Royal West Norfolk Golf Club at Brancaster, King's Lynn, has renewed its five-year machinery leasing agreement with John Deere dealer Ben Burgess of Norwich.
This is the club's second such planned replacement deal using John Deere Credit finance to deliver a full package with other makes of equipment. The fleet now includes 14 new John Deere machines, including two 2500E hybrid greens mowers, a 2653B tees & surrounds mower, four 220C walk-behind greens mowers, a 7700 PrecisionCut fairway mower, a 1600T rotary roughs mower, two 4520 compact tractors with ComfortGard cabs, two TE electric Gator utility vehicles and an HPX Gator with ball protection cage for use on the driving range.
"Even in the current economic climate, we weren't tempted to wait to replace our older machines," says head greenkeeper Gavin Playford. "This is a traditional pure sand links course, and it's quite a harsh environment. The effect of the salt air means the machines do get a bit tired looking at the end of their term, so we wanted to upgrade the fleet before we started experiencing any problems. There have also been a lot of changes and improvements to the range in the meantime.
"We've had problems in the past with hydraulic hose leaks, so we were keen to upgrade the greens mowers to bring in the new 2500E hybrid machines. Operator protection and comfort are also key factors here, so we ordered two of the new Gators with cabs. We still kept one without a cab, as it can sometimes get in the way when you're working, but it does give us that flexibility - even so, the ones with the cabs tend to go out first!
"I saw most of the new machines on a John Deere customer feedback trip to Germany in 2008, so I knew what was coming up, and the previous package deal had worked very well, so we didn't feel the need to look anywhere else. We've had no problems over the last five years, and a very solid service from the dealer, Ben Burgess," adds Gavin.
"For example, halfway through the last deal, we had quite an old tractor that kept breaking down, and it wasn't going to last the term. It was mainly used with our Vertidrainer, so we had to order a new John Deere 5415 utility tractor, but this was added onto the package without a murmur.
"We've always had good machinery here, and members have come to realise that the course is the club's most important asset, so it needs to be maintained at the highest level possible. There are more of them playing than ever now, so it's a good feeling, knowing that all the work you're doing is being appreciated by those who play the course."
(Left to right) John Deere territory manager Nick Ashman, Royal West Norfolk Golf Club secretary Ian Symington, dealer Stuart Edge of Ben Burgess and head greenkeeper Gavin Playford, with the new John Deere fleet.