Dave Callanan, course manager at Beech Park Golf Club near Rathcoole, Co Dublin, is delighted with his Smithco Spray Star 1000, which he purchased from local Ransomes Jacobsen distributor, Kevin Broderick Ltd. Ransomes
"Our previous sprayer was on its last legs; the wiring had gone and we were desperate for a replacement," he said. "I really did my homework and extensively researched all the options on the market. I looked at trailed versions, de-mountable types that fit onto utility vehicles, but finally decided on a dedicated, self-propelled unit. Some were too expensive for our budget; some were too heavy, but this Smithco unit ticks all the boxes.
"The Spray Star 1000 has a petrol engine, but that's not a negative because we have a dedicated petrol storage bowser, so there's no issue there and it's quieter than equipment with a diesel engine. It has a much lighter footprint than anything else around and its hill climbing and manoeuvrability are very good.
"My spraying regime is fairly intensive; in 2010 we sprayed for 375 hours. The Spray Star can tackle 25 acres of rough in a working day and all 18 greens take just 2½ hours including the tank wash. It's an impressive piece of equipment and it has certainly justified the outlay."
Callanan is typical of today's younger course managers having gained a wide range of experience before reaching this current position in his career. He has benefitted from an internship at Ohio State University, where he worked at Whistling Straits and Pinehurst. In Ireland he began his career at The K Club; worked at Powerscourt for three years, two as assistant on the West course before joining the team at Beech Park in 2006 and being promoted to course manager a year later.
Like many clubs he heads a small team consisting of a first assistant, three greenkeepers and a mechanic. This is supplemented by a further three internees on a 48-week internship from March to February.
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