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Natalia Pinto

Oakcreek Golf & Turf, A Long-standing Partnership with Bernhard and Company

Oakcreek Golf & Turf, A Long-standing Partnership with Bernhard and Company 1080 1080 Natalia Pinto

Oakcreek Golf & Turf, A Long-standing Partnership with Bernhard and Company

We recently welcomed 12 representatives from our Canadian distributor, Oakcreek Golf & Turf, to the UK.

Among them were Jason Balmer, the Sales Manager, and Patrick Nolan, the VP and Chief Financial Officer, responsible for the financial aspects and commercial interests, including the US market. They provided valuable insights into Oakcreek’s industry journey, their experience in the UK, and the long-lasting partnership they’ve maintained with Bernhard and Company, for over 30 years.

Oakcreek has been in operation since 1969, initially starting in the golf cart business and later expanding to the equipment business with Toro. In 1990, they partnered with Bernhard. Oakcreek has a dedicated team of 11 salespeople for turf and three for irrigation. Patrick Nolan also highlighted their impressive presence with six locations in Western Canada, employing around 85 people, and a distributorship in Arizona with approximately 45 employees in the US.

Effective training for salespeople is a vital investment in achieving exceptional results. It goes beyond product knowledge and price negotiation skills. When salespeople have the opportunity to see how products are made, they gain insights into the entire production process, the expertise involved, and the quality standards that go into every product. Balmer emphasised: “Bernhard and Company provided valuable training since we first took on their line products. It’s an essential partnership, offering the best equipment in the industry. Witnessing the Bernhard factory and its product quality first-hand reinforced our confidence in what we offer our customers.”

Over the years, this partnership has developed into a dynamic synergy, enabling Oakcreek to offer its customers the very best in equipment technology, and services. Bernhard and Company’s top-tier turf solutions have not only complemented Oak Creek’s product portfolio but have also empowered their dedicated sales team to provide comprehensive solutions to their valued customers. Balmer added: “This experience has reinvigorated our team, providing a better understanding of the product and its new features, meaning it will help us serve our customers more effectively. It allows us to offer a complete solution to our customers, which is crucial for our business success.”

In the short term, Oakcreek are keen to explore training opportunities at the Bernhard Academy, aiming to further elevate their team’s expertise and strengthen their partnership.

As we concluded our conversation, it became clear that this enduring partnership between Oakcreek and Bernhard and Company is built on trust, quality, shared values, unwavering support, and a commitment to top-level customer service

The K Club: Our relationship and preparing for the Irish Open

The K Club: Our relationship and preparing for the Irish Open 2040 918 Natalia Pinto

The K Club: Our relationship and preparing for the Irish Open

Pat Freaney is the Club Mechanic at The K Club in County Kildare, Ireland.

Pat has been working at the club for more than 25 years, and in that time has played a pivotal role in preparing the course for a Ryder Cup and has also been involved in 13 European Open tournaments.

The K Club is known around the globe for hosting the Ryder Cup back in 2006 – during which, Europe famously cruised to its third consecutive Ryder Cup victory, registering a record-matching rout of the U.S. with clutch putting and inspirational leadership by Northern Ireland’s, Darren Clarke. More recently, The K Club has played host to the DP World Tour’s Irish Open.

Our relationship with The K Club started many years ago, back in 2005. Today, as the bond is a strong as ever, the team at The K Club liaise with our distribution office in Dublin, and are operating with an Express Dual and Anglemaster machine combination that has withstood the test of time, and proven to be an incredibly reliable resource.

Prior to the playing of the 2023 Irish Open in September, we chatted to Pat to understand what takes place in the build-up to hosting such a significant tour event with a great field, and how having our machinery in-place, just helps to ease the pressure.

Freaney said: “One of the most challenging parts of preparation is the maintenance on the older pieces of machinery. In the weeks leading up to the event, a lot of sand is spread across the golf course, so keeping the machinery sharp is a constant battle with the sand out there. Our Bernhard grinders hardly get cold; we will use them almost every day up to three weeks before the tournament. We try to complete the majority of maintenance in the winter, so that it doesn’t interfere with the event.

“We create a routine of constant mowing across the course leading up to the event, so our staff, and myself, get used to the timetable of mowing all day, then when the tournament arrives, we are prepared for the heavy schedule of maintenance and grinding.

“As I previously mentioned, with the amount of sand spread across our main championship course, and our other course which we always keep to a high standard, the grinders are essential. The sand impacts the blades of our machinery, so without the grinders on site, we wouldn’t be able to function. We are using the grinders at least once a week on various mowers. If we had contract grinders, they would be here all the time – they would never leave!

“It’s been a game-changer when the guys from Bernhard come over and help get everything ready and sharp before a big event. It’s only me in the workshop, so when we get a visit from Bernhard, the extra help and preparation helps us a lot.”

Aside from preparing for major tournaments, Pat and his team regularly prepare the two championship courses to the very highest standard at The K Club for member and guest play. With challenges such as reduced availability of fertilisers, and unforeseen equipment damage, we wanted to understand how having our grinding machines helps on a day-to-day basis.

He added: “We try and use the grinders as much as we can, especially on areas such as greens, fairways, and tee boxes, so we can reduce our fertiliser use as much as we can. We are always trying to get a good balance, as we have to spread sand to keep the courses even and firm, but we also need a good quality of cut. Without the grinders we wouldn’t have the versatility, which helps keep the course quality high and ultimately keeps the members happy.

“Only 18 months ago, we had the fairways re-laid and this meant the sprinklers were higher than usual. On multiple occasions, there were blades broken or bent, and they were brought to the workshop and fixed in under 20 minutes thanks to the Bernhard grinders being on-site. They have saved us time and a lot of hassle especially in those moments when something goes wrong.

“I find them very efficient and easy to use. The fact that you don’t have to strip whole units out of machinery and grinders can sit right on top of the blade, as well as the Anglemaster where we just put the blade between the mounting bar, and it goes to work. I can’t speak highly enough about the grinders and how easy they are to use.

“The grinders are the centre of the workshop, and if we didn’t have them, we would be in big trouble. The setup options and versatility you get are great, I personally set the grinders manually but there is an automatic option as well if needed. Being on such a big property and having a reputation as one of the highest quality courses in Ireland, the maintenance work on the courses is essential, and our grinders are an integral part of our work, we can’t fault them.”

The New Express Dual 4300

The new Express Dual 4300

The new Express Dual 4300 600 600 Natalia Pinto

The new Express Dual 4300

We have unveiled the latest addition to our collection of high-performance reel grinding machines, with the Express Dual 4300.

The new Express Dual 4300 grinding machine offers advanced automation to deliver rapid, safe, and accurate reel grinding. The fully automated system comes with new advanced controls that are accessed through the touchscreen operator interface – making it easier than ever for mechanics and turf professionals to grind reel blades back into the supremely sharp state required to deliver the perfect grass cut and healthy turf conditions.

Steven Nixon, our Managing Director said: “The Express Dual 4300 has been designed to enhance the product offering within our Express Dual range of reel grinders. With all-new automation and improved controls, it is an incredibly advanced and versatile product that will benefit turf equipment professionals. With increased speed and ease of use, getting mowers back into day-to-day action has never been quicker or simpler,” he added.

Sharp mower blades allow for a perfect shearing of the grass blade, and a cleaner cut produces far fewer tears to the grass plant. This drastically lowers the risk of disease, and in turn reduces the amount of corrective maintenance required. With healthier grass plants comes improved playability and a vastly improved aesthetic for customers to enjoy.

Key features of the new Express Dual 4300 reel grinder include:

  • NEW backlit LCD touchscreen operator interface with automated grind programmes
  • NEW reel drive auto-locking drive rod and drive adaptors
  • Fully automated feed system with configurable grind cycles
  • Updated high-definition graphic controls
  • Bernhard patented lift table for operator safety
  • Tabletop design for rapid loading of mowers
  • 15-minute turnaround, floor-to-floor

The NEW Express Dual 4300 reel grinder is now available to purchase either direct from us for UK simply email sales@bernhard.co.uk or internationally across our local distributor network. To find your nearest distributor, please head to our nearest distributor locator page here.

Bernhard and Company partners with Canadian distributor, OJ Compagnie

Bernhard and Company partners with Canadian distributor, OJ Compagnie 1920 1080 Natalia Pinto

Bernhard and Company partners with new Canadian distribution, OJ Compagnie

The industry-leader in fine turf management solutions, Bernhard and Company, has continued its development within the Canadian territory via a new partnership with Canadian distributor, OJ Compagnie.

We are delighted to be continuing our development within the Canadian territory via a new partnership with Canadian distributor, OJ Compagnie.

Founded in 1967, OJ Compagnie was originally set-up as a specialised seed company, before moving into the golf sphere. Since then, the family-run business has continued to evolve and now conducts around 65% of its operations in golf, with the remaining focus split between lawn care, sod growers, municipal turf, and other businesses within the turf industry.

The new relationship comes as we look to increase our business presence through improved contact with new prospects across Canada, with OJ Compagnie covering the geographical area of Quebec.

Commenting on the new partnership, Phil Jangl at OJ Compagnie, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Bernhard and Company and we believe it’s a relationship that will be a hugely beneficial one for both parties.

“I would say that every golf course in Quebec is our customer, whether on a large scale or on a small scale, and we’re well known in the industry. I think we have a good reputation for our customer service and showing that we really care, which is something that Bernhard and Company has always demonstrated too – making this relationship a perfect fit.”

Gary Ray, our Business Development Manager for North America, added: “We are thrilled to continue to enhance our presence in Canada. OJ Compagnie is a business that is undeniably aligned to our values and principles, and we are excited to see where this partnership leads.”

OJ was originally founded by Otto Jangl in 1967, amassing nearly 50 years of experience in the turf maintenance industry. After Otto Jangl passed away in 2008, the business has been run by his children, Gabrielle Jangl and Phil Jangl.

Bernhard and Company grinding machines are used by more than 65 per cent of the world’s top 100 golf courses to ensure perfect, tournament-ready playing conditions year-round, while the company’s turf management solutions and educational support are utilised at major sporting events around the globe.

Bernhard and Company grinders at New Sierra Golf in Murcia, Spain

Bernhard and Company grinders at New Sierra Golf in Murcia, Spain 1244 933 Natalia Pinto

Bernhard and Company grinders at New Sierra Golf in Murcia, Spain.

The construction of New Sierra Golf started many years ago, but it was never completed. The course was an abandoned field, and now the club is currently working towards having 18 holes in full operation by September 2023, which will be inaugurated with the tournament, La Superliga Región de Murcia.

As the golf club is based on the east coast of Murcia, it is in a prime location to attract people from all over the world. Ninety percent of the club’s regular members are from outside of Spain, from countries such as England, Germany, and the United States.

We caught up with Manuel Díaz López. Manuel is a technician, specialising in the management of natural spaces and occupational risk prevention, who also has a qualification in Golf Turf Management and Training, he has dedicated his career – spanning more than 15 years – to the maintenance of sports facilities and golf courses and is now the Head Greenkeeper at New Sierra Golf.

New Sierra Golf made a large investment into new machinery when they set about the objective of developing a fully operating 18-hole golf course. The process started when SURTEC, a leading consulting and engineering company that specialises in the development, construction, and maintenance of golf courses, conducted research on what type of machinery New Sierra should have to get the course in the best possible condition.

After that, Manuel presented the different machinery brands to the board of directors, and in the end, they determined, that to achieve their goal, it was essential to have Bernhard and Company grinders in the workshop. The Express Dual 4100 and the Anglemaster 3000MC  were the most appropriate machines for the type of maintenance that was required. At that stage, Guillermo Mas from Agronimer – the distributor for Bernhard and Company in the southern & Levante regions of Spain – helped the club through the purchasing process.

Manuel Díaz López said: “We know that there are other grinders from competitors that do a decent job, but the problem with them is that they are more complicated and less time-efficient, therefore mechanics take much longer to become proficient operating them.

“Our head mechanic, Maru, is delighted with the Bernhard machines; he really likes working with them. The truth is that Bernhard grinders are very intuitive to work with and they do the job very quickly. The machines are fast and easy to use; the controls are very intuitive and safe to use, of course, the results obtained later in the field are superb, which is what we are looking for. Efficiency is key.”

Staff training also plays a massive role in enhancing the capabilities of various team members and encourages commitment. The maintenance team at New Sierra Golf receives training from the various mower providers, and every time they buy a new unit, they retrain on how to best use them. Díaz added “The support provided by Bernhard and Company, especially Paul Wilcox, has been great, he dedicated two days to do training with the mechanic,  who was using these machines for the first time, and he soon learnt how to handle them and obtain the best results.”

Additionally, the method of keeping reels and bedknives sharp differs from course-to-course, or from one manager to another. No matter their method, the aim is to find out what is best for each facility.

Díaz continued: “Our sharpening schedule depends on the grass growth – mowers are used weekly, but we adjust the maintenance according to the turf needs. Here at New Sierra Golf, we have around thirteen mowers, each one has three or five cutting units. The mechanic measures the quality of the cut with the cutting strips daily before mowing the grass. As soon as the mechanic notices that the quality of the cut has deteriorated, he disassembles the units and sharpens them.”

Certainly, the more factors you measure, the more control you have over the golf course. Díaz added: “We have buckets to measure the volume of grass removed in litres every day. This daily control has been useful for us to work better with the Bernhard machines, as it allows us to determine how much grass we are removing and, if we notice a loss in volume, we know there is an issue – commonly, it is that the blade has lost its edge.”

At New Sierra Golf, there have been drastic improvements in the greens, which reflects the quality of the cut and the health of the plant, and of course, players also notice this when the ball rolls along the putting surface.

Bernhard and Company will continue to support their customer’s efforts to present the perfect playing conditions for golfers around the world.

Bernhard and Company partners with Canadian distributor G.C. Duke

Bernhard and Company partners with Canadian distributor G.C. Duke 1080 1350 Natalia Pinto

Bernhard and Company partners with Canadian distributor G.C. Duke

Bernhard and Company, the industry-leader in fine turf management solutions, has announced a new partnership with Canadian distributor, G.C. Duke.

A family-run business with its roots based firmly in the golf grounds maintenance business, G.C. Duke Equipment is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year under the stewardship of Nolan Duke, who is following in the footsteps of both his father and grandfather in driving the company forward.

The appointment comes as Bernhard and Company looks to ensure it can service current customers more efficiently, while also helping to increase sales through improved contact with new prospects.  G.C. Duke Equipment will be responsible for direct sales and customer relations within Ontario, Canada, and will demonstrate the knowledge and passion that Bernhard and Company possesses for its grinding philosophy.

Commenting on the new partnership, President of G.C. Duke Equipment, Nolan Duke, said: “We’re beyond ecstatic to be partnering with Bernhard and Company because we have a lot of customers who are really in love with Bernhard products, which is a great foundation for us. This partnership is another arrow in the quiver for us to do business with virtually every golf course in our territory.”

Gary Ray, Bernhard and Company’s Business Development Manager for North America, added: “We are excited by the prospect of growing our presence in Canada, and are proud to add G.C. Duke Equipment to our network of world-class distributors who can deliver our industry-leading turf management solutions with efficiency and passion.”

G.C. Duke Equipment was originally founded in 1948, garnering more than seven decades of experience in the turf maintenance industry. Servicing customers within the golf, municipal, and landscape contractor markets, the company possesses a true synergy with Bernhard and Company’s industry-leading turf care prowess.

Bernhard and Company grinding machines are used by more than 65 percent of the world’s top 100 golf courses to ensure perfect, tournament-ready playing conditions year-round, while the company’s turf management solutions and educational support are utilised at major sporting events around the globe.

Soil Scout exclusive partnership in the UK

Soil Scout exclusive partnership in the UK 1080 1350 Natalia Pinto

EXCLUSIVE DISTRIBUTION PARTNERSHIP WITH SOIL SCOUT IN THE UK

We are pleased to announce a new and exclusive distribution partnership with Soil Scout, which will see us distribute the brand’s industry leading real-time, wireless soil monitoring solution to golf courses and sports turf facilities in England, Scotland, and Wales.

Soil Scout provides the most advanced fully buried underground wireless soil sensor and monitoring solution for agriculture, golf, and sports turf maintenance professionals. Several golf courses and sports stadiums worldwide, including iconic venues such as Wembley Stadium and Philadelphia Phillies, use Soil Scout to maintain their turf in tip-top shape while reducing maintenance costs and water consumption.

Speaking about the new partnership, Soil Scout CEO Jalmari Talola commented; “The UK represents the most significant market potential for professional turfs in Europe, and our goal is to help the industry operate more efficiently by making critical soil information available to all users.

“Bernhard and Company is well known all over the world for its leading turf health products and, above all, for its high-quality expertise in the industry. Bernhard has been our familiar partner for seven years, and last year’s successful collaboration at the 2022 World Cup contributed to strengthening the relationship.”

Jalmari continued: “We are very pleased to have Bernhard onboard as the Soil Scout UK distributor and bring the company’s 100+ years of experience to the Soil Scout family. This is an exciting opportunity, and we are very much looking forward to getting to work with them!”

“It’s extremely important we continue to align ourselves with like-minded partners who also value the importance of soil and plant health. We have been working with Bernhard for some time thanks to our relationship with SubAir Systems, and I am excited to continue growing this relationship and providing world-leading turf management solutions together.”

Steven Nixon, Managing Director for Bernhard and Company, added: “A partnership with Soil Scout was a very easy decision for us to make. We have been working together through SubAir Systems for many years now, and it feels like a natural evolution for us to add this product to our portfolio of turf health Solutions. We are very excited to be part of the continued business growth in the UK.”

Soil Scout’s UK Sales and Sports Turf Specialist, Nick Durkin said; “I am very pleased to announce Bernhard and Company as our exclusive dealer for the UK. The industry leading experts have been providing the highest level of turf care machinery, support, and education for many years.

Scott Purdy, Business Development Manager EMEA for Bernhard and Company, said: “Soil Scout has already done a great job developing its brand in England, Scotland, and Wales. I am really looking forward to taking these conversations forward, and supporting customers with an additional way to understand their turf needs.”

New Director of Education for Bernhard Academy, Craig Haldane.

New Director of Education for Bernhard Academy, Craig Haldane. 2560 1707 Natalia Pinto

Welcoming the new Director of Education for Bernhard Academy, Craig Haldane.

Haldane starts his new position with 26 years of experience in the golf and turf industries behind him.

After spending many years in the Middle East, working in both Bahrain and Dubai at venues such as the Emirates Golf Club, he took on the role of Golf Courses Manager at Gleneagles in 2018. During his time there, he oversaw the playing of the Solheim Cup and more recently the Senior Open Championship.

Craig Haldane will take up his new role with immediate effect, taking the lead in developing the Bernhard Academy. He will be developing the training programmes that will form key elements of the Academy.

Bernhard and Company Managing Director, Steven Nixon, said: “We’re thrilled to unveil Craig as Director of Education for the Bernhard Academy. Craig has had an outstanding career as Golf Courses Manager at Gleneagles and at some of the best venues in the Middle East. He’s undoubtedly one of the most well-respected and knowledgeable members of the industry and brings with him a passion and drive to help others.”

Discussing his new role, Haldane added: “I’m delighted to be following my passion, which is developing both the industry and its people. My career has allowed me to understand the need for education to continue to move forward, and the Bernhard Academy has a wonderful opportunity to provide that. To be given the chance to lead that process and develop these educational programmes for the future is really exciting.”

The Bernhard Academy is located at our factory in Haverhill, with a further satellite training facility at Moortown Golf Club and Royal Norwich. Haldane and his team will be refining existing training modules and creating new programmes designed to help greenkeepers and turf professionals take their performance to the next level.

Murasaki Country Club case study

Murasaki Country Club case study 2048 1536 Natalia Pinto

Murasaki Country club

Situated around an hour’s drive from Tokyo, Murasaki Country Club’s Sumire Course, Chiba hosted the 2022 Japan Women’s Open Golf Championship, for which Bernhard and Company, namely Mirai Takahashi, provided tournament support.

The running of the tournament was a great success and the course conditioning received rave reviews from everybody involved with the event. The club’s Director of Golf provided glowing feedback on the course presentation, commenting:  “I have never seen the greens in such good condition.”

The golf course boasts 54 holes with unique design features. Each hole can be played using two different greens, and the greens are alternated every other day. From a design perspective, this creates an ever-changing playing style, as depending on which green is set up, golfers will play the hole from different positions and angles. Tee shot placement becomes imperative when it comes to compiling a good score.

Preparing a golf course for a tournament is challenging, but preparing a golf course with two sets of greens for each hole is an extremely demanding challenge that the Superintendent and his team contend with on a daily basis.

The bent grass greens at Murasaki are maintained following the same high standard on both sets of greens. All fertility procedures, moisture management, cultural practices, disease management, grinding procedures, mowing regimes, and rolling regimes remain identical for all greens. Naturally, this creates twice the amount of work that a normal 18-hole golf course would require.

Maintaining the greens to the highest possible standard is the task of Superintendent, Mr Yoshiha, and machinery maintenance and the sharpening of 200 cutting units is the job of head mechanic Mr Nishikihori.

The greenkeeping staff is made up of 17 people. The size of the facility is impressive, and the amount and quality of equipment is amazing.

A question that came to mind. Why use the greens every other day? Simply, it is an attractive, unique selling point for golfers. Players can have a totally different approach shot from the fairway depending on which green is set up.

One of the challenges for the Superintendent during the tournament was maintaining the speed of the greens. Slowing or increasing the speed is easy, while maintaining it is the trickiest part.

The height of cut on the greens was 3.5 mm and the Baroness mowers used on greens, fairways, and semi-rough were all sharpened using two sets of Bernhard and Company grinders. A Dual Master 3000iR was used in conjunction with an Anglemaster 4000, as well as an Express Dual 4000 fitted with an Express Relief, and an Anglemaster 4100.

The grinders were used on a daily basis and were an essential part of the maintenance programme designed to maintain the 54 holes to the very highest standards.