Stuart Hogg, Course Manager at The West Lancashire Golf Club, believes that ICL’s products and Agrovista Amenity’s service help to keep course standards impeccably high.
Founded in 1873, The West Lancashire Golf Club in Liverpool, is one of the 9 oldest clubs in England. It is currently ranked 28th in Golf World Top 100 in England; 49th in Golf World Top 100 Links GB & Ireland; and 23rd in National Club Golfer Top 100.
The West Lancashire has also recently been selected by The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A) as one of four renowned golf clubs to stage final qualifying for The Open.
Stuart, who has been at the club since 2015 and manages a team of seven members of staff, underlined the importance of keeping up standards at such a highly regarded club.
“It certainly puts pressure on us to deliver,” he admitted. “As a business, we have grown massively, and so has the reputation. We have to keep standards high and constantly need to deliver high-end surfaces and to do that we need to rely on proven, quality products.
“For example, when we first started using ICL we quickly realised that the products being developed and launched were matching where I wanted to go, and they were making it easier to achieve our goals.”
Stuart sources all his ICL products through Agrovista Amenity – an ICL distributor, and he has recently reported excellent results from Qualibra wetting agent and Sportsmaster WSF SMX 20-0-0 – a beneficial nitrogen source in the form of ammonium sulphate coupled with SMX – an effective and sustainable seaweed concentrate.
Commenting on his use of Qualibra, Stuart said: “We’re now using Qualibra across the whole course because over recent years we’ve developed a huge amount of trust in the product. The standards and expectations here are so high that I need to be using market leading products. I like the fact that its widely tank-mixable with other products and I can buy it in bulk, ensuring we keep within budget.
“We always make sure that we get plenty of applications of Qualibra throughout the course by the end of May, so we are prepared for any further dry spells ahead of us,” he continued. “I like to do a simple test when I’m concerned about the soil accepting any rainfall or irrigation and that’s to simply pour some water over the treated area to see if the water is absorbed or just sits on top. This tells me that everything is in place to accept any irrigation or rainfall. I am currently very happy with the results this product gives me and can’t see any reason to change currently.”
On SMX, Stuart said: “After some trial work with ICL we started to incorporate WSF SMX 20.0.0 into our programme and it has been a great product. I like the makeup of it because it is environmentally friendly, and it is in line with traditional greenkeeping. It’s delivering sufficient nutrition and helping mitigate stresses on the turf which is hugely beneficial because we are quite a stressful site.”
As well as being impressed with the products, Stuart underlined the importance of working with both the manufacturer and distributor.
“Ask anyone – Agrovista Amenity and ICL provide the same level of service to the local club down the road as they do to some of the biggest sporting clubs in the world. Both companies’ values align with my own values.
“I buy the products through Agrovista Amenity, and I have their support, but I also have the back up from ICL. I believe all Course Managers need to trust the companies they deal with in product deliveries, and I have never had any issues at all.
“Having two of the industry’s biggest companies working in partnership together helps our golf course – that’s for sure. There is absolutely no reason to move away from ICL and Agrovista when everything works incredibly well for us.”