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Academy and Education

Leicester City FC Sports Turf Academy

Leicester City FC Sports Turf Academy 1920 1080 Samena Parbin

Leicester City FC launches specialist Sports Turf Academy in collaboration with Bernhard and Company

We are pleased to have announced a new collaborative working relationship with Leicester City FC as the Premier League club opened a pioneering new Sports Turf Academy.

Based at the club’s state-of-the-art new training facility in North Leicestershire, the Sports Turf Academy aims to inspire the next generation of sports turf professionals by offering an elite training environment that provides access to high-tech equipment and expertise.

Alongside Leicester City FC, our team will play a vital role in the delivery of all educational material at the Academy, utilising over 40 years of experience and knowledge in high-quality, professional turf management. We are also the exclusive provider of all sharpening equipment at the facility and will be responsible for the sharpening of all maintenance equipment across the site.

The Academy is divided into four main areas of learning, each designed to enhance different skills. At the heart of the programme are training and education – students will benefit from a specialist provision of sports turf educational packages, right up to degree level internships. In addition, academy students will have the opportunity to provide seasonal tournament support to venues hosting turf-based sporting events throughout the UK.

Through the technical services pillar, vast improvements will be made to grassroots football pitches, while the trials and research course will focus on innovation and emerging technologies that enter the sports turf industry. The unique nature of the Academy makes it a world-class prospect, as cutting-edge sports turf research can be put into ‘live’ in-situ trials – a first for elite sport played on grass.

Scott Purdy, Business Development Manager EMEA for Bernhard and Company, said: “Our relationship with Leicester City stretches back over a number of years, and we are proud to be supporting them in the development of this outstanding facility.

“Education is at the heart of everything we do, so we are pleased to be continuing our pursuit to give back to the turf industry. The Academy will provide an ideal platform for young turf professionals to hone their skills and develop a well-rounded knowledge before heading out into the wider industry,” he added.

In line with the announcement, our marketing team have produced an informative video, featuring interviews and clips, that dives deeper into what the Sports Turf Academy has to offer.

 

Applications open for BIGGA delegation experience 2022

Applications open for BIGGA delegation experience 2022 1200 675 Samena Parbin

Applications open for Bernhard and Company’s exclusive #200Club 2022 BIGGA Delegation experience

Revered around the country, the Bernhard and Company BIGGA Delegation is one of the most respected and sought-after personal development opportunities for greenkeepers and turf professionals in the UK. The week-long educational trip to the coveted GIS Show as part of the BIGGA Delegation will feature experiences designed to elevate attendees’ careers, and will also include site visits to leading golf facilities in the region.

2022 will mark the 20th year that Bernhard and Company have worked in synergy with BIGGA to deliver the delegation. As such, successful applicants will form part of ‘The 200 Club’ – an exclusive group of professionals that will form part of the 20th iteration of the delegation.

The chosen BIGGA members will represent the UK’s greenkeeping industry, as they develop their network with likeminded professionals from around the globe. They will also take a deep dive into the educational offering at the largest turf management exhibition in the world, this time taking place at The Harbor Drive Convention Center, in San Diego.

Tom Smith, a senior greenkeeper at Wylihof Golf Club in Switzerland, and member of the San Antonio, 2019 delegation party, commented: “The education is second to none. The week was packed full of learning experiences relating to different aspects of greenkeeping, as well as site visits to top golf courses in the area. I really can’t speak highly enough of the trip and would encourage everybody to put themselves forward.”

Steven Nixon, Director for Bernhard and Company, added: “We are looking forward to resuming the BIGGA Delegation this year after missing out in 2021. The company is excited to be working with BIGGA once again to give something back to the industry we love. I’m certain it will be a career-defining week for our #200Club attendees.”

The GCSAA educational conference takes place from the 5th – 10th February 2022, in San Diego, and the deadline for applications is Friday 30th September 2021 at 5pm BST.

To apply, head online to: https://www.bernhard.co.uk/bigga2022.

Check out some hints and tips for a better application here

200 club application for BIGGA delegation 2022

200 club application for BIGGA delegation 2022 897 864 james.bernhard

Join the 200 club as Bernhard and Company opens applications to the 2022 BIGGA delegation

The Bernhard and Company Bigga delegation is one of the most respected educational opportunities for greenkeepers and turf professionals in the UK, and delivers experiences designed to elevate attendees’ careers. The delegation is a week-long educational trip to the coveted GCSAA show, which also includes site visits to leading golf facilities in the region – the delegation is renowned for building business and social relationships that last a lifetime.

Bernhard and Company is pleased to announce that it has now kickstarted the recruitment process to find 10 openminded and enthusiastic greenkeepers that would love to take full advantage of what the trip has to offer. 2022 will mark the 20th year that Bernhard and Company have worked in synergy with BIGGA to deliver this delegation. As such, successful applicants will form part of ‘The 200 Club’ – an exclusive group of professionals that have benefited from the delegation.

The chosen BIGGA members will represent the United Kingdom’s greenkeeping industry, as they develop their network with likeminded professionals from around the globe. They will also take a deep dive into the educational offering at the largest turf management exhibition in the world, this year taking place at The Harbor Drive Convention Center, in San Diego.

Tom Smith, a senior greenkeeper at Wylihof Golf Club in Switzerland, and member of the San Antonio 2018 delegation party, commented: “The education is second to none. It is eight hours a day of intense, mind blowing material. The week was packed full of learning experiences relating to different aspects of greenkeeping, as well as site visits to top golf courses in the area. I really can’t speak highly enough of the trip and would encourage everybody to put themselves forward.”

Steven Nixon, Director for Bernhard and Company added: “We are looking forward to resuming the BIGGA delegation this year after missing out in 2020. The company is excited to be working with BIGGA once again to provide education, support, and opportunities. It is our way of putting something back into the industry we love.”

The GCSAA education conference takes place from the 5th – 10th February 2022, in San Diego, and the deadline for applications is Friday 10th September 2021.

https://www.bernhard.co.uk/bigga2022

New Training Academy

New Training Academy 2560 1920 Angelique Crosnier

New training academy launched by Bernhard and Company

Pioneering industry-leading training programmes

11th June 2019 sees the launch of the Bernhard Academy at the company’s factory facilities in Haverhill, Suffolk. The Bernhard Academy is set to become a hub of knowledge for the turf industry and a centre promoting learning and development across the globe. In addition to promoting education to UK turf specialists, the Academy will develop a training programme for Bernhard’s distributors from across the US, Asia and Europe to help enhance their knowledge of turf health solutions.

Working in partnership with Mow-Sure Training Ltd, the Academy aims to train customers, technicians and distributors’ sales team to promote turf health, cutting precision and superior playability and eventually to get the most out of Bernhard’s product portfolio.

The accredited training will be delivered in several formats at the purpose-built facility at Haverhill, hands-on training, theory or via online learning. A wide range of modular and short courses is planned, with the two signature courses being a Turf Technician Course and a Turf Manager’s Course.

The Role of Ice in Winter Injury

The Role of Ice in Winter Injury 600 600 Angelique Crosnier

WINTER INJURY

Ice Cover Injury

Intermittent ice formation on golf greens and fairways is a common event in northern Europe. Ice cover is often considered part of winter injury caused directly by a continuous ice cover or as part of freeze injury (low temperature kill).

Ice in Association with Freeze Injury

In areas where continuous ice cover for over 45 days is unlikely due to winter weather patterns being broken due to intermittent periods of thawing, ice formation can play a role in freeze injury. Under this scenario a rapid drop in temperature resulting in freezing water around the growing point during late winter or early spring can cause freeze injury primarily to Poa annua.

The critical precursor to freeze injury is the loss of cold hardiness through dehardening and subsequent rehydration of the annual bluegrass crown region. Continuous ice covers as previously mentioned contribute to the decline in cold hardiness. However, the most important factor regulating dehardening is temperature(5). In annual bluegrass the dehardening process can occur quickly when soil temperatures exceed 46F (8C) for 48 hours(6).

What cultural practices can be instituted to minimize ice injury and/or freeze injury? A thorough discussion is found in the 2004 November/December issue of the USGA Green Section Record in an article entitled “Winter Damage” by Keith Happ. Some of the key points are:

1) Produce a healthy plant going into the winter. A weak Poa annua plant with low carbohydrate storage is not going to tolerate ice cover or be resistant to freeze injury as a healthy plant. Shaded areas are more prone to freeze injury than sunny areas, probably due to the carbohydrate status of Poa annua(7).

2) Eliminate poorly drained areas. Poa annua growing in areas where water accumulates is at high risk to rapid freezing during freeze/thaw cycles.

