Wath Golf Club incorporates biological solutions within its Turf Management Plan for impressive greens

By Alistair April 13, 2024 07:59

Set in the tranquil countryside of South Yorkshire on the outskirts of Rotherham, Wath Golf Club has found an amenity supplier where it gets everything under one roof – Origin Amenity Solutions (OAS).

Head greenkeeper Mark Hudson has been at Wath Golf Club in Rotherham for two years and is happy that, with the help of his team of six, he’s turning the greens around.

He explains, “I first met Andy de Wet from Symbio (part of OAS) four years ago while I was head greenkeeper at Crow Nest Golf Club in Brighouse. We had issues with black layer and thatch. I had always used synthetic fungicides and will continue to do so while they are available but with legislation changing, I felt a change to my future plans to incorporate biological products was needed, to be more sustainable, and to improve results at my golf course. This was when I approached Andy, and we began putting together a balanced programme. I was really impressed with the results and so when I moved to Wath Golf Club I was keen to replicate what I had achieved.”

Mark Hudson

Mark has been a customer of Rigby Taylor (also part of OAS) for over 20 years, purchasing nutrition products and grass seeds. His go-to is R9 and Cobra Nova grass seed and the Nutri-Link system, specially formulated liquid supplements to improve plant health.

Symbio and Rigby Taylor, along with Headland Amenity and TurfKeeper, joined forces and were rebranded as OAS in 2021. Mark comments, “This was brilliant for me. Rather than being inundated with reps from all companies, I have just one – Andy. I much prefer our ‘Single Source Supply’ approach. On average I see Andy once a month, but he is always at the end of the phone and will visit more or less regularly depending on what I need. He’s like an extension of our team. Along with having Andy on board, he is backed by a whole team of experts in all fields of this industry.

“He introduced me to Headland products, and I am converted to the 20-20-30 IPM strategy and Multigreen controlled release for the tees and approaches. I like that I have access to different products and have found that improvements to my course are being made because of this.”

From Mark’s first walk around at Wath Golf Club “it was clear to see the greens were suffering from problems in the ground. After an in-depth look under the surface, high levels of thatch were the obvious reason for poor turf health. As I had used some of the products from Symbio I was keen to get the biology doing its thing to break down the thatch issues.”

Wath GC before Thatcheater

He continues, “Thatcheater was the first product Andy and I discussed as we were approaching the perfect timing for application. After our first season using Thatcheater and compost tea, the difference was amazing. We went from high levels of tight thatch to a reduced amount, and it was a lot easier to pull apart and less dense. The condition of our greens improved massively in the first year and the surfaces already looked better health-wise. We continued using Thatcheater in the second year and again visible results were there to be seen, with improved turf health. Our bent grasses started to thrive in a healthier environment meaning our playing surfaces are better all the time. We will be applying it again this year to improve things even further and I know that when used alongside the compost teas and OAS DegrAid we will be in a great position by the end of the year. We will have created a much more hospitable environment for our finer grasses to flourish, which will give us better all-year-round surfaces.”

Wath GC after Thatcheater

Wath Golf Club is a par 70, 6,096-yard parkland golf course that was established in 1904 and is considered one of the most friendly and inclusive golf clubs in the region. The course is challenging with its narrow fairways and small greens; it is flat and a test for all standards of golfers. Mark adds, “It is a welcoming club with real potential. Members are happy to see the standards of the greens increasing and say it’s the best the course has looked.”

Mark is also a keen advocate of the OAS TurfKeeper.com, an online turf management tool. “It’s great” he adds, “I use it for my budgeting, to manage my stock levels and spray applications. I can use this to plan future applications giving me a full breakdown of costs and nutrient inputs. It’s a fully integrated operations and management solution and invaluable for me. It’s another example of where OAS has helped me and added real value by making my job so much easier.”

Mark Hudson and Andy de Wet

TurfKeeper is a personalised, single environment that gives turf and grounds managers complete control and insight into staff management, task planning, machinery management, inventory control, chemical applications planning and recording, and budgeting and expense management. There is detailed reporting on all areas readily available, and a resource library provision.

Each January, Mark and Andy put a programme together which addresses areas of concern or where improvements can be made. Mark adds, “I tell Andy what I want to achieve, and he advises the best products for that. He also suggests areas that I might not have thought of. After listening to the advice on products a full yearly plan is put together, discussed and implemented.”

“We split the programme into three – January, March, and mid-summer; however, it is fluid, and we tweak it as necessary. This year I am keen to introduce a wildflower meadow to a rough area, so Andy introduced me to a wildflower specialist in OAS. She explained what I needed to consider, how to prepare the ground and sow the seed for the best results and gave me a flower seed mix recommendation. This is how easy it is to work with OAS.”

Mark Hudson

Mark is happy with his course but concludes, “I’m not resting on my laurels, I’m really pleased but there is still room for improvement. I’m working with my OAS rep on a couple of areas and then I’ll be happy.”

For further information or to discuss a bespoke programme for your club contact the OAS team on 0800 138 7222 or email sales@originamenity.com


By Alistair April 13, 2024 07:59

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