A 100hp Massey Ferguson 5455 tractor
is playing an important role in the creation of The Castle Course, the new seventh course currently under construction by St Andrews Links Trust.
Scheduled to open for play in June 2008, The Castle Course has been laid out on 90ha (220 acres) of former farmland on the cliffs overlooking the university town of St Andrews. Work on the course, which was designed by David McLay Kidd, began early in 2005.
The new Massey Ferguson 5455 tractor was purchased specifically to assist with final ground preparation and seeding operations, drainage works and on-going maintenance of The Castle Course. Equipped with optional Dyna-4 transmission, the tractor was supplied to St Andrews Links Trust by local dealer, Reekie Cupar, currently celebrating its 60th year as a Ferguson and subsequently Massey Ferguson dealer.
Dyna-4 transmission provides four powershift steps within each of the tractor's four gear ratios to produce 16 forward/16 reverse speeds selected without using the clutch. Each of the four speeds within each ratio can be changed under load simply by flicking a lever. The four main gear ratios are selected by pressing a button.
Head greenkeeper on The Castle Course, Allan Patterson, said that the new tractor with its striking sloping bonnet had become a common sight across the new course.
"It was used with the power harrow and the stone burier prior to seeding our final two fairways and a large area of semi-rough and the driving range," he explained. "Over the coming months, the tractor will be equipped with a 1,000 litre sprayer for treating the deep rough and will be top dressing the fairways as they grow in. The tractor is very comfortable, has excellent visibility and the staff like driving it."
Other important course works earmarked for the tractor both prior to and following the opening of The Castle Course next summer include deep-tine aeration and gravel band drainage of fairways.
The MF 5455 tractor powers the stone burier to prepare The Castle Course's fourth fairway ahead of initial seeding.
Head greenkeeper on The Castle Course, Allan Patterson, with the new MF 5455 tractor.