Articles

  • Planning to build a new pitch?

    Planning to build a new pitch? Pitchcare Journal July 2015 28-vital-aspects-in-planning-a-new-pitch
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  • The winter pitch crisis

    The winter pitch crisis (The Groundsman, November 2006) Only on the sports field can children experience a microcosm of life – learning to succeed, to fail, to win, to lose and above all to respect one another. The Olympics are just around the corner; there is much hype on the need to nurture sport at […]
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  • Within weeks we will be watering

    Within weeks we will be watering (Turf Business, March/April 2008) Grass turfed areas are saturated – after the driest February in years good rains in March have recharged shallow reservoirs in sandy rootzones. Yet within weeks this limited water storage will be quickly lost by increasing evapotranspiration (ET). Dry patches will become apparent and irrigation […]
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  • Weather Stations

    Weather Stations (Golf Club Secretary, August 2004) All golfers are becoming more aware of the weather. It affects their attitude to play as well as the flight and roll of the golf ball. For greenkeepers however, their entire work pattern is dependent on the weather. Recorded weather measurements are a back-up to all work on […]
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  • Weather influences

    Weather Influences Recording of the main elements of weather is essential in judging performance of quality plant growth and planning ahead. The article ‘Keeping a finger on the pulse’ (published in Golf News International and accessible in the tab ‘journal articles’) clearly identifies the importance of recording rainfall, temperature and wind. A variety of weather […]
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  • Where has all the water gone?

    Where has all the water gone? (Turf Business, May/June 2005) More often than not water falling on grass is lost or ineffective. If it does not penetrate the grass cover there is a good chance it will be lost by evaporation, be held up in the thatch or lost by run-off. Monitoring effective precipitation becomes […]
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  • Thinking ahead in irrigation

    Thinking ahead on irrigation (Turf Business, March/April 2007) With the welcome dry period at the beginning of April, thoughts now turn to irrigation. Within six weeks soils will go from field capacity to a condition of soil moisture deficit (ie. a condition where water must be added to retain field capability. Knowing the amount of […]
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  • Turfgrass equipment

    Getting More from Specialised Turfgrass Equipment Golf Club Management, May 2001 The weather over the last seven months has been trying enough. Equipment used regularly has operated under very adverse conditions. In fact, with golf now played throughout the year equipment is often used to the limit with little available time for proper servicing unless […]
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  • The Pendulum Swings

    The Pendulum Swings (Golf Course News International, July 2001) Within the short space of two months saturated soils and waterlogged surfaces have dried out leaving parched grass cover wherever there is no irrigation. Every year in Britain during the 14-16 weeks commencing about the middle of May quick drying out can threaten the playing surfaces […]
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  • Summer Seeding

    Summer Seeding (Turf Business, June 2008) At this time of the year seeding without irrigation can be hit or miss. Hot dry spells once the seedlings have sprouted can prove fatal and in addition, this is the time when weeds germinate in profusion. Still, this comment is of no help when this just happens to […]
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  • Synthetic Pitches

    A closer look at synthetic pitches (Turf Business, March/April 2008) In the British climate the multi-use of grassed sports pitches has become virtually impossible in view of the persistent wet conditions and dominance of clay topsoil. Many schools require outdoor playing areas throughout the year in all weather conditions. The hours of use prevent grass […]
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  • Keeping sports pitches drained over winter

    Keeping sports pitches drained over winter (Turf Business, September/October 2007) It is now too late for any drainage installation or severe disturbance of the grassed surface – what is uncompleted must remain so. However, there are a number of treatments that can assist in maintaining pitches in as good a playing condition as possible. October […]
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  • Summer Maintenance

    A vital dimension in summer maintenance (Turf Business, July/August 2007) Maintaining grass in the summer is a matter of common sense – so many of the uninformed believe. It simply incorporates a combination of mowing, aerating, soil conditioning, fertilisation, top dressing, pest control and irrigation – all standard operations. However, with today’s exacting demands of […]
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  • Budgeting maintenance of sports facilities

    Setting an overall standard We are today striving to achieve better results on our grassed playing surfaces. Improvements come with a cost but priorities and values can get easily distorted. It is vital to set an overall standard – a level of performance in keeping with our budget and aspirations. Yet little thought is given […]
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  • Potato patch

    Must we accept potato patch football pitches? (Pitchcare, July 2007) Apart from the condition of sadly performing premier football pitches, how often do we hear of waterlogged pitches on school and communal grounds? We are now on the road to 2012 and sound outdoor leisure and sports facilities are essential if we as a nation […]
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  • Projects in dispute

    Turfgrass projects in dispute (Turf Business, January/February 2006) Any sizable project involving a contract sum can initiate dispute between the contractor and client. No contract agreement or specification can be so complete that there will be no difference of opinion in the nature, method or cost of individual items in the contract works. The contractor […]
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  • Maintenance Facility

    Thoughts in establishing a new maintenance facility (Golf Club Secretary, September, 2005) Many golf courses have given scant attention to the maintenance facility – it has either been deferred or abandoned for the meantime. On the property it is a local point on which everything that happens on the golf course depends. With the integration […]
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  • Keeping a Finger on the Pulse

