October 2022

Miklagard Golf – Smart Irrigation for a Short Season

Close to Oslo Airport and 25 minutes from Oslo City, Miklagard Golf is an 18-hole, Robert Trent Jones Junior-designed championship course that opened in 2001. An inland, parkland landscape with elevated greens protected by deep bunkers, Miklagard is rated one of the top 100 golf courses in Europe and has hosted the European Challenge Tour, the Canon Pro Series and the Turkish Airlines World Golf Series.

Miklagard means ‘great city’ and is the Viking name for Constantinople (Istanbul) and in keeping with its Nordic heritage, all the club’s holes are named after Norse monarchs and deities.

Following construction of a new five-star hotel which began in 2018, a Rain Bird irrigation system was installed by contractor Nelson & Vecchio as part of a course remodelling by (re)GOLF and the Robert Trent Jones design team in 2019 to relocate the driving range, 18th hole and five new holes. Groundworks took a while longer to complete than planned given the Covid-19 pandemic, which restricted travel in and out of Norway, but finally, in January 2022, Golf Course Manager Duncan Bruce took over the golf course and its new irrigation system.

The hybrid system now in place combines decoders in block formation on the old course, with a new Rain Bird® IC System™ on the six new holes, all controlled by one Rain Bird Central Control with a Rain Bird Global Support Plan providing back up.

As the season in Norway is short and intense, Duncan explains that it’s been a steep learning curve since the start of the year; getting to know the holes, levelling heads where winter frosts had moved the ground as well as putting the finishing touches in place, fine-tuning the way the system performs in a short season.

Having had a dedicated irrigation technician previously at Losby Golf & Country Club, Duncan created a brand-new position and recruited a new member of staff to his team, Rudolfs Vaivods, solely dedicated to irrigation and with considerable irrigation experience. Rudolfs’ appointment brings expertise that will help Duncan’s wider team to realise the ambitions of the new General Manager and club to further improve the course and playing experience.

“The new system is more accurate. On the old holes, you had to have three heads on at the same time. What we have now, for example, are 64 sprinklers (rotors) on the 18th fairway alone, giving us the ability to fine-tune the irrigation down to a single sprinkler which makes our water use more efficient. We’ve really noticed too how the climate is shifting. It’s intense anyway in Norway given the brief season. In summer it can be very hot, 30 degrees in the shade and with 21 hours of sunlight. We begin to winterise the system in mid-October, to shut it down for the long Norwegian winter and even then, it can vary wildly, from minus 10 to plus 10 degrees. In the winter here, there is no sunlight and where we used to have snow, in recent years there has been more ice than snow, which can actually be more damaging.

Coming from the UK, that stark difference was a real eye opener for me to begin with. In the UK, managing the course is a continuous process and you’re able to build on what you’ve done the previous season. Here, it’s completely different and you have to start afresh every year. There’s no continuity as, come spring, you literally have to start over. Winters can be bad in the UK of course, but not in quite the same way. The challenge is squeezing everything into a shorter season where there’s very little leeway anyway. Golfers can play here right through till 11.30pm with the long, light evenings and play starts again at 8am.

One of the challenges that all courses are facing now is the rising cost of electricity. There is a lake at Miklagard so while the water is free, running the pumps uses power which is becoming more expensive. Having an efficient irrigation system that limits unnecessary water use and corresponding pump activity will play an increasingly important role in our cost management. That’s where the mobile interface has also proved to be very helpful when it comes to managing irrigation and our time. What we’re dealing with at Miklagard is literally two courses in one – so the Rain Bird hybrid system allows us to manage the new and the old technologies together in a smarter, more efficient way”.

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Club Car launches street-legal electric utility vehicle

Club Car, a world-leading manufacturer of small-wheel, zero-emissions electric vehicles, has unveiled its new homologated vehicle, the Club Car Urban N1.

Featuring an ergonomic design, superior handling, 1-ton load capacity and quick acceleration with a top speed of 55kph, the Urban N1 is the perfect utility vehicle solution.
“The launch of our new Club Car Urban N1 is an exciting step forward in the European utility market where demand for sustainable transportation has been growing,” said Mark Wagner, President of Club Car. “The Urban N1 is ideally suited to satisfy the large municipal and commercial demand for a wide range of uses and applications. With Club Car’s more than 60 years of innovation and reputation for high-quality vehicles, our customers will benefit from a safe, 100 % electric and low-cost solution to industrial and commercial on-road transportation.”

In addition to the versatility of configurations available, one of the many benefits of the Club Car Urban is the low operational costs. The innovative lithium battery technology enables fast and efficient charging, reducing operating expenses. On top of operational savings, the N1 may be eligible for further cost savings through electric vehicle tax rebates. The vehicle also sets the standard for safety in its class, with customers benefitting from its automotive-grade safety features and extensive testing process.

