The Groundsman

August 2015

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COMMENT 3 the Groundsman August 2015 Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions o far this summer we have enjoyed a mixed bag of weather which, as ever, impacts signifi cantly on groundsmanship – and greenkeeping for that matter! In Scotland the British Open golf tournament was played amid some of the worst weather in decades which forced the fi nal round to be moved to the Monday. Although after winning the title a gracious speech from Zach Johnson praised the greenkeepers: "The course was unplayable," Johnson told reporters: "The R&A did what they needed to do and what they were supposed to do because it was like a lake on one and 18. They did a great job." Compare and contrast with this year's Men's Singles fi nal at Wimbledon in London where temperatures soared to record levels on Centre Court and winner Novak Djokovic took praise of grass to new levels by actually eating some: "It tastes very, very good this year, I don't know what the groundskeepers have done, but they've done a great job," he said. And then there was the cricket. After the England team won the fi rst Test at the SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff it then suffered a drubbing at Lords amid much comment over the state of the wickets. Although according to Glamorgan assistant coach and ex-England spinner Robert Croft, critics passed judgement too early: "A great Test pitch... produces a great Test match and we saw a great Test match this time. Therefore this was a great Test pitch." Whereas former Australia wicketkeeper Ian Healy said: "I don't like it. It's not up to Test match standard." After the Lords' Test reversal for the England team there was more debate around the wicket and how it had been prepared. It is a worrying trend in cricket to immediately focus on the playing surface which, of course, is both stressful to the grounds staff involved and equally unwarranted. Is it though a defl ection of how a team has performed? After all both take the fi eld of play together and leave together, so hasn't one just coped better than the other? The pressure now on groundsmanship is ever present, especially with the high-defi nition media coverage that is broadcast around the world and our sports grounds are in good and very capable hands. It's easy to criticise but to be able to prepare such surfaces takes dedication, time and effort, and I for one applaud the brilliance of all those involved and for which we at the IOG have the utmost respect for the work done and the standards reached. Recognising excellence is of course a key part of the IOG Awards and this year we have a great evening of entertainment with Alistair McGowan taking centre stage alongside our host talkSPORT's Mark Saggers. Tickets are selling fast so don't delay in booking your place on 4 November. On a fi nal note, we say goodbye this month to Tracy Oliver who has been with the IOG for 13 years and has been outstanding in her role managing our offi ce and our fi nances. Tracy leaves with our very best wishes for a new and exciting opportunity in a new industry. We are in the process now of lining up replacements. We also welcome to the team Dan Prest as our new education and training manager who will work alongside Chris Gray, our head of learning, as we look to develop further our training and education programme. Geoff Webb, Chief Executive, The Institute of Groundsmanship Summer sports' contrasts and concerns S It tastes very, very good this year, I don't know what the groundskeepers have done, but they've done a great job " Contributors Karen Maxwell Managing editor Colin Hoskins Features editor John Moverley OBE chair Amenity Forum Paul Groves Product editor Chris Bennett SALTEX press offi cer

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