MSc Scholarships available at Cranfield with BIGGA

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New Research to Alleviate Dry Patch

The British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) are pleased to announce that they have recently awarded four Cranfield Centre for Sports Surfaces MSc students Higher Education Scholarships funded by Textron. These scholarships will be available for the next academic year and potential students should speak to Ken Richardson at BIGGA for more information. This will assist in providing greater research for golf.

Currently research work is being carried out by Cranfield Centre for Sports Surfaces (CCSS) into the wide spread problem of dry patch on golf fairways and its associated problems at John O Gaunt Golf Club in Bedfordshire. It aims to eliminate or restrict the loss of grass cover during dry periods in the summer to give a healthy even cover of grass and improve playing conditions.

The project due to be completed in August 2004 is being undertaken by Colin Robinson, a Sports Surface Technology MSc student under supervision from CCSS staff.

Colin reported 'During recent summer's a large area of grass cover have been lost to dry patch. This is more than normal drying of the soil and it is caused by the fungi of the fairy ring. I am looking into ways of eliminating or restricting the problem as it is affecting playing conditions on the fairway. To start alleviating the problem the area has been over sown with drought resistance grasses, Ryegrass and smooth stalk meadow grass. In addition to see the effect on the dry patch during the winter a wetting agent has been applied to break down water tension and help moisture re-wet the dry areas.'

Different soil mixtures of sand/soil/organic matter will be trialled to test their moisture holding capacity and their effect on dry patch development along with the use of fungicides. Normal routine maintenance will be studied like aeration, compaction, irrigation and removal of grass cuttings to see if this also affects dry patch development.

The MSc in Sports Surface Technology which is entering its third year is now recruiting part-time or full-time students for an October 2003 start date.

For further information please contact Inga Wells, Marketing Manager, NSRI, Cranfield University at Silsoe on 01525 863321 or email on

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