Founded in 1924, Kristianstads Golfklubb is one of Swedens finest resorts boasting 2 fantastic golf courses – the newly redesigned West Course and the East Course which is ranked top 3 in Sweden.
The resort based in Åhus on the southeast coast of Sweden, also comprises of a new Driving Range, Training Academy, three indoor Padel Courts, Resort Lodges/Hotel, Club House (planned for total renovation), and a two-year-old state of the art Greenkeeper Maintenance Facility.
We are currently welcoming applications for the position of Workshop Manager. This is an ideal opportunity for an individual that is both self-driven with high standards and professionalism to join a large team helping to maintain the whole resort.
This integral part of the Clubs Management structure, the Workshop Managers role comprises of the following-
- Maintenance and service of all onsite machinery and workshops
- Service and record keeping
- Adhering to all Health and Safety legislation
- Responsible for Workshop annual budget.
An extremely generous package goes with this important position as well as other attractive benefits. Accommodation can also be sourced if needed.
If you have these competencies and are looking to work for a forward thinking, standards driven company, then please send you application together with a current CV to-
Golf Courses Director
AB Kristianstads Golfbana
Tel – 0046733522600
Email – Bevan@kristianstadsgk.com
Website – www.kristianstadsgk.com
For the first time in history of golf women and men played together in the same time on tournament. The European Tour – Scandinavian Mixed introduced by two famous Swedish professional golfers Annika Sörenstam and Henrik Stenson was on Vallda Golf course in Gothenburg in Sweden. 78 men and 78 women competed against each other. FEGGA students on scholarship in Kristianstad Golf course had opportunity to be a part of this historic event.
Vallda Golf Club is beautiful heathland golf course PAR 72 typical for Britain in west coast of Sweden 26 km from Gothenburg, designed by the golf architect Martin Hawtree. He took inspiration from the legendary English golf courses of the 1920s. The combination of red fescue and very long drainage (over 40 km) and hundreds of tons of sand resulted in a very difficult playing surface. The golf course is very dry, the ball rolls and bounces without wanting to stop. The greens were so fast that on Wednesday, before the first day of the tournament, they gave up mowing the greens in the evening because the speed on the green was too fast.
Tournament started 10 June and finished 13 June. All volunteers started work on Sunday 6 June before tournament. First day we went on golf course to walk from hole to hole, after we had a meeting and split the tasks. To maintain this tournament was 35 people. The biggest group was on bunkers. Two weeks before tournament the golf course was closed, so fairways, tees, greens were kept in great condition. I was responsible for raking bunkers in the morning and divoting fairways in the evening,
We stayed nearby at the hostel 15 mins drive from the golf course. Work started at 5 o clock in the morning. Half hour before we had breakfast, coffee and after everyone went to their tasks. Around 10 o’clock we had early lunch and after there was free time for rest till 17. Before evening task was dinner. During the meal, there was time to talk mainly about greenkeeping work and golf. The atmosphere was very positive all the time and shared with everyone. All participants integrated very quickly.
At first it may seem what was so exciting about helping this tournament. I wasn’t entirely convinced myself at first. Earlier, I worked on golf courses where tournaments were organized, although it was not a European tour, but what a difference I thought. Now I know the difference is huge.
First, you can meet many valuable people, experts from the greenkeeping industry and you can talk to them about what interests you in this job. You can make very valuable contacts. The atmosphere itself is also influencing, you feel that you are taking part in a really great event. I can talk about my work for hours on various topics. Funny stories, bothering questions, difficulties related to grass diseases etc. My family probably has enough when I bore them talking about it, and here suddenly there are 35 people very open to talk about golf and the work of greenkeepers.
Secondly. You feel great pride when you watch the golf course you work on, on the TV and see your work on TV, even if it seems to you a minor thing like raking bunkers which in fact is quite the opposite, because it can affect the player’s overall score on how it is. raked bunker. You see this on TV and feel very proud of your job.
Thirdly. You can see what it is like to work on another golf course. If there are no competitions on the golf course where you work, you have another experience that you can show off in your CV. Don’t forget about possibility to work on one of the top Swedish golf courses. European Tour is played only on high top-level golf courses. A huge power of positive energy that stays on for a long time and gives a great kick to later work on the golf course. Huge satisfaction and pride that you managed to work on such a great undertaking. An experience that will remain until the end of my life.
Thanks to the fact that I participated in the FEGGA scholarship, I was able to take part in the preparation of this wonderful event, which will surely remain in my memory for a very long time. At the same time, I feel that I have taken another step in my greenkeeper career and can add another experience to my CV. There is one more tournament ahead of me on the golf course where I work and study Kristianstad GK – Ladies European Tour in early September and Dunhill Championship in Scotland. And it is for such an opportunity, if you have many passions in your work, it is worth deciding to participate in the FEGGA scholarship.
Christopher Krawczyk – greenkeeper with 3 years of experience on golf courses in Sweden, student in Elmwood college – HNC Golf course managment. After finishing the scholarship, I want to work as an assistant head greenkeeper.
The weather is getting warmer. Or less cold I should say, because 12 to 15 degrees isn’t that great. This is supposed to be the warmest region in Sweden, but in Stockholm (400 km to the north) they’ve hit 25 degrees already. It doesn’t make it easier at our high end club in Kristianstad, but at least the grass is growing now. We try our best to give the players a nice golf experience and we try to maintain the high position on the Swedish ranking.
