With changes in pesticide legislation having an ever-deepening effect on Sportsturf quality, the drive for turf managers to shift their nutritional and mechanical maintenance to a proactive approach has never been more important. Graham Wallace, Golf Course Manager at the Bank House Hotel's Bransford Golf Club, is doing just that and has recently invested in a Graden CSI from Charterhouse Turf Machinery to help them produce strong greens.
"The course has sand-based greens but, due to the poor quality of sand used during construction, are unfortunately susceptible to holding water" explains Graham, who is supported by a greenkeeping team of five. "With the upcoming changes in fungicide regulations it is becoming essential to keep the surfaces dry, and the plant healthy, as much as possible to prevent disease from taking hold." To help improve drainage, Graham has conducted in-house drill 'n' fill across the 18 greens for many years, followed by passes with the Graden CSI to keep channels open.
"We were lucky enough to borrow a CSI from another course, but last year this was not possible, and we noticed a real difference on how wet the greens were compared to previous years." Graham put a case to the owner and was successful in purchasing his own unit, from dealer Tallis Amos in February 2019. "Now we have our own machine, we can look to get out with the machine more frequently and can trial various depths and settings to achieve maximum impact with minimal surface disruption."
Graham is hoping to employ the CSI at least twice a year, working at depths of up to 40mm to simultaneously scarify and backfill the grooves with better quality sand. "I made the decision last year to not spray any fungicides, with mixed results. I was hugely thankful that the members and club management understood it could be a challenging time to keep surfaces first-rate. These last few months certainly haven't been easy however, by using our CSI in conjunction with overseeding and the correct fertiliser programme, we are in a great place to push ahead with our proactive approach and produce a strong plant in the on-going fight against disease."