Magazine Articles

While a research scientist at the Sports Turf Research Institute I wrote many papers, some jointly, on the trials I was running. It was in 1992 that I first started my first agronomy business and had my own monthly column in Turf Management magazine. Since then I have continued to write articles, often on controversial topics, and these are a selection.

14th May 2015

Jim Arthur – a decade on

Greenkeeper International Jim Arthur died in May 2005. Strong minded and opinionated, he changed the course of golf agronomy. This is an appreciation/critique of our best known golf course agronomist.

20th December 2012

Get Blogging

Greenkeeper International Good communication within the golf club is vital and regular blogging by greenkeepers lets the members know what is going on around the course through the year.

9th September 2012

Keep it simple

Greenkeeper International Fertilisers should be applied as needed and not as part of a program, relating their use to environmental conditions on the golf course.

24th July 2012

The Potassium Fallacy

Advising greenkeepers not to overdo the use of potassium fertiliser and the potential adverse consequences on turf quality of excessive use of potassium. Greenkeeper International, July 2012

3rd August 2009

Soil chemical analysis – interpretation and pitfalls

Greenkeeper International The results of soil analysis depend not only on the nutrients present in the soil, but also on other factors, such as the methods used to extract them and how the samples were taken. Beware of interpretations of analysis made by fertiliser companies, who have a vested interest in selling as much of their products as possible.

1st May 2004

Shaping the future, turf production 1929 onwards

I was invited to contribute this article to the STRI 75th Anniversary Commemorative Turfgrass Bulletin to describe how the production and harvesting of turf had changed since 1929.

23rd May 2003

To rebuild or not rebuild

Many courses were being encouraged to rebuild their greens to a specification which was completely different from the other greens on the course. In some cases I felt this was being advised by agronomist companies to generate work for their course architect colleagues. Greenkeeper International, May 2003

5th May 1999

The acid theory

Greenkeeper International The “acid theory”, based on misinterpreted research from the 1920s, while intended to improve golf greens, damaged many and resulted in the creation of a cycle of increasing and decreasing golf green soil pH as the theory went in and out of fashion.

11th August 1996

Turf tissue analysis

Greenkeeper International I have always advocated the use of tissue analysis of grass clippings to help understand the growth of turf and how it responds to maintenance practices.

21st May 1995

The appliance of science (not my choice of title!)

Greenkeeper International This article reviewed the issue of the relationship between soil phosphorus and Poa annua and in particular criticised the research which had been carried out into it. It annoyed the eminent agronomist Jim Arthur who believed that stopping phosphorus applications would reduce annual meadow grass in golf greens. My argument was that since phosphorus was retained in [...]