After trialling a range of various wetting agents, Jonathan Smith, Course Manager at Cowdray Park Golf Club, West Sussex, found exactly what he was looking for in Sherriff Amenity’s Aqua-Zorb Liquid.
Golf has been played at Cowdray since 1904. A classic downland layout built on sandy soil, it has spectacular panoramic views of the South Downs. Renowned for being a fair test to all and a true year-round venue, it is a popular destination for visiting golfers. At the heart of the 16,500 acre Cowdray Estate, the golf club echoes the wider vision and values including a long term sustainability plan.
Jonathan Smith has been Course Manager at Cowdray for 17 years and oversees a fully qualified and dedicated team of seven members of staff. As a team they are continuously looking for ways to improve the general condition of the course while keeping the Cowdray Estate’s vision in mind.
Therefore, in the summer of 2016 Jonathan and his team embarked on a series of wetting agent trials in a bid to reduce the carbon footprint without compromising on the overall condition of the beautiful golf course.
“After weeks of hot weather and no rainfall, areas of the course started showing signs of stress and Dry Patch,” said Jonathan. “Even with our fairway irrigation - slopes, high spots and mounds couldn’t hold any moisture – so we trialled various types of wetting agents on our problem areas and Aqua-Zorb Liquid by far had the best results.”
“Within 14 days, the majority of Dry Patch had gone and the turf had almost fully recovered. For the remaining part of the summer, and with equal amounts of irrigation, the non-treated areas remained hydrophobic and stressed. However the Aqua-Zorb treated areas thrived with vigour and general appearance.”
Aqua-Zorb Liquid from Sherriff Amenity is a concentrated non-ionic turf wetting agent that will enable water to move faster and deeper into the soil profile. One application can last all season and it is renowned for treating the cause of Localised Dry Patch. Aqua-Zorb can also improve drainage, alleviate compaction, reduce the quantity of irrigation required, suppress the formation of dew and greatly improve the quality of the sward.
Based on the success of applying Aqua-Zorb in 2016, Jonathan decided to apply it to the entire course in spring last year. In mid-April he applied Aqua-Zorb Liquid at a rate of 50 litres per hectare to the tees, approaches, surrounds and all the fairways. Jonathan applied it on a morning of expected rainfall and sure enough, approximately 4/5mm of rain fell that day, which washed the product in nicely.
Normally, Jonathan and his team would cease to spray wetting agent in September/October, but for maximum results he continued to apply monthly applications of Aqua-Zorb Liquid to the greens at a rate of 20 litres per hectare throughout winter.
“By continuing to apply Aqua-Zorb Liquid throughout winter, it made a remarkable difference because it kept putting surfaces significantly dryer throughout all the excessive rainfall,” he said.
On reflection of his use of Aqua-Zorb Liquid throughout 2017, Jonathan noticed a significant number of benefits.
“With record temperatures throughout June, all of our slopes, high spots and mounds held up perfectly. They would re-wet straight away, giving the course a constant solid green colour. All throughout the season there was no Dry Patch at all. We also noticed an incredible 55% savings on irrigation water when it was required – resulting in huge savings on electric power in the pump station.”
“Aqua-Zorb Liquid is an amazing product and the great feedback from the members and visitors on the overall condition of the course is testament to this.”
For further information, please contact Sherriff Amenity on 01638 721 888 or visit www.sherriffamenity.com