Significant fuel savings at Wheathill Golf Club

Peter Driverin Golf

Wheathill 0130Sales of the latest hybrid ride-on greens mower from Ransomes Jacobsen, the Eclipse 322, have begun to penetrate into the southwest of England with deliveries to Wheathill Golf Club in Somerset and Taunton & Pickeridge Golf Club by local dealer, MST of Tiverton.

At Wheathill, head greenkeeper Stuart Ponfield, who has also taken delivery of a Jacobsen LF-3800 light fairway mower comments, "The most significant factor since we purchased the Eclipse in early June is the fuel savings we've experienced. On one tank of fuel, with the Eclipse we can cut all 18 green three times compared to twice with our previous greens mower, so this is a very impressive saving. The groomers are excellent and stand the grass up very well and I like the swing-out centre unit for easy maintenance and changing the height of cut.

"The new LF-3800 has transformed our fairways. Its quality of cut is superb and the rear roller brushes function really well and stop the clumping that we experienced with our other machine."

Wheathill Golf Club is an 18-hole facility with a four-hole Academy course and driving range. It opened in 1993 and Stuart Ponfield, a BIGGA member and scratch golfer, has been head greenkeeper for the past seven years. He heads a small team of three full time and one part time staff.

"Before we selected our preferred machines, we had demonstrations from the major manufacturers, but these two certainly were the best at meeting our requirements here at Wheathill," he added. "We received excellent service from MST and we have taken a maintenance package with them, so we have a fixed monthly costs, and that suits us fine."

Not long after the Wheathill delivery, MST delivered a further Eclipse 322 to course manager Jeff Mills at Taunton & Pickeridge Golf Club.

It's a wonderful machine," he said, "and with no hydraulics there's not a chance of an oil leak on the greens and we're using roughly half as much fuel as previous. It took about a week for my team to get accustomed to the new technology, but now its second nature. The quality of cut is what you would expect from Jacobsen cylinders, the very best available.

"We also took delivery of our second Jacobsen SLF1880, which is a great mower for here at Taunton. It's the only machine we've found that can handle the severe undulations on our fairways and it copes really well.

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