Course Maintenance

Taking Control From Mother Nature

New Toro irrigation brings savings in efficiencies to Barton-on-Sea  

A new Toro irrigation system is allowing Barton-on-Sea Golf Club to take control of Mother Nature and as a result it’s seeing huge savings in efficiencies. 

Situated on the coastal cliff on the south coast between Christchurch in Dorset and Lymington in Hampshire, Barton-on-Sea Golf Club is a true links course in a windy and exposed location, which means an efficient irrigation system is vital to help control the elements and safeguard the course against Mother Nature.

Course manager Jon Worrall says: “Our job is to protect the grass against the damaging and drying salt winds. We needed an irrigation solution which would allow us to pinpoint coverage, apply product to specific areas and water it in and be more efficient with our water application.”

The efficiency of the system, which is a Toro Lynx Central Control System, Infinity sprinklers on the greens, approaches and fairways, B Series on the tees and all new pipework across the 27 hole course, was noticeable to Jon and the team straight away: “Previously it was taking us seven to eight hours a night to water the greens, tees and approaches, now it takes us one hour.

“We’ve got more pressure in the system than before and with that we get more coverage and can irrigate a far bigger area with less water. That’s working out to be 30 percent more efficient for us.” 

Jon praises the Infinity sprinklers, of which he has 1245, as being “particularly good for our location because of their unique ability to keep their arc in the wind and keep the water going where it needs to. We couldn’t find any other sprinklers that could do that.”

Jon opted for full course coverage including fairways for the first time and this is a trend noted by Reesink Hydro-Scapes, sole Toro distributor in the UK for irrigation products.  

Previously clubs could rely on Mother Nature to irrigate this area sufficiently, but with increasingly warmer weather, more regular heat waves and less precipitation every year, this area is suffering. 

And that is something Jon confirms was happening at Barton-on-Sea: “We don’t mind the fairways brown but we want them alive! So we had the irrigation extended; it was only an extra 15 percent cost to do this, which is money well spent to keep them healthy and maintain the traditional links effect. With it we basically do what the weather used to do for us and put a thunderstorm’s worth of water down once a week. That does the job.”  

The results from the new irrigation have been noticeable to all, especially the 1150 members, says Jon: “Previously it was too stressful and damaging to cut the grass across the course too low, but with the new system and the grass healthier and stronger we’ve been able to make some significant reductions in cutting heights.

“We were having to cut tees and approaches at 12mm, now we can cut at half that. Fairways are down 4mm to 14mm and greens are finally at 3mm. The members are delighted with the improvements in presentation and play with these drops in cut.”

The efficiencies don’t end there: Jon confirms his use of herbicides, wetting agents and turf feed is going further: “There’s far less wastage,” he says. “It’s hard to think of an area where this system hasn’t made us more efficient.”

To see how Toro irrigation can benefit your course, call Reesink Hydro-Scapes on 01480 226800, email or visit


Agrimetal Blows Peebles Away With Its Speed And Efficiency

Club minimises maintenance and maximises course appearance with Agrimetal


For Peebles Golf Club, a Harry Colt design course in the Scottish borders, maintaining a clean appearance is the utmost priority, but it’s not always an easy task being a parkland course. That is, until the AgriMetal leaf blower arrived on the scene. 

Steven Borthwick, head greenkeeper at Peebles Golf Club for the past ten years, says: “Course presentation is a big thing for us, as a parkland course we get strong growth and have a lot of trees, more so than a links course. We bought the blower to disperse grass clippings when cutting semi-rough areas and get rid of the leaves come Autumn.”


Previously relying on manual backpack blowers, clearing the course of debris was tying up two greenstaff for an entire day. With the Agrimetal B50 Blower from distributor Reesink Scotland, Steven’s team can do the same job in just a fraction of the time. 

Steven says: “We have a 50hp tractor and adding the B50 blower means we can go round and blow areas we’re cutting, even if we’re cutting in damp weather. It’s got a great wind speed and has sped up the process so much, we can then go out and get on with other tasks that need doing. It’s made the job so much more efficient.”


