Philippe Mallaerts is head greenkeeper at Brabantse Golf, a golf club in Melsbroek, just outside Brussels. They are now using TopChanger for the second season. The last time with the addition of GroeiGoed. Philippe is impressed by our innovative and professional service.
Philippe: "I have met the people at VGR Verschoor 'in the business' for decades. What has always struck me is that they are very innovative in their developments."
Air in the soil is an important factor
"A lot in their technology is based on bringing air into the soil," he continues. "To this end, they develop basic machines. Air is one of the most important factors. Greens are cut short and walked on intensively. Combined with water, the effect of oxygen is important. The focus used to be less on development and more on the turf. VGR Verschoor has really made the huge progress in that respect."
Balance between fertilisation and irrigation
Philippe: "Their method fits perfectly into the 'zero tolerance' for artificial agents. Since those 'antibiotics for the soil' are no longer allowed, they are seeking a balance between fertilisation and irrigation. The main effect of using the TopChanger in combination with GreenGood is the encouragement of deeper root development. The concrete and very positive consequence of their method is that the playing of golf is not compromised. After the injection of water, sand and GreenGood, the course can be used again immediately after rolling!"
The golf club in Flemish Brabant is located on the 'Cleyn Hoff' estate. The original castle was destroyed at the end of World War II. The coach houses and other remaining buildings were restored after the war. The outbuildings now serve as a clubhouse and golf shop. Brabantse Golf features an eighteen-hole course, of which the last five holes are in the park. There is also a driving range, a putting green, and a chipping green.
"Because of the TopChanger treatment, the whole picture of soil health comes together for us," says Philippe. "This development came about in several steps. The machine lays the foundation for the future. For us, it is important that our members can play golf under the best conditions, with minimum disruption. Other methods take a lot of time and recovery time. With good planning and three days of intensive work, all the greens have been treated and are immediately playable."
Brabant Gulf also started injecting GreenGood this year. "This is done in a ratio of five per cent GreenGood and 95 per cent sand," Philippe explains. "The aim is to get the bacterial life more active than when just injecting sand. Sand is neutral in terms of nutrients. GreenGood, on the other hand, is a form of refined compost. We will now wait and see the results in the longer term. In any case, the advantage of this method is that compost is injected at a deeper layer. That stimulates roots to search deeper for nutrients, so the roots develop better."
Correct and in time
Philippe: "We completely outsource the work with the TopChanger to VGR Verschoor. They are clear in their commitment. They do all the work: and they do it correctly and on time. They are a very professional group of people who really go for it! The impact of GreenGood needs recognition. The growth phase has just started: within a month, I expect to see results. VGR Verschoor's method is half-hour work per green. That's the big advantage! We schedule it in between tournaments, so players don't notice anything!"
Philippe, in conclusion: "VGR Verschoor's TopChanger and GreenGood give added value. It's an innovative development, which will benefit us for the future!"
Head green keeper of golf course Wouwse Plantage in Bergen op Zoom.
‘Golf course Wouwse Plantage was considering to renovate the greens. However, VGR advised us to restore and maintain the soil with the TopChanger. This machine enables us to bring back our greens on top level. We keep our greens in good condition with only a minimal disturbance for our golfers.’