The Murrayshall House Hotel and Golf Courses, set in 350 acres of undulating parkland on the Murrayshall Estate at Scone in Perthshire, has taken delivery of course maintenance equipment and a fleet of golf cars from Ransomes Jacobsen's local dealer, Fairways GM of Kinross. Ransomes Jacobsen is a Textron Inc (NYSE: TXT) company.
Tony Bryan, who has 25 years in hospitality industry, is the Managing Director of the Four Star resort, which has been in the same private ownership for the past 19 years. "Our philosophy here at Murrayshall is quite simple; we want to provide a relaxed atmosphere where guests can enjoy their golf, business or their leisure time in unspoiled elegance at an affordable price.
"To do this we must have the very best facilities, presented in pristine condition, right across the resort and that's why we've taken this package of equipment from Fairways GM. We need suppliers who share our ethos and who want to work in partnership with us."
The resort boasts two 18-hole golf courses with fantastic views over the Grampian mountains. Both were designed by Hamilton J. Stutt, a founder member of the Institute of Golf Course Architects and grandson of James Braid's chief foreman.
The Murrayshall is a 6,441 yard, par 73, championship course with tree lined fairways, white sand bunkers, treacherous water hazards and generous, but tricky greens. The par 69 Lynedoch course has been created from the natural landscape of the Murrayshall Estate, and opened in 2000. At 5,400 yards, it contrasts with the Murrayshall as it runs through wild flower meadows, bracken-filled gullies and Scots pine woodland.
Darren Urqhart is the Courses Manager, a position he has held for the past 9 months. Previous to joining Murrayshall he was at Pinner Hill in north London for three years and was Deputy course superintendent at St Andrews Bay two years prior to that. He began his career in 1990 at Thornton Golf Club in Fife, where he learned many of his greenkeeping skills. He leads a team of 12 greenkeeping staff who maintain the resort's 36-holes and the modern floodlit driving range with 18 bays, 11 of which are under cover.
"We have in excess of 25,000 rounds per year on the Murrayshall and 17,000 on the Lyndeoch, so we need the very best equipment on the market," he said. "We looked at all of the major manufacturers' product offerings and concluded that Fairways GM would be our preferred supplier due to the combination of superb products and service excellence.
"We have purchased two Jacobsen LF-4677 wide area fairway mowers, which are equipped with seven cutting cylinders. This gives us a cutting width of over 3.5 metres, which means they are highly productive and ideal for Murrayshall. I've had previous experience with the 4677; the quality of cut is excellent, they are easy to use and the traction is good.
"Similarly, we went for two Jacobsen AR522 rotary mowers with the very latest TrimTek cutting decks. They can handle heavy volumes of grass while maintaining a high quality finish and can be changed, quickly and easily, from mulching to rear discharge in minutes. The daily checks are simple and general maintenance is easy. We also purchased a Jacobsen G-Plex III greens mower with the new joystick control and handbrake and a Smithco greens roller."
Alan Reid is the resort's Head Professional and with 18 petrol and four electric buggies, now has one of the largest E-Z-GO RXV golf car fleets in Scotland.
"We want our customers to enjoy the best golfing experience available, so that's why we gone with the new RXV golf buggy. It's a great drive, very comfortable and the AC technology in the electric version brings with it some excellent features such as regenerative braking, which puts power back into the batteries and an automatic braking system which applies the brakes, when the car stops."
Wilson Morison of Fairways GM concluded saying, "Recently Darren Urqhart has been evaluating a Smithco greens roller and a Jacobsen G-Plex III greens mower. We loaned the machines so that he could test them under vary course conditions and he has subsequently purchased the roller and two G-Plex's.
"We are delighted with our preferred supplier status with Murrayshall. Our business is built upon an ethos of personal and corporate service excellence coupled with superior products and I believe that this has been a major factor in this partnership with the resort."
Image: (l-r) Alan Reid, the resort's head professional, general manager Mark Rawlings-Lloyd and course manager Darren Urqhart, at the handover of the turf maintenance fleet and golf cars