Brailsford Golf Club's Head Greenkeeper Andy Ryder, has battled the most testing of springs, particularly on tees and greens, but his two Dennis professional cylinder mowers have more than helped him cope and kept the club's steadily expanding 180 membership happy at tee and pin.
Andy has been using a 10-bladed Dennis FT510 with interchangeable cassettes for his tees and an 11-bladed Dennis Razor Ultra on the greens at Brailsford for two years and swears by them. The finish they provide and their sturdiness and handling have impressed him from day one.
Andy has been a greenkeeper for over 30 years and by instinct prefers to cut fine turf by hand. He has always believed it is better to hand cut tees and greens, especially when conditions are softer, as they have been in this longest of winters just passed. He says for him minimising compaction is essential for good quality tees and consistent greens and his two Dennis mowers have really come into their own this spring, particularly his 20-inch cut FT510 powered by a Honda 5.5hp petrol engine.
A choice of up to 11 different cassettes including scarifiers, verticutters, brushes, spikers and slitters as well as 5 or 10 bladed cutting cylinders make it more than just a fine turf mower. It offers total fine turf care in a single unit, with a 25 second changeover of cassettes, which is a huge benefit to Andy.
Snow lingered on parts of the Brailsford course into late March, and even though they were then clear of it the tees and greens were much softer than usual. By fitting a sorrel roller cassette to the FT510 Andy aided aeration significantly and brought the ryegrass & fescue tees and fescue & annual meadow grass greens on a treat.
Regular spiking is part of the routine that Andy finds works well and his Dennis FT510 means he can do it using a single machine. At other times by attaching a scarifier cassette he gets the same benefit. "One machine for all my fine turf jobs. What could be better?" says Andy.
Now the growing season is at last here and cutting is the priority, it's the simple hand adjustment of height in increments of 0.25mm on both his 22-inch cut Dennis Razor Ultra and FT510 that is a big bonus for Andy.
"I only have one assistant to help me keep the course in trim, so avoiding downtime for tool adjustment saves us a lot of time, letting us concentrate on the job in hand - producing a really fine finish on the tees and greens". On the Razor Ultra, which will cut down to 1.5mm, Andy has the added benefit of a tungsten-tipped groomer to keep green speeds as he wants them by trimming lateral growth.
Servicing the Dennis mowers is minimal and straightforward. Andy says he does most of it himself, with the exception of annual blade grinding which is done at the nearby Dennis factory. "Nothing is too much trouble," says Andy. "Dennis is one of those companies where you can rely on the strength and quality of the machines they make and the great service they provide."
For further information or a no obligation demonstration, please contact Dennis 01332 824 777 or visit www.dennisuk.com.