Groundsmen face rising demands

"Augusta factor" is making groundmanship harder, says Scotsturf show manager

The “Augusta factor” is making groundsmanship a tougher job, according to Scotsturf show chairman Gary Mack. The Queens University Belfast estates manager said: “Undoubtedly it’s a harder job now. People’s expectations are higher. The profession has expanded in terms of the number of games played and increased media coverage. “Then there’s the Augusta factor in golf — every golf player wants the course to look like the Augusta course. Every soccer player wants a pitch like Portland Road and every tennis player wants Wimbledon.” Mack was speaking at the 24th indoor Scotsturf, which he said was a successful event “in terms of attendance, layout and profile”. Organisers, the Institute of Groundsmanship Scotland & Ireland (IOG S&I ) region reintroduced computer registration and booking for next year while at the show and raised the profile of seminars. Mack added that a pre-seminar reception attracted the “big players”. He said the exhibition aims to “give the trade opportunities to speak about key issues — reduction in the of number of pesticides available within the portfolio, reduction of budgets, environmental, customer satisfaction and weather issues”. IOG president Derek Walder said: “People up here can’t get to Saltex at Windsor because it’s too far. They’re doing a good job here.” Around 2,000 people attended. There were 85 standholders, which is slightly fewer than last year.

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