St Andrews Links have appointed Sandy Reid as Director of Greenkeeping at the Home of Golf. A hugely experienced figure in the greenkeeping industry, Mr Reid will make the move from Carnoustie Golf Links where he has worked as Links Superintendent since 2012.
St Andrews Links Chief Executive Euan Loudon said: “We are delighted to welcome Sandy to the Home of Golf. He has an outstanding track record at Carnoustie Golf Links, as evidenced by the wonderful condition of the Championship Course for The 147th Open Championship this summer.“Sandy has a great deal of experience of operating within a multi-faceted golf venue such as ours and shares our commitment to delivering unique and memorable experiences to every golfer. He is passionate about the game of golf and is committed to delivering the highest quality results in golf course maintenance and improvements to all our courses, operations and staff.”
Mr Reid originally hails from Blair Atholl and trained at Elmwood College in Fife before starting his career at Letham Grange. He joined Carnoustie Golf Links in 1997, becoming Head Greenkeeper of the Championship Course in 2005.
Mr Reid said: “I am extremely honoured and excited to be joining the hard working and dedicated team at the Home of Golf. “St Andrews Links is the pre-eminent public golf complex in the world and I hope to play a small part in ensuring that it continues to deliver excellence to all golfers and visitors who come to the Home of Golf.”
Over the last decade St Andrews Links has continued to make major investments in its facilities and services. In addition to maintaining seven public courses, St Andrews Links is now home to three clubhouses, five shops and the Golf Academy. It employs just over 400 people in the high season with almost 230,000 rounds of golf played on the six 18-hole courses in 2017.
Mr Reid’s appointment arose following the retirement of incumbent Gordon Moir, who has worked at the Links for more than 26 years and began his tenure as Director of Greenkeeping in October 2000. Mr Reid will take up his new role in St Andrews in early December with Mr Moir formally retiring at the end of the year.
St Andrews Links Trust www.standrews.com
Le Golf National, the host venue for The 2018 Ryder Cup and 2024 Summer Olympics, has retained GEO certification, once again highlighting its commitment to sustainable business management.
Having completed the new and improved OnCourse® programme, the venue was recently visited by independent verifier Pablo Munoz Vega, who confirmed demonstrable results and continual improvement actions over the previous three-year period.
Paul Armitage, General Manager – Le Golf National, said: “By proudly flying the GEO flag every day we are showing our customers, whether they be local residents, international visitors or corporate groups that we care about the same things that they do. We also want our staff to feel engaged and proud of the fact that Le Golf National provides great golf and much more for our community.
“Thanks to our Environmental Co-ordinator Artur Lecomte and the staff out on the course and in the clubhouse, the work we have done on waste separation, with increased reuse and recycling is particularly rewarding for all involved. All the team have found OnCourse® to be very easy to use and helpful in guiding and tracking the work and GEO Certified® is a tremendous reward.”
Le Golf National continues to show how an approach to fostering nature, conserving resources and supporting the community is part and parcel of running a profitable and highly respected golf facility.
The venues efforts are also contributing to The Ryder Cup Green Drive – the event’s sustainability programme – with partners Ryder Cup Europe and The Ryder Cup Organising Committee in France aiming to deliver the cleanest, greenest and most sustainable Ryder Cup yet.
Ryder Cup Europe Director, Richard Hills, said: “Le Golf National is a world-class golf course and we commend Paul and his team for their commitment to sustainable business management. It is vitally important that along with delivering one of the greatest sporting events in the world, that we also address these important issues and continue to work on maximising the social and environmental contribution of golf in the communities in which we play.”
Alejandro Reyes, Golf Course Superintendent added: “In the last three years sustainability has really become a facility-wide effort – moving from the golf course and maintenance facility into the clubhouse and now into marketing and communications. OnCourse® has helped a lot in that process and gives us a consistent way to make sure our practices are delivered and extended, our key data is in one place and our highlights are communicated and shared.”
Julie Duffus, Olympic Movement Sustainability Manager at the International Olympic Committee added: “Le Golf National is an excellent example of how a sustainable and successful Olympic Venue can be planned, designed, constructed and operated. Our Congratulations to the team for their efforts and success on retaining GEO Certified Status. We look forward to working together in the lead up to the Olympic Games in 2024”.
Richard Allison, Certification Manager at GEO Foundation, said: “We congratulate Le Golf National on this excellent and thoroughly deserved achievement. With the eyes of the sporting world on the course this autumn for The 2018 Ryder Cup, Le Golf National continues to strengthen its position as an ethical leader – fostering nature, conserving resources and supporting the community.”
Munoz Vega added: “It has been tremendous to witness the development of Le Golf National since their initial certification a short time ago. Commitment to sustainability and a desire to improve and keep innovating is deeply embedded in the management culture. With performance already very high I look forward to seeing the new projects and initiatives of the future.”
