£350,000 machinery investment at Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club
By Peter Driver
The Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club has selected Ransomes Jacobsen turf equipment to maintain their 18 hole championship links course situated on the narrow stretch of coastline between Deal and Sandwich Bay in Kent. Greenkeeping consultant Gordon Irvine, who learned his trade at Turnberry and at Mill Ride Golf Club in Surrey, has been retained by the prestigious club to provide the expertise to reinstate the course to its championship condition.
Explaining the reasoning behind the purchase of the new equipment he said, "Our previous equipment was not ideal for the ground conditions here at Deal. As you would expect from a links course we have a very undulating playing surface, both severe and subtle, and were getting a lot of scarring on the fairways. We took the decision to invest in the best possible kit and after exhaustive trials over a six month period evaluated all of the major manufacturer's equipment. Our criteria were that not only must the machines have a high quality cut, but they must have the power to work under the exacting conditions here at Royal Cinque Ports. For example the four G-Plex greens and tees mowers are all three-wheel drive, with enough power and traction to cope with the severe undulations.
We concluded that the Ransomes Jacobsen package with its combination of equipment, service from local dealer Ernest Doe & Sons and a finance plan that suited the club's business plan was the best way forward. I firmly believe that a Greenkeeper's function is to maintain the course and not maintain the machinery. That's why we've also opted for a full servicing and maintenance package with Ernest Doe. Included in this is a training programme for all the greenkeeping team regarding daily and routine maintenance, which is also part of their progression to NVQ qualification."
Ian Symington, who took over the role of Club Secretary in March 2003, added his comments saying, "From a management viewpoint the five year operating lease with full maintenance contract, negotiated through ING, provides us with a known fixed monthly cost, which is a significant benefit in our operating strategy. We have new equipment, from a single source, with a known lifecycle and are not purchasing equipment piecemeal. The training element in the package was also important. We have a positive training policy here and endeavour to support all of our staff here with training opportunities that will help their continued professional development."
The complete inventory of new equipment is as follows:
4 x Jacobsen G-Plex III greens mowers, 2 fitted with tees cylinders
2 x Jacobsen Fairway 305 fairway mowers with cabs
1x Jacobsen AR250 articulated rotary with cab
1 x Jacobsen HR-6010 semi-rough mower with cab
1 x Iseki TK538 tractor with mid-mounted cutting deck
2 x Cushman Turf-Trucksters
1 x Turfco WideSpin 1530 top dresser1x Ransomes Marquis pedestrian mower