More equipment for the 'Augusta of the UK'
By Peter Driver
Jim Read, head Greenkeeper at Hunstanton Golf Club, affectionately known as 'the Augusta of the UK' because of its super fast greens, has taken delivery of more Ransomes Jacobsen turf maintenance from Bartrams Professional, the local dealer for Norfolk.
This latest delivery includes a Ransomes Frontline 728 rotary mower for maintaining the rough; an MPT 1200 golf utility vehicle and another Greens King IV ride-on triplex greens mower.
This is the eighth GKIV to join the fleet at Hunstanton since Jim purchased one of the original machines back in the early 1990s. It was subsequently sold on with over 8,000 hours on the clock!
"In my opinion, there's no other greens mower to beat the Greens King IV," said Jim. "It's easy to use, simple to maintain and the cut is superb. We're still using four machines, the oldest one for tees and surrounds. We had demos from all the major manufacturers and selected the Frontline 728 as our preferred rough mower, mainly because of the hydraulic drive to the deck. This means that all the engine power can be used for traction and hill climbing; an important factor with the steep dunes here at Hunstanton. The final factor was the long term relationship we have with our local dealer, Bartrams Professional. After sales support has been consistently excellent and spare part supply has been very good."
New equipment for Caldecott Hall
Situated in 200 acres, the 18-hole, par 73 course features wide fairways and large areas of rough and semi-rough and has reputation for its immaculate condition. This was the driving force behind the purchase of two new dedicated mowers from the Jacobsen brand; a Fairway 405 and AR250. The Fairway 405 is a 7 reel unit with floating heads and a mowing width of 4 metres. It provides a tournament quality finish and features a powerful 47hp Kubota turbocharged diesel engine and 4-wheel drive.
The main feature of the AR250 rotary mower is the ability to closely follow undulating ground contours. Another benefit is that it leaves a striping effect on semi rough areas.
"Presentation is one of our top priorities here," said head Greenkeeper Steve Davidson. "The 405 is ideal for the size of our fairways and provides a manicured finish, but it's the AR250 that has impressed everyone. There's no other machine that it can be compared with. Our rough areas are quite severely contoured in some areas and it copes brilliantly with no sign of scalping. Not only that, it leaves a pleasant striping effect that complements the fairways."
Laurence Gage is the managing director at Caldecott Hall and he added, "We are building a significant leisure facility here. For next season we will have an additional 18-hole Pay and Play course, we have just received planning permission for 50 Scandinavian style lodges and have recently opened the Barn Works fitness spa which has been tastefully created out of a 16th century barn complex complete with indoor swimming pool."
Italian subsidiary closure
Managing Director of Jacobsen International, Stephen Chicken, explaining the rationale behind the closure said, "Our preferred method of distribution, wherever possible here in the UK and throughout our international territory, is to have strong third party distributors taking our product offering to our valued end user customers. This allows us to concentrate on our core business, which is the manufacture, wholesale and after sales support of our products. As such we have instigated the closure of our Italian branch and are in the process of appointing independent distributors for the area. We shall be issuing further information when all contractual matters have been concluded."
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