Top 100 golf course Bearwood Lakes at Sindlesham, near Wokingham in Berkshire, has recently upgraded its mower fleet with six new John Deere machines from local dealer Golf & Turf Equipment.
They include three 2500E hybrid greens mowers, two 7700 PrecisionCut fairway mowers and an 8800 TerrainCut rotary semi-roughs mower. All the cylinder mowers are equipped with John Deere's new Quick Adjust QA5 or QA7 cutting units, which are described as "awesome" by Master Greenkeeper Daniel Lightfoot, who has been course manager at Bearwood Lakes for the past five years.
The course first opened for play in 1996 and was the brainchild of owners David Newling Ward, the club's current chairman, and Ray Wilson, managing director of golf course construction company Southern Golf. It boasts a current average rating of 5.5 golf balls (out of 6) in player reviews on the Top 100 website, many of which pay tribute to the high standards of maintenance and superior playing surfaces that can be found on the course all year round.
"We have run John Deere tractors and Gator utility vehicles for a number of years, and the QA cutting units were a big factor in persuading us to change to the new mowers after I first saw them being demonstrated at The Berkshire and at BTME/Harrogate Week," says Daniel Lightfoot.
"We like to change the cutting heights to suit ground conditions each day, if possible, and these new units allow us to do them all in just a few minutes, they really save a lot of time. They stay on cut really well too, and all the greens staff like using the machines, which are very comfortable with very good controls.
"Regardless of the quality of the machinery, the deal was effectively sealed by the way John Deere and Golf & Turf put it together, and their attention to detail - they really went the extra step to make it all work. We have developed an excellent relationship with the dealer, who provide a first class service and are able to work with us to meet our needs, particularly with regards to parts delivery.
"Our workshop manager Jim Simpson worked at Golf & Turf for three days, helping to PDI all the new kit, and really got to know the machines inside out. Ultimately the decision to buy John Deere rested with him, as he has to work with the dealer and the equipment to keep the machinery running, and with the club's managing director Carl Rutherford, who has to sign the cheques - once they were happy, I was happy!"