribution products. His experience in this area will be invaluable as we expand this range,” concluded Mat.

MHM was incorporated in 2010 and supplies their range of equipment throughout the UK and Ireland via its’ nationwide three depot network. The MHM plant head office is based in Port Talbot, South Wales. The company supplies power generation, solar-hybrid-generators, fuel storage, lighting towers, engine driven welders and product related accessories to the UK and Irish rental markets, for both hire and purchase.

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Ilkley Town back up and running

Ilkley Town back up and running: Ilkley Town AFC is back up and running in the wake of flooding by Storm Ciara.

“We’re very pleased to be back up and running again,” said Richard Giles, chairman of Ilkley Town. “When Storm Ciara hit, the river burst its banks and came on to the pitch.”

Ilkley Town back up and running

Ilkley Town back up and running

Since then, 20 teams of players and coaches across the whole of the football club have been unable to train or play games for the last two-and-a-half weeks.

Ilkley’s first team, who play on the all-weather pitch at Ben Rhydding Sports Club, have relied on the help of at least 50 volunteers to bring the playing facilities back into use again.

“We’ve brushed and disinfected the pitch,” said Giles. “We’ve worked hard on it, and have had a lot of volunteers to come and help. We’ve had a great response from the community, and players, parents and coaches have all volunteered their time.”

When asked if the floods had disrupted the improvements Ilkley Town need to carry out to upgrade their facilities in case of possible promotion, Giles said: “It’s distracted us, but even during the flooding from Storm Ciara the decorator was inside the pavilion refurbishing the changing room while the flooding was happening. It’s built up higher than the pitch, so it looked like it was in the middle of a lake.”

The hard work by the volunteers has meant for the first time since Storm Ciara, Ilkley’s first team will be able to train in preparation for this Saturday’s West Yorkshire League Cup match against Carlton Athletic. Kick-off is 2pm at Ben Rhydding Sports Club.

With their last two games called off because of the weather, Giles said: “The players will be a bit rusty as they get back to match sharpness. However, every other team will be the same boat.”

Giles said Ilkley Town are just one of the teams who use the facilities at Ben Rhydding Sports Club affected by the flooding.

“The Ben Rhydding hockey pitch had been under water and the groundsman at Ben Rhydding Cricket Club has been working hard to get the pitch back into shape.”

He added that two grass 11-a-side pitches and three mini pitches used by Ilkley Town’s junior teams seem to be okay despite the flooding.

“They’re not too bad,” said Giles. “Once the river goes down, they drain well.”

Giles said the flooding caused by Storm Ciara is rare, and he said the only time he had seen anything like it was Boxing Day 2015. He also said the end of March last year was pretty bad as well.

“It has flooded four out of the last five years after not having flooded before that,” said Giles. “We’re just crossing our fingers that the worse is behind us.”

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Toro up for the job at Upminster

Toro up for the job at Upminster: It was word of mouth and recommendations from nearby customers that saw Upminster Golf Club opt for Toro irrigation.

When Andy Cracknell assumed his new post as course manager at Upminster Golf Club two years ago, one of his first projects was overseeing the installation of a new irrigation system, all he had to do was choose who to go with.

Toro up for the job at Upminster

“By the time I came on board the decision had been made that the system needed to be replaced but it had not yet been decided who would be best to deliver on our objectives, which included a high degree of control to advance the turf quality on the fairways and approaches in particular.”

And it was fellow golf clubs in the vicinity of the club in Essex that made a potentially difficult decision straightforward, says Andy: “Some neighbouring clubs in the M25 area were using Toro irrigation and getting great results. The ground here is London clay and can be particularly difficult to work with, which meant I paid close attention to their experience using Toro irrigation, mainly the Lynx central control system. Everyone was raving about how effective it was.”

This is thanks to the level of control the Lynx system offers, as well as the option to choose sprinklers such as Infinity that can be accessed from the top down to prevent the messy, difficult and time-consuming process of digging up the sprinkler body for maintenance and servicing.

Clay soil needs to maintain a steady moisture level – if it gets overly wet or dry it’s easily damaged when dug up or walked on – hence the reason why Infinity sprinklers appealed so much to Andy.

