Andy Garland, Course Manager at Hertfordshire's Centurion Club, is working on improving course-wide surface drainage with a little help from his new Verti-Drain 7521. Focussing on the fairways, his latest bit of kit from Charterhouse Turf Machinery, will be fundamental as club preparations ramp up to host the 2020 UL International Crown event.
Andy Garland (right) together with David Fisher of George Browns Ltd
Televised to millions, 2020 will be the fourth edition of the Women's Professional tournament and the first time it will be hosted in the UK. Andy and his greens team of 12 are already well into preparations to ensure the course is fit for a worldwide audience. "When it comes to aeration, we have a small machine for use on the greens, but we had been hiring in a unit for work on the fairways" he explains. "The trouble with that was, the effectiveness of the work conducted was very much at the mercy of the weather and the resulting ground conditions on that day."
With previous experience of Verti-Drains, Andy spoke with his local dealer Browns and had a demonstration of the 7521 model. "You know what you're going to get with a Verti-Drain - the ability to use different tines to work at good depths and build quality that can handle compacted soils." Having taken delivery of his new machine complete with different head options in August, the 7521 has been busy on the fairways, together with some deep aeration work on the greens.
"We equipped the Verti-Drain with 1" tines and aerated all of the fairways which instantly improved surface drainage. Water dispersal has been so much better which is crucial as we head towards the winter period. We hope to get one more round done on all 18 holes before the tractor gets put onto renovation projects over the winter. This should help us emerge in spring ready for full tournament preparation." Andy concludes, "By having our own Verti-Drain we can be flexible around the weather conditions and the maintenance schedule to maximise its effectiveness. It will be a key tool as we get ready for our big event next summer."