Terra Float Air is new arrival at Ardfin

Newly appointed Director of Golf at Ardfin, Stewart Duff, has chosen a Wiedenmann Terra Float Air for his first machinery purchase.  

Stewart, who took up his post at the Isle of Jura estate in October, had been working as a consultant for the estate prior to taking on the Director of Golf role.

Exceptional in every aspect, Ardfin opened for play in 2017, and is set amidst 10 miles of unspoilt shoreline on the south of Jura, offering breath taking wildlife and golf in equal measure.

A niche project for the course’s greens and aprons prompted Wiedenmann UK’s Mike James to deliver the distinctive pneumatic overseeder via ferry.

“Ardfin has predominantly fescue greens,” explained Stewart Duff.  “As things mature, it’s not unusual for other grasses to creep in, resulting in a handful of areas appearing a little patchy. Our goal is to add another fine leaf bent grass into the surfaces without disturbance, which will help everything blend better.”

“Gordon Howat from the R&A recommended the purchase of the Terra Float Air and I was in full agreement with his recommendation, so it was an easy choice. It was here within weeks, only some notable storms prevented Mike getting it to us sooner…”

With rates as low as 1 g / m², the Air offers class-leading features. The operator inserts the chosen seed into size-appropriate dosing sleeves. Next, the seed bed is determined by selecting from a range of hole-making tools, including stars and cone-shaped ones, from just 5 mm in diameter. The tools are inserted into a heavy-duty floating 3-part spike roller which effortlessly follows contours.  It loosens and aerates the soil down to 30 mm, creating uniform ‘seed pots. Electric-drive technology is used for all aspects of seed delivery; the seed-dosing sleeves and fan are both electric powered. Seeds are delivered pneumatically down a series of eight pipes onto deflector plates, which direct the seed into the ‘pots.’ An in-cab computer stores data from previous runs and allows amendment to the application rate at any point. After the seeds are in the ground, a double layer sweeping brush follows on and it, too, has floating properties. A further three-part roller gives an optimal brush and roller combination to incorporate top dressing materials to the ground, before smoothing the surface.

“For a site like this, very little surface disruption is critical,” continued Stewart. “We anticipate five applications a year to the greens and aprons. We’ll go in with bent four times and fescue once, but regardless of which one, we want no impact to the golfer.”

Already the maiden run has taken place. Using Aitkens bent grass seed at 5 g per m², the Ardfin team targeted a handful of greens.

“It was a dream to use,” said Stewart, “Very versatile and easy to calibrate. Further down the line, it is likely we will over-seed more fescue into the greens and rye into pathways using the 8mm tines.”

Mike James, Wiedenmann UK’s Sales Manager, said:

“Stewart chose two separate seed delivery sleeves for bent and for fescue, along with the smallest sized tools for bent (5 mm) and the longer (8 mm) cone tines for fescue and rye. Seed-specific sleeves and tools are one of the standout features of the Air.  Combining them appropriately gives extreme accuracy.”

Wiedenmann UK’s dealer in Scotland, Fairways GM, led by Regional Manager, Rob Hogarth will provide ongoing sales support.