Most will appreciate playing surfaces that look good and play well and will realise the practices of mowing, irrigation, and fertilisation are responsible for keeping them in good condition. But topdressing is just as vital and failure to topdress will lead to an uneven, unsafe playing surface very quickly.  However, the choice of Topdresser is just as important with the Redexim ‘Rink’ range, from Charterhouse Turf Machinery, on most turf professional’s preferred list.

Topdressing should be viewed as a science whose importance cannot be underestimated and is a valuable tool to the knowledgeable professional.  There are many reasons to top dress with each topdressing application addressing one or all of the following – Smooth the playing surface – Modify the thatch layer – Change the soil texture – Provide a resilient surface – Provide a favourable environment for germination. Applications of top dressings help to produce firm fast surfaces and also assist in the breaking down of any thatch.

It’s important, then, to select a top dresser that will be versatile to accommodate the varying material to be spread – one machine of particular note is the Rink DS800 from Charterhouse Turf Machinery.  This top dresser’s shallow hopper configuration prevents material ‘bridging’ or sticking and has the benefit of a hydraulic rear door as standard.  With a spreading width of up to 12m, the trailed version has the benefit of four wheels on a pivoting rear axle making it ideal for tight contour following, especially useful when spreading on or around greens. Whether the machine is being used for a light, heavy or wetter application it spreads very evenly, resulting in ease of working with the material and time savings.

It was the pivoting axel and overall manoeuvrability of the unit that swayed Jason Cooper, Head Greenkeeper at Leamington Golf Club. “We had previously always hired a topdresser but when it came to making the decision to purchase one, we compared the Rink DS800 to what we had previously hired and there was no contest.  Because we load sand straight out of bays, the 4 wheels being on the pivoting axel was the clincher. This means we can turn the machine 360 degrees, reverse straight in and load direct into the wide hopper. It’s a doddle to use, we’re all really pleased with the decision we made.”

Since the purchase of the machine in March this year, Jason and the team have used the Rink for spring renovation with heavy dressing; further dressings on tees and light dressings on greens.

Photo caption: Richard Lucas, of Charterhouse dealer Tallis Amos, with Jason Cooper (right) of Leamington Golf Club.