Slow greens that tended to turn yellow in the winter are now a thing of the past at Hayston Golf Club thanks to the efforts of head green keeper Tam Currie!
Situated close to the town of Kirkintilloch in Scotland, the club has invested in an intensive programme of overseeding the greens three times a year for the last three years and is now reaping the benefits.
When members started to complain about the greens, Tam Currie called in Kevin Brunton director of BAR Range distributor Greentech (Sportsturf) Ltd for advice.
"It was clear there was a problem with Poa annua which was slowing down the greens and also turning them yellow in the winter," said Kevin.
After a thorough inspection, Kevin suggested an overseeding programme using Barenbrug's 100 per cent browntop bentgrass mixture BAR ALL BENT.
"We started to reseed and were impressed with how quickly the seed germinated, in just eight days," said Tam. "We thought it may take up to ten years to get where we wanted to be but now after just three years we are already seeing a very noticeable improvement, which the members are talking about too.
"In particular the fourth green tended to go a bright yellow in winter, because of the Poa annua, but now it and the other 17 keep their colour throughout the year. We have not had to verticut the greens since using BAR ALL BENT as the cultivars are very fine leafed and benefit from having a far better root structure. In addition we have been able to drastically reduce the amount of fungicide used."
BAR ALL BENT is made up of 50 per cent BarKing and 50 per cent Heriot, both browntop bentgrasses from the Barenbrug breeding programmes. BarKing has superior wear tolerance and winter performance while Heriot is extremely fine leafed for the species and gives excellent summer performance.
Said Dr David Greenshields, Barenbrug's Research & Development Manager, "BAR ALL BENT is a great blend, and it is rewarding to get feedback like this from Tam.
"These types of results are very achievable if a club invests in a prolonged overseeding programme and sticks to it. With multiple seedings over a few years, bentgrass will establish in a Poa sward, and the resulting blend will offer a better year-round surface with far better disease tolerance.
"BarKing is a special variety, bred in Europe, which offers fantastic winter colour and performance. I would urge other greenkeepers to look at their cultivar choices and assess whether they are truly addressing their needs."
Added Kevin Brunton, "Tam has been a very loyal customer and we are all delighted with the results he has achieved at Hayston. He has made a real difference that is clear for anybody to see and his members now have the opportunity to enjoy good greens all year round."