“It was so important to have a system that offered us the ability to irrigate specifically to our soil’s unique needs,” he says. “We had moved past the point where it was okay to be irrigating in units of minutes, we needed to get down to the millimetre. When treated in the right way clay-based soil has the potential to be really fertile and we’re starting to see the positive difference this level of control is bringing to the quality of the soil.

“We have 150 Infinity sprinklers on the greens, surrounds, approaches and three of the fairways and there’s just no comparison when it comes to adjusting in the field, they’re so easy to use.”

The club also has T5 and T7 sprinklers fitted to specification on the tees and because says Andy “he wanted to keep everything all Toro”.

Apart from ease of use and better-quality turf, Andy says the benefits for going with Toro don’t stop there: “We’ve been using the system for seven months now and we’re definitely making a saving on the amount of water we’re using. We used to use about 70 cube of water a night on the greens but we’re using around 30 now. When you’re irrigating off the mains that’s significant.”

Hopefully though it won’t be long until Upminster has a degree of self-sufficiency to its irrigation, as Andy explains: “We have a river we can do more with. It can certainly be turned into a feature as an aesthetic benefit to the course, but more importantly we can irrigate from it too. That’s one of our next projects.”

Upminster Golf Club’s irrigation system was installed by Full Circle Irrigation and organised by Reesink Turfcare, the sole Toro distributor in the UK for golf and sports fields equipment and irrigation products, and Andy says “it’s been an excellent experience. We’ve had four or five site visits from Cevan Edwards from Reesink and everything has been very smooth.”

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400 Up For Mant Family

400 Up For Mant Family: A son who followed in the footsteps of his dad by becoming head groundsman at Fontwell Park Racecourse is celebrating his 400th race meeting at the racecourse this weekend.

Paul Mant, who took over the role from dad Roger 16 years ago after learning the ropes and working alongside him for more than 20 years, has earned plaudits from leading jockeys including Richard Johnson for his work in making Fontwell one of the country’s most popular courses among jump jockeys.

400 Up For Mant Family

Paul, 54, first started working with his dad on the course as a schoolboy during the summer holidays – he even learned to drive a tractor at the age of 11 – and then as his assistant after leaving school in 1981.

However, it wasn’t until 2003 that he took over the reins from his dad, now 81, who retired after 44 years in the job. Between them they have now clocked up 60 years in charge of the famous figure-of-eight course.

Paul was born in one of only two houses built on the racecourse in 1959 where he still lives with son Aiden. He said: “I’ve been lucky enough to have been part of Fontwell Park all of my life and fortunate to have learned the ropes from my dad.

“I guess I picked up lots of tips and hints on how to do things over the years from just following him around but I’ve developed my own way of doing it. I worked with him for over 22 years so I picked up quite a bit in that time.”

“I’ve only ever missed two race meetings since I became head groundsman. The first was when I was sent on a groundsman’s course and the second one was when Fontwell was given an extra race day during the season and I had already booked a holiday to Spain. I managed to find a bar that was showing it on the TV though!”

His preparations for this Friday and Saturday’s Oktoberfest meeting, one of the highlights of the racing calendar at Fontwell, include mowing the course every two days, which takes him up to four hours, and making sure all of the fences across course are in the best possible condition for jockeys, who he has developed friendships with over the years.

He added: “I always go into the weighing room after every race to and chat to the jockeys and I’ll be doing it this weekend. They will tell me if anything is wrong and what could be improved. They are the ones who put their bodies on the line so it’s important part of my job.”

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AMS Gear Up For SALTEX

AMS Gear Up For SALTEX: Visitors to this year’s SALTEX exhibition will have a unique opportunity to get to see Belrobotics automated mowers and ball collector, along with the AMS ball wash and transportation system.

AMS Robotics, the UK’s official distributors for Belrobotics robots, is excited to bring the innovative robotic mowers and ball picker to the exhibition, with a stand featuring the robot technology in action.

