Le Golf National Trusts in Toro® Irrigation as Preparation Continues for 2018 Ryder Cup

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.”

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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.

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Revealing the finalists of the Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year 2018

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.”

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Operation Pollinator instant on-line sign up

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

Sign up to Operation Pollinator here

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Foley United Joins the Federation of European Golf Greenkeepers Associations as a Patron Member

Foley United is proud to join the Federation of European Golf Greenkeepers Associations (FEGGA) as a Patron Member.

FEGGA and Foley United place a high value on achieving the highest standards of performance within the greenkeeping industry and it is a privilege to be able to operate within the FEGGA framework and work towards upping the game with grinding best practice.

As a technology leader in grinding, Foley takes a responsibility for demonstrating the difference maintaining mowing equipment to optimal OEM specifications can make, and aim to communicate this through seminars, articles, e-newsletters and practical demonstrations.

Outlining the various grinding options to suit any budget is also an important aspect of the FEGGA partnership. Educating greenkeepers on their grinding options enables them to choose what is best for their needs, be it relief grinding or spin grinding or a combination of both, Foley United can offer a tailored cost-effective grinding solution.

FEGGA Executive Officer Dean Cleaver said: “FEGGA are delighted to have Foley United join as one of our Patron Members. Foley is a long-established and well-respected company that offers a premium choice of products tailoring the needs of all golf clubs. They are committed to serving the needs of greenkeepers through product support and education, something that is very much part of the mission of FEGGA. We very much look forward to working together in sharing valuable knowledge through education and serving the needs of our Member Associations throughout Europe.”

The CEO of Foley Grinders, said: “As an acknowledged technology leader in grinding best practices designed to maintain mowing equipment to optimal OEM specification, Foley United is excited to become a FEGGA Patron Member and share global best practices to improve results for FEGGA members. We strongly believe education and keeping abreast of the latest developments, whether safety, performance or productivity tips, will raise knowledge levels while reducing costs for course operators.”

Making in-house grinding a financially sound investment for FEGGA members is achievable through Foley United’s range of products that can be upgraded over time while always delivering a top-quality grinding experience.

The European Sales Manager for Foley United in Europe, Middle East and Russia is Arjen Spek. Please contact by email or mobile number +31627383013.

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Making Light Work

New Ryder turf pigment technology from Syngenta offers the chance to instantly enhance the colour and visual appearance of turf, along with exciting properties to protect leaves from the harmful effects of excessive sunlight.

Not all energy emitted by the sun is useful for turf grass growth. In fact, some of this energy can be actually harmful to the plant – effectively causing damaging sunburn to plant cells. Ryder enables plants to manage light more effectively, and to make light work more efficiently for turf.

Launching the new Ryder pigment, Syngenta UK Turf Technical Manager, Glenn Kirby, highlighted greenkeepers’ experiences had demonstrated the instant visual effect to produce a lasting deep, desirable green colour, along with lasting effects to counter damaging light waves.

“Ryder is a highly concentrated and stable green pigment designed for use on managed turf to improve its appearance and to help protect against UV radiation and high light intensities” he said.
“Photosynthetic Active Radiation (PAR), includes all the ‘colours’ of the light spectrum, of which turf plants use blue and red light most efficiently to support growth and development.
“However, plants can only absorb so much light; too much light stresses the plant and can lead to reduced photosynthetic activity (photo-inhibition) and even harmful damage within pant cells.”
Mr Kirby pointed out that cool season grasses typically reach saturation point at light intensities of just 300 to 500 micromoles. However on a summer day, sunlight could reach in excess of 2000 micromoles – bombarding plants with up to four times more light than they can physically use.

In winter, when plants are growing more slowly, the light saturation point could be as low as 100 micromoles, when they are subjected to 1000 micromoles being produced on a bright day.
“Plants that are already stressed, from nutrient or water deficiency or physical damage from mowing, for example, would be more susceptible to increased stress from photo-inhibition,” he added.
“Ryder mimics the plant’s natural pigment defences, when it produce carotenoids, anthocyanins, flavonoids, and cuticle waxes,” he said. “However, with Ryder, you get to control the green colour, compared to leaf purpling of anthocyanins, for example.”

The intensity of colour produced by Ryder can be selected through adjustments to application rate, frequency and integrated fertiliser programmes, he advocated.
“Unlike existing water soluble turf dyes, Ryder is a concentrated 70% pigment, formulated such that, once dry on the leaf, is not washed off by rain or irrigation and is stable in light. It stays in place on the leaf surface, which retains its colour and effects for longer.”

