Twenty-one turf professionals from across the UK and Ireland have completed the 2020 Future Turf Managers Initiative (FTMI) at Jacobsen’s Ipswich headquarters.
The intensive three-day event is focused on providing future turf managers with the skills and confidence to manage people and progress their careers, with 33% of candidates moving on to managerial positions over the seven years the initiative has been running.
In association with BIGGA, the course uses professional trainers and mentors to provide the practical tools and guidance needed, including communicating a professional image, conflict resolution and building budgets.
Mentors for this year’s initiative were Craig Haldane, Andrew Laing, Steve Lloyd and James Bledge. In 2017, James became the first candidate to return as a mentor and, having experienced the initiative from both sides, views the FTMI as a unique opportunity to learn vital management skills.
“There are so many brilliant volunteering programmes, but the FTMI is different because it is proper management learning,” he explained. “It’s intense as well, it’s seven o’clock in the morning to ten at night, it’s non-stop, and it does subject you to proper hard work and proper hard learning in a classroom environment.
“When you go from being a deputy or greenkeeper to course manager, managing people is your biggest shock. The agronomy side of it is twenty percent, and the management is eighty. If you’re making that transition, then it’s a big bump down to earth because there are so many banana skins out there and managing people is difficult.
“Everything you get taught is beneficial, there’s no grey areas or bad parts of it, you’ve got to be engaged the whole time and not miss anything because it’s all important. There’s nothing that’s more important than anything else because you’ll deal with every single part of it.”
Because the initiative covers a range of topics, it allows individual candidates to take different things from it. Zoe Lee-Amies, greenkeeper at Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club, applied to the course to increase her confidence and has already benefited from what she has learnt.
“The reason I applied to come to the FTMI as a majority of people on the course have expressed is confidence – confidence to talk in front of people. It’s already helped give me the tools to cope with it. I find myself needing cue cards, so now I know that where ever I go and whatever I do I can have that, that’s how I can outline bits and pieces. The coping mechanisms like squeezing the ball, pressing your hand on the table or holding my cue card really hard – those are great learning tips, and I’ve got a lot out of it so far.
“But, predominantly for myself, it was conflict resolution, and how to talk to people, how to get information out of them and out of myself. To be able to meet in the middle like we’ve been discussing and it’s only when you’re here that you start to reflect on yourself and others. You realise that it’s a learning opportunity of yourself, it’s a mirror for yourself and I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Gemma St John, first assistant at Brokenhurst Manor Golf Club, also values the self-reflection the course offers, but like Zoe, has found the communication side invaluable for old fashioned attitudes she unfortunately still has to face as a female greenkeeper.
Gemma explained: “I applied mostly for confidence to try and deal with the older generation. I did a talk at the BCA College in front of greenkeepers from the ages of 16-19 and the question they asked me was ‘why do you find it hard in greenkeeping? You’re just a greenkeeper.’ And I explained that they’ve learnt in this day and age that we’re all equal, but what you’ve got to remember is 40 years ago we weren’t. So, talking to you guys was lovely, but I’ve now got to go and talk to members who think ‘how can you lift that, how can you use a chain saw, you can’t do what he can do.’
“With the FTMI, hopefully, my conversations with them will be more positive and not have that shaky voice where I do feel a bit intimidated by them. Now I know how to process the questions they’ve asked me and answer them in a more confident way by using the strategies that we’ve learnt here.”
Providing candidates with skills they can use immediately is an essential part of what is on offer over the three days, and Jack Percival, deputy course manager at Chipstead Golf Club, already has plans on sharing what he’s learnt to benefit his team.
“I’ve applied for the FTMI three years running and didn’t get it, so I wanted to take full advantage of it and take as much information as I can from the mentors and use it with my team.
“I’ve already thought of ways that I can go back and use what I’ve learnt. Because I’m quite confident and good at presentations, I’m already thinking of how I can help the team back at work and get them to channel their energy and help them with their presentation skills. We’ve got a few guys on our team who are fantastic guys, but they’re a bit shy, and I want to help them come out of their shell using what I’ve learnt.”
21 Greenkeeper Associations made the journey to Galway during the week-long FEGGA Conference. This FEGGA meeting also saw FEGGA host in partnership with the GCSAI the biannual meeting of the International Summit.
The International Summit began with the theme of “On Going Collaboration” which was a common thread throughout the four days of everyone being together and continuing with the themes that were highlighted during the last Summit held in San Antonio in 2017. The themes being Professional Development/Education – Membership Growth and retention – and Promoting the Profession, all subjects that were clearly highlighted in the numerous surveys that were carried out in the build-up to the International Summit and Conference.
