Sandy Lodge Golf Club has experienced the benefits on and off the course with the Foley United Accu-Master 653 and Accu-Pro 673 grinders.
Left to right. Peter Cook Head Mechanic at Sandy Lodge GC with Greg Turner Head of Worldwide Sales for Foley United discussing their new Foley 653 cylinder grinder
The Hertfordshire club is one of England's finest golfing establishments and has regularly hosted the Regional Open Qualifying Rounds from 2015 and will do so until 2019, as well as being a recent venue for the English Women's Senior Open.
Head greenkeeper, Richard Elderfield, along with mechanic, Peter Cook, knew their previous grinders were coming to the end of their useable life and both had a strong desire to bring relief grinding to the club because of the overall benefits it has for the plant and the machines. But, Peter quickly realised the Foley models had other features that would streamline his operation and make for a better work environment.
"Although relief grinding was our first priority it wasn't the only aspect that attracted us to the Accu-Master 653," Peter explained. "We also like the enclosed cabinet on the cylinder grinder with the noise and dust protection it offered and we found the set-up of both grinders to be quick and easy, especially with the 653's built in training programmes.
"Grinding is very important to us when it comes to the health of the course and the machinery. The quality and cleanness of cut will determine the smoothness and speed of the playing surface and it helps prevent turf infections and diseases.
"Relief grinding has made a lot of difference and the mower manufacturers also recommend it. We tend to put a lot more top dressing on our greens now and the relief grind allows the excess sand to be cleared away, so it's not wearing the cylinder down and going off cut as quickly. It also means we have less potential contact between cylinder and bedknife therefore less heat build-up as there's reduced contact area with the bedknife, so it makes the mower a lot more efficient overall."
Talking about efficiency Peter adds, "We also see this in the grinders, as both machines are fully automated, with auto-start, traverse, infeed and shut down built in to the grinding programmes alleviating any need for any human input between phases. We can have both grinders running at the same time allowing us to carry out other tasks therefore saving more time.
"I can now grind far quicker than before. If I'm doing a 5 head fairway machine once you set the 653 for the first unit it will then be set for the remainder.
"It's easy to access the machine and I have a winch to lift the reels in and out which makes the entire process easier. There is also an option of a lift-table if you prefer.
The automation is a huge benefit and as we are limited for space in my workshop and with the 653 being fully enclosed means there is very little noise coming from the grinder, allowing me to comfortably work close by.
"I thought I would struggle with the relief grinding as I had never done it before, but the training was excellent, and I picked it up very quickly"
Both Peter and Richard have been impressed by the quick and reliable service they have received from Ian Robson of ProSport UK, the Foley United importer both throughout the purchasing phase and the aftercare.
ProSport UK focus strongly on aftercare with an emphasis on supporting their customers and training them how to operate grinders they may not be familiar with. All geared to getting the best out of their new machine as quickly as possible.