A Trimax Snake rotary mower has transformed the way greenkeeping staff maintain the golf course at a club in Wales.
Glynhir Golf Club, formerly Llandeilo Golf Club, near Ammanford in South Wales is a 105-acre, par 69 parkland style course laid out on clay.
Popular with locals, it has 400 active members and thriving junior sections. Its course is managed by three staff - Course Manager Wayne Benger, with Raymond Davies and Nigel Ruck.
"Mondays and Tuesday's here are the best kept secret," Wayne discloses. "It's quiet and you can enjoy a round of golf amid beautiful surroundings. It's a very busy course from Wednesday onwards."
"Being on clay, the ground can get very wet, but I'd describe it as a 'player-friendly' golf course. Our visitors want to enjoy their round and it has enough challenges without being too difficult. Take the rough, for example. We cut it low; you can see the difference, but it's not frustrating."
The semi-rough areas at Glynhir are maintained at a consistent 40mm, providing clear distinction from the fairways which are cut at between 13 and 18mm. If golfers stray off-fairway, their ball can sit up nicely for playing up to a green.
Those areas have always been cut with triple cylinder trailed gangs pulled by a compact tractor. With the trailed gangs approaching the end of their economic life this summer, Wayne began to look around at options for replacing them. He'd looked at rotary mowers in the past but found they were too heavy for use on a wet course and was concerned about the damage they could cause.
He shared those concerns with his local dealer, Powercut, who recommended that he trial the Trimax Snake.
"It's fair to say that it allayed all my concerns," Wayne confirmed. "The front and rear rollers support the decks and give a consistent cutting height and speed without scalping. It doesn't take a lot of power to drive and is ideal for use with our compact tractor. The presentation compared to the trailed cylinders is fantastic. It rolls the grass leaving the stripes and a gives a consistently good cut."
"The Snake's articulation around the greens and bunkers and on the undulating on-course areas is first class. There's no sinkage and no damage when turning. We turn between trees in a tight turning circle and we could never have done that with the cylinders."
But as Wayne explained, the Snake's benefits go beyond the quality and consistency of cut.
"We had the demo in July and took delivery of our machine in August. After just a few months of ownership we've already enjoying additional benefits. There's very little maintenance compared to the gangs, which we'd be sharpening and resetting every year. With the gangs we were cutting five days per week. With the wider, quicker Snake, we now spend just one and a half days mowing, freeing up two and a half days to spend of our time to spend on other areas of the course and freeing up our tractor for other tasks."
"It's a truly fantastic machine."