Presentation, presentation, presentation.
That’s what the young Bevan Tattersal was told at The Belfry and now he’s telling it to us, the FEGGA students. There’s no time pressure but it has to be perfect. When you don’t like one of you mowing lines: mow it again. When a sign on the course looks a bit crooked, stop what you’re doing and put it straight again. And when the grass on a path is starting to get a bit thin, we take out the sod cutter and put down some new turf. These might be just details, but on a course like this they have to be perfect.
Pin positions and tee markers are moved daily. To keep the wear and tear to a minimum, but mainly to improve the experience for the golfers. People staying at the lodges like to play daily and it’s a lot more fun to play on a “different” course.
The maintenance can get quite physical around here. Greens and tees are cut with single mowers and all bunkers on the East Course are raked by hand. The bunker edges, which are mostly revetted, are cut by hand with scissors. It’s very labour intensive but it provides an excellent finish.
To round up this little summary we’ve got the fairways. These are cut daily at a specific angle to get perfect “diamonds” on the surface. They all have to have the correct shape and point straight at the green. Clippings are always collected. To keep these fairways in top shape there’s also the divot crew. Each Tuesday morning about ten volunteers from the club fill up all divots. The members here are really proud of there club. They happily perform this task and take pride in it.
Golfer / Greenkeeper
All greenkeepers here at Kristianstad’s Golfklubb play golf, but two of them are actual professional players. Ludwig “Ludde” Nordeklint was mainly active on the Scandinavian and Challenge Tour. Here at KGK he’s also well known for his hole-in-one on hole seven, a par 4 dogleg. Ludde has always combined his professional golf with his job as a greenkeeper. That’s something he would never trade in to become a teaching pro.
Åke Nilsson also started at the Scandinavian Tour, but reached the European Tour after a couple years. He has certainly made his mark with over 30 tournaments and a couple top ten finishes. During the years before the pandemic he mainly played on the Challenge Tour, but this year he’s trying to get to the European Tour once again through the Qualifying School. Meanwhile he works as a greenkeeper at his home club in Kristianstad. He enjoys this so much that he definitely sees his future in greenkeeping.
It might seem a bit odd these days, going from professional golfer to greenkeeper (certainly for me as a Belgian), but it wasn’t always the case. The first club professionals often acted as greenkeepers as well. Old Tom Morris, widely regarded as the father of modern greenkeeping, won The Open four times between 1861 and 1876… It does make sense when I think about it: Ludde and Åke are both physically strong and they combine attention to detail with their perception of the golf game. Åke’s vision on greenkeeping: “I’d like to get the course in a state in which I would want to play it myself”. In my opinion that has to be one of the best possible motivations for a greenkeeper!
Through our national greenkeepers association in Belgium we try to get our greenkeepers into playing golf themselves. A good chef has to taste what he’s preparing, right? We’re very pleased our yearly greenkeepers golf tournament is still gaining popularity. After a Covid break in 2020 we would like to resume this tradition this autumn. I could use some practice myself, so I’m going to get my golf bag and I’m off to the practice area. Hej så länge!
A first time for everything
June was an important month for us FEGGA-students. The first of three big tournaments was scheduled this month, and it was a historic one. At the Scandinavian Mixed, which was played at Vallda G&C, men and women battled for the very first time on the European Tour for the same prize money. All of this on the same golf course with mixed flights, only the tee positions were different. It was a challenge for the organisation to keep things competitive between men and women, but they succeeded very well. After the cut on Friday the top 20 looked very “mixed” indeed. The heavy wind on Saturday however proved to be a big advantage for the men and it knocked a lot of women back. In the end Alice Hewson grabbed the 3rd place as the first woman, only two strokes behind the champion Jonathan Caldwell. Henrik Stenson, Annika Sörenstam and the entire organisation were very pleased about this successful experiment and we’ll definitely see more of this in the future.
For me personally the Scandinavian Mixed was also a milestone. It was the first time I was at a big, international tournament as a greenkeeper. I’ve visited the Belgian and Dutch Open in the past as a spectator. To be part of it as a greenkeeper however let’s you see the course from a different perspective. On Sunday prior to the tournament week we were welcomed by course manager and former tour player Johan Axgren and his assistant Niklas Andersson. As I wrote last month in my blog, Swedish tour players find their way into greenkeeping more easily after their playing career than what we’re used to in Belgium. Obviously that’s a big advantage if you’re in charge of the maintenance of the course during such a big event. During the welcoming speech and the subsequent tour I immediately noticed the relaxed atmosphere. The expectations were high but with over 30 greenkeepers we were well prepared to tackle these challenges without too much stress.
Vallda G&C, Valhalla for fescue
Thirty may not seem that many for a big tournament like this, but Vallda is a very particular golf course. It opened quite recently in 2009 and was designed by Martin Hawtree, who found inspiration for this course in the Scottish heathland courses. It was seeded wall to wall with red fescue. The maintenance is done in a sustainable way with minimal input, all to preserve these fine leaved grasses. Inspiration was found in the ideas of Jim Arthur, who wrote them down in his book “Practical Greenkeeping”. Do we have to fertilise now? Should we irrigate now? Is cutting necessary now? In doubt: don’t do it. Regarding the fine leaved grasses that we love on our golf course, the wrong maintenance could cause a lot more damage compared to not enough maintenance.
