Back in October we announced the launch of the WhatKit? Product of the Year, supporting suppliers' efforts to deliver excellence and reflecting the dynamism and innovation in the professional machinery sector. We started with a long list of 30 products vying for the title of What Kit? Turf Care Product of the Year 2015. After much hard work from our judging panel, we can now reveal the shortlist of eight. Congratulations to all those making it to the second round.
Advanced Turf Technology 26in INFiNiSystem, marketed by The Grass Group
A larger version of the 22in walk-behind chassis carrier that enables mowing, rolling, spiking, scarifying, de-thatching, grooming, brushing, verticutting and vibrating of the turf surface using the one power unit - battery or engine - and SMART cassettes.
Judges say: "A versatile range of reels producing the ultimate machine to cater for the entire turf care process. We like the dual power source, battery providing quiet working conditions. Easy to transport and store."
BLEC Disc Seeder Greens Model
Slit seeder designed for fine-turf applications and offering close 2.5cm disc spacing for single-pass operation. The discs can be angled to achieve the desired slitting action. Other features include drop seeding hopper and rear smooth finishing roller.
Judges say: "The use of the coulter wheel to enable efficient seed/soil contact makes this overseeder a valuable asset to any turf manager, not only on golf courses but for many fine-turf areas. High-quality one-pass operation for productivity."
SCH (Supplies) Combination Turf Groomer 4GCS
Multitasking, three-point linkage mounted unit to groom pitches prior to use or at the end of play. Comprises leading star-shaped slitter bar to increase drainage, brush and rake bars to enhance quality and appearance plus a rear roller to firm and stripe.
Judges say: "Impressed by the price (£1,350+VAT), quality of build and ease of use. Ideal for training purposes and for smaller grounds, especially those with volunteer groundsmen or operators with limited experience."
Duo Spreader, marketed by Sherriff Amenity
A spreader for fertiliser or grass seed, the Duo features two dispersal plates for accurate, single-pass application. Also includes a third wheel for balance and consistent angle of spread, finely graded scale to control exact dosage and ergonomic handles.
Judges say: "This development in the application of fertiliser will lead to greater accuracy and so to improved playing surfaces, efficiency and cost-effective use of fertiliser."
EarthWay EV-N SPRED Flex-Select spreader, marketed by DMMP
Features interchangeable trays - standard output tray with three-hole drop mechanism and dual port adjustable shutoff to apply granular fertiliser in one pass; high-output tray with agitator for sand or rock salt; and low-output tray for seeds and chemicals.
Judges say: "Ideal for the contractor or groundsman to carry out a variety of functions from seeding to salting and with reduced risk of blockages."
Fleet Line Markers Ki
Powered by a lithium-ion battery and capable of marking lines from 1.5in up to 6in, this spray marker requires no external mixing - simply attach the bag and walk. Includes a flushing system. Fully collapsible for easy transport and storage.
Judges say: "The battery will last all day and it is lightweight and easy to transport, making it ideal for the mobile groundsman, while its ease of use makes it suitable for volunteers and trainees."
Toro GreensPro 1240 Greens Roller
A smoothing roller of offset design with independent articulating heads to follow undulations and preserve natural contours. Delivers uniform greens appearance and roll consistency. Operator platform adjusts for comfort and safety.
Judges say: "Fantastic machine that has its place on any well-looked-after golf course. Impressed by the innovative wheel caddy system and the transport system with QuickLatch coupler."
VGR Topchanger, marketed by Campey Turf Care Systems
Combining aeration and sand filling in one action, this 1.6m machine produces a closely spaced row of holes that are immediately filled with sand and both liquid and solid amendments to improve aeration and water infiltration.
Judges say: "A game changer. A good development for soil exchange and the application of nutrients direct to the roots with minimal surface disturbance. Fantastic for golf but with potential for broader applications."