Macclesfield, Cheshire, England: It’s not just golf courses around the world that are benefitting from Campey Turf Care Systems products.
On two grass courts at Sutton Upon Derwent Tennis Club in northern England, a renovation has brought a touch of magic, thanks to Campey, a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
The courts have played a prominent role in the club’s history and have been a feature since being founded by French Airmen in the 1940s. When the club was re-established in 1970, the courts were kept and they’re now the only two grass surfaces in the York Tennis League.
While the condition of the courts has always been at a usable standard, George Hobson, a club member and volunteer groundsman, took it upon himself to raise the quality. Hobson had no experience in turf maintenance when he started two seasons ago. To the delight of members, however, he’s made significant progress with the courts.
“I had no previous experience in groundsmanship, but I seem to be obsessing over grass now. I’ve been playing on these courts since I started playing tennis 15 years ago and I knew they could be a lot better. I wanted to see what I could do,” said Hobson, who met Campey’s Ben Taylor at Wimbledon’s Grass Court Seminar last August.
Hobson added: “They had the machinery on the courts there which looked amazing. After meeting Ben, I asked him if he knew anyone who had a Koro in our area, because it would be interesting to see what price they’d charge to help us out. Campey kindly came back and said they would do a renovation demo day on the tennis courts. That’s how it started.
“The tennis courts at the club have never really had a renovation so the thatch was like a sponge. The quality of the courts wasn’t there because of that, but the Koro did the job we needed to take the thatch away.
“The courts are fantastic now, and they’ve held up well to the use they’ve had, which is now over 200 hours. We usually have 100 members at the club and from those that have played on them we’ve had loads of positive responses.
“As this was our first-ever complete renovation of the courts, it was a steep learning curve for me. I selected a new grass seed that was a 100% ryegrass as our tennis season runs from the end of April to early September. There’s a lot of wear on the courts, so I hoped this would allow them to stay at their prime for longer.
“The use of the Vredo seeder and Uni-Scratch prepared the seedbed perfectly to allow for very high germination rates. There’s always going to be a few things that I may have missed from our first renovation, one thing being that the baselines over the years have had different types of loam applied. This led to them panning which doesn’t allow good root growth. There’s always something new I’m learning and discovering which is really helping to expand my knowledge.
“Doing the renovation and the results of it has attracted a few more members, which is good. The grass courts are in a really prominent position in the village so there’s a lot of traffic going past them and seeing them in such good condition has attracted some of those new members.”