The exposed location and sandy loam soil profile of Cardigan Golf Club mean the links course is subject to harsh conditions, yet the greens and fairways have never performed better according to Course Manager Stuart Adams – who attributes the improvements in visual merit and plant health down to the bespoke seed programme delivered by Johnsons Sports Seed.
Steeped in over 100 years of Welsh history, the hilltop location of the 18-hole links course offers picturesque views over the Teifi Estuary. “Our clifftop position leaves us extremely exposed to the elements, meaning we tend to dry out very fast with the warm sea breeze we experience in the summer” explains Stuart, who heads-up a greens team consisting of two full-time and three-part time greenkeepers, together with an artisan worker. “When it comes to seed selection, we have to find cultivars that will suit our site and predominately choose hard, strong and slender creeping fescues.”
“Our fairways have a track-record for struggling from insect damage and the stresses of longer, hotter summers so I discussed options with my DLF Technical Manager Ian Barnett, who suggested a mixture based around Johnsons J Fescue with the inclusion of additional Hard fescue to suit our situation.”
A 100% fine fescue blend, J Fescue incorporates top-rated cultivars to provide a high drought and salt tolerant mixture for a sustainable sward that requires lower inputs of water and fertiliser. The inclusion of Hard fescue – known for its tolerance to a broad range of turf stresses – has resulted in a mix delivering outstanding resilience and recovery. J Fescue forms part of a comprehensive line-up of fine turf fairway mixtures including J Premier Fairway - incorporating 10% Hard fescue and 10% Sheeps fescue – and a new mixture for 2024, J Sustain Fairway, specially formulated with 40% Hard fescue to deliver a high-performance, sustainable surface with a foundation of natural strength.
“Our fairways look remarkable and are showing incredible improvements in sustainable management.” He explains, “Other brands cannot compare with the high germination rate, purity and overall results we achieve with Johnsons. We get consistent, strong and healthy grass, even in our high traffic areas, and our greens simply speak for themselves!”
With enhanced diversity of both cultivars and species within the sward, Stuart is well-placed to overcome the challenges of the new season. “Not only has our overall quality improved, but we’re building up increased resilience to the range of stresses we now have to overcome from the climate and ongoing reduction in chemistry at our disposal.” He concludes, “I’d recommend Johnsons as the first choice on any budget.”