LJN Blog Posts

PRO Supplier

ICL’s Riptide, the no1 ranked creeping bentgrass, has played a key role in the development of the greens at the truly stunning JCB Golf and Country Club.

Set amid the lush green rolling countryside of Staffordshire lies one of the most exciting new golf courses to be built in the UK over the last decade. No stone has been left unturned in the creation of this remarkable 18-hole course designed by British architect Robin Hiseman of European Golf Design.

“This is a high end facility that people might only visit once a year or even just once in their lifetime. The whole experience has to be there and it is down to us to deliver that on the golf course,” said Callum Wark, Golf Course Manager.

No doubt those who play the course will be fully immersed in the experience and will marvel at the imaginative design concepts of the course. It is also inevitable that the course will provide the backdrop for compelling drama to unfold - history will be made and the finest players in the world will steal the limelight but the unsung heroes responsible for this magnificent course deserve every bit of credit.

The story that will not be told, is that throughout this four year journey, the greenkeeping team at the JCB Golf and Country Club have been involved in the whole construction process from start to finish.   

“Myself and four senior greenkeepers were equally involved in all aspects of construction,” said Euan Grant, General Manager. “We had all been around constructions in the past but none of us had ever had direct construction experience. For greenkeepers to jump on excavators and dumpers, and to be ploughing and turning soils over is really quite remarkable. We have been fully engrossed in the project working seven days a week making the best of the weather when we can.

"It is a heavy clay site so we had to work when it was dry. If we got two days of rain then we couldn’t work for ten days and if that meant working at 8 o’clock on a Sunday night then we were working at 8 o’clock on a Sunday night.”

It is no wonder that Euan, Callum and the team speak about their involvement with an overwhelming sense of pride. After all, they have helped to create a world-class golf complex that will stand shoulder to shoulder with the very best. However, these modest greenkeepers are not allowing themselves to get that far ahead…yet.

“The tournaments will happen but first of all we need to achieve agronomic excellence,” said Euan.

“In order to achieve that, and in order to host tournaments, you have to be in that top percentile of golf course reputation and quality,” added Callum.

With the construction coming to an end, their attentions quickly turned to ensuring that they had the correct suppliers and products in place which would indeed help them to reach that top tier – and the greens were the first port of call.

In order to select the ideal grass seed for the greens, Euan created a trial area and split a nursery into five different rootzone amendments which consisted of a profile product - which was porous ceramic, a green waste product, two zeolite products and a straight sand. Six different grasses from six different suppliers were then applied to the rootzone plots.

“We monitored the germination rates, density, colour and disease to find out which product would be the best for our site,” said Euan. “We didn’t put any fungicides on them throughout winter because we wanted to know which diseases would be more prevalent. Based on all of the results, and also by looking closely at which was the strongest grass coming out of winter, we decided that we would go with ICL’s Riptide on a green waste compost / sand mix as per USGA specification.”

Exclusive to ICL, Riptide is the no1 ranked creeping bentgrass variety, it is ideal for seeding new areas or when used for interseeding as part of a course renovation programme. This fine-leaved, densely-shooting, creeping bentgrass establishes quickly, especially in spring, growing upright but low to the ground with high tiller shoot density and keeping its bright mid-green colour right through autumn and winter.

Riptide responds very well to lower nutritional inputs and less frequent watering, potentially significantly reducing costs involved in a higher maintenance programme and offering a more sustainable approach; less fertilizer, fungicide, scarification and verti-cutting. 

Furthermore, Riptide was given top rankings for quality of appearance and disease resistance by the The Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) and the United States based National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP).

Sowing at an application rate of between 6-8g/m², the team at the JCB Golf and Country Club used Riptide to seed and grow-in eleven greens in the first year and then nine the following year. 

“We were germinating in five days and mowing in ten days,” said Euan. “Because it was our first year and it was a soft opening, we were under no pressure whatsoever to cut the grass down to achieve fast speeds. However, we were still getting 10.5ft without significantly chasing that. It is an incredibly fine grass.”

“We haven’t looked back,” added Callum. “The rooting has been amazing - we are 300mm of rootzone over 100mm gravel and even now, a year on from opening, the roots are way down into the gravel. They are incredibly strong roots.”

