Q & A with Alec Macindoe of West Sussex Golf Club

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Q & A with Alec Macindoe of West Sussex Golf Club

You are the courses manager with responsibility for West Surrey Golf Club, how many years have you been at the club and how many team members operate across the course, and what is it that you enjoy most about your job?

I started on June 1, 2014 so six great years so far! To see all the programmes and hard work come together so that members and visitors can really enjoy their experience when they come here. We were a relatively unknown course for a long time but more and more people are joining and visiting us now which I believe is a testament to the improvements and investment to the course.

The club has recently purchased another Tru-Turf greens roller to work across the course. What were you looking for and what in particular appealed to you about the Tru-Turf R50-11 when it was being demonstrated?

To be honest I have been a Tru Turf user for 20 years now and although we have had demonstrations of different types of rollers / irons I keep coming back to what I know is tried, tested and reliable. Our members love the consistency and speed of greens that we give them and the Tru Turf is certainly one of the most important tools required to achieve this.

What do the team members think of the new Tru-Turf greens roller?

My guys love the new R50-11. It is so much quieter now and it’s extremely comfortable to operate. I also love the sleek design they have now introduced.

There are many ways of using the Tru-Turf roller. What are the ways in which you use it and how do you integrate it into a course maintenance programme?

I see it as an integral part of our greens management strategy. My aim is to produce consistently smooth surfaces as opposed to a peak and trough of slow to medium to fast pace. It is my belief that pace comes from a healthy plant that will give the least amount of friction so we tend to never cut below 3.5mm. However with methods such as alternate cut and roll days, coupled with regular brushing and dressing I tend to find we get a consistently good ‘roll out’. Although we have a bent / poa sward we don’t suffer too much with different growth rates and some of this may be in part to a careful low (ish) fertiliser programme. I also find we can keep a good pace by using the Tru Turf when we don’t cut which means we are putting the plant under less stress and hopefully reducing disease incidence. There must be some merit in this as we have gone from an average 14 fungicide applications on my arrival to between two and four now.

How many Tru-Turf greens rollers do you currently have and how much work are they given?

We actually have three in the yard but one is extremely old and great if I ever do need a spare part. I would say we iron four or five times a week depending on play and weather conditions and even dependant on what we are spraying, if we want as much leaf absorption for certain products and don’t want to cut.

Are the members happy with the playing surfaces?

Our membership retention rate has been exceptional – 98.6 percent – and in the first three weeks of June we brought in 18 new members. Our greens surfaces are certainly a huge contributing factor for people to stay as members which in turn leads to a lot of positive feedback which encourages friends or visitors to wish to become members. We do have a great club with a very friendly membership and they have responded to my management regime by voting unanimously to invest in all new bunkering, designed by Ken Moody and also a three quarter of a million pound upgrade to the clubhouse! So all in all Tru-Turf really have played a pivotal part in making West Surrey a great place to work!

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