Brighton, England: Boasting panoramic views over the sea and the South Downs National Park, Brighton & Hove is the oldest golf club in Sussex – its nine hill-top holes situated near the picturesque Devil’s Dyke.
Its location leaves the course exposed to the elements and has posed challenges for Course Manager Jason Sarna and Assistant Course Manager Kevin Paynter as they work to reinstate some of the site’s down land and links qualities.
The success of the project, Sarna says, is largely down to improvements with the soil, and that’s thanks to products from Suståne.
After working in various roles at the Maddens Resort in North Minnesota, Sarna moved to the United Kingdom in 2000 and has been Course Manager at Brighton & Hove since 2007.
He said: “When I joined, the greens were predominately meadow grass and this was something I started working on straight away, to introduce more tolerant and sustainable species. I first spoke to Russell Riley eight years ago and began incorporating some Suståne products into my feeding programme and the benefits we saw to the finer grasses were instant.
“I’m a big believer in feeding the soil, not the plant, and working to create the environment which favours the species you want to encourage,” he added.
Sarna’s greens programme revolves around regular granular feeds: 6-2-4 Turf Revival as a kick-starter in the spring and following any renovation work, Suståne 5-2-4 applied every six to eight weeks in the main season and Bolster 4-4-4+3Fe as he reaches the more dormant winter months.
This is then supplemented with Bolster Liquid Biostimulant, applied at 5L per 0.5 hectares every two to three weeks through the main growing season.
Sarna said: “As we’ve transitioned almost solely over to Suståne, we’ve noted deeper rooting, improved plant health and reduced disease pressure – having only applied three fungicides in the last five years.
“We conducted some renovation work in August this year, over-seeding with a pure fescue blend for the first time. We applied Bolster 4-4-4 and within a week we had germination.
“Being able to create the conditions to favour fescues will complement the links characteristics and will help with the workload we have to manage as a small team.”
In addition to delivering results on the ground, Sarna has also been impressed with the honest and transparent approach he’s had from the Suståne technical team.
“With our conditions, we have to be careful about inputs and if I ask a technical question about a product, they have the answer – and more! – to hand. It’s the whole package,” he added.
Suståne is a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.