Mr Kirby advised that the instant colour it provides can act as a spray pattern indicator in itself, especially at higher rates or on turf inherently paler at the time of application. For even coverage, he recommended always applying using Syngenta XC Nozzles. STRI trials had shown a water volume of 250 – 500 litres/ha provided effective leaf surface coverage.
Extensive user trials in the UK this spring had demonstrated Ryder could bring an important benefit to all areas of the golf course, along with other sports surfaces, including cricket fields and winter sports pitches.

“Over winter and early spring, the Ryder colour quickly gets turf looking great and ready for play. The enhanced colour of treated turf can increase canopy temperature and initiate spring recovery,” advised Mr Kirby. “Application following renovations’ sand topdressing or over seeding has been shown to instantly recover appearance.”
Over the summer, he advocated Ryder will help provide protection against high light intensities and UV light, and stay looking green where desired. Maintaining programmes through the autumn would retain turf appearance and colour for longer.

Ryder application rates at cutting heights below 12 mm – eg. greens, tees and cricket fields – have typically been at 0.75 to 1.5 l/ha, increasing to 1.0 to 2.0 l/ha on longer fairway turf or sports fields, for example. Users have experimented with application rate and frequency to find a colour intensity most attractive to their own situation.
When used in conjunction with a Primo Maxx II programme, the reduced clippings removal from mowing would increase the longevity of Ryder results during growing periods, added Mr Kirby.
Ryder will be available from ICL and all leading distributors from this summer.

For more information and advice, visit

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BIGGA presidency honour for Devon course owner and environmentalist

A fifth-generation farmer, who built a successful golf club from scratch, has accepted the role of vice president of the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association.

Colin Webber, 59, established Portmore Golf Park in 1993 and has developed the venue into a vibrant 27-hole facility which, due to his commitment to sustainable greenkeeping, won environmental golf course of the year in 2010.

This week, BIGGA has revealed that Colin has accepted the nomination to become BIGGA Vice President from January 2019, leading to becoming president of the association from January 2020.

Colin and his family established Portmore Golf Park from a 12-bay driving range after various pressures put his family farming business in jeopardy. Over the following years came another 12 bays, a par-3 9-hole Hawtree-designed course, and then finally a further 18 that set Portmore up as a 27-hole venue.

For a time, Colin was the only greenkeeper operating the site, but early on in his career he joined BIGGA and benefitted from the networking and educational opportunities provided by the association.

In 2010, Portmore won Overall Achievement of the Year at the Golf Environment Awards, built upon a commitment to sustainable and organic greenkeeping.

Colin overcame a stroke suffered in 2011 to continue to lead his business and continue to be an active member of BIGGA’s Devon & Cornwall Section and the South West & South Wales Regional Board.

He was first approached about the role just two weeks after the passing of his father, who had helped him build the business from the ground up.

“It’s a huge honour, I keep thinking ‘are you sure you have got the right person?’ I am flattered that BIGGA would consider me for such an important national role. It is huge, I have never been asked to do anything like this, I’m not someone who likes to stand in the limelight.

“I had a phone call from [BIGGA Chief Executive Officer] Jim Croxton saying I had been nominated for the role. Jim didn’t know it, but this was a few weeks after my dad, Frank, had died. It was very emotional time and the one person I wanted to tell was my dad.”

“Over the years I have been fortunate enough to build friendships with so many of the greats of greenkeeping, spending hours with the likes of Billy Mitchell, Jack McMillan, Richard Whyman, George Shiels and Jeff Mills, trying to build up a picture of how things used to be done, looking backward to go forward. I became involved and started volunteering with BIGGA because of the help so many guys had given me, especially the small group of lads who I worked together with to complete our City & Guilds almost 30 years ago. Their help was invaluable in building our business. I said I would repay my debt to the association, and since then I have worked hard to do that.”

As vice president, Colin will support West Derby Head Greenkeeper Chris Sheehan, who will become BIGGA President for a one-year term during BTME 2019, to be held in Harrogate next January, when he succeeds current President Chris Kennedy. Following that year, Colin will become BIGGA president for one year from January 2020.

BIGGA CEO Jim Croxton said: “Colin’s story is an inspirational one, and one that proves there is little that can’t be achieved with determination and an eagerness to learn.

“The association is delighted that Colin has accepted the nomination to become vice president from January 2019 and I am certain that he will be a fantastic asset, lending his unique experience of the greenkeeping industry to the continued development of BIGGA as we strive to support and serve our members.”

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