Those of us who were around in the '60's and '70's will have vivid memories of watching soccer matches played on pitches resembling a sea of mud.
Renovation and maintenance on soccer fields was minimal and the methods adopted were generally an adaptation of what was done on the local golf course.
Much of the machinery used was begged or borrowed from the greenkeepers sheds, as most clubs could not afford much of their own equipment.
30 years on, and the worm has turned! With the influx of TV money, and Premier League soccer going out to a global audience, the professional soccer grounds of the UK are the envy of the world. Our pitches are maintained to highest standards and presentation is paramount.
There have been massive developments in a number of key areas, like under-soil heating, irrigation, grow-lights, specialist grass species, and a significant improvement in the training and professionalism of the groundsmen.
This has gone hand in hand with improvements in machinery and the actual methods of renovation carried out. Ironically, several of these have now started to find their way back on to the golf courses, both in the UK and around the world.
The Koro Field Topmaker was first used on soccer fields in the UK almost 15 years ago, and the practice of fraise mowing perfected as a means of renovation. Poa Annua could at last be controlled and eliminated from the pitch. Every season started with effectively a new pitch with a true level surface, free from thatch.
Further developments by Campey's and Imants has led to the introduction of specialist rotors which have proved excellent in managing thatch in warm-season grasses, both on pitches and fairways.
Many head greenkeepers are now looking to include the Field Topmaker as a part of their regular renovation programme. If you have a problem, get rid of it!
The Koro Recycling Dresser is another machine developed for pitch renovation attracting much interest from golf courses. Recycle-dressing is a means of de-compacting the ground by removing material in a linear action, and spreading that same material behind it as a top-dressing.
If the root-zone ma terial is of good quality, this can offer a great saving by avoiding having to purchase and apply bought-in top-dressing. It also reduces the time spent out on the course, by performing two tasks in one pass.
Obvious savings in materials cost, labour, fuel and minimal interruption to play are certainly features of the new `revolution in renovation' which are proving attractive to many golf course managers and greenkeepers today.
Please take a look at our website www.campeyturfcare.com for more information on our products and for methods of application.