The Groundsman

June 2016

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IOG BEST PRACTICE 18 the Groundsman June 2016 Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions ith just 20 days between two major tournaments – the AEGON Championships and the Davis Cup quarter finals – everyone at The Queen's Club (and throughout the tennis world, for that matter) knew that grounds manager Graham Kimpton and his team had their work cut out in bringing the courts back to pristine condition between the two events. But the team's experience shone through and, working with nature during a period "when we were blessed with record high temperatures", the courts for the Davis Cup were heralded as magnificent. "The AEGON final, on the Sunday, was followed the next day by AEGON and BNP Paribas corporate events, so we got to work turning the courts around on the Tuesday," Graham explains. "We W A grass masterclass from the team at Queen's Last year, with less than three weeks between hosting the AEGON Championships and Davis Cup matches, The Queen's Club's grounds team rose to the occasion by delivering a masterclass in grass care By: Colin Hoskins immediately set about de-stressing the surfaces by irrigation – lots of it! This was followed by re-seeding, using a 100 per cent rye mix. Then it was a case of finding the right 'balance' – applying enough water to get the seed to germinate and grow, but not too much water so that the courts would be too soft. During that period we enjoyed very high temperatures so it really was a case of using a 'touch and feel' approach; applying the right amount of water to encourage continued growth, while also ensuring that it wasn't scorched. It even meant taking a watering can to specific areas to make sure these had the right amounts of water. Yes, we have moisture meters but it was always a case of keeping one eye on the weather and another on the sward. We subsequently applied a small amount of liquid feed then got the roller on." The Davis Cup games were not confirmed to be held at the club until late March/early April (such is the nature of the competition) but it is fair to say that Graham's well-oiled maintenance routine did not have to be changed too much, since the courts always have to be quickly brought back after the Championships for members' use. Indeed, the centre court can have up to 12 sets of play per day during Championships week. However, the differences last year were that some of the world's leading players would be 'pressurising' the courts again in such a short space of time and, of course, the playing surfaces would again be under the close scrutiny of a global TV audience. The Queen's Club's centre court - ready for the Davis Cup just 20 days after the AEGON Championships

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