GreenCast in UK and Ireland - PRIMO USE SPREADS
Course Manager, Andy Baker, frequently refers to the conditions at Ely City Golf Club as a 'grass factory'. That does provide the opportunity for him to create and maintain strong turf health and superb playing conditions, but it also poses serious management challenges to keep on top of the growth.
For the past eight years he has using Primo Maxx as part of the ongoing maintenance of the greens. "We have noticed a great improvement in the sward density as well as root depth. More importantly, the golfers have commented on the quality of the greens improving and the reduced difference in putting speed from morning to afternoon.
"Following that experience, we have also been treating the tees and approaches for the past four years - again with great results."
Last season Andy looked to further extend the use across the fairways (above). Initially the plan was to carry out a trial on three fairways- two that were very fast growing and one with finer grasses that had poorer sward density.
"We treated the three at a rate of 1.0 l/ha to assess the potential. But such was the reduction in growth and easing of the mowing regime that within two weeks we took the decision to spray all the fairways, which we continued to do for the rest of the season, to good effect," he reports.
Andy (below) adds that he used what is normally the fastest growing fairway as an indicator for the Primo Maxx application interval - aiming to keep the turf in regulation and avoid cyclical growth peaks.
Whilst a four-week interval had been planned, in practice last summer's conditions enabled that to be stretched to five weeks whilst maintaining the benefits. Fairway mowing has typically been reduced from three cuts a week to two, with the perimeter cut just once a week rather than three. Overall time saving has been around a third, now taking just five to six hours instead of eight.
"The primary objective was to save time and costs of fairway management," Andy says. "But as with Primo Maxx use on other areas of the course, we have also seen distinct improvement in turf density, plant health and rooting - which has been noticeable to us and the players.
"The fairways for the season were cross cut, where the lines have been more defined, and retained for longer than those fairways that hadn't had an application.
"Along with the improvement in course presentation, the extra hours available were used to carry out the tidy jobs that normally get left!"
Andy calculates that, overall, reductions in labour man hours, fuel useage and less wear and tear on machinery cutting servicing costs have added up to savings of around £2000 a year.
And in his next step in the evolution of Primo Maxx use, Andy plans to undertake his own further trials this season, looking to increase the dose rate on particularly shaded tees, to even up growth and improve sward density.