Teesside Golf Club at Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees, has recently updated its course maintenance equipment fleet with four new John Deere machines.
These include a 30hp 3320 compact tractor with ComfortGard cab, a four-wheel drive 1905 five-gang cylinder mower with cab, for intermediate cutting between the fairways and roughs, a TH 6x4 Gator utility vehicle for general transport duties and a 2500B triplex greens mower with groomer attachments.
Course manager Tony Smith has worked at the club for 30 years - "As man and older man!" as he puts it - and is currently chairman of BIGGA's communications sub-committee.
"We bought our first John Deere machine around 20 years ago, and have stuck with the brand ever since," he says. "We like the machines for their reliability, performance and finish, plus the greens staff just love using them, they are very operator-friendly. We work to the machinery budget set by the club, and aim to change machines every four or five years, unless an urgent replacement is needed."
The new machines join an extensive John Deere fleet at Teesside, including a 4115 compact tractor, 5300 utility tractor, two 455 lawn tractors, two 2500A greens mowers, two 2653A tees & surrounds mowers, two 365 trailed gang mowers, two 220A walk-behind greens mowers, 4x2 and 6x4 Gator utility vehicles and an Aercore 1000 tractor-mounted aerator.
The 18-hole parkland course is 109 years old this year, and is situated on what used to be the old Stockton racecourse. The clubhouse was opened in 1932 and was originally an old granary, to which ships coming up the Tees delivered their grain.
"When I first came here the course was very flat, with no trees, and was prone to flooding," says Tony. "Since then we've planted over 32,000 trees, installed several ponds, made extensive drainage improvements and effectively rebuilt the golf course. It's also now a haven for many species of wildlife."
Image: Teesside Golf Club course manager Tony Smith (third from left) with the greenkeeping team (left to right) Chris Clemmet, Lee Cameron, deputy course manager Gary Evans, Richard Harvey, Dave Moss and the club's four new John Deere machines