Because of this low input strategy there is a lot less cutting to be done, even during the tournament week. The biggest challenge was not letting the greens get too fast. Considering the open environment and course design, the ideal stimp reading was 10 feet. Faster speeds on these hard fescue greens could be troublesome, especially during windy weather. Three to four times a day the moisture content and surface hardness were measured on the greens. With this data and considering the weather forecast the daily maintenance was determined. During the tournament week all greens were cut on Monday morning and Saturday evening. On Tuesday only 6 specific greens were cut and another 5 on Wednesday. If you compare this to the average golf course, you’ll see that 30+ greenkeepers is plenty. This also meant that we could focus on the finish of the bunkers and the overall presentation of the golf course. As Eddie Adams, Director of Agronomy of the European Tour, told us: “the difference between good and great is in the details”.
On Sunday Eddie Adams was very pleased about the maintenance during the tournament. Needless to say the atmosphere among the greenkeepers was very good that last day. We all could watch the conclusion of the tournament in a laidback atmosphere, and that’s more remarkable than it seems. Because of Covid there were only a couple hundreds of spectators allowed on the course. That meant that we, the greenkeepers, had front row seats when Jonathan Caldwell gained his first victory on the European Tour. The Northern Irishman praised the golf course and talked about how it reminded him of the courses back home. Vallda is the kind of golf course that I really like myself, so I agree with him completely: it was a great week on a beautiful golf course. I’d like to thank Johan, Niklas and the entire team at Vallda once more for the hospitality and the amazing experience!
A new goal
Of course a lot more has happened this month. We visited Malmö FF for instance, the biggest football club in Sweden, where we got an excellent tour by head groundsman Johan Kellerman. There was also the confirmation that the Creekhouse Open (LET) will take place beginning of September at Kristianstad’s Golf Club. Because of Covid it was unclear for a long time whether spectators would be allowed or not. Now that we’re certain the tournament is on, we have a nice goal to work towards. I am done for the day however. It’s Midsommar here in Åhus, home of the Absolut distillery, and that means vodka and pickled herring. It would be rude to ignore these local traditions, so I’ve got no choice but to take part… Hej så länge!
As the most northern links golf course on the United Kingdom mainland, having a top dresser that can spread wet sand like the Dakota 412 from Campey Turf Care Systems is a must at Scotland’s Reay Golf Club.
The James Braid designed course is positioned on the edge of Sandside Bay with views of the Pentland Firth and the North Atlantic from every hole. The course and its stunning views have been under the control of Head Greenkeeper Jason Norwood, since March 2021, with the new man aiming to put his stamp on the course, starting with the greens.
As the sole full-time member of staff for the main 18-hole course and junior three-hole, Jason’s priority is the greens, with volunteers giving up two days a week to assist with the fairways and roughs. The limited time available to Jason needs to be spent working, and with the Dakota 412, he’s able to top-dress as and when he needs to regardless of the sand moisture.
“I’ve tried to put my own stamp on things here with different types of machinery and different ways of working, and the club has really been on board with that, and one of those things has been buying the new Dakota top dresser,” Jason explains.
“The equipment we originally had couldn’t cope well with wet sand; it was more of a large-scale fertiliser spreader. As you can imagine at the top of Scotland, there’s a lot of rain about so any sand that we do have is normally quite wet, so that was one of the main features of the Dakota for us because it can deal with that quite easily and we still get a good even spread with it.
“We really want to push forward and make use of the North Coast 500 tourist route, which is literally on our doorstep; it passes directly in front of us, so we get a lot of passing visitors now, and I think all year-round performing greens are the main thing golfers are after on a golf course so it’s making sure that we can provide that for them.
“We’ve had the machine since the middle of April, but because of the weather chances to get it out have been limited. I’ve trialled different settings on our junior course greens to get what we want for the main course, and it’s been good so far.
“With it having four wheels the weight is distributed incredibly well, so it doesn’t leave a mark on the greens, and the first time I used it you’d have no idea that anything had been done or any heavy equipment had been over the greens it because the footprint was minimal.”
The Dakota 412 features accurate and easy to operate calibration with no manual adjustment and has four Ultra-Trac turf tyres on independent floating beam axels for maximum weight distribution, allowing Jason to work without causing viable disruption to the surface.
As part of Campey’s installation, and to help Jason get the most out of the machine, Campey Product Specialist, Richard Heywood, walked him through the various settings and features, which Jason views as an invaluable experience.
Jason explains: “Because we are so far north, there is a lot more to consider when ordering machinery. Something that was great for me was being supplied through my machinery dealer Double A with support from Campey by sending Richard to demonstrate how to use the top dresser to the best of its abilities. This proved invaluable to me not having used one before.
“He went through it all, explained what all the different settings were, how to adjust it all, and that was vital. Having someone who knows how to operate it fully really maximises its performance and helps us get the best out of the machine.”
