Brokenhurst Manor Golf Club is recognised as one of the best in the beautiful New Forest area.The course consists of three loops of six holes in a mixture of woodland and heath with a stream featuring on nine of the holes. Wildlife is abundant with a magnificent herd of Red deer stags, shy Roe deer and successive generations of "White Buck" on the course. Bird life also abounds with a buzzard's nest in the central woodlands and egrets in the stream.
Kevan Glass, Course Manager since April 2009, has been at the club for 10 years over two spells and is supported by 6 people on his greenkeeping team. "We have a few holes with pine and heather," he says, "and a lot of holes with typical parkland trees which we are working to develop with a woodland management programme to get more light onto the course. We have a very heavy clay soil base which floods very easily in the winter and cracks up in the heat."
When Kevan re-joined the club they were getting a lot of complaints about the course and it seemed they had a number of issues to resolve! He took a long hard look at the products and the maintenance practices and decided there was room for improvement. For example they never used to apply wetting agents on the fairways so they didn't survive the dry spells.
Industry experts were called in and eventually a whole new approach was developed using Headland Amenity products. "It was a tough decision for me. I really needed to try new things to improve its' condition. I put all my trust in Headland - I could have stayed with the status quo, which would have been safe, but the results weren't giving us what we needed."
In return the committee put their total trust in Kevan and everything he tried turned out exactly how he said it would. Completely changing the nutrition and feeding programme with Headland products improved the course, and with a more competitive cost than before. Kevan again, "I got a lot of positive feedback on the course that first year but that is reducing now because the expectation level is much higher as the course has looked so good for the last few years.". However, he is a perfectionist and one to never take his foot off the gas believing there are always improvements that can be made and things to still learn and things to do differently.
For example, for the club's Pro Am in June he instructed his team to give the greens another cut in the afternoon of the day before. This, he feels, is the best type of cut because the clipping rate is better as there's no dew and the grass "just seems to cut better." He chose to avoid irrigation in case this caused problems with the bunkers, but applied TriCure AD wetting agent tablets and gave the greens a 'misting' via the hose-end applicator. This treatment, he says, doesn't take anything away from the firmness or the pace on the greens but gives just a little bit of stress release after the event, that the Pro Am causes. TriCure AD is used widely to counter problems with drying out of the indigenous clay soil.
Kevan has become pretty used to Headland products and support, just making a few small tweaks to his programmes each year and being a regular user of their WeatherCheck service.