AMS Gear Up For SALTEX

With 55+ locations across the UK, the automated turf maintenance company, currently provides golf driving ranges an all in one service solution that automates outfield mowing along with ball collection, washing and transportation. They also offer a robotic mowing service for large green space areas such as sports pitches, golf par 3 courses, public spaces or private estates.

Philip Sear, Managing Director of AMS Robotics had this to say:

“We’re delighted to be bringing the Belrobotic robot technology and our ball wash and transportation system to SALTEX 2019.  The show offers an unmissable opportunity for turf care professionals to come and see for themselves how the automated technology works and the benefits it provides.”

Visitors to Saltex 2019 at NEC Birmingham, October 30th – 31st, can see the robot technology in action at Stand A040 or alternatively visit www.amsrobotics.co.uk or call 01462 676 222 for more information.

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Up For The Cup At Gleneagles

Up For The Cup At Gleneagles: Gleneagles will hold a unique position in golfing history when the biggest event in women’s golf concludes this weekend, by becoming the first venue in Europe to have hosted both The Solheim Cup and The Ryder Cup (in 2014).

As the Gleneagles and volunteer greenkeeping teams led by golf courses manager Craig Haldane, together with director of agronomy and estates Scott Fenwick, put the finishing touches to the Jack Nicklaus-designed PGA Centenary Course, John Deere and local dealer Double A are equally busy behind the scenes.

Up for The Cup at Gleneagles

The greenkeeping team at Gleneagles has risen to 100 people, with tournament standard conditioning also extending to The King’s Course, which is hosting The Junior Solheim Cup, and The Queen’s Course, which remains open for member and VIP visitor play during the week.

John Deere is the official golf course and turf maintenance machinery event partner to Gleneagles for this 16th biennial edition of The Solheim Cup. The company has a long association with professional golf, having been a title sponsor on the PGA Tour, official supplier to the PGA Tour for over 25 years, official supplier to the Ladies European Tour and a partner at numerous Solheim Cup events.

In addition, John Deere is partnering Gleneagles by exclusively providing golf course maintenance machinery and ancillary equipment for use across all three championship golf courses.

“We are very grateful for the support from our local dealer Double A as we’ve been gearing up the John Deere fleet ahead of the tournament,” says Craig Haldane. “Typically we aim to maintain all three courses at a very high level all year round, but we’ve upped the ante for The Solheim Cup.

“Closing the course three weeks prior to the event has allowed it to recover from any stress and provided additional time to prepare and introduce a higher frequency of cut. By fine tuning our existing practices we’ve been able go up another level in terms of a quality cut and finish for the tournament.

“We’re also very fortunate to benefit from the extra resources and experience provided by the volunteer greenkeepers supporting our team this week. Eight of the 52 volunteers are women, who have joined our own Laura Campbell and BIGGA’s head of membership services Tracey Maddison to help with the course preparations, so it’s fitting that we can showcase the equal role women play in our industry, especially during The Solheim Cup.”

Up for The Cup at Gleneagles

Carlos Aragones, John Deere European turf sales & marketing manager, adds: “The Solheim Cup is one of the biggest events on the 2019 sporting calendar and we are delighted to be a part of it. We are also proud of our collaboration with Gleneagles in helping to prepare the course for such a prestigious tournament.”

In 2019 John Deere and its dealers are supporting more than 10 major tournaments in the UK and Ireland, every month from the Betfred British Masters at Hillside Golf Club in May to The Solheim Cup at Gleneagles and the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in September. This involves providing specialist support staff and more than 150 machines including walk-behind and ride-on greens mowers, tees & surrounds, fairway and rough mowers, compact tractors and Gator utility vehicles.

“Traditionally we work closely with the individual club’s course managers and greenkeeping teams to help keep all the machines in the fleet serviced and ready for work each day, and ensure all cutting units can achieve the highest possible quality of cut,” says John Deere Limited turf division manager Chris Meacock. “This partnership approach helps everyone to achieve the best possible results where they matter, out on the course, and keep things running as smoothly as possible throughout the event.”

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Vandals Rip Up Furness GC

Vandals Rip Up Furness GC: Golfers have called on the community to ‘grass up’ the mindless vandals who caused a ‘hole’ lot of damage on their course.