One of Ireland’s top golf resorts has taken delivery of two new John Deere 9009A TerrainCut rotary rough mowers to keep its courses in pristine condition. The famous K Club 5-star golfing resort in Kildare, just half an hour’s drive from Dublin, hosted the Ryder Cup in 2006 as well as the Irish Open in 2016 and 13 European Opens.
When the need arose for new rough mowers at the resort, thorough research was carried out by the greens staff to investigate what each brand had to offer. In the end the top cutting quality and reliability of the John Deere models trumped the competition, and two 9009A mowers were ordered from local golf & turf dealer Dublin Grass Machinery.
Powered by a 55hp engine, the John Deere 9009A is a five-gang 68.6cm (27in) independent rotary deck mower with a cutting width of 2.7m (9ft), providing the all-day productivity needed for golf course rough mowing.
Gerry Byrne has been Resort Superintendent at The K Club for the past 24 years and is well pleased with the machines’ performance. “We recently bought the two new John Deere rotary mowers as we wanted to improve the overall presentation of the rough areas on both the Palmer North and Palmer South courses,” he says. “We carried out extensive research into all the main brands and decided that the 9009A suited our needs best of all.
“I have used John Deere mowers in the past but not that recently, just the company’s tractors. It’s been good to reconnect with Dublin Grass Machinery, as I have known Stan Mitchell and the dealership team since I was a trainee many years ago.
“We have operated other makes of rough mower here, and they carried out a good job of overall course maintenance. However, we felt the more versatile John Deere 9009A mowers would give us a better quality of cut. Both mowers not only provide a premium, precision cut but importantly they are also able to cope with our intricate dune style mounds, particularly around sensitive areas of the courses. I find them to be very proficient and user friendly,” he adds.
Most of the servicing and maintenance of the machinery at The K Club is carried out by the resort’s staff mechanic. A good parts and backup service from Dublin Grass Machinery was another influential factor in the purchasing decision for Gerry Byrne and the greenkeeping team.
“Our mechanic Pat Freany has been with us for over 25 years,” he says. “Pat carries out all the servicing and repairs and has a very good working relationship with the dealership. The quick turnaround on parts delivery and service kits is a unique selling point for John Deere, which Pat really appreciates.”
As for future investments in new machinery at The K Club, Gerry Byrne is confident that John Deere will feature again. “The K Club has significant investment plans for the whole estate, and John Deere mowing equipment will certainly be part of our continuing strategy to enhance the overall presentation standards for our members and guests.”
John Deere and training provider ProVQ have announced plans to open a brand new Apprentice Training Centre this autumn, at a farm site in Upper Saxondale near Bingham in Nottinghamshire. This will mark the 30th anniversary of the company’s first Ag Tech apprentice intake, who were enrolled at original partner Brooksby Melton College in 1992.
Designed specifically and solely for John Deere dealer apprentices attending the company’s award winning Ag Tech, Turf Tech and Parts Tech training programmes, the first John Deere Apprentice Training Centre was established at Radcliffe-on-Trent five years ago. These premises have now been outgrown, due to the programmes’ success and increasing dealer demand.
The Ag ,Turf and Parts Tech apprenticeships focus on developing the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for dealer personnel of the future. Each year group trains at the centre for up to eight weeks a year in four blocks of two weeks. Some of this time is also spent at John Deere’s Langar HQ when working with the largest equipment and the latest technologies.
John Deere appointed ProVQ Limited in summer 2015 as its new business partner to deliver the apprentice training programmes on behalf of its dealers in the UK & Ireland. Since that time the strength of the partnership has allowed the programmes to develop and grow to meet the needs and expectations of a modern John Deere dealership. The current full-time ProVQ staff will continue to be managed by James Haslam at the new Apprentice Training Centre from the autumn.
ProVQ started its apprentice training programmes in 2005, and went on to develop a full range of national services including apprentice recruitment, training, vocational assessment and qualifications. Today the company trains over 600 apprentices and many hundreds of adult learners on technical, parts and customer service programmes.
“We are really looking forward to establishing this new bespoke facility close to our UK headquarters at Langar,” said John Deere Limited training centre manager Allan Cochran. “Our joint investment in the expanded Apprentice Training Centre will be in the region of £1.5 million. This will allow us to continue our growth and ambition to attract more young talent to develop successful careers in land-based engineering through the John Deere agricultural, turf and forestry dealer network.
“As our dealership businesses continue to grow, there is increasing demand for qualified technicians equipped with the correct knowledge and skills to support that growth. We have therefore recognised the need to increase the capacity of our already successful and industry leading training programmes even further.
“The new site will feature a purpose-built two-storey unit in addition to refurbished and extended farm buildings, effectively almost doubling our available square footage. The premises will include a bigger workshop space as well as larger classroom and cafeteria facilities.
“Most importantly, this will give us the capability to double our throughput of trained technicians to meet dealer demand. ProVQ will maintain its current staffing levels and continue to provide the full suite of apprentice technician training programmes at the new premises.”
ProVQ managing director Stuart Jones added: “Together with John Deere, we have already jointly developed a very high quality training environment in which apprentices can learn to master the technology that underpins the company’s comprehensive agricultural and amenity turf product ranges.