Key activities and results at Le Golf National include:
• Commissioned 19 hybrid electric Jacobsen Eclipse walking mowers
• Reduction in irrigation consumption by almost 40% as result of new Toro irrigation system
• 16 hectares removed from irrigation (20% of irrigated area)
• Sprinkler heads improved water distribution by 26%
• New storage reservoir and drainage allows recycling of rainwater (44% of total consumption)
• 340 tons of material recycled every year including glass, plastic, paper, cardboard and organics
• Sand from ‘Paris beach’ recycled after every summer for fairway top-dressing
• Trialling of non-chemical pest and disease control with UV lighting unit to reducing fungicide applications
• Partnership with Natural History Museum and French Golf Federation to evaluate, conserve and promote biodiversity
• Interconnected management of 10 EUNIS habitats including forest, wetland, open water, meadows and mineral landscape (three of which are classed as rare including tree species, riparian reeds and willows)
• At least 350 flora and fauna species identified to date, including 70 birds
• 13 species identified as rare including European, French and regional ‘red list’ species
• Eight microhabitats created including hibernaculums for amphibians, rock walls, beehives, bird nests, dead branches and standing tree remnants
• Increase in low-maintenance ecological rough areas
• Significant reduction of maintained turf areas, new no-spray areas and habitat buffers
• New policies and pricing to increase public access to the golf courses
• ‘GoforGolf’ campaign to introduce new players to the game
• Spearhead the development of new affordable short courses around the country
• Increase in social media presence to communicate the benefits of sustainability
• Collaboration with local government to restore the ‘Porte du Merantais’, an historic gate to Versailles Palace
New technology provides precise irrigation control while helping to save water and costs
Effective water management is key to creating championship-quality playing conditions at any golf course. That’s why Le Golf National has installed a completely new drainage and irrigation system using Toro® products. The state-of-the-art technology is already helping the course save both water and costs.
Located 24 kilometers from Paris, Le Golf National consists of three courses: L’Albatros (Albatross), L’Aigle (Eagle) and L’Oiselet (Birdie), as well as an area dedicated to training. It has hosted the French Open since 1991, and the Albatross course will be the host venue for the 2018 Ryder Cup.
Le Golf National’s new irrigation system features Toro’s Lynx® Central Control, INFINITY® sprinkler heads, as well as a new pump station provided by local Toro distributor Solvert. The products work together to give course greenkeepers precise control over watering schedules, along with extensive soil and water usage data to make informed decisions. This system was recently put to the test during the HNA Open de France in June, when temperatures soared as high as 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit).
Alejandro Reyes, manager at Le Golf National said: “On the Albatross course alone, we have installed 1,500 sprinklers. What impressed me the most was the INFINITY sprinkler — it’s so innovative with the top accessibility. As for the Toro Lynx system, for me, the best thing about it is the ease of use. The fact that everything is there on the screen and with just one click you can make the adjustments you need.”
Since the irrigation system was installed, Solvert has continued to provide Le Golf National with daily support as needed. This includes coordinating pump station maintenance with the help of local technicians, as well as training course staff to optimize the capabilities of the Lynx system. Le Golf National also has a contract with Toro NSN, a service that provides 24/7 irrigation and central control system support.
“Whenever you need Toro, it’s there,” adds Reyes. “You know they are good, reliable products. And it’s comforting to know that there’s always someone on the other end of your mobile phone. That’s very important to us, because we are carrying out so much work in so little time. We need responsive partners, and with Toro it works really well.”
The new system positions Le Golf National to address the challenge of water conservation well into the future, especially as the course prepares to host events like the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. “Toro has always been committed to helping customers make smart use of resources, both natural and financial,” says Marco Cappelli, EMEA senior marketing manager at The Toro Company. “We are honoured that Le Golf National has chosen to use Toro irrigation technology to help prepare the venue for major international events.”
In readiness for The 2018 Ryder Cup, a brand new fleet of Club Car vehicles has arrived at Le Golf National, France.
The world-leading manufacturer of small-wheel, zero-emissions electric vehicles, with the assistance of two of its official EMEA distributors, Buggyman and AS2G, has delivered an initial fleet of 350 golf car and turf utility vehicles to Le Golf National.
Tractor Hire, another official EMEA distributor, will supply the remaining 200 vehicles, which will assist operations ahead of and during the biennial match.
In addition to the 550-strong fleet, The Official Supplier of The 2018 Ryder Cup is also providing each team with seven vehicles featuring the iconic patriotic branding, which will enable European Captain Thomas Bjørn, U.S. Captain Jim Furyk and their Vice-Captains to move quickly around the course in order to keep up with all of the action over the three days.
Marco Natale, Vice President EMEA at Club Car, said: “Supplying a large fleet of vehicles is a major logistical operation, but our experience, as well as that of the team at Buggyman, has ensured the vehicles are on-site and ready for action. “Our attention to detail and dedication to producing the highest quality, reliable vehicles will help to ensure the smooth running of what will be a first-class event and a real showpiece of golf.”
Club Car has been an Official Supplier of every Ryder Cup since 1997, and for the 2018 event the company will also supply vehicles for all on-course television crews to assist with the global transmission of the event, as well as team and match officials.
Club Car already supplies Le Golf National with a fleet of 50 Precedent i3 golf cars, all featuring the fully connected mobile golf information system, Visage.
