The package includes a G-Plex III greens mower, an LF3400 fairway mower and a Tri-King tees and surrounds mower from the Jacobsen brand and an MPT golf utility vehicle manufactured by E-Z-GO. All the equipment has been taken on a 6-year contract hire basis with a full maintenance agreement as part of the overall package.
Philip Ingram is the Head Greenkeeper and has three staff to manage the golf related side of the business, which includes a driving range, 5-hole par-3 pitch 'n' putt and disc golf as well as the 18 hole Culcrieff course.
"We've got four greenkeepers including myself, but we have 45 years experience between us, so we're not doing too badly," he said. "With a limited budget, a full maintenance package was a prerequisite of any deal; we just can't afford to spend additional funds on the odd break down here and there.
"We put together a tender document and circulated to the major dealers in the region. We had a series of demonstrations when all the guys tried all the various machines and then, on a given day, had a meeting with all three dealers and narrowed it down to Fairways. We wanted the best equipment plus exceptional back-up and that's what we've got with this deal."
One of Philip's main stipulations for his greens and fairway mowers were the option for rear roller brushes. His previous machines didn't have these and on wet mornings clumps would drop off resulting in lost man-hours switching greens.
"Presentation is important," he added. "If machines have let us down in the past it's been the presentation, because we didn't have the rear brushes. Now we've got those, you can't beat them."
Crieff Hydro is a massive leisure complex and, as its name suggests, is an old Victorian spa famous for the healing powers of its waters. Today it is a family-owned venture offering a bewildering choice of activities within the 900 acre estate. Year-round activities include off-road driving, quad bikes, horse-riding, a new high rope course, climbing wall, air rifles and archery.