Founded as a members club in 1787, Glasgow Golf Club is proud of its heritage as the ninth oldest golf club in the world. The club jointly operates its heritage parkland course at Killermont on the outskirts of the city and its championship Gailes Links Course on the Firth of Clyde at Irvine in Ayrshire.
The Glasgow Gailes greenkeeping team with their new John Deere machinery fleet (left to right): Andrew Moffat, Adam Robertson, Steven Clark, first assistant John Crighton (centre), Brian Dickson Jr, William Lochrie and William Murray.
Between them, course managers Brian Dickson at Glasgow Gailes and Stuart Taylor at Killermont have nearly 70 years of experience leading their respective greenkeeping teams. They have recently re-established their working relationship with local John Deere dealer Nairn Brown Ltd of Busby by investing in a John Deere Financial deal for new course maintenance equipment worth more than £1 million in total, spread over five years.
The finance package, a mix of mostly contract hire plus some finance lease, includes John Deere's PowerGard Maintenance and Protection Plus service and repair plans, which provide comprehensive, budgeted cover for the full five-year period.
A total of 19 John Deere machines plus a Tru-Turf greens roller were initially delivered this summer, with the greater number going into Glasgow Gailes. These include E-Cut hybrid electric triplex greens mowers plus PrecisionCut walk-behind greens mowers and fairway mowers, tees & surrounds and TerrainCut rotary rough mowers, two ProGator utility vehicles equipped with amenity turf sprayers (one featuring a Rogers covered spray boom), XUV Gators and 4R Series compact tractors.
"We're constantly arranging demonstrations of various manufacturers' machines to see what's available on the market and keep up with the latest technology," says Stuart Taylor. "John Deere has made a lot of changes and adaptations in recent years to make jobs more efficient, such as the A Model mowers' TechControl display, rear roller power brushes on the reels and different size cutting heads to suit ground conditions and undulations better.
Course manager Stuart Taylor (centre) and the Killermont greenkeeping team (left to right) Bryan Ramsey, Peter Farrell, Ryan Brennan, Gerard Broadley, Fraser Curran, Craig Wyllie and Martin Fabiani.
"The 2653B utility triplex mower, which we use with 30in heads for cutting round bunker edges in particular, has had some big changes to make it easier to operate, including the SpeedLink quick adjust cutting units for really fast height of cut changes. The quality of cut is very consistent and the mowers hold their cut without needing to make lots of adjustments.
"Greasing the mowers with groomers fitted used to be quite awkward, but John Deere has made the machines easier to service now. The sprayer is also easier to attach and detach as well as to operate, using the automatic rate controller.
"As the customer we need to look at the bottom line very closely, and we found the John Deere Financial package very straightforward as well as competitive. It provided an excellent paper trail, and everything was laid out clearly with nothing hidden away - this made a big difference. John Deere may not make everything we need, but we've been able to mix and match and get the best deal for the club.
"We already knew Nairn Brown is first class at providing prompt service and repairs when necessary, and John Deere's overnight parts delivery is second to none. When you're dealing with a big contract like this one, it's also important to build the right relationship - you need to be flexible, accommodating and to work together. Build in the right machines and backup service, and the whole package just looked to be the best and most attractive option."