“We are now looking forward to seeing many more young people come through the doors of our new training centre at the start of what is undoubtedly a very exciting and rewarding career in engineering and parts support. The facilities we are developing will help them to achieve their full potential in a rapidly changing industry that offers a great opportunity to work with some of the most advanced technologies supporting food production, land management and environmental sustainability.”
Camille Chevalier has become a Sustainable Golf Champion – partnering with the non-profit GEO Foundation to help support the group’s mission to advance sustainability in and through golf.
The move follows in the footsteps of nine-time Solheim Cup player Suzann Pettersen and represents another significant step forward in building a community of credible champions across the sector.
As part of this network, Camille will work closely with GEO Foundation to promote and celebrate the positive impacts golf has on nature and people, as well as encouraging further action on key issues such as pollution prevention; resource efficiency and climate change.
In addition, all activities will be closely aligned to The Ladies European Tour sustainability initiative – “Celebrating the Green, presented by Dow”, which was launched last year and aims to showcase environmental, climate and community action across women’s golf and celebrate sustainable activities stemming from players, tournaments, venues and partners.
“I have always had a special relationship with nature and the outdoors – one of the main reasons I have loved golf is because it takes place in beautiful environments,” said Camille, who won the Hero Women’s Indian Open in her first season on the Ladies European Tour. “My interest naturally evolved towards the preservation and protection of nature as I grew up during a period of increasing awareness of the impacts of climate change, plastic pollution, biodiversity loss and the need to live more sustainably.
“As a golfer, I used to practice a lot at Le Golf National and became particularly interested in the course preparation and maintenance, learning a lot about turf and agronomy from passionate people. Now on Tour I am always looking at the different ways of managing the course environment.
“Golf courses can play a key role in creation and preservation of local ecosystems. Biodiversity is very rich throughout a golf course environment and can flourish in areas subjected to very little or no maintenance. This way, local species can develop and blossom naturally.
“And it is important golfers look around them when they play. They can marvel at landscapes and wildlife that can be found on the course – to be amazed is already a first form of action to protect the ecosystem. By keeping this close contact with nature we become aware of its need for protection.
“I am excited about working with the GEO Foundation, exploring how I can live, work and play more sustainably and help celebrate all the good things that are happening in golf for nature and people.”
Camille joins a growing community of Sustainable Golf Champions across the sport, a group which also includes course and club managers, and association leaders who are making real and measurable contributions to sustainable golf. As well as promoting the positive activities throughout golf, as a Sustainable Golf Champion Camille is committed to becoming a “Climate Neutral” golfer. To do so she is calculating all unavoidable travel emissions each year relating to her playing schedule, and offsetting those in the most credible and impactful way using an approach developed by GEO in direct partnership with The Gold Standard.
Jonathan Smith, Executive Director, GEO Foundation, said: “Athletes have the power to draw wide attention to really important issues as well as inspire change. We are very excited about the energy, passion and commitment that Camille will bring to driving sustainability in and through the sport. We hope that more professional players with follow her own and Suzann’s lead, and step forward as champions for sustainable golf.”
Emma Allerton, Commercial Director at the Ladies European Tour added “As an organisation, the LET is also seeking to demonstrate leadership in sustainability and climate action through our ‘Celebrating the Green’ initiative, and this will also give Camille a wonderful platform to help raise awareness of some of the issues and the solutions throughout golf and inspire her fans around the world. Sustainability needs a big team effort, and we welcome others across the LET community to join and take action.”
About Camille Chevalier
Camille Chevalier is from Aix en Provence, France and turned pro in January 2017 at the age of 23. After earning a degree from Indiana University in the US, Camille earned full status through the 2016 Qualifying School to play on the Ladies European Tour. During her first season she secured her maiden professional win at the Hero Women’s Indian Open, finished 10th of the Order of Merit, and became the 2017 Rookie of the Year. The following season she competed on both the Symetra Tour and the Ladies European Tour during which she made cut made in her first Major, the Evian Championship and gained a top 10 in the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open and in 2019 came close to adding to previous win with a third place finish at La Reserva de Sotogrande Invitational. She will be embarking on her fifth season on the LET in 2021, starting her campaign with the Investec South African Women’s Open in May.
About GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf
GEO Foundation is the international not-for-profit dedicated to advancing sustainability in and through golf. Its goal is to work collaboratively to help the sport embrace environmental and social issues and become widely acclaimed for its role in fostering nature, conserving resources, building healthy communities and taking climate action. In addition to its strategic support through partnerships with associations, GEO assures the OnCourse® programmes for grassroots golf facilities, new developments and tournaments, each of which can lead to the internationally accredited, endorsed and independently verified GEO Certified® label.
About LET ‘Celebrating the Green, presented by Dow’
Championing environmental, climate and community action across women’s golf.
Celebrating the Green, the LET’s sustainability initiative, aims to recognise and promote great environmental work being achieved through the Ladies European Tour community. The initiative aims to celebrate and support the successful sustainability activities stemming from our wonderful players, partners, tournaments and venues, whilst inspiring and encouraging others to become involved and engage in sustainability and climate action, addressing some of the most important issues of our time.
Outstanding service and product quality have seen one of Europe’s most prestigious golf clubs, Le Golf National, renew their Jacobsen partnership for a further five years and include an E-Z-GO fleet.
