Course Manager Mark Smith has seen considerable improvement to the fairways at Olton Golf Club using Johnsons Sports Seed Ji Tee.
The mature parkland course features plenty of contours, and its popularity with golfers in Solihull, West Midlands means that it gets a lot of wear.
"After the dry conditions in 2011, there were bare areas on the fairways. We decided to reseed in the spring of 2012, after a programme of Verti-Draining and scarification," Mark explains. After discussions with Phil Seedhouse at DLF Trifolium and Andrew Lane at distributor Countrywide, he viewed demonstration plots showing Johnsons Seeds advanced iSeed nutrient coating for turf grass seed. He decided to try Ji Tee, which is 75 per cent perennial ryegrass and 25 per cent strong creeping red fescue.
"I've used DLF's Masterline Fairway plus mixture in the past and been very pleased with the quality and establishment," he comments. "But I wanted to bring these fairways back quickly and get thicker growth and I believe that the nutrient coating gets the seeds off to a great start."
Mark works closely with Andrew Wood, Course Manager at nearby Robin Hood Golf Club and they decided to bulk order Ji Tee together to help cut costs.
Robin Hood's 18th hole
"The seed went on at Olton Golf Club with a dimple seeder in Mid-April and there was no interruption to play," comments Mark. "Seedlings were through on the first tee within ten days and the results have been excellent. Wear tolerance is excellent and the sward has modest water and nutrient requirements. I'm planning to use Ji Tee again this spring, but I'm coming from a better start point as there is so much more coverage and I will have to do a lot less."
Mark points out that with tight budgets, it is even more important to use proven seed, that you know will get results. "We've just ordered J Velvet to use on the greens after Verticutting, which I haven't tried before but the performance of the Ji Tee gives me confidence," he says. "We'll also use a Masterline mixture on the tees, which get hard wear all year round."
At Robin Hood Golf Club, Ji Tee began a programme of fairways improvement for Course Manager Andrew Wood last year, and he was so impressed with the results that he has doubled his order for this year. "We hired in a Charterhouse disc seeder, and the combination of the fertiliser coating, drill seeding rather than just broadcasting and favourable weather has given really good results," Andrew explains.
The club has seen a substantial increase in the golf played over the past two years and this, coupled with the dry weather in 2011, prompted the decision to improve the fairways. "We have been very impressed and have received highly favourable comments from the membership. The sward is thicker and healthier giving great coverage on the fairways. We are pleased to be using J Rye Fairway this year on both fairways and approaches on the back of using Ji Tee last year."
Andrew also plans to use J Velvet on the greens and Ji Pitch on semi-roughs this season. He adds, "We have spent the last 4 years improving the drainage quality of the older clay push up greens and after already seeing good results from using J Velvet on all the USGA spec greens in the past, we should see further improvement. By using J Velvet for the first time on all the greens at Robin Hood this year, we should see an overall improvement of green performance and a helping hand to compete against the poa annua."
"We have placed quite a big order on the strength of how well Ji Tee performed!" he says.