Royal St. Georges occupies a unique place in the history of golf being the first venue, in 1894, where the Open Championship was played outside Scotland. Ranked as one of the leading courses in the world, the club has also hosted the British P.G.A. Championship, the Walker Cup and many more, with an illustrious list of names who have won championships there including Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Seve Ballesteros.
Today's course is presided over by Paul Larsen, Course Manager and Head Greenkeeper whose team has been working with a Classen Pro Hydro-drive Sod Cutter over the past twelve months. The machine, supplied by Lister Wilder in Ashford, was in constant use throughout the winter, stripping turf around bunkers, stripping tees and getting turf off the club's own turf nursery to replace and renovate. So far they have covered the work around twenty-one bunkers and two tees, stripping a thousand square metres in the process. Chosen by Paul's mechanic, who had used a Classen machine before, the Sod Cutter is regarded as an essential tool in the winter renovation projects.
"We like it because it's easy to use," says Paul, "it's very manoeuvrable, especially around the bunkers without losing control. The cut is very clean and smooth, there's not much vibration, which means it's safe to use for longer periods and it has been totally reliable."
The combination of the vibration dampening elastomeric isolators and integrated finger-throttle clutch control are what make the Classen Hydro Sod Cutter easier to handle. The vibration dampening system reduces machine vibration at the operator by up to 40%, while the hydrostatic drive delivers a smooth, consistent power flow with infinitely varied transport speeds up to 4.7mph. The power-reverse feature makes it easier to load and unload, and easier to manoeuvre. The blade placed at the centre of the machine ensures a more consistent cutting depth and the cutting blade makes twenty cutting strokes per second/twelve hundred per minute to yield those cleaner, smoother results.
"Without it we can't do any of the bunkers," Paul says, "you could say it's an essential part of our armoury, it's precisely what we need and really does the job." The unique design of the Classen Sod Cutter lets you switch back and forth from a 12", 18", 20" or 24" cut in a matter of minutes with optional blade assemblies, and the machine comes with a two-year professional warranty.
Schiller Grounds Care UK 0800 840 0888 www.classen.uk.com