The club has had great success with Jacobsen mowers with the Albatros course for the Ryder Cup in 2018 widely recognised by participants and spectators as one of the best the tournament has seen. That quality isn’t reserved for the Ryder Cup and is regularly seen during the Open de France which the club has hosted 27 times between 1991 and 2019.
A wide range of mowers including the new lithium-ion powered Eclipse 360 ELiTE and AR530 articulated contour rotary mower are included in a 27 strong list that also features models from the HR, TR and SLF ranges as well as GP400s. Following an audit of the machines currently used on the course from the previous leasing agreement, 39 Jacobsen and Cushman mowers and utility vehicles have been purchased by the club for continued use.
Thirty-four RXV Elite E-Z-GO golf carts that use the industry-leading ELiTE lithium-ion battery technology now shared with the Eclipse 360 ELiTE are also included and will feature the Textron Fleet Management (TFM) 10EX system.
For Ransomes Jacobsen, France’s General Manager, Laurent Proupin, Le Golf National’s commitment to Jacobsen comes not just from the signature cut or industry-leading features, but from the service they receive during tournaments and throughout the year.
“I’m very, very excited to have one of France’s major courses continuing to use the Jacobsen brand,” Laurent begins. “It’s been a considerable effort by the entire team at Ransomes Jacobsen France, and one which is a result of always, whoever the customer is, giving the best service we can. I think the support we offer during a tournament and on a day-to-day basis is as important as the quality of cut and is very valued by superintendents.
“The importance of the deals with firstly Le Golf National and then the Ryder Cup was huge because it showed that the Jacobsen brand is very strong. We can point to Le Golf National and the 2018 Ryder Cup which was played on one of the best courses the tournament has had, and that feedback has come from the players.
“And that is the importance of tournament service. We are very close to the customer, and I try to have a spirit that when there is a tournament it isn’t just a tournament for Le Golf National, it’s a tournament for Le Golf National and the Ransomes Jacobsen France team. That worked brilliantly for the Ryder Cup and many Open de France competitions, and we are already looking forward to carrying that into the Golf Amateur World Championships in 2022 as well.
“During each tournament, there are two technical staff from my team on the course, ready to step in if there is any problem. For us, that is assuring them that they will have no problem. And I think it is the main argument for using one company because you can get your mowers and golf cars serviced by the same people.
“For the other brands, several providers are necessary, but for us, all of our technical staff can work on E-Z-GO, the Textron Fleet Management GPS system, Jacobsen or Ransomes and it makes it much easier to manage for our customers.”
Commenting on the renewal of this partnership, Pascal Grizot, President of the French Golf Federation, said: “Golf National must remain the venue for major international golfing events and offer optimal maintenance conditions throughout the year for all types of public. The new high-performance training area also requires technical equipment that matches our sporting ambitions. The continuation of our partnership with Jacobsen EZGO, both in terms of equipment and human resources, allows us to remain confident in preparing for the future French Open and the World Team Championships in 2022. We share together the will to prepare excellent quality courses with the necessary support for our field teams.”
The Director of Le Golf National, Mr Philippe Pilato, detailed the main reasons for this choice: “The teams of Golf National and Ransomes-Jacobsen have built a relationship of trust over many years. Beyond the quality of the service and the machines, we were very sensitive to the knowledge and know-how that guided our collaboration.
Ransomes-Jacobsen has accompanied us through various incredible experiences. The renewal of this partnership highlights our common ambitions to offer excellence in the quality of maintenance and to ensure the durability of this excellence. “
Ransomes Jacobsen France services many of the country’s leading golf clubs from branches in Paris, Rennes and Toulouse. The quality of the products on offer along with the customer service, has been a pivotal selling point for clubs such as the Evian Resort, the Terre Blanche Golf and Spa Resort, the Roquebrune Resort, Golf du Touquet, Blue Green Golf Course of Pléneuf-Val-André, Golf du Prieuré and many others.
From Left to right; Michel Van Uffelen (Belgium), Christopher Krawczyk (Poland), Alexandru Gherman (Romania), Łukasz Królikowski (Poland), Cormac Barry (Rep of Ireland), Viktor Veleski (Sweden), Damir Lučić (Croatia), Bevan Tattersall – Golf Courses Manager, Kristianstads Golfklubb
The first week of April saw the FEGGA Scholarship Students arrive at Kristianstads GolfKlubb to start their 6-month long programme.
Bevan Tattersall, Golf Courses Director welcomes the 2021 FEGGA Students in this opening article.
A very warm welcome to Alex, Chris, Cormac, Damir, Lukasz, Michel and Viktor.
If the FEGGA students were under the impression they would be attending the beautiful Swedish seaside town of Åhus and enjoying the fantastic beaches and weather I am afraid so far, they have been very disappointed. Unfortunately, we have had a very tough winter with two months of snow and for the first month of the student’s time with us we have been experiencing the coldest spring that I can remember in my 16 years working in Sweden. In the last 30 days we have had only 5 days without frost. Not ideal when we have a season that is only seven months long.
