Nestled in the Cluide Woods amongst the Tara Hills in County Meath is a picturesque golf course with tree-lined fairways and rolling hills. Founded in 1906, The Royal Tara Golf Club is a gem in Irish inland golf. The 27-hole complex features sand-based greens for year-round playing and a Clubhouse with commanding views of the course and the surrounding countryside. A fitting place where the Hill of Tara, just a mile away, was the seat of the High Kings of Ireland and where the club gets its name.
Head Greenkeeper Jim McElroy is proud of the course and the club's prestige. "We've got a very mature, year-round course here," said Jim. "We have long, undulating drives, mostly lined by beautiful trees. And with my team of six green-keeper colleagues, we maintain the course to the highest and utmost standards. We kind of live the course and I believe it shows."
Excellent equipment for exceptional results
Jim has been with the Royal Tara for over 25 years and his team work hard to present long, well-manicured drives with synchronised striping that complements the parkland scenery. "That doesn't come naturally," added Jim, "myself and my team of greenkeepers work very hard every day to prepare the entire course for our discerning visitors. We've invested in high quality equipment to make our job simple, and the club management team allow us to buy what we need to produce the best of the best. Recently, we took delivery of a new wide area mower, which has enabled us to prepare the rough with such excellence."
He is referring to the Major TDR20000, a three-deck winged mower that unfolds to 6.1m (20') wide cutting width. The three-point pivot system combined with front and rear rollers allows the machine to glide over surfaces and leave a striped finish without scalping the grass. Its ten rotors have 40 contra-rotating blades that overlap by 75mm to ensure all material is finely chopped so nutrients can return quickly back to the soil.
No belts, no hassles, no high running costs
The gearbox-driven TDR20000 eliminates all the issues Jim and his team had before. "We used to use a 'ride-on batwing mower' but that was very slow, not so good at avoiding scalping and was quite expensive to maintain, both in terms of replacement parts and downtime," commented Jim. "We needed a high performance mower, which was easy to operate and simple to maintain, with low running costs. That's exactly what the TDR20000 is providing - low running costs. We also needed a higher capacity performance so we could cover the course quicker and be a lot more efficient. Again, that's exactly what the TDR20000 gives us!"
Agile machine improves work rate and increases capacity
The team at The Royal Tara uses a 75hp tractor to operate the TDR20000. For a wide area mower, it is also extremely manoeuvrable, especially getting around the mature trees. They also spend less time trimming misses. They can cover up to 16 acres per hour on the TDR20000 and have reduced their operating time from one week to just over three days.
When folded, the TDR20000 has a transport width of 2.5m, making it suitable for narrow access points. LED lighting kit comes standard and sealed internal roller bearings provide total protection against moisture and soil. Remote control and braked axles are optional extras.
Precision mowing with simple height adjustment
"This is one of the best pieces of equipment that we have at The Royal Tara," enthused Jim. "We set the cut-of height for the rough at about sixty millimetres (60mm) and if we wanted to we could set it as low as ten millimetres (10mm) - and without scalping. When you look at the finish it leaves, with the effects of the front and rear rollers, it's just like we would get with a cylinder mower - if not better!"
The greenkeepers are proud of the robust design and build of the Irish-made TDR20000: "I can see this lasting for many years to come," says Jim. "This has to be the best, most productive and cost-effective decision we have made at The Royal Tara."
Feedback from members bolster his sentiments. "The feedback we are getting from the members is very positive and we get a lot of remarks about how good the course looks and how well it plays," continued Jim. "So we are all very proud of our golf course and we intend to keep it that way," he concluded.
For more information call Major Equipment Ltd on 01524 850501 or visit www.major-equipment.com.