Beaufort Polo Club in Tetbury is the foremost centre for the development of Polo in the Cotswolds. With 90 acres of fields and grassed areas and just a small team around him, Head Groundsman Wlodek Sterkowicz needs a maintenance regime that’s simple but that can cope with the demanding conditions that Polo brings. It all starts with the right grass seed, and for this Wlodek turns to DLF cultivars.
Averaging 32 games on each of the 5 fields per season, the schedule requires an equally intense maintenance regime. “We have to cut the grass every other day to keep it at the ideal height of 25mm. As well as maintaining cutting heights, the grass must be incredibly wear tolerant and establish quickly – often we have less than 7 days to fill divots and re-establish areas that have sustained damage.” In 2016 Wlodek sought advice from Ian Barnett from Johnsons Sport Seeds on employing Tetraploid Perennial Ryegrass.
“What it delivered exceeded my expectations. The plant was stronger, retained good coverage and just looked and performed better. It has also really helped to develop our root zone and the deeper and stronger roots system we now have can easily withstand the play – that really is key for us.”
This year Wlodek is using a bespoke mixture, delivered through his local distributor Sherriff Amenity, consisting of Double tetraploid perennial ryegrass, Berlioz and Bizet cultivars. “We’re very fortunate that all of our fields were purpose built with generally light, free draining soil. With the high quality surfaces we’re now achieving it means we can play in even the wettest of conditions, and it’s still safe for the horses and players. It was great to receive many positive comments from players on the condition of the fields last season and we’re on track to achieve the same high standards again this year.”