Eddie Crozier is Head Greenkeeper at Burgham Park, the championship parkland golf course located in the rolling Northumberland countryside. He is a committed user of Ransomes Jacobsen turf maintenance equipment, which is supplied through his local dealer, Rickerby Ltd of Hexham.
Eddie has added a further three machines to his burgeoning fleet, which now includes a total of 10 mowers and tractors from the Ipswich-based manufacturer. His latest additions are a Jacobsen TR3 tees and surrounds mower, a Jacobsen HR-5111 rough mower and a TH4260 Iseki compact tractor.
"Our aim is to keep the course in pristine condition, all year round," he said, "and to do this we need excellent equipment and exemplary support from the local dealer. With these two business partners that's exactly what we get!"
Former Ryder Cup captain Mark James was part of the original design team that developed the course back in 1994, but it opened too early and had a chequered history until 2001 when it was purchased by two Irish businessmen, John Fallon and William Kiely. Their long term commitment to the course has been evidenced by the ongoing ten year improvement plan.
"Every winter we enhance the course, be it improving the drainage or reshaping certain areas," said William Kiely. "We don't sit on our laurels and that can be seen by our improvement this winter; we're adding more bunkers on the 11th and are building new tees on other holes. For the past two years we've been home to the PGA North Region Championship and that's certainly helped raise our profile."
Eddie Crozier has a team of three greens staff, so it's vitally important that they have a versatile fleet of equipment to maintain the 7,100 yard course. With 550 members and more being added through innovative marketing such as the 'free trial' weekend when 220 prospective members used the course, there's always plenty to do. Bent grass is being introduced to the greens to make them even better and improvements in drainage and extensive pathway work ensures that the course is invariably open all year round playing on summer greens and tees.
"The course has come a long way in just 15 years and we are now being recognised as one the premier courses in the region," William Kiely concluded. "We are adding a respectable number of new members each year; of the 220 people who came to the 'free trial' weekend, over 10% have since joined. With a planned machinery replacement policy and an ethos of continuous improvement we aim to be the course of choice in this area of the northeast."