Marco Natale, Vice President of EMEA at Club Car, said: “Our new Urban N1 will be transformational in cities and tourist destinations across EMEA. The compact cargo design offers easy access to tight spaces, narrow roads, and the ability to drive in and around landmarks, parks, hotels and events. Our customers in Europe and beyond can now take advantage of the many benefits of operating a street-legal, zero-emission, low-cost fleet.”

Visitors to the 2022 Salonvert in France, were given a preview of the Club Car Urban N1 that was on display during the country’s leading fair for green spaces and landscapes.

Following the acquisition of Garia and Melex in early 2022, Club Car has been steadily growing its line of compact vehicles for utility applications, including public sector, facility management, leisure and outdoor and last-mile delivery.

The Club Car Urban N1 will be available across the EU through Club Car’s broad commercial dealer network, providing customers with an exceptional Club Car experience. Full details are available at

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Bob Randquist, GCSAA’s chief operating officer retires

Bob Randquist, CGCS, the chief operating officer (COO) for the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), has announced he will retire on October 15.

In his time as COO, Randquist managed a broad and complex array of functions and facilitated multiple projects to meet the objectives of the association. While he represented GCSAA and maintained relationships with industry and allied partners, his main focus was on internal stakeholders and being an integral part of the headquarters’ culture.

Randquist joined the GCSAA staff in May 2018 after 20 years serving as director of golf course and grounds at Boca Rio Golf Club in Florida. As a superintendent, Randquist was a highly engaged GCSAA member and served as the association’s president in 2011. He has been a GCSAA member for 46 years and became a certified golf course superintendent in 1985.

“Serving GCSAA and its members has allowed me to further contribute to an organisation and membership that provided the educational and professional development opportunities that helped me enjoy a successful career as a golf course superintendent,” Randquist said. “It has been a pleasure to work with CEO Rhett Evans, the GCSAA board and all the GCSAA team members. I know that their efforts will continue to help our members increase their skills, professionalism and earn recognition for the work they are so passionate about.”

Randquist graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering. While training in engineering, he spent his college years working on the crew at Trosper Park Golf Course in Oklahoma City. Upon graduating, he was offered the assistant superintendent position at Trosper Park GC, and his career path was set.

In addition to his staff and board roles at GCSAA, Randquist also served the golf industry in other organisations. On the local level, he served on the board of the Palm Beach Golf Course Superintendents Association and was president of the Oklahoma Golf Course Superintendents Association and Oklahoma Turfgrass Research Foundation. Randquist served on the USGA Green Section Committee for 27 years and has been honored by the USGA with its Ike Grainger Award, which recognises 25 years of volunteer service.

Randquist shared his expertise with others as a seminar instructor for the GCSAA Conference and Trade Show and has been a speaker at industry events for organisations around the world, including the USGA, PGA of America, Canadian Golf Superintendents Association and the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association.

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Bayer sells its Environmental Science Professional business for £2.3 billion

Biotechnology giant Bayer has agreed to sell its Environmental Science Professional business, which is behind several golf course maintenance products, to a private equity firm for just under £2.3 billion.

Global private equity company Cinven entered into a corresponding agreement with Bayer in March and the conditions for closing the transaction – including the receipt of regulatory approval – have now been met.

This means nearly 900 employees will transfer from Bayer to a divested business called Envu, which was set up this year. It is headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, United States, and is active in over 100 countries.

“We thank the employees of Environmental Science Professional for their many years of commitment and the associated success of Bayer. In Cinven, we have found a strong new owner with a firm commitment to the long-term growth potential of the business and to its people,” said Rodrigo Santos, member of the board of management of Bayer AG and head of the Crop Science Division. “At the same time, we can concentrate on our core agricultural business and the successful implementation of our growth strategy in the Crop Science Division.” Bayer will use the net proceeds from the transaction to reduce its net financial debt.

“Envu is a global leader in a highly attractive and critical industry. We thank Bayer for the trust they have placed in Cinven and plan to build on the strong foundations established by Bayer by significantly investing in it,” said Pontus Pettersson, partner at Cinven. “Cinven is excited to build an independent, focused company and is well positioned to continue to drive innovation and accelerate growth, including the delivery of digital and data-enabled solutions, and to extend the product portfolio further by creating innovative and sustainable solutions for its customers.”

Envu says it offers dedicated services in golf and professional pest management and its portfolio consists of over 180 well-known brands.

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Portuguese Greenkeepers Association (APG) extend an invitation to attend their upcoming Conference.

The Portuguese Greenkeepers Association (APG) extend an invitation to attend their upcoming Conference.
Please use the following link for signing up (

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