Clacton-on-Sea Golf Club, in Essex, has seen a dramatic improvement in the quality of its course and made big financial savings after entering into a new type of partnership agreement with Scotts and distributor Collier Turf Care.
The agreement, which Scotts calls a 'Total Solution Provider' package, is designed to provide the club with the most comprehensive turfcare service possible by using the extensive technical expertise of both Scotts and Colliers. This comprises a high level of professional advice, regular site visits, and guaranteed product supply. In return Clacton is committed to using Scotts products, where a suitable one exists, and sourcing a wide range of turfcare products through Colliers.
Course manager Alan Smith explains: "Eighteen months ago we decided to commit to the partnership because we wanted to secure the best, most reliable long-term technical and sales service and we knew we would receive it from Scotts and Colliers. We have worked closely with both companies in the past, but with this new arrangement we are getting an enhanced service which makes better financial sense.
"The results speak for themselves - the course has never looked better. This is down to excellent advice and using some key Scotts products. The members used to comment that the greens were slow in the afternoon, but we've been using turf growth regulator Primo MAXX, which has really thickened up the sward, but slowed growth enough to keep the greens fast all day. We're also using Scotts Sierrablen fertilizers on the fairways and they look beautifully green as a result. All round the quality of product is superb and the difference to the course is clear to see.
"Sourcing all our products from Colliers has enabled us to make big financial savings as well, because as our sole supplier they give us very attractive pricing. We have also been able to reduce our stock on site because we source a smaller, more targeted range of products from Colliers and their delivery is so reliable."
Under the agreement, the club receives a minimum of four site visits each year from Scotts area sales manager Michael Fance, who is both BASIS and FACTS qualified. During these occasions a complete course walk is carried out, after which Michael produces an interim advisory report.
"The site visits are vital, as they enable us to discuss any issues or problems and tackle them immediately," says Alan. "Clacton's management finds the walks very useful, and the green committee, secretary, and the deputy head greenkeeper usually attend. The course walk in March was open to all members of the club and at least 40 attended, which was a fantastic turnout."
Scotts Michael Fance comments: "Our aim with this type of partnership is to provide a service which combines value for money with professional advice, and so help clubs like Clacton achieve real improvements on all areas of their course. We are delighted that the arrangement has been so positive for all concerned and we hope it will continue into the future. We are very keen to pursue similar partnerships with other golf clubs and our distributor network, because we believe it is the best way to guarantee a consistent and professional service."
Collier Turf Care's area technical sales representative Mark Clements is committed to visiting the club every six weeks to provide a regular technical and sales support service. "Alan has been a valued customer of Colliers for many years." he says. "This partnership has enabled us to consolidate our relationship and provide an even more hands-on service to meet his turfcare needs. As well as being a Scotts distributor we supply a wide range of other turf maintenance products. This, combined with our extensive warehouse and regular delivery service to Essex, means we are well placed to service Clacton."
Photo caption: Pictured, left to right, are: Mark Clements, Collier Turf Care (standing);
Michael Fance, Scotts; and Alan Smith, Clacton-on-Sea Golf Club.