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Catch up now on the BIGGA and Syngenta webinar on leatherjacket issues

Customer Insight
Leatherjackets on green

Over 300 greenkeepers and turf industry professionals tuned in for the first of BIGGA’s popular Continue to Learn Extra webinar series - led by Glenn Kirby to highlight issues for the management of leatherjackets and chafer grubs that have caused tremendous damage to many courses during the early part of 2021.

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You can watch the seminar again here:

Share with your club management team to inform them of the issues faced across the industry. It's highly informative on the need to better manage player expectations and the support greenkeeping teams need to tackle the situation 

A recent social media survey by BIGGA Partner, Syngenta, found that during 2020 just 1% of UK golf courses reported no damage due to these insects.

BIGGA reported: Hidden below the surface of the nation’s golf courses, leatherjackets are threatening the enjoyment and economic viability of the sport. Of the 400 course managers who responded to the survey, almost all reported that their course was negatively impacted by an infestation of the larvae of craneflies – also known as leatherjackets – and chafer grubs.

Read the BIGGA Greenkeeper International leatherjacket InSight:

Greenkeeper leatherjacket page

Extensive damage to sports turf is caused by the larvae feeding on the turfgrass, while predators can also cause significant and widespread damage as they hunt for these larvae (below).

Damage from predators searching for leatherjackets

The impact on a golf course can be serious, with increased costs as greenkeeping teams battle against the damage and the potential for large losses in revenue, as golfers choose to play at courses that have been unaffected by the pests. However, unaffected courses are increasingly in the minority.

Alongside the webinar, BIGGA and Syngenta will be distributing a white paper to the golf industry that will provide an in-depth study of the situation including its causes, impact and potential solutions and will also be encouraging golf’s leading bodies to share this information to a wide audience.

This Continue to Learn Extra webinar is freely available now for anyone involved in golf club or course management. 

Glenn Kirby

Syngenta’s Glenn Kirby (above) said: “My goal when I started investigating the problem of leatherjackets was to get all golf courses to zero damage, as that’s what is being expected of course managers.

"It has now become increasingly clear to me that we are going to have to adjust our expectations."

"We all want perfect surfaces year-round, but without additional tools in our armoury I suspect that may not be a realistic goal.”

The ‘Managing the Leatherjacket Challenge’ webinar kicked off a summer of online learning for BIGGA members, with other webinars being hosted from May until September 2021.

Taking a leading role will be management expert Tyler Bloom, while other topics for discussion will include golf course ecology, Women and Girls’ Golf Week and representatives of the European Institute for Golf Course Architects discussing ways of making golf courses more appealing to a wider audience. Head to the BIGGA website for more information.

You can watch the seminar again here: