Jim Porter, Chris Stig and Steve Wilson
Jim Porter, Chris Stig and Steve Wilson

Holmesglen & Bernhard joining forces

Posted on July 18, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Original article by Amy Foyster published on 02/07/2013 at - Link to the original article here.


Holmesglen TAFE is a leader in vocational and higher education and one of the largest providers of TAFE in Victoria, Australia. They have joined forces with international grinder manufacturer Bernhard and Company.

Bernhard and Company support a variety of colleges around the world in China, the UK and US with machinery for the students to learn with. This partnership with Holmesglen is the first relationship they have with an Australian institution.

Jim Porter is the Co-ordinator of the Turf Department and a teacher at Holmesglen. He says that while last year there were only 26 or 30 turf students, this year there are 54 students enrolled in Certificate III apprenticeships.

Jim says in first year, students commence a machinery unit, so this loan from Bernhard is particularly useful for them.

“The grinders are particularly relevant for their learning experience. 

“We don’t expect them to be technicians but we do expect them to be superintendents or grounds managers one day, so we want them to have an understanding of how to look after a blade and how to keep grass healthy. 

“It is a bit more than just the basics.”

Steve Wilson, Bernhard Business Development Manager for Asia, says that by beginning this relationship with Holmesglen, he hopes that they can expand to other colleges in Australia. 

“This is a great opportunity for us to work with Holmesglen because it is such a practical, hands on program.

“Holmesglen’s turf programs fit in well with our thinking and what we do in terms of quality of cut and trying to save costs for sustainable golf courses. 

“Sharpening is an essential process that has to be done regularly in order to guarantee the highest standards, maintain healthy grass, and save costs.

“Every professional greenkeeper needs to understand the meaning of sustainable golf maintenance, particularly in a country with such big water use issues, so we are very pleased to be able to talk to the next generation of greenkeepers about how best to face this responsibility.

Such a key component of mower maintenance is having sharp reels and if you don’t have sharp reels, you don’t cut the grass cleanly and that is going to lead to more costs like damaged grass, more fertiliser and chemical inputs.” 

Steve also points out, that from a mechanical standpoint, a sharp mower is always going to be more efficient than a blunt mower. 

A sharp mower will use less fuel, less bearings and less wearable parts such as bedknives and create fewer emissions. That gives you a better playing surface, which keeps the players happy.

Bernhard has provided grinders to Holmesglen to support their educational programme.

“The Anglemaster 4000 is for sharpening bedknives and we’ve got the Express Dual 4000 for sharpening the reels. They are the fastest, most accurate grinders on the market and the easiest to use.”

Local support and expertise will be provided through local distributor Proturf Machinery (previously PJC Sportsturf). 

Steve adds, “Bernhard have enjoyed a long-standing partnership with Proturf and together we devote a lot of time to education of greenkeepers and students through joint seminars across Australia on the importance of healthy grass through sharp cutting. 

“Their extensive knowledge of supporting high profile tournaments around the region is also very useful because they can share that with the students as well. It is a great opportunity and partnership for all of us.”

We wish both Bernhard and Holmesglen the best of luck with this endeavour and hope the students at the TAFE get the most out of this great opportunity.