In conclusion, winter injury is normally a combination of several factors one of which is ice cover. A continuous ice cover can cause injury on Poa annua after 45 days. The formation of ice during freeze/thaw cycles in late winter can create a situation where excessive water in and around Poa annua crowns can create freeze injury from ice formed by a rapid drop in temperature.

Continuous Ice Cover Injury

The first type of ice injury is the direct result of a continuous ice cover often referred to as freeze smothering. In the early to mid 1960’s Jim Beard conducted controlled laboratory study where he looked at the survival rate of three cool season turfgrasses under a continuous ice cover and two turfgrasses under field conditions(1,2). He found that creeping bentgrass could survive 120 days of continuous ice cover, however annual bluegrass (Poa annua) loss occurred after 60 days with substantial loss around 75 days. In a more recent Canadian field study annual bluegrass and creeping bentgrass turf was subjected to 45 days of continuous ice cover and then the ice was removed. Seventy-five days after initiating the study and 30 days after removing the ice cover creeping bentgrass still maintained its cold hardiness, while annual bluegrass was dead(3). It would appear from this study that annual bluegrass under a continuous ice cover needs to be removed prior to 45 days.

The reasons commonly proposed for ice injury are the buildup of toxic gases and/or the development of anoxic conditions, and the loss of cold hardiness. It appears that carbon dioxide (CO2) accumulation under ice cover is a major contributor to the death of herbaceous plants(4). Intermittent thawing helped eliminate the CO2 buildup and injury to the plants in this study did not occur(4).

The loss of cold hardiness under ice cover occurs and varies among turfgrass species. Under continuous ice cover annual bluegrass loses its cold hardiness, while creeping bentgrass is not affected(3). The loss of cold hardiness in annual bluegrass is likely due to the anoxia (lack of oxygen) conditions that develop under an ice cover(3).

References:
1. Beard, J.B. 1964. Effects of ice, snow and water covers on Kentucky bluegrass, annual bluegrass and creeping bentgrass. Crop Science 4: 638-640

2. Beard, J.B. 1965. Effects of ice covers in the field on two perennial grasses. Crop Science 5: 139-140.

3. Tompkins, D.K., J.B. Ross, and D. L. Moroz. 2004. Effect of ice cover on annual bluegrass and creeping bentgrass putting greens. Crop Science 44:2175-2179.

4. Freyman, S. and V.C. Brink. 1967. Nature of ice-sheet injury to alfalfa. Agronomy Journal 59:557-560.

5. Tompkins, D.K., J.B. Ross, and D.L. Moroz. 2002. Dehardening of annual bluegrass and creeping bentgrass during late winter and early spring. Agronomy Journal 92:925-929.

6. Tompkins, D.K, C.J. Bubar, and J.B. Ross. 1996. Physiology of low temperature injury with an emphasis on crown hydration in Poa annua L. and Agrostis palustris. PTRC Report. web site: http://ptrc.oldscollege.ab.ca/researchreports.html

7. Rossi, F.S. 2003. New light on freeze stress. CUTT 14(3): 1,4

Rugby School the Home of the Rugby Game

Rugby School the Home of the Rugby Game 2560 1920 Samena Parbin

Rugby School, the Home of the Rugby Game and Perfect Sport Fields

Rugby School is one of the oldest independent schools in Britain and the birthplace of Rugby Football in 1823. The “Home of the Game” is a boarding school for 900 students, as well as a famous place visited by many tourists and fans of the sport from all over the world. James Mead has been the Grounds Manager for the school for the last 13 years. He and his team is responsible for keeping the 300 acres of sports fields look and play their best at all times.

Preventing Black Layer

Preventing Black Layer 600 600 Angelique Crosnier

PREVENTING BLACK LAYER

The lack of air circulation in the soil reduces oxygen, which can be very detrimental to the soil profile and consequently affect negatively the turf health.

The black layer is often a symptom of anaerobic soil conditions, usually appearing in high sand content soil, and just as the name implies, it is a horizontal black stratum formed in rootzone at a depth of 1.3 to 10 cm. It causes a reduction in several elements that are essential to the survival of plants. The colour black is the result of a reduction of iron, and the hydrogen sulphide that occurs on the black layer is responsible for an unpleasant smell that helps on the identification of the problem.

There are several factors that may result in the lack of oxygen and poor infiltration rate in the soil such as compaction, excessive organic content layer, excessive sulphur and high sodium additions or any layering that occurs in the rootzone that impedes water movement. Problems characterized as abiotic are not caused by living organisms, but by other factors such as edaphoclimatic conditions, intensity of traffic, inadequate use of chemicals and improper use of the maintenance machinery.