The British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association, Toro and Reesink Turfcare have revealed the 12 finalists who will contest this year’s Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards.
The 30th hosting of the finals of the prestigious awards will once again take place at BIGGA House, following a nationwide search for the country’s leading student greenkeepers.
Thirty-seven candidates took part in the interview process, with 12 talented candidates making it through to the grand final, to be held at BIGGA House on 17 and 18 September.
Up for grabs will be the 30th Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year award and the 3rd Toro Young Student Greenkeeper of the Year award.
Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year finalists:
1. Daniel Ashelby, Wilmslow Golf Club
2. Tim Brown, Hockley Golf Club
3. William Curran, Hever Castle Golf Club
4. Dan Dooley, Mount Murray Golf Club
5. John Scurfield, Morpeth Golf Club
6. Richard Warlow, Celtic Manor Resort
Toro Young Student Greenkeeper of the Year finalist:
1. Aaron Hurdwell, Harleyford Golf Club
2. Adam Jackson, Ferndown Golf Club
3. Harry Misselbrook, Harewood Downs Golf Club
4. Danny Patten, Lee Park Golf Club
5. Liam Pigden, Burnham & Berrow Golf Club
6. Reece Tomalin, Trentham Golf Club
Each year the awards enable BIGGA, turf maintenance equipment manufacturer Toro and distributor Reesink Turfcare to celebrate those talented young greenkeepers who are dedicating themselves to a career within the industry.
The Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year winner will receive an eight-week all expenses paid scholarship in America, including a six-week residential turf management study course at the University of Massachusetts, a trip to the Golf Industry Show in San Diego and a visit to Toro’s facilities.
The Toro Young Student Greenkeeper of the Year winner will receive a work experience placement at the exclusive Vidauban Golf Club in southern France. They will also receive a trip to Continue to Learn at BTME and enjoy a five-night package that includes hotel, four days of education, travel and £125 expenses, plus a Toro training voucher.
Stuart Green, head of member learning at BIGGA: “I really enjoy the Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year selection process as it allows me to travel the country and meet some of BIGGA’s most ambitious and talented student greenkeepers. Each year I’m astounded by the depth of knowledge and enthusiasm for the industry shown by our candidates and it’s heartening to see that the future of the industry is in such safe hands.
“Throughout its 30 years, the Toro Student Greenkeeper awards have grown to the extent that they are now acknowledged as the industry’s most prestigious awards event, and countless candidates have gone on to forge incredible careers within the turf management industry.
“My thanks go to Toro and Reesink Turfcare for their continued support, and thank you to everyone who took part this year.”
David Cole, Reesink Turfcare managing director and award sponsor: “As we approach our 30th award presentation, the popularity and appeal of the competition endures and continues to exceed expectation. Entries were up this year with over double the amount from employer nominations. This shows the commitment to career learning from golf employers, course managers and head greenkeepers, as well as demonstrating their faith in the abilities of their students.
“The introduction of the ‘Young’ category, now in its third year, has helped reinvigorate the original intentions of this pioneering programme, which were to attract young people to a career in greenkeeping and support their education in the sector. This has been done by supporting learning and providing career-developing experiences as prizes to open up their global ‘world of golf’ perspective and opportunities for their future. This is the start of an exciting journey for our 2018 nominees.”
Golf courses can now sign up to join the Syngenta Operation Pollinator initiative quickly and easily, with an instant on-line form.
Over 100 golf courses across the UK have already joined Operation Pollinator – helping to demonstrate the positive actions of the greenkeeping community, and their clubs, to make courses more attractive to pollinators and players alike.
The initiative encourages the use of rough and out-of-play areas of the course to create habitats attractive for pollinators and other biodiversity and establishing important ecological assets
Glenn Kirby, Syngenta Turf Technical Manager, enthused that it’s a fantastic good news story that, collectively, creates a powerful message to shout about the good golf courses do for the environment.
“Operation Pollinator recognises that every course and situation is different. It provides tips and guidance to help, where it’s applicable to your course and situation; but there is no prescriptive management practices.”
He highlighted that most courses are already undertaking practices that meets Operation Pollinator objectives. “It simply asks that you manage rough and out of play areas in a way that encourages wildflower food resources and habitat for pollinators to breed and overwinter,” Glenn added.
By joining Operation Pollinator there are a wealth of resources to help communicate what you are doing – to players within the club and to the local community as a positive message of your activities.
It also have the chance to meet and share experiences with other like-minded greenkeepers and get tips for what works in similar situations.
Paul Worster, Golf Courses Manager, at Minchinhampton Golf Club in Gloucestershire, is a strong advocate and champion of the Operation Pollinator initiative. “Operation Pollinator demonstrates to players, public and regulators that the golf industry is an outstanding beneficial environmental asset – and that it is voluntarily contributing a huge amount to the protection and enhancement of biodiversity across the UK.”
He urges greenkeepers to be proud of what they have already achieved, and how they can further enhance the ecological value of courses in the future.
Sign up to Operation Pollinator here