Q&A with Stuart Taylor, course manager at Glasgow Killermont Golf Club

By Alistair April 3, 2020 08:56 Updated

The greenkeeper answers questions on the club’s recent purchase of its second Tru-Turf greens’ roller.

The golf club has purchased its second Tru-Turf greens’ roller. How long have you been using a turf iron over the greens, what were the reasons you decided to invest in a greens’ iron, what was the selection process that led you to decide Tru-Turf was the best option for you and who did you purchase this from?

Yes this is the second Tru-Turf machine I have bought. The first was 10 years ago – we used it consistently for eight years until replacing it with the present unit.

The reason for investing in this particular machine was specifically to reduce the cutting regime, increase greens speeds, improve the turf swards, reduce the stress on the sward, improve the trueness of putting surfaces and aid recovery after aeration processes.

During the selection process several other manufacturers’ machines were trialled on the basis of ease of use, manual handling issues, speed of operation, performance after completion, damage to the surface, speed increase, transport issues, fuel usage and so on.

The machine was purchased from Double A as they were the agents at that time and their back-up has proved to be excellent.

How frequently do you use the Tru-Turf roller across the course and what results do you see across the course in terms of playability and presentation?

The Tru-Turf is used through the season; at least twice per week dependent on weather conditions and tournament schedule

The playing surfaces increase in speed on average by 18 inches (450mm), the sward quality has increased to 70 per cent bent, reduced stress on the plant, we have better surfaces after solid tine work as well as more consistent surfaces.

Please be aware this is all carried out in conjuction with a liquid feed and growth regulator programme as well as using bio-stimulants, which appears to be working extremely well.

Following a member suffering a heart attack, the Tru-Turf roller was instrumental in returning the green to its former glory after it had been damaged by an ambulance tyre; please can you detail what happened?

Some two years ago now I was busy finishing off changing holes in the afternoon when I noticed a helicopter hovering over the 8th and 13th greens but was unable to see why because  the view from the 9th greens, where I was located, is blocked off by a hillside.

I then noticed the helicopter lowering as if to land, at which time I boarded my vehicle to investigate only to discover it had landed on the 16th tee, whereupon I also noticed an ambulance on the 8th green. I travelled down to the green to discover a member had had a heart attack and our clubhouse was called upon to use the defibrillator – eventually saving the member’s life.

After the vehicle had vacated the course I used the Tru-Turf to roll the green and help eliminate the tyre grooves created by the ambulance.

How closely do you work with Sandy Armit and his team at Double A and what level of support do you get?

I have two annual visits from the company representative and usually meet them at different functions but they are John Deere agents for the east of Scotland, whereas we are located on the west side, they also supply Campey equipment  and therefore demonstrate certain other equipment as required. They service the Tru-Turf annually and are excellent at after sales service.

I have recently purchased three tonne Dakota top-dresser which is proving to be a fantastic piece of kit.


By Alistair April 3, 2020 08:56 Updated

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