A club with a mission has invested in both a Wiedenmann Super 500 and a Terra Rake 2.3m. Nairn Dunbar Golf Links has put in place a rough management programme with these two machines central to its success.
Richard Johnstone, Course Manager at the Highland club which lies on the headland just 20 minutes from Inverness airport, has a 2-3 year plan that will significantly thin the rough and give the course more definition, while noticeably speeding up play for members.
"We are deploying the usual cultural practises such as mowing and removal of grass. The grass canopy needs deep scarification to reduce its density and allow the natural regeneration of Fescues by reducing the competition from coarser pasture grasses. We will over-seed with Fescues to encourage re-establishment. In time the rough will be thinned out and the finer Fescues will thrive so we are left with some long, open and wispy rough."
The Super 500 met Richard's brief because it completes three essential processes in one operation, flail mowing, scarifying and collecting the arisings. The Terra Rake 2.3m with its aggressive spring tines is its perfect partner, loosening and removing debris from the bottom of the canopy in advance, while a champion scarifier in its own right.
"They are fantastic additions and making a grand job already," said Richard. "We have the Terra Rake out working on lengths of semi-rough down both sides of every fairway. At speed it really takes the debris or juicier grasses right away. With the Super 500 we've been using it to cut the rough back; then flail mow and scarify. After that we've gone in behind again with the Terra Rake pulling out more of the leftover material and then the Super 500 collects and tidies. Both machines will be busy right through the winter and into spring."
The team of five at Nairn Dunbar are no strangers to the Wiedenmann brand having owned a Wiedenmann Terra Spike XP aerator for 15 years which is still going strong, reaffirming the decision for the new machines.
Richard was appointed Course Manager in April 2016 and has completed a considerable list of greenkeeping qualifications since joining the club straight from school in 2000. His hard work and determination to succeed within the industry is evident and he is enthusiastic about his new role and the potential of the Links going forward.
"There are lots of positive initiatives in place and we've prioritised more emphasis on sustainability. We've cut back on fertiliser and water applications in favour of bringing in sand to firm up the surfaces. The rough management programme will re-establish the links characteristics of the course, restoring it to its natural state," he said.
Throughout the year Wiedenmann UK's Scottish dealer, Fairways GM has been close at hand providing ongoing support and service, led by John Morton, Area Manager (North).