VGR at Golfclub Zeewolde

Convinced by our method & machine!

07 May 2024

Christian Nueboer, head greenkeeper at Zeewolde Golf Club, and his predecessors have closely witnessed the evolution of injecting sand into the soil using water pressure over the past fifteen years. Our method has now been so refined that he has decided to purchase the TopChanger XP.

Previously, they outsourced this task and were bound to scheduled periods. Below, Christian explains how our latest TopChanger combines all the advantages.

Soil as the foundation
‘The soil as the foundation’ is a phrase that has been circulating in greenkeeper lingo for several years. Greenkeeping is about more than just aesthetic presentation. Anyone can appreciate a neatly mown green, but if the playing surface is soft and uneven, it is of no benefit to anyone. Structural play quality: that's what matters!

Improving the top layer
This spring, we’ve added a new machine to our fleet that guarantees course traffic and largely solves the effects of climate issues on the greens: the TopChanger by VGR, a Dutch product. It’s in the name: The TopChanger improves the top layer. Water is injected into the soil at very high pressure, 220 to 260 bar.

Vertical sand pillars
Moreover, sand can be added to this process. This creates vertical sand pillars, shot into the ground. These vertical channels result in a much firmer top layer and better drainage capacity. The outcome is a more stable playing surface with less organic matter. The line stability of the ball is increased and ultimately the stimp is raised.

Single operation
All of this in a single operation! The machine has already proven its worth on multiple occasions. We used to have the work done by a contractor. Now we have our own, making it more broadly applicable than just for contract work. The instruction and training are complete.

Deeper into the soil
Another major advantage is that by aerating with water alone, we can reach much deeper into the green than traditional aeration with a metal spike. It sounds contradictory, but aerating with water is indeed possible, and we plan to put it to the test this coming year. This allows us to reach layers traditionally inaccessible.

Uniform greens
The first round with the TopChanger and sand took place this week. During this round, we treated all the greens. Later in the year, there will be a second round where we will likely select greens that need extra attention. Uniform greens are important. By repeating this process at least annually for the next five years, the greens will become more sustainable and less prone to disease.

More Reliable
Based on the results, we will adjust the frequency in the future. Structural play quality with as little disruption to the player as possible: if we can, we will do it! The reliability of the machine has greatly improved. No malfunctions, no more dependency on dried sand: in two words, ‘more reliable’. Ultimately, sustainability wins, and that includes long-term solutions like the TopChanger XP!

Christian Nueboer, Head Greenkeeper

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