Commenting on the use of Riptide at the JCB Golf and Country Club, Emma Kilby, Technical Area Sales Manager for ICL, said: “I’m really proud that Riptide has played a big part in the greens here and the development of our seeds is growing all of the time - you just have to look at the new cultivars we’ve got which have a very high rating within the STRI.

“It has been incredible to be involved from the very start. From coming in here and just seeing clay to where they are now is a fantastic achievement. JCB is a great company to work with, in terms of their history, their ethos and their direction.”

Please contact ICL on 01473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk or www.icl-sf.ie if you are in Ireland.

You need to be a member of Landscape Juice Network to add comments!

Join Landscape Juice Network

Highlighted blog posts

Open forum activity

Mark Wills posted a discussion
Best way to detach and rejoin existing artificial grass?Any ideas welcome?cheers
23 hours ago
John Barratt MCIHort replied to John Barratt MCIHort's discussion Pedestrian Stone burier / stone power rake
"Brandon tool hire no longer do this Dave "
yesterday
Strut replied to Jon Perry's discussion Honda GCV 170
"A proper (pure Honda) will cost around 40% more but will give you 10 years + , steel deck and OHV engine not OHC.
Rare, expensive but you’ll be happy in 5 years time because it’ll still start, work and perform like the day you bought it "
yesterday
Jim Gibbon replied to Jim Gibbon's discussion Eliet Major blades
"Yes thanks Chris, both sides of my current set have just had their last sharpen so I was just thinking ahead really."
yesterday
Chris R Selwyn-Smith replied to Jim Gibbon's discussion Eliet Major blades
"I expect you have worked this out but you do know they are double sided and can be turned around?"
yesterday
Colin Hunt replied to John F's discussion Best Tap / Hose connections
"A couple of years ago, the lawn one of our regulars 'mysteriously' changed character.  It was rectangular, about 250sq m., it would always get it's scarify, core, weed and feed etc, however this particular year one half was so much better than the o…"
yesterday
PGM replied to Chris Lloyd-Davies's discussion Viking MB 655 RS rear roller mower
"Really looking forward to hearing how it performs over the year Andrew. Chris never updated the thread so it's all on you to let us all know how it gets on!! Hope it works out really well for you :)"
yesterday
Graham Taylor replied to John F's discussion Best Tap / Hose connections
"no.... a loss in water feed to the pressure washer won't do any harm..... the motor just keeps running with nothing coming out.   I always run mine with the tap off when I'm finshed  to empty it + the hose..... makes the hose a bit lighter to move +…"
yesterday
John F replied to John F's discussion Best Tap / Hose connections
"Many thanks for all the feedback so far .
Question had arisen owing to amount of watering i had to do last week using customers hose pipes and tap connectors , i resorted to using watering cans meaning lots of trips back and forth to outdoor tap due…"
yesterday
Graham Smith updated their profile
yesterday
David mcmaster replied to John Barratt MCIHort's discussion Pedestrian Stone burier / stone power rake
yesterday
john jones replied to John F's discussion Best Tap / Hose connections
"Hozelock pro is a vast improvement on the normal range. "
Friday
Chris White, Mark Wills and Albert-85@hotmail.it joined Landscape Juice Network
Friday
Jim Gibbon replied to Ali Launder's discussion Tool Maintenance
"All looks very nice to me Dan, great mower too!  Just be careful though because it has been said in this discussion that a sign written van only 'gives the impression that you're professional'. Too many 'tradesmen' fall into that category:)"
Friday
Busy Bee Garden Services Limited replied to John F's discussion Best Tap / Hose connections
"I rate claber stuff, seems a tighter fit but maybe that’s subjective......."
Friday
Seth Burgess replied to John F's discussion Best Tap / Hose connections
"Metal hozelocks/gardena premium are good. Having enough female connectors so you never have to take them off of the hose is even better."
Friday
More…

For Sale

Due to ill health I am changing my maintenance business and can no longer manage the weight and size of this mower and wonder whether anyone here would like it. Weibang Legacy 48 PRO BBC bought in October 2016 and with 221 genuine hours.  Receipts…

Read more…
0 Replies