FEGGA’s ambition for the Summit was to not just continue the themes for San Antonio but develop ways of achieving outcomes that find solutions through further ongoing collaboration. The group work really engaged associations, and for sure they all will have gone home with initiatives to help them, but we also all agreed to two firm initiatives that we will all collectively engage in for the betterment of our associations, profession and the game of golf. These will include an awareness day in May, where we will globally hold a “Thank a Greenkeeper Day”. The second of the initiatives was to look at developing a communication tool to allow all associations across the world to better communicate and share information through a platform to ensure future collaboration – So now the work begins in achieving these two agreed initiatives!
The second day saw our Summit take on Session two, with all our Patrons, and Partners joining us for the remainder of the Conference. In all we were 50 organisations as we started the day with the Environmental Session – Move Forward with Nature and the Commitment to Responsible Golf Course Management, led by FEGGA Board member Koert Donkers. The Session focused on sustainable greenkeeping, focusing on grass species, fertilisers and water, and then dived into a focus on the challenges and initiatives in Ireland. It really did show how the turf industry is really committed to dealing with the challenges ahead. It really did prompt some good discussion of the realities that lie ahead.
The final part of this Session saw Koert Donkers deliver a great presentation on the global perspective looking at biodiversity and conclusions from the Environmental survey carried out by FEGGA. Its worth mentioning that this lengthy survey was completed by 21 Greenkeeper Associations, and really did delve into all aspects of Sustainable Environmental Management of our Golf Courses. Koert did an excellent job in communicating the conclusions of the survey, and the reality of the challenges are, what we are positively doing and the general opinion of how countries engage in the importance of golf responsibly to the environment. You will be able to view this presentation via the FEGGA website.
The final day saw FEGGA run three sessions that are being currently engaged in as on-going initiatives, GolfCourse 2030, Pioneering Research and Women in Golf. Steve Isaac presented a very great update of the development of The R&A’s GolfCourse 2030, which was than followed up with a Session on the combined FEGGA and R&A initiative Pioneering Research. Martin Nilsson of the FEGGA board led this Session, which focused on the Turfgrass challenges on European Golf Courses and using Nordic Countries as a role model for coordinated research among Countries. Martins excellent introduction was supported by a presentation given by Karin Juul Hesselsoe of Nibio University focusing on all aspects of the challenges and research in central and southern Europe. Supporting presentations were also delivered by Luis Fialho of Portugal and Andreas Leutgeb of Austria, both making the case for further research essential in meeting the future challenges highlighted within the work of GolfCourse 2030.
We were so pleased to be able to welcome Graeme Beatt, Superintendent at Royal Portrush. Graeme delivered a great insight of the journey that finally led to them hosting the Open Championships during 2019.
The final Session of the day was the Women In Golf Session, and many said that this was the most inspiring Session of the Conference, and it’s difficult to disagree. All four ladies delivered what was four inspiring presentations, both Jackie Davidson (R&A) and Ann Mc Cormack (Confederation of Golf in Ireland) delivering their thoughts about women in Golf and also speaking about their own careers and challenges within their specific roles. Marion Klopp and Siobhain Cusack, both greenkeepers from Adare Manor Golf Club then delivered two outstanding Presentations about their personal careers to date, and you can be sure we are all going to hear more from these two people in the future. The Session was led by our FEGGA board member Emmi Pietarila, current Course Manager working in Finland.
It was a very special moment seeing all five ladies on the stage answering questions and discussing the industry as they see it, not just as Ladies but as inspiring people working in our industry. It really was a positive way to draw to a close a Conference and International Summit that delivered on its theme of Ongoing Collaboration.
FEGGA wants to thank all the Associations, Patrons and Partners who supported this event and ensured we achieved many of our goals.
Finally, to a big thank you to our main sponsors, John Deere, Toro, and the R&A. Your support is truly appreciated by FEGGA and acknowledged by all.
We look forward to seeing you all in Germany 23-26 February 2021.
Do you want a career in Golf Course Management?
Careers in Golf Course Management have become increasingly popular and as a result more education courses have become available which will enhance the individuals. The challenge is finding suitable practical Greenkeeping work experience to complement this formal education.
FEGGA in association with Kristianstads Golf Club in Sweden have put together what we believe is the perfect opportunity for a greenkeeper to gain practical experience along with a well structured lecture programme that will have a long-term benefit to any Greenkeeper at the end of the course.
Based in the idyllic and historic seaside village of Åhus, Kristianstads Golf Club is one of Sweden and Europe’s best golf complexes. Major investment has taken place since the course was bought out several years ago. A total renovation of its East Course was completed in 2017, a ‘state of the art’ new Maintenance facility was opened in 2019, and resort houses and sports centre opens 2020. Plans for the coming two years are to firstly host the Creekhouse Ladies Open, on the Ladies European Tour (September 2020), build a new Clubhouse facility, and to redesign or second course, the West Course.
