ICL relieves the stress at Castle Stuart Golf Club

Lucy Nichollsin Golf

Castle Stuart 4
The use of ICL's new Vitalnova Stressbuster has significantly improved the overall health of the turf on the fairways and greens at Castle Stuart Golf Club, reports Course Manager Chris Haspell.

The Castle Stuart Golf Club in Inverness, Scotland is a championship links course which overlooks the Moray Firth and other well-known Highland landmarks such as Kessock Bridge and Chanonry Lighthouse. A relatively new course, having been constructed in 2009, Castle Stuart has become one of the most popular golf courses in Europe and hosted the Scottish Open on four occasions, including most recently in 2016.

Chris, who spent over a decade working in Denmark as a course manager consultant', was brought in at the very start of this exciting project in 2006. He oversaw the development of the course before it was officially opened in 2009 and he has been maintaining it to an excellent standard ever since.

As part of his maintenance programme, Chris uses Vitalnova Stressbuster - a specially formulated liquid treatment to help condition turf against stress and also to aid recovery. The product was first suggested to him by Jamie Lees, ICL Technical Area Sales Manager for Scotland, after Chris outlined exactly what he was hoping to achieve.

"The course suffers a lot from Basidiomycetes and we were looking for a product that would help fight this off at certain times of the year - this was when Jamie suggested the product. We do use an intensive wetting agent programme but we find that Vitalnova Stressbuster improves turf health and vigour, with the amino acid and carbohydrates helping to fight off unwanted stress and stimulating the good bacteria in the soil."

Chris applies Vitalnova Stressbuster at 25 L/ha on the fairways and 20 L/ha on the greens. Although Chris does not have firmly fixed dates in the calendar for applying the product, he uses it frequently throughout the year.

"We use it as and when we feel it is necessary and there are multiple applications throughout the year."

"The results we have seen have been very good and the main benefit has been boosting the health of the turf. The fescue responds well to applications and with the iron and wetting agent we do see a nice colour-up too. We don't get much top growth from it but it keeps the plant healthy during periods of stress - which is exactly what we want."

Commenting on Castle Stuart's use of Vitalnova Stressbuster, Jamie Lees said: "We sat down with Chris and discussed various products and ideas, and ultimately what he was looking to achieve on the golf course. We suggested Stressbuster, which is new to the Vitalnova range and the results have been really impressive. Stressbuster is a multi-component formulation that promotes plant health during periods of high stress and we're delighted that the product has been such a success at Castle Stuart."

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