Our series of Profiles throws a spotlight on our Partners so you can get to know who they are and what they do. Here, EIGCA Bronze Partner, Turfgrass answers 5 questions.
1. What is Turfgrass best known for and what does the company do which might not be well known?
Turfgrass are best known as specialists for agronomy on existing golf courses and project management of new builds with both owners and Golf Course Architects.
We are least known for our involvement in golf course renovations, relocations and new builds where the Client / Golf Course Architect involves Turfgrass from inception, construction, grown in and maintenance. We can assist Architects with site assessments (soils, water, sands), construction specifications, future economic sustainability, environmental management plans, including the reduction of irrigation and pesticidal use through IPM.
2. What are the biggest challenges Turfgrass has faced in the last ten years and how have they been overcome?
Since the economic recession back in 2009 we have seen a large number of qualified greenkeepers leaving the industry. We have also witnessed a 30- 40% reduction in golf course maintenance budgets.
As a result of this, more emphasis has been placed on consultants and their recommendations. Turfgrass’ remit is to make golf courses more efficient to maintain. It is impossible to achieve this without the assistance of the Golf Course Architect, together, our collaboration can ensure the viability and efficiency of any Project.
3. What advice do you have for golf course architects when it comes to selecting Turfgrass for their projects?
Having collaborated with more than 30 Golf Course Architects, Turfgrass believes that it is vital to protect the brand and legacy of the Architect. Our task is to guarantee that the Golf Course is not only developed to the highest standards but as importantly, maintained to these standards. Whether it is warm or cool season zones, we can take a brief from the Architect to develop grassing, water and management plans best suited to the site, based on available budgets, no matter how large or small.
4. What interesting environmental initiatives have Turfgrass been involved with, or seen installed on a golf course?
Over the years, our industry has seen a vast reduction in the use of fertilisers and pesticides. Whilst this has been an EU wide initiative, we have worked closely and advised greenskeepers to help reduce their chemical usage.
Our main focus over the last number of years has been to consciously reduce the area of maintained turf. In 2013 Turfgrass completed a three-year study on water conservation in Vidauban, South of France. From this we have managed to reduce irrigation requirements by up to 40% on golf courses by using precision irrigation, better varieties of grass selection and better management practices.
An example of this, is a current project at The San Roque Club, Spain, where we are removing 17 hectares of irrigated turf, changing the grasses from cool season to warm season and putting in a state-of-the-art irrigation system.
5. What new or recent developments by Turfgrass should EIGCA members be aware of?
- We have expanded our team in recent months to include four agronomists, who are certified pesticide advisors and a number of project managers.
- Turfgrass were tournament agronomists to Solheim Cup™ 2019, at Gleneagles, Scotland. We are proud to have been agronomists to the European staging of the event since 2007.
- This year we are tournament agronomists to the JP McManus Pro- Am at Adare Manor, Ireland, home to the Ryder Cup in 2026.
- Recently we provided Hoiana Shores Golf Club, Vietnam with construction specifications and grow in agronomy. Hoiana Shores were recently presented “Best New Golf Course 2019” at the Asia-Pacific Golf Awards.
- We are currently project managing a full renovation of the famous San Roque Club in Sotogrande, Spain. This is due to open later this year.
- We are continuing to grow our Private Client golf courses. We are humbled that this portfolio includes current Ryder Cup Captain Padraig Harrington and Rory McIlroy.