“Hearing the great comments from members and visitors about how much the course has improved in the last few years has been fantastic – it has been a real highlight for me,” he said.
With no experience Mat certainly has exceeded all expectations but last year he faced his biggest challenge yet.
“The greens got absolutely annihilated by leatherjackets and we nearly had total loss of cover on a few of them,” he said. “I conferred with David Bevan from Agrovista Amenity and Matt Gresty from Limarain UK and they were both of the opinion that we should reseed the greens with Limagrain’s MM50 grass seed.”
Limagrain’s MM50 is one of the UK’s biggest selling grass mixtures. The hard-wearing ryegrass mix is very fine leaved, has high shoot density, is tolerant to close mowing down to 4-5mm and produces a great colour all year round. It also has quick recovery from damage and play. Furthermore, this mixture is treated with Headstart® GOLD – a revolutionary grass seed treatment that ensures rapid germination.
“I applied MM50 very heavily to the greens in early March just before the first lockdown and put grow sheets over the top,” continued Mat. “It was cold, the soil temperature was low, and we had some wintery showers. I think the grow sheets helped but it was not long before the seed flew up.
“I’ve been incredibly happy with the results from MM50 – it’s a strong seed and the greens are not only looking better but they are a lot healthier now too. The seed has also helped with disease; historically, we suffer from a bit of fusarium and anthracnose towards the end of summer, but we have seen a lot less. The greens are definitely more resistant to disease since applying the MM50.”
Mat is now preparing to overseed the greens with MM50 for a second time, but it is not the only Limagrain product he is focusing on.
“This will be our third year of using Limagrain’s Colour Splash mixtures – and they have helped us create a lovely area which has improved the aesthetics of the course.”
Over the past few years, Limagrain UK’s range of Colour Splash flower mixtures have been used in a broad range of landscape and amenity areas throughout the UK. The range has a floral arrangement for every requirement – whether it be a golf course, a local authority green space or any other establishment that has an area which needs brightening up.
The Colour Splash range of mixtures are extremely easy to sow and the resulting vigorous plants are more than capable of competing with weeds. Their vigour is equally matched by robustness; resisting long periods of drought. They are also fast flowering and cost effective.
“There was an area between the 8th and the 10th hole about the size of a football pitch,” said Mat. “It was just sitting there and so we decided to make use of it. The main reason was to add some colour and it is in a perfect position where people can stop halfway round the course. When we have tournaments, a beer tent is placed right next to the Colour Splash area which makes it nice for people to socialise too.”
“Ultimately, I’m very pleased because it is fair to say that a few years ago the course didn’t have a glowing reputation,” said Mat. “Everything is heading in the right direction now – the greens are back and healthy and some people are claiming that they are now some of the best in the county.”