Client: De Vere Venues
Contract Period: 1992 to date
ISS has been working in partnership with De Vere Venues for almost two decades providing gounds solutions to 22 of their venues up and down the country. Included in this prestigious portfolio are three unrivalled golf courses.
Works Carried Out
Staverton Park, Northamptonshire an undulating mature championship parkland 18 hole golf course, with four small lakes and 64 American-style sand traps. Constructed to USGA specification, it hosts Regional, County and Midland events each year.
Wokefield Park, Berkshire providing a superb golfing experience on a US PGA standard 7,000 yard championship golf course. The course features elevated and mature trees, 75 bunkers, streams and 12 lakes.
Wychwood Park, Cheshire a European PGA tour-standard course. At 7,213 yards off the championship tees, it provides the ultimate challenge for golfers. Greens are to USGA specification and it has already hosted four PGA Euro Pro Tour events to date. Features numerous lakes, streams and bunkers.
The core works comprise the maintenance of greens, tees, fairways, roughs and bunkers. The primary services delivered include mowing; top dressing; fertilising; scarifying; preparing tee boxes; changing hole locations; repairing ball marks and divots; pesticide management; decompaction, aeration and drainage programmes; managing soil profiles and maximising plant and grass health and presentation.
At Wokefield and Staverton, ISS offers a full grounds maintenance service to the venue gardens, whilst at Wychwood, the adjacent housing development is maintained by the ISS team.
In 1996, ISS built and project managed the course at Wokefield Park, continuing to maintain it to this day. In 1998, BALI commended ISS, together with designer Jonathan Gaunt and De Vere, for the workmanship and positive contribution to the environment for the project at Wokefield Park: the only time that BALI has recognised a golf course for such an award.
- One of the primary goals of the partnership is to promote both the short and long term development of the courses. ISS works with the client to achieve continuous improvement at all sites. This has included the installation of extra drainage, upgrading irrigation systems, new replacement course furniture, re-shaping of the bunkers, and overseeing and monitoring plant nutrition and soil profiling to facilitate improved turf condition. These construction and maintenance methods ensure course excellence, effectively demonstrated at Wychwood Park where the course has hosted the televised PGA Euro Pro Tour on three separate occasions to date and the European Tour Q-School. Wychwood Park is now amongst the elite group of courses that meet the high standards set by the European Tour.
- Continued investment to the contract has included new specialist state of the art machinery such as ride-on mowers, sprayers and aeration equipment. This is part of ISS’s multi-million pound programme of investment in top of the range machinery, which underpins our commitment to providing our clients with a reliable and effective service.
- ISS has adjusted and developed programmes of work to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly, as well as meeting budgetary targets. At Staverton Park compost teas are produced on-site, using natural fungal additives which help multiply beneficial bacterial. The resultant ‘tea’ is sprayed onto the greens and has led to the improved health of the courses, reduced disease and promoted longer root growth.
- At Wychwood Park, ISS works to establish biodiversity throughout the course encouraging the growth of native wild flora. An internal environmental inspection is completed each year as part of ISS’s continuous improvement plan and all staff have received environmental awareness training.
- Retaining staff from the local community is high on the agenda at ISS; from work experience which teaches basic horticultural skills with an on-site mentor, to training through local colleges for young people with learning disabilities, ISS is committed to investing in all of their staff and developing them to be the best in the industry.
- All trainees will be subject to ISS’s in-house Lantra-Approved Practical Skills Award scheme which will give them a genuine externally assessed award. ISS is the first and only company to deliver this type of training in-house.