After previously suffering with the side effects of excessive thatch content, the Course Manager at Gillingham Golf Club has praised a programme from Headland Amenity for its role in transforming the health and presentation of the greens. Together with a comprehensive cultural regime, the improvement in course condition has seen a reduction in disease activity and reduced reliance on fungicides, and saw Gillingham proudly play host to a Kent Golf Captains event for the very first time.
John Hunnisett joined as Course Manager just over a year ago, where he was faced with a course that lacked any definition – with multiple areas including bunker surrounds and tee banks left completely unmaintained. To make the transformation project even more challenging, the greens team consisted of three trainees and, 13 months on, John remains the only qualified greenkeeper out of the team of five. “I pretty much had to start from scratch in all areas” explains John. “I’d used a few Headland products previously but had the benefit of seeing a full Headland programme in action during a stint spent at The London Golf Club. It opened my eyes to a whole new range and so called in our Headland Technical Manager Andy Ward to help with the monumental task at hand.”
Soil analysis taken by Andy highlighted high levels of organic matter in the top 20mm which, combined with an increase in aeration, scarification and topdressing, has been improved with a new nutritional regime. “Our summer programme consists of Protec® Plus, TeMag™ Elite, Turfite® Elite and Ascoflex® Plus. This combination of products delivers a long-lasting, balanced supply of nitrogen together with maximising health and recovery following periods of heat and/or stress. We have received lots of positive comments from the members about the presentation, with many saying that the greens have never looked better!”
“In the autumn and winter we switch to Headland’s 20-20-30 tank-mix which is probably my favourite discovery and has made the biggest difference to the greens. The combination of reducing organic matter and enhancing plant health with monthly applications of 20-20-30 between September and March drastically reduced the amount of disease we registered – and what we did get was easily recoverable and didn’t lead to scarring.”
Headland’s industry-leading 20-20-30 tank-mix combines Liquid Turf Hardener, Turfite® Elite and Seamac® ProTurf Fe, proven to deliver enhanced plant strength and disease resistance when applied as part of a preventative approach. John continues, “The course emerged in the spring of 2022 healthier than ever, which was great as we entered preparations to host the Hampshire County Match at the end of June. Being selected for this for the first time was testament to just how far we’ve come, with the right products and the pure passion of my team.”