A 30 year old Surrey golf club has enjoyed its first fusariam free winter following radical action by the Head Greenkeeper.
Mark Pennells, of The Drift Golf Club at East Horsley, just off the M25 took the decision to apply over 6,000 kg of lightweight, porous, calcinated soil amendment into his 20 greens in September, and hasn't seen a sign of disease since.
"When I took over as Course Manager three years ago we were getting fusarium on the greens at least six times through the winter," he recalls. "We leaned them out, changing the fertiliser programmes to reduce the nitrogen levels, but the problem was that in winter they retained moisture and were slow to dry. This is an 18-hole woodland course (plus one practise and one chipping green), and the greens are of a traditional construction."
Having worked with Headland's James Watson for many years, Mark decided to use the company's Axis granules as a means of increasing percolation rates.
"We verti-drained eight inches down at four inch centres with ¾ tines, backfilled with Axis using rakes and blew the product down the holes with a hover mower," he explains. Mark and his team then over seeded and top dressed.
"The recovery was just eight days with no holes and no scarring," he continues. "Axis encourages the growth of new grass roots down into the root zone."
Once the recovery was complete Mark and his general manager Rob Gumbrell saw a drastic difference in the drainage and the members' and visitors' comments were very complimentary. "I was regularly approached by golfers to find out how we had made such a dramatic change in the speed and receptiveness of the greens," mark recalls. "Touch wood we've had no disease since the Axis went down and our intention is to do the whole lot again next year and some of the tees as well."
For further information contact Headland Amenity on Tel: 01223 597834 or visit their website at: www.headlandamenity.com