• 1-888 474 6348 (USA/Canada) +44 1788 811600 (Worldwide)

Tournaments

SubAir systems perform at the Masters 2020

SubAir systems perform at the Masters 2020 1920 1080 james.bernhard

SubAir at the Masters 2020

One challenge greenkeepers and ground staff must overcome is how to keep their course, pitch and turf playable during seasons when there are large amounts of rainfall. Sports turf getting soaked can affect games, competitions and tournaments so a lot of stress is pushed on to the turf maintenance teams to ensure they make the turf playable. Previously this was a massive headache for grounds teams, however they now have the ability to fight back thanks to SubAir systems.

A SubAir system is a product that has been created, by compiling a series of pumps and blowers that connect with the drainage system below the turf. To fully reap the benefits of the SubAir system, an underground drainage system needs to be constructed “USGA spec green” with a main pipe and a series of lateral tributary pipes feeding into it underneath the surface. These pipes can then work in synergy, gathering excess water from the turf and then pumping and blowing it to a nearby exit area or drain.

Once the system has been activated, it acts as a vacuum and pulls air and water from the turf much quicker. If there is a need to pull a lot of water off the turf then additional pumps and mechanisms can be added to pull it even quicker and further away from the area.

A pressure mode feature is also incorporated into the SubAir system, which can force air into the pipes and therefore into the soil and root systems of the turf. This can aid turf management teams to monitor the temperature of the sports turf without needing to interrupt any play.

In 2001, Augusta National Golf Club was the first club to install a SubAir system into their 13th green but now, 20 years later, all greens are incorporated with the system to better manage the turf in relation to air, temperature and water. The system is proving once again very useful in this year’s exceptional edition of the Masters.

Since then, many other golf courses now have SubAir systems on their golf courses including Pebble Beach Golf Links. Other sports and stadiums have also incorporated SubAir systems underneath their turf including The Philadelphia Phillies (Baseball), Wembley Stadium (football, also know as soccer) and New England Patriots (American Football).

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.”

Turf Breeze fans at Wembley Stadium

Turf Breeze fans at Wembley Stadium 1280 720 james.bernhard

TurfBreeze Fans Create an Air of Confidence at Wembley Stadium

The installation of eight TurfBreeze fans at Wembley has allowed FA Head of Grounds and Estates, Alan Ferguson, to seize control of the stadium’s micro-climate and reduce the risk of turf disease by almost 58%.

Supplied by Bernhard and Company, the fans form part of a one-million-pound investment program to upgrade pitch support equipment, which also includes the addition of SGL grow lights, and replacing the existing aeration equipment with a SubAir System, another Bernhard and Company product.

The iconic sporting venue is host to major prestigious international football matches, cup finals, Tottenham Hotspurs’ Champions League matches, rugby and NFL games, not forgetting the concerts. A packed and varied fixture list, coupled with a closed stadium environment, create tricky conditions for cultivating healthy turf.

Although an attractive architectural feature, the depth of the stadium bowl allows very little air flow at pitch level. This impacts transpiration. The plant can’t breathe effectively. Reduced air flow also increases the risk of heat stress and prevents the effective evaporation of morning dew. These damp, oxygen deprived conditions create a breeding ground for fungicidal and bacterial infection.

“Wembley has one of the deepest bowls in European and world football. This in turn has created a harsh and difficult micro climate to manage,” Alan begins.

“The air flow at pitch level is poor, before we started using the fans it would be difficult to keep moisture off the sward in the morning, preventing us from cutting. But now once we’ve cut on a match day we can irrigate to aid ball movement during the game.

“The reduction in dew means the leaf is drier, making it healthier having removed the moisture that acts as a vehicle for the spores. That has lowered the risk of disease by as much as 58%. We’ve seen a reduction in disease occurrence already, which is a real boost for us as we look to produce a stronger plant in a healthier sward.

“The even temperature in warm months also allows us to manage and reduce the heat stress on the leaf, which is invaluable as the temperature can reach 40 degrees centigrade at pitch level during the summer.

“The fans made an enormous difference in the time between the concert and the match because we were able to have a consistent surface temperature on the pitch for the first time. For me it’s occasions like that when we’re up against a tight deadline that the fans really show their worth, and give us confidence.

“By being able to manage the sward temperature below the ground with SubAir and above with TurfBreeze fans means we can finally manage an optimum temperature at the leaf, giving it every chance to recover quickly, ready for the next event.”

Alan considers innovation to be one of the most important aspects of his job. Like most groundsmen in multi event stadia the pressure he faces means he has to use the latest techniques available to meet demand.

By his own admission the Wembley turf is now grown almost completely artificially all year round, with the use of grow lights, TurfBreeze Fans and SubAir. Having to take this approach means the equipment has to be of the highest quality, because you only get one chance to grow a pitch in.

“New stadiums rarely offer good growing conditions,” Alan explains. “Priority is given to the spectator experience.

“The pressure is on groundsmen to replace the natural elements required by the grass plant and produce quality pitches. Many do this by using grow lights, but now with the fans and SubAir there is also an opportunity to replace the air flow, as well as ensuring the sward is well oxygenated.

“Every game we host is a high-profile event. With today’s HD television technology and cameras covering every angle there is no hiding place. Meeting these turn-around times is vital, as is providing the best surface possible in order to meet client expectations.

“As a team we don’t want people to look at the pitch and say ‘that looks good considering how much they’ve had on it,’ we want them to view it as one of the best surfaces in world sport. TurfBreeze fans are already playing a part in making that happen.”

Privacy Preferences
When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in the form of cookies. Here you can change your Privacy preferences. It is worth noting that blocking some types of cookies may negatively impact your experience and limit the services we are able to offer.

Click to enable/disable Google Analytics tracking code.
Click to enable/disable Google Fonts.
Click to enable/disable Google Maps.
Click to enable/disable video embeds.

Our website uses cookies. Define your Privacy Preferences and/or agree to our use of cookies.