Greetham Valley GC in control - thanks to SISIS
A SISIS Rotorake TM1000 has helped Adil Porter, course manager at Greetham Valley Golf Club, get thatch build-up under complete control.
Greetham Valley was, until 1990, a farming valley but is now one of the finest golf, hotel and leisure facilities in the East Midlands where keen golfers come to from far and wide to test their skills.
The stunning valley is criss-crossed by two 18-hole courses which has lakes and brooks aplenty. The par-72 Lakes Course is the longer of the two and although the par-68 Valley Course is shorter, it provides a serious challenge.
Also part of the golf facilities are a driving range, a putting green, a 9-hole par three course and a golf academy.
The maintenance of these facilities is handled by Porter, who has been with the venue since the Hinch family began operations 21 years ago.
"I’d say that the biggest challenge in my role is to continually produce the very high standards throughout my department that are required in order to stay competitive and attract new members and visitors in a very difficult market," Porter said.
To this end, Porter has built a highly experienced and professional team which includes a deputy course manager, a first assistant, six assistant greenkeepers, two mechanics and a trainee greenkeeper to support his work. This team is responsible for maintaining the courses, the driving range and putting green as well as offering a contracting greenkeeping service.
"We manage the vast workload by investing in our staff and purchasing good reliable machinery," Porter adds.
And he knows that good, reliable machinery is a must to keep standards high in such a competitive market and he knew where to turn to when he was having problems with thatch build-up.
"Over the past 21 years I have seen the percentage of thatch in the top 50mm rise from zero to 3.5, and I didn’t want this to continue, so I decided to look for a solution.
"The criteria for me had to be about the machine’s performance in thatch removal and the cleanliness of the operation, but also it had to be productive. The SISIS TM1000 matched all of the above."
The SISIS Rotorake TM1000 is a tractor-mounted heavy duty scarifier and linear aerator and is without peer when it comes to removing and controlling thatch. It comes with a collector box and floating unit which follows ground contours while its contra-rotating reel throws debris forward to ensure a clean, consistent groove and an excellent finish when it is ready to scarify.
Its interchangeable blades and quick, simple depth setting that don't require any tools make it an obvious choice for greenkeepers and course managers like Porter.
"Since using the SISIS TM1000; the thatch in the top 50mm has reduced to three per cent and I am now in full control," he confirmed.
"Another benefit has been better germination rates of the bent seed, which has allowed me to reduce sowing rates.
"And with us altering the direction of travel each time, the new seed integrates really well in the green."
"The machine is more than capable of removing thatch down to 40mm, the collection works really well, and the speed across the green is very impressive, taking around 20 minutes to complete an average size green."
© Cricket World 2016