Kristianstads Golf Club is the 5th oldest club in Sweden, first founded in 1924. The Club prides itself on quality and service and strives to produce the best playing surfaces for its members, guests and tournaments. If your CV is lacking in Tournament preparation, this may just be the course you cannot miss.
To download the brochure with further details please click the link FEGGA Scholarship Brochure
Through utilising our distinctive ‘4-Flag’, and by encouraging clubs and event organisers to fly this flag on the 4th hole of their golf courses on special occasions, we can create a powerful and far-reaching awareness platform, while at the same time be a catalyst for fundraising opportunities within the golf community.
Each year John Deere, in association with the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of Ireland, sends seven association members to Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida to join the agronomy team on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass for the duration of The Players Championship – the unofficial fifth men’s Major tournament.
It’s an incredible experience, where the volunteers get completely immersed in the hosting of the PGA Tour’s flagship event with flights, accommodation and other costs all thrown in. Representing the British and Irish associations, the successful seven selected to join the John Deere TPC Sawgrass Volunteer Programme in March 2020, working alongside the home greenkeeping team as part of the volunteer course maintenance force of over 90, are:
South East: Ben Hunter, deputy course manager, The Richmond
South West & South Wales: Mark Tucker, head greenkeeper, Neath
Central England: Alex Brougham, deputy head greenkeeper, Trentham Park
Northern: Peter Lewis, greenkeeper, Royal Liverpool
Scotland: Eddie Irvine, deputy head greenkeeper, Trump International Aberdeen
International: Yannick Weber, assistant superintendent, Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand
Ireland: Dean O’Connell, greenkeeper, Grange Golf Club
Previous successful applicants of the scheme have described the experience as life changing and overwhelming. One of BIGGA’s 2019 delegates, Welshpool Golf Club course manager Jon Gamble, said: “TPC Sawgrass is an amazing venue and is out of this world. The presentation of the whole site is fabulous, from the condition of the course to the flowers and grandstands that sit very high on 17.
“They really do gear the tournament up so that everyone who goes has an awesome time, from a spectator point of view. Going to Sawgrass has made me want to go back every year now, just to get that buzz from what you experience. I would encourage and push anybody that wants to go there, to do so.”
This year’s tournament dates are March 12-15, 2020; the John Deere sponsored group flies out to the US on Friday March 6 and returns on Tuesday March 17.
After a successful launch in 2019, John Deere’s 2700 and 2750 PrecisionCut and E-Cut hybrid electric triplex mowers have been honoured as a 2020 AE50 Award winner by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE).
Each year the AE50 awards highlight the industry’s most innovative designs in product engineering, as chosen by a panel of international engineering experts. The development of these new John Deere cylinder mowers was based on customer needs and challenges – most importantly, the struggle to find quality labour and tight operating budgets.
With this in mind, the mowers are equipped with the proven, advanced TechControl system, which is passcode protected and allows course managers, technicians and other trusted supervisors to input commands that control nearly everything regarding the operator’s performance. This includes frequency of clip, turn speed, clean-up pass speed and how fast the cutting units raise and lower.
The engines on all models are electronically controlled and include an Eco mode that automatically reduces engine speed when mowing, saving up to 30 per cent in fuel and reducing sound levels by up to 3dB(A). The lightweight, open platform design, with a low centre of gravity, ensures excellent stability and traction performance. The mowers offer a 62in (157cm) mowing width and speeds of up to 6mph (9.7kph) for increased productivity.
“Our customers are battling a variety of challenges, from labour to budgets. The 2700 and 2750 triplex mowers have been designed to directly tackle these concerns and take the stress out of mowing,” says John Deere Golf product manager Brad Aldridge. “From the innovative TechControl system to the open platform design and excellent cut quality, these machines deliver a precise, uniform cut, regardless of who’s driving – now every operator can be your best operator.”
ASABE is an international scientific and educational organisation dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to agricultural, food and biological systems. Each year the Society announces and presents the AE50 awards at the ASABE Agricultural Equipment Technology Conference held in Louisville, Kentucky in February.
Jacobsen has started a new era of end-user focused products with the launch of the AR530 rough mower.
The AR range has been redesigned from the ground up with the focus on re-establishing Jacobsen’s commitment to engineering best in class mowers with their famous quality of cut.
To achieve this, customers and dealers participated in one of the largest ever research programmes commissioned at Jacobsen to establish the everyday challenges greenkeepers and groundsmen face. The results focused on features, quality and durability. These were crucial elements in the design process for Jacobsen Product Manager, Lee Frie.
Lee explained: “We had a machine that did well in the market, and we learnt a lot in seven years, so this was really a ground-up redesign of a good machine that we wanted to make better.
“We wanted to improve the experience of cutting with the AR and the results you get from it, and I think operators are going to find quite a bit different about this machine. We’ve improved the cut quality as well as the after cut appearance with grass clipping dispersal. We’ve also improved the traction system, so it does a fantastic job of climbing and side hill performance.
“The ergonomics are greatly improved, and it’s much easier for operators to get on and off because you don’t have to climb over the units. All of the controls are at the user’s finger tips, so it’s very easy to operate, and I think they are going to see a vast improvement.”
Nothing has been taken for granted during the redesign, and that includes the quality of cut. The new AR models are available with five or seven floating 58cm articulated contour rotary decks, with the AR530 providing a cutting width of 2.3m and the AR730 – which is due to launch in September 2020 – 3.15m.
The new TrueDeck design uses smaller decks to follow tight undulations and provides the best power per width of cut ratio on the market. This eliminates clumping and produces a better after cut appearance while height of cut adjustments can be made quickly and easily.
To harness the cut quality, the traction system has been enhanced to a best in class standard using SureTrac II 4WD. This parallel-cross diversion hydraulically powered traction system, with momentary 4WD differential lock, provides superior traction when climbing difficult contours and slide slopes by transferring power from the wheel that slips to the one that grips. Using this system allows the AR to glide over hilly terrain with acute undulations while giving an even cut by utilising the weight transfer system.
The sound level of the machine has been lowered to make it quieter for the operator and to reduce passer-by noise. Vibration has also been looked at in detail. Overall operator exposure to vibration is a health and safety requirement but that aside it is often a subtle thing, and it can make users feel tired during their working day, but with the reduced vibration levels, using the AR minimises operator fatigue.
The seat position and InCommand II control system have all been adjusted for maximum comfort and productivity while the new step design has been installed to make getting on and off the machine significantly easier.
All of these features have been combined into a Stage V compliant unit that has been assembled with a commitment to high-quality engineering and a promise of outstanding performance and service.
For a demonstration of the new AR530, contact your local Jacobsen dealer or visit https://www.jacobsenbuilt.com/.
The 100% electric AllTrec Tool Carrier from Campey Turf Care Systems has made weed control CO2-emissions free.
Weed control is an essential task in almost every groundsman, greenkeeper, contractor and landscapers schedule, and the AllTrec with Air E-Variator or Weed Brush has made it quicker, easier and emissions-free.
The E-Variator is one of four attachments currently available for the AllTrec Carrier and it has been specifically designed for weed management on large paved and semi-paved surfaces. It works both preventively and repressively, saving up to 70% of its own energy through re-use – better known as the patented advanced air recycling system.
The unique variable airflow function (ADS) enables the machine to work in corners and around obstacles in just one pass, with operators able to fully control the attachment using the digital control screen. LPG tanks used for the E-Variator Weed Burner can be mounted to the back of the AllTrec, with a connection available for the automatic tank heater to prevent them from freezing. The closed burner system with heat recovery has gas reduction of no less than 60% and an automatic temperature regulation of 380C.
Weeds can also be removed using the 70cm Weed Brush, which is electrically powered with three brush speeds and controlled using the onboard joystick. It can be hydraulically adjusted to any angle and used for a full day without any worry of batteries running out. All batteries come with a three-year warranty and have a lifetime of + – 2500 charge discharge cycles. The 48VDC battery uses LifePO4 technology with a capacity of 20kwh or an optional 30kwh, with onboard charging taking 4-8 hours.
The power produced from the battery means the AllTrec can also be operated using the mower or hedge cutter attachments. The hedge cutting attachment has a 75cm working width with electric motors directly powering the blades which have speeds from 2000-3000rpm. The deck is controlled using a joystick and is easy to manoeuvre for a comfortable and effective days work. The mowing deck comes in optional cutting widths of 130cm or 180cm with a variable height of cut from 30-110mm, making it perfect for use on regularly maintained grass or overgrown vegetation. When cutting with the four-blade 180cm deck, the battery will typically last for 6-8 hours and 7-9 hours using the three-blade 130cm deck.
A large-action radius and highly efficient attachments combined with low operation and maintenance costs make the AllTrec perfect for use in urban environments, sports complexes, holiday resorts and parks by contractors, local authorities and landscapers.
For more information on making your weed control operation 100% electric and emissions free, contact Campey at email@example.com.