Thomas Turf Services (TTS) has taken its mission to aid the building and maintaining of the best possible quality turf facilities to another level by simplifying the testing of soils. The new Golf Green Health Indexing service delivers results without disturbing the surface and represents a new tool for turf managers to use.
For the new service, TTS provides greenkeepers, superintendents, and field managers with a bespoke sampling kit and easy to understand instructions for the collecting, packaging and sending of the samples.
“Our latest equipment is so sensitive that it only requires small quantities to establish the soil condition and to determine the presence of unwanted organisms or materials. It only takes four easy steps to collect and courier the samples to our laboratory in Texas. Here we prepare a report within 7-10 working days,” explains Jim Thomas.
Reports can provide full elemental analysis (including pH, P, K, Mg, Ca, Mn, Cu, Zn, Fe, & Na), an organic matter profile, saturated hydraulic conductivity, total porosity, air-filled porosity, water-filled porosity and water retention, as well as the bulk density.
“The new approach makes it possible to collect samples without major disturbance to the current soil conditions. The fear that sample extraction will contribute to the vulnerability of the surface, is now something of the past,” Thomas adds.
Golf courses and venue operators can use the service to establish a benchmark or to monitor the grass conditions continuously. “We advise to have the soils tested on an ongoing basis, preferably once a year, to monitor the developments and progress made. When using this diagnostic tool, problems and trends can be caught early which will help with arresting or managing them.”
TTS offers the Golf Green Indexing service to all golf courses and sports venues in the Americas, as well as the Asia-Pacific region. “We have Spanish speaking agronomists employed. This makes it easier to liaise with clients in the Central- and South-American region directly.”
Earlier this year, The R&A, the European counterpart of the U.S. Golf Association, adopted the method to ensure the venues used are maintained optimally and provide first-class surfaces for member and championship golf. The service for The R&A is provided by European Turfgrass Laboratories, based in Scotland. Like TTS, ETL is also part of the Labosport group of companies.
Worldwide only 8 companies are accredited to conduct soil testing services. The fact that both TTS and ETL are both accredited and part of the Labosport group of companies allows them to continuously benchmark their performance through inter-company knowledge exchange.