Ashburnham Golf Club is situated on the edge of the picturesque Gower coastline near Llanelli in SouthWales. Designed in 1910 by the legendary J.H.Taylor after paying a visit to the club to advise on alterations to the course which was then already 14 years old.
Ashburnham is an 18 hole championship links course with around 600 members and is renowned as being one of the finest links courses in the UK.
It is to host the Home International Championship in 2010 and is the venue where no lesser players than Sam Torrance, Dai Rees and Bernard Gallagher
all won their first professional pay cheque. Dai Rees also won the PGA title here in 1959.
So a first class course like Ashburnham demands the skills of a first -class Course Manager, and that man is local hero Huw Morgan.
Born and raised just down the road in Swansea, Huw has seen action in numerous clubs around the country and returned to his homeland just 16 months ago after 14 years as head greenkeeper at the Wildernesse Golf club in Sevenoaks, Kent.
His credentials are impressive being voted young Greenkeeper of the year in 1987, Toro Greenkeeper of the year in 2001, and achieved his Master
Greenkeeper qualification the following year.
On the domestic front Huw is 41 years old, married with three sons and likes to watch sport especially rugby and football in such spare time that he has.
Huw has been told he greens at Ashburnham are now the best they have ever been, so the mowers chosen to perform on this hallowed turf have to be
rather special themselves, therefore Huw purchased the Baroness LM56 fitted with groomers.
After using ten Baroness pedestrian mowers for the greens and tees at the Wildernesse club, Huw had no hesitation in purchasing four more for
"I had four Baroness LM56 greensmowers in Kent," said Huw, and six of the wider LM66 units for the tees. I found the Baroness to be reliable, of high build
quality and incredibly easy to use, so I had no hesitation in buying Baroness again."
Purchased through Baroness dealer Ted Hopkins in Newport, the mowers join the Ashburnham machinery stable used by the six greenstaff in maintaining
this high profile course.
Huw continued, "being a links course the mowers suffer from sand abrasion but the toughened cylinders of the Baroness machines stay on cut. We also
had great results with the handmowers over the winter months reducing the weight on the greens as against the ride-ons as we have a high proportion of
fescue grass. At my last club I used these mowers everyday for five years before replacing bottom blades and didn't even grind them for three seasons.
Frankly I wouldn't use any other hand mower." Praise indeed.
The LM56 is an eleven bladed fine mower with a top-specification long-life Nickel-Chrome-Molybdenum cutting cylinder giving a cutting width of 556mm
and a mowing rate of 250 cuts per metre. Power comes from a Robin EX13D 3.2kw engine.
Picture : Course Manager Huw Morgan parades his Baroness mowers at Ashburnham Golf Club