Everris plays starring role in development of 'special' golf course

Horsham Golf and Fitness is preparing to open its 18-hole golf course, "The Oaks", in Spring 2016 thanks to products from Everris and distributor Avoncrop Amenity Products.

L-R: Avoncrop's Andrew Wood, Everris' Michael Fance and course manager Dan O'Rourke. Image: Everris
L-R: Avoncrop's Andrew Wood, Everris' Michael Fance and course manager Dan O'Rourke. Image: Everris

Set in Denne Hill, West Sussex, the 'Oaks' Golf Course is nearing completion, with members already able to sample the first nine holes.

Course manager Dan O'Rourke said no expense has been spared and expectations are high.

"This will be one of the best golf courses around and it will accommodate everybody from the beginner to established players. We really have gone for it and no corner has been cut.

"The greens have all been constructed according to USGA (United States Golf Association) specification, as have the tees, and our fairways and approaches are features within themselves. The construction team, Contour Golf, have a huge background in drainage and are one of the best in the industry."

O'Rourke, a former pro golfer, currently looks after Horne Park and Foxbridge Golf Club. Having been involved in the 'Oaks' project from day one, he encountered a few obstacles to begin with before turning to Everris, which is part of the ICL Group.

"We actually didn't start on the 'Oaks' with Everris. We were using different products and unfortunately the products simply were not doing what we wanted them to do. So I sat down with Andrew Wood from Avoncrop, the Everris distributor for our area, and we had conversations about what I wanted from a product, what I wanted going forward into the season, and he recommended Everris.

"I started with the controlled release fertilizer SierrablenPlus Stress Control, which was used on the fairways, outfields and rough, and it was absolutely fantastic. We then moved onto our greens, approaches and tees, where we used SierraformGT and again it was great. It's easy for me to say this, but quite honestly they are better than I expected," he said.

At a number of woodland holes on the course, growth is hard to come by. O'Rourke and Wood decided on a combination of Primo Maxx (a growth regulator manufactured by Syngenta) and SierrablenPlus in order to achieve more of a dense sward. Based on its success, the two of them again turned to the combination following bad weather after the first nine holes were opened in November 2014.

"Pre-Christmas the weather was torrid," O'Rourke explained. "It was very wet and because it was newly established it struggled a little bit. We had some scarring because of new growth, and we wanted to fill those areas in as quickly as possible.

"So coming into spring we needed to get it manageable, from both a maintenance point of view and also from a golfing point of view. We applied the SierrablenPlus / Primo Maxx combination and it has worked wonders. We were looking at it and thinking that it was going to take a very long time but we put them down at the back end of March and within six weeks we were up and running."

O'Rourke also uses Heritage Maxx, a long lasting fungicide with quick and efficient root uptake. To enhance the turf's health and colour he also uses STEP Hi-Mag fertilizer, which contains all the micro nutrients required for healthy greens, tees and fairways.

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