Over the last two decades officials at Furness Golf Club on Walney have had to contend with regular incidents of criminal damage on the greens.

Vandals Rip Up Furness GC

These have ranged from someone using a pitchfork to leave a trail of holes across the course to fires being started in the gorse.

As a result the club has had to fork out thousands of pounds on repairs with the greenkeeper’s time spent painstakingly fixing the divots.

Greens chairman Jon Clarke said the club hopes the community will keep a close eye out for any culprits after the latest incident this week where wedges of turf had been pulled from the green.

“I can’t see what anyone would get out of it; it’s completely mindless and senseless,” he said.

“It’s been going on for the last 15 or 20 years; every year there’s been at least 10 examples of vandalism.

“We had one where it looked like somebody had gone across the green and used a pitchfork to put holes all over the place.

“Just four weeks ago the gorse was set on fire and it took 48 hours to put out. That’s not just a drain on our resources but also for the police and fire.”

Club members have spent hundreds of hours repairing the damage which also impacts on them indirectly through increased membership fees.

“It’s incredibly frustrating because all golf courses now are struggling to keep going and it is our members who end up having to pay for the repairs because we need to recoup the costs somehow,” Mr Clarke added.

Over the years club officials estimate they have spent half a million pounds repairing damage caused by vandals.

Every year maintenance of the course costs around £250,000.

Barrow Police have confirmed they are investigating reports of vandalism to the golf course.

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Stock Up On Toro’s Titan Tines

Stock Up On Toro’s Titan Tines: Thanks to Reesink Turfcare’s 24-hour delivery service customers can have their stock of Toro Titan Tines replenished and their machines back up and running as quickly as possible.

The titans of the tines industry and known as the turf professional’s secret weapon when it comes to achieving precise, concise holes for faster recovery and a smoother finish, Toro’s Titan Tines genuinely offer customers more, just like their UK distributor Reesink. And when it comes to delivery, its guaranteed to be the fastest delivery time possible.

Stock Up On Toro's Titan Tines

But not just that, when you choose Toro’s Titan Tines, you can also be guaranteed of more choice, more longevity, more productivity, more strength, more play and more reliability too.

More choice

There are over 150 Toro Titan Tines available covering all possible aeration applications. Whether you’ll be coring, slicing or spiking, hollow, solid or deep tining, or using water injection cultivation or ‘linear’ aeration, there’s a Titan Tine for every need.

Plus, all Titan Tines fit current and late model Toro aerators and the standard mount size fits lots of other manufacturer aerators, too.

More longevity, more productivity

Toro’s Titan Tines are the longest-lasting on the market, thanks to their robust tungsten-carbide-blend tip, which lasts up to four times longer than standard tines. And because they last longer, it means fewer replacements and less change-outs are needed leading to greater productivity.

More strength

Toro’s Titan Tines are made by combining a strong alloy with a unique heat treatment process resulting in a finished product that provides maximum strength and resistance to wear.

More play

Toro’s ultra-durable Titan Tines are the turf professional’s secret weapon when it comes to achieving precise, concise holes for faster recovery and a smoother finish. Clean-cut holes are important for a speedy recovery and the best way to ensure the speediest of recoveries is with tines that boast sharp edges and smooth sides.

Michael Hampton, turfcare parts manager at Reesink, says: “Toro’s Titan Tines are designed to produce precise consistent holes for fast turf recovery, a smooth finish and quick return to play.”

More reliable

Timing is vital when it comes to aeration – you’ll likely know when that is for your surfaces – and it is important not to be let down in the middle of the aeration programme. The tough design of Toro’s Titan Tines, including durable brazed tip joints that ensure a strong bond with in-built resistance to separation and breakage, importantly help maintain consistent aeration depths and reduces costly change-out and associated downtime.

When you need new tines, you get second-to-none parts back up with Reesink to ensure downtime is kept to a minimum. To stock up on Titan Tines or for more aeration advice, customers can get in touch with their local genuine Toro parts dealer or service centre.

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