Respect for the environment is at the heart of Hardelot Golf’s concerns. This involves controlled use of products and anticipation of the arrival of the 0 phytosanitary product. Our teams in the field have already been working in this direction for several years.
Our maintenance practices
Nature will always dictate its rhythm, with or without phytosanitary products. At the start of the season we were looking to have the best possible course with a view to a grand prix. Except that we put in all the products we wanted, organic fertilizers, biostimulants, it didn’t take and in just two weeks, the course became perfect. Because nature had decided to create the conditions for things to go well. It is she who dictates her tempo and typically, when we talk about illnesses, we have to tell ourselves that they are still there. We are lucky this year not to be under too much pressure, but who knows how the end of the year will go? Of course we will be able to treat certain diseases without phyto products. But for others, like fusarium wilt or dollar spot, it will be very complicated. Players will therefore have to be much more tolerant, because certain periods will clearly be more complicated to manage without a product.
At the same time, everything has evolved enormously in terms of mechanical operations and refilling with more resistant grasses. We may no longer spend €1,000 on products, but €1,000 on the seed so that a diseased area recovers better and more quickly. However, the overall quality of the courses will no longer be the same. This is what is most stressful for us, to say to ourselves that we know that we will necessarily lose quality. It’s going to be hard to work without any phytosanitary products, but I think the most complicated thing will be for the players.
Today, we prefer to work with liquid products to avoid interfering with the game and to really control the inputs we provide to the plant. We fertilize with stimulating organic fertilizers. In fact, we spend every week on the two routes to only bring back what we need, which helps enormously to limit excesses. The idea is to obtain very linear growth of the grass because we do not want to over-stimulate it all at once. Overfeeding the plant is the best way to weaken it and make it vulnerable to disease when it is no longer stimulated. We support her, we don’t drug her. It’s the difference between eating healthy and balanced every day or eating poorly and having to use a tube of medicine to get it all down…
The difficulty linked to this choice of liquid fertilizers is that we are obliged to wear white Chernobyl-style clothing during the treatments. Even if the liquid products we use are safe, they are simply biostimulants or bacteria, the law requires us to protect ourselves when applying them. This would not be the case if the fertilizer was solid. We therefore frequently get the flu from local residents… Even though our method is more effective for the route and for the environment in the broad sense.