A Course Manager at a Nottinghamshire Club has selected a Scotts iTurf programme for his greens over competitors' because the recommendations are backed up by independent research data.
Grant Lee, Course Manager at Norwood Park Golf Club, is in his second season at the Nottinghamshire club. After spending his first season getting to grips with his new parkland courses, he began the second intent on implementing a programme to improve the consistency of the greens on the 18-hole Norwood Course.
After sitting down to discuss the health of his courses with Scotts' Technical Advisor Simon Hardcastle, he was introduced to the company's new iTurf software programme. He was impressed with the company's professionalism, the presentation of the easy to use programme and the availability of independent research data to back up Simon's recommendations.
Scotts' Turf & Amenity team, using specially developed iTurf software, can provide a tailored, site-specific programme for the year that seeks to eliminate turf problems by taking appropriate early action. Implementing it requires turf professionals to draw on all methods available to them - cultural, biological and chemical.
Scotts' International Technical Manager, Stuart Staples explained: "Our objective was to make it as easy as possible for groundsmen to implement ITM based on research data rather than ideas and theory, so we instigated a series of trials at the STRI several years ago. Our iTurf system is based on that research data and we're adding to it continually. The integrated turf management approach is all about our company philosophy of using the best products in the most efficient and responsible way."
Grant's objective was to achieve greater consistency from his greens. "With the previous products we were using, we saw an initial flush of growth which petered out over time. Our greens are 80/20 sand soil and any nutrients we applied leached heavily. We wanted even growth and colour throughout the season and through our new programme, we've achieved that."
It includes applications of Sierraform GT, Scotts' slow-release fine turf fertilizer at a medium rate of 25 g/m² approximately every two months. This is followed by a tank mix of Greemaster Blade liquid fertilizer at 25 litres per hectare and H2Pro wetting agent at 10 litres per hectare.
"We're flexible with the timing of the applications according to the condition of the greens and weather conditions", Grant added. "We also carry out a lot of aeration - hollow tining in the spring, monthly solid tining in the summer and half inch solid tining in the winter."
"I'm delighted with the results so far. My aim is to implement iTurf programmes for the tees and surrounds next year as part of a process of continual assessment and improvement."
Stuart Staples explained the longer-term benefits of ITM: "Building an ITM programme in any environment will make turf more tolerant to stresses and will build the health of turf for future years. By proper analysis of your situation you can choose products that will be justified in use - like wetting agents. Applying products at the right time and in the right way will ensure you are meeting all the requirements for a proper ITM programme - including maintenance routines."
Scotts is championing integrated turf management through iTurf in order to provide turf managers with an easy way of meeting their environmental responsibilities and comply with increasing rules and regulations regarding chemical application. The software and downloadable problem-solving solution sheets give turf managers a new weapon in keeping turf healthy and helps them provide long-term sustainable management, with sound evidence to back it up.
ITM - factors to consider
· Product choice - quality and delivery
· Timing - conditions
· Application - training and calibration
· Soil analysis - fact rather than guesswork
· Record keeping - accurate and up to date
· Setting thresholds - agree acceptable turf quality
To find out more about iTurf, visit www.scottsprofessional.co.uk and click on the banner on the home page.
Image 1: Grant Lee, Course Manager at Norwood Park Golf Club in Nottinghamshire.
Image 2: The picturesque 7th green on the 18-hole Norwood Course at Norwood Park Golf Club.