Macclesfield, Cheshire, England: The Air2G2 GT Air Inject from Campey Turf Care Systems has played a significant role in transforming the greens at the La Grande Mare Golf Club in Guernsey.
When he arrived at his new job two years ago, Course Manager Rick Hamilton spoke to members about their main concerns. The quality and playability of the greens was top of the list.
Because the course is built on marshland, the soil is very silty heavy clay, making it a problematic soil profile to produce a healthy root zone. The dense profile was causing the greens to hold moisture in the winter and hardpan in the summer, meaning there was little control of how they performed throughout the year.
From his previous experience working in China and Hong Kong, Hamilton knew the Air2G2 was precisely what was needed to open up the soil profile and bring life back into the greens.
Hamilton said: “When I first analysed the greens, I knew we had to take action. It was at the point that when we tried to change the holes, we would sometimes snap the blades in the hole cutter because the greens were that hard. The greens are old, they are 25 to 30-year-old push-up greens, so there is no drainage, and the soil type doesn’t help with that.
“For me, the Air2G2 is a game-changer. Every now and then over the years, different machines come into the industry. I would say it is one of those game-changing machines. I brought it over on hire from a dealer in Jersey. I could hardly get the probes to inject at first because the surface was that hard. But I managed to do it with the deep probe and close spacing to really get through into the greens and loosen them up to get water and wetting agent in.
“The first afternoon after we did it, the members came out and played and couldn’t believe there was no disruption to the surface at all, and they were surprised how clean it was. A few weeks later we had a bit of rain, and we had a competition and the good golfers couldn’t believe how receptive the greens were with the ball holding.
“The difference in the greens is massive in terms of playability, root development, the health in the root zone and getting the water to penetrate. And in the winter when it’s a bit wetter and softer, it helps to release some of the water and get the greens to drain.”
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