The Groundsman

June 2012

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the Groundsman June 2012 The only way is up! I start this month with a note to anyone who believes this industry has nothing to offer young people. At our 2011 Conference, we announced the IOG Young Directors sponsorship deal with Ransomes Jacobsen, and last month this resulted in a group of six young groundsmen – the Young Directors as well as the winner of the 2011 IOG Young Groundsman of the Year Award - having the trip of a lifetime to the USA as VIP guests at the Future Turf Managers Conference, where they mixed with up and coming greenkeepers from all over America and as far away as Hong Kong. A year ago, the IOG Young Directors scheme did not exist but thanks to Ransomes Jacobsen's proactiveness and a few straightforward discussions, I found myself on the 'plane with the group of young UK groundsman aged between 18 and 25. And I have to report that this group provides me with great hope for the future of our industry. The schedule of events for the week gave the group an inside look at some of the premier sports and golf facilities in the south east US states. The first tour was the Charlotte speedway circuit run by Roger Neale, Vice President of Operation and Development (though interestingly introduced to us as "the guy who cuts the grass"). While most of the facility is focused on the tarmac of this vast 160,000-capacity Nascar racing facility, the focal point on race days is the natural turf centrepiece opposite the grandstand. The group then toured Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, less than one week after Superintendent Jeff Kent and his team had hosted the PGA Tour's Wells Fargo Championship, and we were able to test a range of Jacobsen equipment there. The next day incorporated a visit to the resplendent Sage Valley GC in Graniteville, run by Superintendent Chuck Green. The group also went behind-the-scenes to learn more about the baseball and football facilities at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. The 9,000-seat capacity baseball facility is of sand-based construction built to USGA golf green specification. The football stadium has a 80,250 capacity and the group learnt that because of its geographical position and varied climate, the approach is to use Bermuda grass in the warmer months and rye grass in the cooler months. Just like in the UK, May was renovation time there and the group took great interest in the approach and, indeed, the different techniques adopted. They also toured Jacobsen's Charlotte production facilities - a real eye opener - and learned about the value of membership of the GCSAA. Also, an excellent GCSAA presentation challenged the audience to look at what they would be doing in five, ten and 15 years' time, and this 'reminder' about planning your career and charting future goals and aspirations was noted attentively. All in all it was a very successful trip (our next issue will carry a full report by Will Graves, our youngest group member) and real evidence that by getting involved with the IOG you can unlock the door to greater opportunity, to networking opportunities and to new experiences. So, please spread the word! Our industry is a great sector, with companies that are willing to help promote and develop young people, as Ransomes Jacobsen has done so admirably. The IOG is striving to make a real impact and is developing opportunities and career progression for those who want them. But we need more young people to join us. CONTENTS 4-9 13-17 COMMENT 3 Industry News Feature - Environmental evangelists! 18-19 20-21 Feature - Ascot's crowning glory Feature - Taking pitch quality to the bank 22-23 25 26-27 28-30 31 Feature - STRI scores again Feature - Non-stop innovation Feature - The stage is set Product Showcase - In Action Feature - A new generation of dealers? 33-35 37-38 39-43 44-47 48 Geoff Webb, Chief Executive, Institute of Groundsmanship Editorial address: 28 Stratford Office Village Walker Avenue Wolverton Mill East Milton Keynes MK12 5TW Tel: 01908 312511 MANAGING EDITOR Colin Hoskins Tel: 01634 832 221 IOG MEMBERSHIP AND GENERAL ENQUIRIES Tel: 01908 312511 MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTIONS Sue Fernandes Tel: 01908 312511 SUBSCRIPTIONS £65 UK £76 Europe £105 Rest Of World 49-51 Product Showcase - Line Markers Product Showcase - Secure Storage Technical Update - Aeration Maintenance Calendar Weather Classifieds DESIGN Gemma Brownhill Tel: 01952 234 005 ADVERTISEMENT SALES TSP Media Paul Hawkins Tel: 01952 234 000 The Groundsman is published monthly by the Institute of Groundsmanship. All material is copyright of the Institute of Groundsmanship and may not be reproduced without permission. The publishers do not accept responsibility for any advertisement appearing in the Journal and cannot be held liable for editorial omissions or errors. The views expressed in the Journal are not necessarily those of the Institute of Groundsmanship.

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