The idea both Dean and I had over three years ago was to develop an education programme that could offer both practical training/experience and theory, presented by industry leaders. It is with great pride for FEGGA, Kristianstads Golfklubb and myself that this is growing year on year and it shows with the quality of the individuals that are attending the 2021 programme. Individuals that want to learn and want to make this fantastic profession their chosen career, and to use this programme to bridge the gap between college education and taking the leap into Golf Course Management.
We have seven individuals of mixed ages from six different countries who will be with us for next six months. With the first month just coming to an end the students have enjoyed seven different presentations covering – Course Management Overview, Soil Biology, Creating CV’s, Health and Safety, Golf in Sweden, Irrigation installation and a presentation from FEGGA. All this whilst working on our two Golf Courses. At present the students are split with five working on our East Course and two based on our West Course. Everyone will over the experience have chance to work on the two courses. Two courses with two totally different characters and different challenges.
The East was opened for the season on the 1st April and the West, which is coming to the end of a major renovation/redesign, will open the start of this summer.
Over the next month we hope to see a change in the weather and will focus on repairing winter damage, work on the ‘grow in’ on the West Course, and to enjoy more fascinating presentations/training sessions.
Finally, I would like to say a huge thanks to Gary, Alan, David, Niklas, Ludde, Åke and Dean for giving up their valuable time and producing outstanding presentations, and to Alan Lindsey from The Sportsturf Maintenance Company for his outstanding support and commitment to this programme.
Bevan Tattersall – Kristianstads Golfklubb and Destination
This is what our Students had to say following their first few weeks……
Michel Van Uffelen (Belgium) – From the National Stadium to Kristianstads Golfklubb
“I’ve been a Greenkeeper, Head Greenkeeper, Course Manager and Field Manager in my country. I rose quickly through the ranks and had some good successes but often felt like something was missing, that I could do something more or better. I wanted to test all my greenkeeping skills starting from the base while also improving my managing skills. To be able to do this I’d have to learn from the best on a daily basis and that’s exactly what the FEGGA program offers. After two weeks of working for Bevan Tattersall and his team of highly skilled and motivated greenkeepers, I know I’ve come to the right place.”
Hi all my name is Łukasz and since the beginning of April I started my FEGGA training.
“I am interested in personal development and have a passion for learning new things which is the first reason why I joined the FEGGA program. I started my career as a greenkeeper in 2020 with no knowledge of it and wanted to try something new. My trial turned out to be the most accurate because I can’t imagine working in another industry at the moment. After my first season on the golf course, I wanted to learn more about building a golf course and everything that affects quality and care, which was another reason to join the FEGGA program, because that’s all in this program. There is an amazing atmosphere here and a lot of concrete knowledge. I would like to recommend this program to anyone who wants to learn more about the golf course, who has patience and likes to watch how small pieces of our work translate into later results of the quality of the golf course.”
Firstly, my name is Cormac and I am 21 years old. I am from Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow in Ireland.
“Previous to coming to Kristianstad Golf Club, I had only worked one season as a greenkeeper in Powerscourt Golf Club located in my hometown. After speaking with numerous golf courses about positions for the upcoming season, I then spoke to Dean about a position on the FEGGA scholarship and accepted it without hesitation. I felt it was the perfect opportunity for a young greenkeeper like myself to really progress in my career and also become a better person in general. Edgar to learn as much as possible from the scholarship I believe it offers all of us FEGGA students a bright and promising future.”
Viktor – Why i chose the FEGGA program?
“It all started with my education with the Swedish Greenkeepers Association where I got the feeling that I am on the right track to a new career which was a life change. Also I could not miss the chance to continue to make it practical with people who are one of the best leaders in their job. The best thing about the program is that you meet people from all over the world who are really dedicated and who have a lot of knowledge in their subject, regardless of whether it concerns irrigation, ferilizers, golf course management and more.”
Alexandru Gherman, 35, Romania
“After 5 years working on a golf course in Belgium and my passion for greenkeeping I decided that now is time to deepen my knowledge. FEGGA Scholarship is a good chance for me to do just that because we are working with some of the best professionals in this business. Topics like soil science, disease, course construction, tournament planning are the ones that I’m looking forward to learn more about. All aspects of Golf Course Management are covered in this 6 months and that makes this scholarship one of the best opportunity I couldn’t miss.”
Christopher Krawczyk (Poland) I change my career after 40’s.
“I’ve been a web designer for a long time. This is probably most people’s dream job, but not for me. I didn’t like spending a lot of time in front of the screen and clicking on the keyboard. I was 40 and decided to change my career. I started at a golf construction company but started working as a greenkeeper in Sweden 3 years ago. After the first season I knew this was what I wanted to do in my life. I’m studying Golf Course Management at Elmwood College. Now I’m aiming the Head Greenkeeper Assistant, but my goal is to be the Gead greenkeeper in 6 years. I came to Kristianstad GK to expand my practical knowledge as there is often no time for this during the regular season. This FEGGA program is a great opportunity to learn about the regular maintenance of greenkeeping and ask anything you want to know about it.”
My name is Damir Lučić from Croatia.
