Branston Golf & Country Club has invested £52,000 in new John Deere course machinery for the first time, in a drive to improve the condition and presentation of its 18 and 9-hole parkland golf courses plus driving range near Burton on Trent in Staffordshire.
Ordered from Nottingham-based John Deere dealer James Robson of Henton & Chattell with the help of a John Deere Financial programme, the kit includes two John Deere TH 6x4 diesel Gator utility vehicles and three John Deere 220SL PrecisionCut walk-behind greens mowers plus a Wood Bay GI3900 greens iron with trailers.
Course manager Gavin Robson moved to the club earlier this year from Burton on Trent Golf Club, where he used John Deere equipment for many years. He has also helped maintain the courses at 12 Open Championships, including hand cutting the 18th green at Royal St George's.
"The new hand mowers, which are fitted with turf conditioners, create a fantastic clean cut of the grass to 3.5mm, giving the greens an improved playing surface with better contouring and more subtle movements," he says. "We've changed the policy from using triplex ride-ons to hand-cutting all the greens, and the members love them - the pace is good and the surfaces a lot smoother.
"The Gators are also the perfect tool for moving equipment, materials and staff more quickly and efficiently around the course. This new combination means that all the greens can be fully prepared for play daily to a high standard and in double quick time."
"After Gavin's arrival and the purchase of the new machinery, our members soon commented on the improvements in the presentation and condition of the golf course," adds the club's managing director Ben Laing. "We were very pleased to invest in the new equipment so that the talents of Gavin and his greenkeeping team can be used to full advantage in developing Branston into one of the finest golf courses in the Midlands."