0 Primo Maxx proves cost-effective solution

bexleyheath Scotts' revolutionary turf growth regulator Primo MAXX has been hailed by many greenkeepers as one of the most effective turf management tools they have ever used. Many of the country's high profile golf clubs, such as Royal Ascot, have seen huge improvements with the product. But smaller clubs with relatively tight budgets are also benefiting from Primo MAXX and finding it a cost-effective solution.

One such club is Bexleyheath Golf Club, a nine-hole course in Kent. Head greenkeeper Mike Ewer used Primo MAXX throughout 2006 on greens and tees and not only saw significant improvements in turf quality, but also saved the club precious time and money.

Mike applied Primo MAXX to greens and tees in early April in conjunction with a combination of Scotts liquid and granular fertilizers and the results have been impressive. "Primo MAXX has extended the longevity of applied fertilizers and minimised nutrient loss through a clipping yield reduction of 50 per cent," he said. "Fertilizers have lasted an average of 5-6 weeks with no growth surges, either immediately after application or during the main part of the growing season.

"We've also seen better drought and stress resistance due to improved root growth and the development of a smaller more compact grass leaf. This minimises evapo transpiration water loss through the leaf stomata. Irrigation requirements have reduced by approximately 40 per cent overall during the summer and autumn period. The savings we've made on buying expensive metered water actually paid for Primo MAXX last year!"

Perennial ryegrass is an ongoing problem for Mike on his greens. But a combination of Verticutting, overseeding and monthly applications of Primo MAXX has very successfully helped to increase bent grass population of the sward, thickening up the turf surface and crowding out the perennial ryegrass species.

Overseeding the greens also proved very successful in 2006 using a pure bent seed mixture applied after aeration and Verticutting. Primo MAXX was applied before overseeding to reduce competition from indigenous grass species. "The germination take and subsequent establishment of the bent grass was much improved compared with previous years," said Mike.

Some of the tees at Bexleyheath are surrounded by trees and suffer from excess shade. Again, the use of Primo MAXX provided the solution to this problem by preventing the straggly growth typical of grass growing under shady conditions, helping to develop a more dense compact sward.

Using Primo MAXX has also enabled the club to use its limited staff numbers more productively and save valuable time. "We only have two full-time and one part-time greenkeeper here, so any product that can save time is a huge asset to the club," explained Mike. "For example, compared with previous years, applying Primo MAXX even at the relatively low rate of 400ml/hectare has saved one hour per day on cutting tees which are always hand mown. Tees needed cutting three times per week, but this has been reduced to twice a week because of the lower clipping yield. Overall, using Primo MAXX has given us more time to carry out other course maintenance operations."

So will Mike continue to use Primo MAXX? "The product is an essential management tool," he said. "It's enabled us to achieve so much with quite a small budget and playing members commented that the greens have never been better, despite the difficult growing season. I would recommend it to everyone in turf maintenance."

Photo caption: Bexleyheath Golf Club has seen significant improvements on the course after using Scotts' turf growth regulator Primo MAXX.
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