When the soil becomes anaerobic the solubility and chemistries of the nutrients modifies, certain elements are more available for the plant and others become toxic. The lack of O2 promotes the development of anaerobic microorganisms that produce metabolites that can be unfavourable to the development of the plants, such as sulphide (H2S) and iron sulphide (FeS). The black layer may become most evident during prolonged periods of hot humid weather and usually algae is also observed in conjunction with the layer, aggravating the surface sealing that may occur.

The lack of oxygen in the rootzone causes the reduction of the capacity of absorption of nutrients and water causing severe root decline, weakening the plant and diminishing its resistance to disease, wear, heat and cold tolerance.

To prevent Black Layer, it is important to apply topdressing material with similar physical characteristics to the existing on the rootzone and to use only slow release fertilizers or to fertilize lightly and frequently, but the best way to manage the black layer is preventing anaerobic conditions by improving water drainage and coring. The SubAir system is a good option to prevent the problem as it is designed to improve aeration, providing fresh air direct to plant roots and stimulating microbial activity. Also, it stabilises water delivery to the root system and removes harmful gases such as Carbon Dioxide, Methane and Hydrogen Sulphide.

Heroes of Tournament Support

Heroes of Tournament Support 1920 1080 james.bernhard

The Unsung Heroes of Tournament Support

When Ryan Moore’s decisive putt secured the Ryder Cup for the US team on the 18th green of Hazeltine National Golf Club, the crowds roared their approval. A magnificent end to a magnificent tournament. The greens looked amazing and played even better. In the background a team of unsung heroes lead by Chris Tritabaugh, Hazeltine Course Superintendent, worked tirelessly round the clock to deliver the championship conditions that made the Tournament so special.

When tournament time comes round the greens and fairways need extra focus, not just during play, but in the days leading up to the event too. Doug Veine, Bernhard US Territory Manager and Ralph Arnt, Hazeltine Equipment Manager, started the process of mower conditioning on Wednesday September 21st.

“Teamwork is everything,” states Doug. “In addition to the Course staff there were around 125 volunteers, working two shifts, morning and evening. Chris Tritabaugh did an amazing job of organizing his own team, the volunteers and all the sponsors that help provide meals, uniforms and extra equipment. The pressure falls on Chris and we are there to relieve it by getting all the jobs done in an efficient and safe manner.

“I worked closely with Ralph to sharpen and set up all of the cutting units. We used the Express Dual 4000 spin grinder for sharpening reels, and the Anglemaster 4000 for sharpening the bedknives. Ralph selected Bernhard grinders due to the ease of set up and speed of grind, enabling us to get the mowers turned around and back onto the golf course in record time.

“We were handling roughly 90 cutting units per day, we sharpened during the prep week and focused on height of cut and set up during the event.

“Being a part of something like the Ryder Cup is an honor. Hearing the roars of the crowd as the teams scored on the course sends a chilling feeling of excitement through you. I believe this is the largest golf event ever to date. Well over 250,000 people attended over the three days and we should be so proud that Bernhard played a part in it.”

The on-site experience and support provided by the equipment manufacturers is invaluable to the course team. Course conditions are the biggest variable when it comes to mower set up and blade sharpening, and they were a particular challenge for Michael He, Bernhard Asia Customer Support Manager, at the Rio Olympics this July.

With the men’s and women’s tournaments played back to back it was important that the turf health was maintained throughout by mowing with sharp blades, and adjusting the cutting schedule in accordance with conditions.

“Our first obstacle of the tournament came in the first few days, because the greens had been heavily sanded, meaning the blades needed grinding after every cut,” Michael explained.

“Having Mike and Klasie from Jacobsen on the team made the process so much quicker, they are the experts on these mowers, they helped prepare the blades for sharpening and assisted with set-up to ensure that all the machines were in the best possible condition.

“Their support was critical. We had two tournaments back to back. The fairways and tees are Zoysia, sharp blades are essential for the appearance, playability and health of the turf.”

Bernhard provides tournament support for the PGA Tour and other major competitions including the US Open, Ryder Cup and Olympics. “It’s a perfect combination,” believes Doug. “The Leadership of the course Superintendent, the camaraderie of the volunteers, the technical expertise of the club team and the hands on support and know-how of the equipment providers, all coming together to provide some of the greatest spectacles in golf.”

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