Terry Wharton, Head Greenkeeper of Haydock Park Golf Club describes his job as "varied but challenging at times, especially when dealing with problems the weather brings." But he has been achieving some fantastic results in managing the greens and getting them to contain the right species to deal with rainfall and the fluctuating temperatures. The project has been helped along by Johnsons Sports Seed.
Haydock was founded in 1877 and is the third oldest in Lancashire offering 18 tree lined parkland holes. Over the years Terry has been overseeing the club he has seen some big changes in the industry - machinery options; learning opportunities, but none more so than the expectations of presentation and playability of courses.
"People watch golf on TV and don't realise the staffing levels and budgets they've got to play with," he said. "It's pushing us to always strive for better, so around 15 years ago, through research and STRI trial results, we started using Johnsons products. They're constantly researching, developing and improving the seed which fits with what we're trying to achieve here at Haydock."
Terry and his deputy David Traynor went to the STRI to look at the Johnsons trial plots, where the cultivars and how they're performing was explained. "At the time we were also using the ProMaster 40 mix from DLF on our tees and to witness the performance of the seed under the STRI trials was fascinating," explained Terry. "In 2015, we stripped a complete tee and instead of turfing it like we usually would, we used PM40 on the back of that day at Bingley and it has delivered great results."
In recent years, they've switched over to Johnsons J All Bent on the greens to help reduce Poa annua invasion. Last year, within 10 days of sowing the J All Bent they had great germination. Going over to all bents was a great move with the composition of the desirable bent grass increasing on the greens.
Final word from Terry, "We're now getting great comments from the players as well as our STRI agronomist Alistair Beggs. It's thanks to knowledge and advice which, combined with good products, gives us the best fighting chance of delivering great surfaces."
Pitchcare are an appointed distributor of DLF/Johnsons seeds. Visit the Pitchcare Store to view the full range