Lincolnshire businessman and former champion motorcycle racer Roger Burnett has a long-term development plan in place to make Laceby Manor Resort & Golf Club near Grimsby the premier golfing venue in the region.
Having taken ownership of the club in May 2011, Roger has invested in improvements to the clubhouse, course and greenkeeping facilities, including the recent purchase of a new John Deere course maintenance fleet from local dealer F G Adamson & Son of Swanland, North Ferriby.
Bought on a John Deere Financial five year lease package with maintenance, the new fleet includes two 2500E hybrid electric greens mowers, a 7700 PrecisionCut fairway mower, 2653B tees & surrounds mower, 1600T wide area rotary rough mower, 3720 compact tractor with cab and 300CX front loader, Aercore 1500 tractor-mounted aerator and a CX Gator utility vehicle.
The club will also mark its 20th birthday this summer by hosting Adamson's regional John Deere Team Championship golf tournament for local clubs on May 30th, from which the winning team will join the National Finals at De Vere Slaley Hall in Northumberland next September.
"Locally, Laceby Manor is well known as one of the best natural settings for golf, but it's been underdeveloped," says Roger Burnett. "I believe it has massive potential to become not just a first class golf course, but also the premier wedding venue in the area. We are therefore building an extension to the clubhouse, and we also have a planning application in for 36 lodges to provide suitable accommodation.
"To provide the right golfing experience, the course needs to be in tip-top condition, but it hasn't been, because of the previous lack of investment. We now have the opportunity to put this right with our new machinery fleet, and with the appointment of a new head greenkeeper in Rob Bradley. Rob has recently joined us from Allerthorpe Park and brings additional experience, knowledge and resource to the existing team.
"Local golfers have always liked the layout of the course, but overall standards had slipped - people's expectations in terms of customer service these days are very high, therefore we have to replicate these high standards out on the course. The improvements to the clubhouse have already resulted in an increase in membership of nearly 30 per cent, and this latest investment will undoubtedly help us to attract even more new members over the coming months.
"The choice of machinery was very much governed initially by our requirement for a new machinery shed, so the greenkeeping staff would have the right facilities to operate from and maintain the equipment efficiently. After a poor experience with our previous supplier, I felt we should look at John Deere, and Tony Jenkins of Adamsons gave me the confidence that we could work with John Deere to achieve our objectives.
"Any business likes to have fixed costs, with no hidden surprises, and the finance terms were extremely favourable - it really feels like we've got John Deere's support for what we're trying to do with the course, because of the way they're supporting the investment.
"I just want the course to be the best it can possibly be," adds Roger Burnett. "From the point of view of membership recruitment, this investment makes a big statement to both current and potential new members that we mean business, and that we are serious about providing the best golfing experience in the area."
Photo caption: (Foreground, right to left) Laceby Manor Resort & Golf Club owner Roger Burnett with John Deere dealer principal John Adamson and salesman Tony Jenkins of F G Adamson & Son; (seated on new machines, left to right) deputy head greenkeeper Scott Ritchie, course manager George Mackay, trainee greenkeeper Joshua Rimington and head greenkeeper Rob Bradley.