The Dyke Golf Club is situated on the South Downs, only 4 miles from the centre of Brighton, and is widely acknowledged as one of the finest downland courses in the region, winning national and regional awards for its environmental management policies.
The recent purchase of a Jacobsen Eclipse 322 diesel-electric hybrid greens mower, aligned to their ecological principles, has resulted in a double benefit of faster greens and a significant reduction in fuel costs.
Rob Hudson, head greenkeeper and BIGGA member, has been extremely impressed with the mower's performance.
"We are situated at an altitude of 200 metres and bordered by National Trust downland and actively managed farmland, which provides a haven for birds and other wildlife. We place a high importance on the ecological health and diversity of the course and the Eclipse fits our eco profile, perfectly.
"First off, it has absolutely no hydraulic components, so there's zero chance of an accidental oil spillage; the fuel savings are impressive because it uses a much smaller engine than a traditional triplex greens mower and all that does is drive a generator that powers the electric systems.
"We have run tests and it costs us £2.10p to cut all 18 greens compared to our previous greens mower, which cost us £5; that's around a 60% saving, which is not only significant, but very impressive. The swing out centre unit is also a great benefit for routine maintenance and when changing height of cut."
The Eclipse was supplied through local dealer, Ernest Doe, who allowed the club to trial the mower for a week and use it to prepare for their club championships.
"The immediate effect was an increase in green speed at the same height of cut as previously used. It was highly unusual, but around 30 members commented on the quality and speed of the greens, which were stimping at 10. I never thought I'd change from Toro, but there's nothing on the market to beat this mower," he added.
Ransomes Jacobsen is a Textron Inc (NYSE:TXT) company and more information on the product offering can be found at www.ransomesjacobsen.com.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defence, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. For more information visit: www.textron.com.
Head greenkeeper Rob Hudson with his diesel-electric hybrid Eclipse 322