    Keeping a Finger on the Pulse (Golf Course News International, March 2002) No one enjoys completing unnecessary paperwork – and record keeping or any form of administration is an extra chore for many course managers. Even spending too much time behind the computer can eventually lead to loss of productive time. So why record – […]
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  • Learn from the rains

    What can we learn from the rains (Turf Business, January/February 2008) Standing water is everywhere – but January is always a wet month and floods are expected in many parts of the country. All low lying areas are at risk and expanses of water are evident on much of the flat ground. A study of […]
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  • Flooding drainage

    Flooding may not mean more drains (Golf Course News International, Feb/Mar 2005) How does it happen? After even light rains there can be more water in localised areas than the measured rainfall. Water run-off is grossly underestimated and during cool wet winters low evaporation rates means prolonged soggy areas. Though underground water from springs and […]
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  • Floodwater destruction

    Floodwater destruction (The Groundsman, August 2007) Floodwater moves silently and quickly – it can be menacing and destructive. Time has no meaning and all and everything succumbs to its power and disregard. There are two main aspects to flooding. the deluge of water flow following an indiscriminate path on an unplanned water course seeking escape […]
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  • Choosing a contractor

    Choosing a contractor (The Groundsman, July, 2008) A contractor’s reputation is as good as it was after the last contract. In selecting a contractor, word of mouth goes a long way to giving confidence to the client and seeking out panels of qualified contractors also gives peace of mind. Yet there is nothing more informative […]
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  • Contracting

    Cost effective contracting (The Groundsman, August, 2005) There is more to contracting than price, resources and reputation Appointing the right contractor does not guarantee a clear passage to a cost effective project. Apart from the variables that exist on site, the fine details of the agreement and the level of communication between the contractor and […]
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  • Challenges in irrigation

    Challenges in irrigation plus addendum (The Groundsman, May 2008) Can we benefit from using less water? Warm temperatures are at last with us and the need to irrigate will soon arise. Monitoring use is logical but it becomes critical at times of restrictive use. Daily evapotranspiration (ET) losses question the value of light daily sprinkling […]
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  • Autumn after a Summer of Rain

    Into autumn after a summer of rain (sports pitches) (Turf Business, September/October 2008) The unwelcome rains in recent weeks question the arrival of autumn. Even the earthworms seem to think the summer is over. However, with a good high pressure system hovering to the south hopefully there is still warm drier weather to come. Into […]
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  • Budget Golf Maintenance

    Budgeting The Course Maintenance Program (Golf Club Secretary, June 2005) In general most golf clubs simply extend the previous year’s expenditure in preparing forward annual estimates of course maintenance costs. It is strange that in an enterprise where the income for the year can be fairly well estimated an agreed allocation towards course maintenance cannot […]
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  • A Good Putting Surface

    A Good Putting Surface (Golf Course News International, August 2002) Golfers are quick to judge the putting conditions on the greens – and in their eyes it is this assessment that often determines the standard of the course and whether they want to return or not. Course managers know that to achieve a good even […]
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  • Drainage Problems on a Golf Course

    An Economic Appraisal of Methods to Overcome Surface Drainage Problems on a Golf Course (9th International Turfgrass Research Conference, Guelph, Canada, July 2001) Abstract Between tee and green, areas of a clay loam texture with little fall (less than 3%) are prone to waterlogging at the soil surface during prolonged wet winter months. Drain lines […]
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  • Reshaping the Golf Course

    Reshaping the Golf Course ‘Golf Potential Now’ Conference, Café Royal, London, May 25 2001 A strong criticism of many new golf courses hinges around the volume of earth that is moved. Is it really warranted? What are the benefits of moving earth or even importing fill material from other sites? There is no doubt that […]
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  • Performance Quality Standards

    Another dimension to sports pitch performance Performance Quality Standards. Pitchcare Journal. 20 September 2013 Further to the current Performance Quality Standard (PQS) there are a number of additional factors that deserve consideration. Established to set a standard for natural grass pitches, the PQS does seem to be inadequate in certain criteria. As it was developed […]
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  • Why are there still failures in sports pitch drainage?

    Why are there still failures in sports pitch drainage? Pitchcare Journal. 26 April 2013 27a-why-are-there-still-failures
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  • Myths in sports pitch drainage

    SAPCA Technical meeting. Loughborough, 5 December 2012. Gordon Jaaback Key words: sports turf, sub-grade, compaction, ripping, sub-soiling, drainage, gypsum. It has been well documented that it is essential to create adequate macro-pore space and consequent permeability within the soil profile to sustain quality plant growth (Buckman, H.O. and Brady, N.C.1994). However, a sports turf sub-grade […]
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  • Appreciation of the limitations in the condition of the sub-grade

    European Turfgrass Society Conference. Oslo, Norway. May 2012. Gordon Jaaback Key words: sports turf, sub-grade, compaction, ripping, sub-soiling, drainage, gypsum. It has been well documented that it is essential to create adequate macro-pore space and consequent permeability within the soil profile to sustain quality plant growth (Buckman, H.O. and Brady, N.C.1994). However, a sports turf […]
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