“I have joined the FEGGA Scholarship Programme in order to gain skills, knowledge and qualification in this continually growing Golf Greenkeeping Industry. The program is a very well structured combination of lectures and precisely directed hands-on experience. Lectures are given by the most prominent people in their fields and the entire team of Kristianstads GK, led by Mr. Bevan Tattersall is the most kind and cooperative towards us, the FEGGA students. Our clothing, protection and equipment are all the top notch – there’s absolutely nothing missing. Great care is invested into making sure that the students are happy and comfortable. We will host the Ladies Open, here in Kristianstads GolfKlubb and we will also spend a week in Vallda GC for the European Tour event. The strawberry on the cream on the cake will be saved for the very end of our Programme: visiting Scotland for the Dunhill Links at the Kingsbarns, Carnoustie and Yes – St. Andrews as well!”
FEGGA Scholarship Programme
In the past 10 years I’ve had the privilege to gain experience in several positions in turfgrass management. From greenkeeper to head greenkeeper and field manager. So why start “studying” again?
For starters I’ve never stopped studying in the first place. I’ve followed several online and offline courses, took part in seminars and meetings and read many books. Of course that was all in my spare time. Here in Sweden we’re talking about working and learning every day from one of the top guys in our profession and that’s an important difference. Being part of top team on a daily basis on a high end course provides a ton of information and experience. This way I can improve my greenkeeping skills while also gaining insight on how the courses are run. The focus of the program is on course management and they are completely open about the things they do here. On top of all this, there are seminars and excursions to complete the package.
Meet the team
The top guy I was speaking about is Bevan Tattersall from England. He worked his way up at The Belfry to course manager and was there during the Ryder Cups of 1993 (as greenkeeper) and 2002 (golf course manager). When I think of all the big names that fought their battles on “his” greens (Ballesteros, Faldo, Woods,…), it’s hard to realise this man wants to teach us everything about greenkeeping he knows. In 2005 Bevan moved with his family to Sweden to become course manager at Barsebäck Golf & Country Club (Solheim Cup 2003), which was in the running for the Ryder Cup. Unfortunately for him the Ryder Cup didn’t come to Sweden, but he’s still got over 40 professional tournaments in total on his record. Finally, in 2018 the new owners of Kristianstads Golfklubb convinced him to move to the other side of Sweden and that’s where we are today.
The team Bevan has assembled consists of 2 young head greenkeepers: his eldest son Ben(jamin) on the West Course and Niklas Johansson on the East Course. There are 7 full time greenkeepers in total that work during the entire year. Because the courses in Sweden close during winter there’s a lot less work to be done. The full time greenkeepers work less hours during winter and more in the growing season. To get all that work done once the grass starts growing, the team expands with another 10 to 15 seasonal greenkeepers in spring. No luxury if they want to fulfil the high expectations of the club…
The club consists of two golf courses: the East Course is the championship course and was ranked 3rd by Golf Digest in 2020 out of over 480 Swedish golf courses. The golf club was founded in 1924 but moved in 1938 to it’s current location in Åhus, a coastal village 20 km south of Kristianstad. The last renovation was finished in 2016 and was carried out with the help of the architects Pierre Fulke (Ryder Cup 2002) and other former professional golfer Adam Mednickson.
The same duo signed for the renovation that’s currently in progress on the West Course. The first holes of this course were originally added to the golf club in 1980. It is seen as more accessible and suitable for all levels of play. The renewed course will open again on July 1st and it’s expected this will be a top-20 course in Sweden as well. For us, the FEGGA-students, it’s very interesting to participate in the final parts of construction and to finish the the grow-in. Given the high expectations we will be putting a lot of work into this in the coming time.
“You haven’t seen any snow mould until you get to Sweden.” – Bevan Tattersall
Beginning of March, about a month before our arrival, heavy snowfall came over Åhus. This triggered a large attack of snow mould, especially on the greens of the East Course. Chemical control is very limited in Sweden and is sparsely used. In this case it was necessary on the old greens, that mainly consist of Poa annua, to not lose them completely. Our first weeks on the course revolved around the recovery of the greens. Mechanical treatments included overseeding Agrostis stolonifera with a spikerseeder and light applications of sand. After this the damaged spots got spiked and overseeded manually as well. Seaweed and other biostimulants are used to speed up recovery some more. All we need now is some higher temperature but up here that’s easier said than done.
Apart from some exceptions, we’ve barely reached 5° in our first few weeks. We’ve had frost almost every morning since our arrival. Not what you want when you need a speedy recovery of the greens. The greenkeepers are only allowed on the course when all frost is gone. And if the greenkeepers have to wait to get started, the time the course opens changes as well. This is decided by the course manager, who has a direct line with the reception desk. If a golfer booked a tee time at 8:00 and the course opens at 8:30 due to frost, the 8:00 tee time is cancelled. This way they try to keep the pressure off of the greenkeepers and make sure quality comes before quantity… and greenfees.
The past few days it’s getting warmer and the expectations are that the grass growth will increase soon. We are looking forward to get the course in the coming month to it’s top level. We’ve also got some interesting seminars on course construction and fertilisers coming up. This has been a long introduction already so I’ll wrap it up for now. Only thing left for me is to send you warm greetings from a cold country and hej så länge!
Michel Van Uffelen was head greenkeeper at Golfclub Beveren and Koksijde Golf in Belgium. In the past four years he was responsible for the pitch of the Belgian national stadium and several professional football clubs. Since April he works and studies in Sweden through the FEGGA scholarship programme.