The Goodwood Estate relies on mixtures from across the DLF Seeds portfolio to deliver results site-wide. With a remit including two 18-hole golf courses, a cricket ground, gardens and farmland, a grass airfield, and a motor circuit, General Manager of Sports Turf & Grounds, Phil Helmn, is certainly kept busy with such a momentous breadth of surfaces to prepare.
Joining the Goodwood Estate four years ago, from a greenkeeping background, has seen a steep but fascinating learning curve for Phil – “everyone says it, but in this job no two days really are the same! One day me, and anyone of my full-time grounds team of 35, could be working on golf course renovations, or the next coordinating ground preparations for Goodwood’s Festival of Speed which has an attendance equal to that of Glastonbury Festival! What’s really interesting is how every environment has such different performance criteria so I’ve taken a lot of guidance and advice from companies and distributors, DLF being one of them.”
As a long-standing user of seed from DLF’s Masterline and Johnsons Sports Seed mixtures, introducing those across the estate was one of Phil’s first exercises. “Ryegrass is the primary species used across the estate because of its hardwearing qualities and quick germination making it suitable on a wide variety of sports and fine turf areas. On our cricket wicket, Johnsons J Premier Wicket mixture has been working really well.”
Johnsons J Premier Wicket features a four-cultivar blend of Clementine, Monroe, Dickens and Chardin perennial ryegrass and delivers outstanding shoot density, rapid establishment and high disease resistance. In terms of its usage, Goodwood’s cricket ground has seen a surge in popularity, which is driving investment into the facilities later this year. “We currently host lots of local league matches but developments on one of the wickets will hopefully see that prepared to a higher spec with the J Premier Wicket, along with a £1m new pavilion, in the hope of heading towards county level play.”
“On our golf greens, we’re currently on a bent grass overseeding programme and over on the grass airfield, which has a resident academy of three Spitfires, we’re using the hard-wearing ProMaster 70 mixture from Masterline. With so many sports arenas, there’s always new challenges, and peaks and troughs in demand, which keeps you on your toes. The seed from DLF gives us one constant we can rely on.”