How Casterton Golf Club in Cumbria survived the drought

By Alistair March 23, 2023 09:22

The owner of Casterton, Peter Makinson, is also its head greenkeeper. Here he details how his feeding programme was used to retain moisture and nutrients in the profile during last summer’s hot, dry weather.

Nestled between the Yorkshire Dales and Lakeland Fells, Casterton Golf Club in south Cumbria has undergone radical expansion in recent years under the guidance of owner and head greenkeeper Peter Makinson. The underlying limestone rock provides excellent drainage, ensuring the course is playable year-round but poses a challenge to Peter and his team in the club’s attempts to retain moisture and nutrients in the profile. That’s where his feeding programme from Origin Amenity Solutions (OAS) comes in – with particular successes seen last year in switching from spot treatments to broader applications of TriCure Ad™ Granular.

Peter has used products from the OAS portfolio, specifically the Headland brand, for the last 15 years. Under the guidance of OAS sales manager Alex Hawkes, this has progressed to a full year-round programme – put into practice for the last four years. “We have traditionally followed a primarily liquid regime” Peter explains, “applied monthly in and around the busy course and available weather windows, and working with the labour resources available.

“The TriCure Ad™ Granular product is easy to apply and for the last few seasons, we have been using it to target particularly problematic areas around the course with good results.”

However, with the prolonged period of hot and dry weather experienced last year, Peter extended his use to wider applications – providing some relief to non-irrigated greens.

“We started with an application at a rate of 24g/m2 at the beginning of the season with the plan to reapply every three months. However, we closely monitored the weather and could react by getting the spreader out, covering two to three greens per night, and watering it using taps and hoses.”

TriCure Ad™ Granular product offers an effective solution in situations where spraying is not feasible. It utilises DG-Lite, dispersible granular technology as a carrier to quickly release the chemistry with no residue left after normal irrigation. It also does not contain any of the ingredients commonly associated with phytotoxicity or scorch meaning it can be safely applied in the morning and watered-in to activate the product in the evening without risk to the turf.

“It’s easy to spread and breaks down well, with no pickup on the mowers afterwards” Peter adds.

“The beauty of being able to apply it as and when we needed it most meant we got through the challenging summer retaining adequate coverage and recovering quickly when the rain returned.”
Having demonstrated its effectiveness, Peter now plans to extend applications of TriCure Ad™ to the tees for the upcoming season.

“As we look for ways to manage the challenges that mother nature throws at us, knowing how this product works on our ground and the results we get with the resources we have available, it’s the next logical step.”

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By Alistair March 23, 2023 09:22

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