It’s the large diameter aluminium impeller on the B50 that gives it the high wind velocity that is able to maximise performance, and the large roller on which it rides allows it to complete work in even the toughest of conditions ­- all without leaving a mark.

But the speed at which the blower can clear debris isn’t the only thing that has impressed Steven. “It’s a low decibel machine as well. A lot of blowers can be really noisy which isn’t ideal on a golf course, but this one is not nearly as loud as other makes we’ve used,” he says.


Quick and easy is the resounding takeaway from the club’s new machine, something that starts with Reesink according to Steven. “It only took a couple of weeks from when we ordered the machine for it to be delivered. We have mostly Toro equipment at the club so we’ve used Reesink before and know Neil MacKenzie well. They provide good backup and Reesink is an all-round good company to deal with.”

Steven finishes by saying: “It’s important that we keep on top of maintenance to ensure the best course appearance and that process is made that much easier with AgriMetal in our artillery. We’re getting a lot of compliments about the condition of the course.”

To learn more about how an Agrimetal machine can keep your course looking pristine, visit the website, call 

Saltex Reveals First Round of Headlining Speakers for Learning Live

SALTEX can announce the first round of headlining speakers at this year’s Learning LIVE and details on the themed stages, which are new for 2023.

SALTEX is known for the quality, range and breadth of professional development opportunities it provides through its industry-leading, established Learning LIVE programme. T his year, over 20 presenters will speak across three stages in two days. It is the largest free live learning event for the sector with many visitors citing it as a key reason to attend the show.

Sarah Cunningham, director of commercial and events at the GMA, says: “Learning LIVE is a well-respected, highly anticipated highlight at SALTEX, known to be a fantastic way to boost knowledge in a wide range of topics. Here we provide a snapshot of some of the headlining speakers and sessions available. It’s exciting and there is so much more to come!”

This year, the Main Stage will continue as it always has done to highlight the latest hot topics and issues, bringing visitors into the big conversations of the moment. 

Day one of the show sees Lee Guerriero, pitch and technology specialist at UEFA, discuss UEFA’s 2024-2027 pitch strategy and on day two Tony Hanson and his fellow panellists from the Environment Agency and Anglian Water will cover future water restrictions for golf greens and sports turf.

Lee Guerriero explains: “Attending events like SALTEX is important to maintain an understanding of the latest developments in a rapidly evolving industry. With challenges facing grounds keepers as a result of heavy fixture schedules, climate change and the need to work in a sustainable way, it is important that all stakeholders from grassroots sports to the elite game come to events such as SALTEX.

“The Learning LIVE sessions in particular allow for an exchange of best practice and an open dialogue across sports so that the quality of the pitches continues to improve as expectation levels and demands around pitch quality also continue to grow.”

New for 2023 are themed stages and reflecting the need to place sustainability and environmental issues at the heart of the grounds maintenance sector’s thinking, the Eco Stage will do just that. SALTEX is proud to introduce Dr Eric O’Donnell from SportsLabs to talk about recycling solutions for synthetic turf and a session from the Football Foundation on its pilot on the future of sustainable synthetic turf.

The Spotlight Stage brings to the fore the crowd-pullers into an ask the experts-style forum. Dr John Dempsey will bring his insights to the 2020-2023 independent turfgrass research update and non-pesticidal disease management sessions, while Aled Lewis will highlight Welsh FA’s Pitch Improvement Funding Strategy.

Dr John Dempsey, independent turfgrass research, says: “The reason I like to present at events such as SALTEX is that I love sharing the results of not only my research, but also the latest data available on relevant turfgrass subjects, and it gives me the opportunity to meet many turfgrass professionals. 

“Hopefully attendees will find the presentations of value and take away something that will be able to incorporate into their maintenance programs be it golf, football or playing fields.”

Sarah continues: “We have curated what we believe to be a well-rounded, industry representative programme of CPD-accredited seminars, which we will be able to share in full with visitors in due course.” 

Until then, register now to boost your knowledge and guarantee entry to Europe’s largest and leading sports turf, amenities, and landscaping trade exhibition at Birmingham NEC on 1-2 November 2023 at: