The Notts Golf Club (Hollinwell) in north Nottinghamshire, in the heart of Robin Hood country, has invested in five new John Deere mowers from dealer Henton & Chattell on a John Deere Financial operating lease, together with PowerGard protection and a service contract.
Following an extensive machinery review and trial period comparing all the main manufacturers, John Deere mowers were considered to be the best choice for primary mowing of the tees, greens and surrounds. The club and greens staff settled on four 2500E hybrid electric greens mowers equipped with 7- and 11-blade cutting units, two of which can be fitted with dedicated groomers when necessary, plus an 8800 TerrainCut rotary mower for the rough.
"The John Deere mowers offered us the right combination of value for money and performance," says course manager Phil Stain. "There was not a bottomless pit of money available, but cost initially didn't really come into the equation. We looked at what we needed and then looked at the available finance options.
"The bottom line was the machines had to do the job required - we needed to know we could prepare the course prior to play in a tournament situation. Having four greens mowers means we've always got spare capacity too, which is good because we aim to cut everything before play. This allows us to maintain standards to the same high level every day, and gives us the ability not to let these standards slip.
"We only put on the groomers when we have to, but having them available shows a serious professional approach to greens management, and it's certainly paid dividends. The presentation of the course has improved so much, especially the surrounds - the mowers are reliable, reasonably light and manoeuvrable, particularly on the tees, and the offset units are great for alternating the cut. Another major plus is the greatly reduced risk of hydraulic oil leaks, which was a real issue for us in the past. It means I sleep much more soundly these days!"
One of Phil's team of five fully trained greenkeepers is responsible for maintenance and servicing, and does the regular service work on site. "He checks over the mowers when they come in each day, keeps good service records and monitors the hours worked. He can then tell the dealer when the PowerGard cover kicks in," adds Phil.
"With this new kit, the staff feel proud of their ability to prepare the course to championship standards every day, plus they recognise the significant investment that has been made by the club in them and their work, so it's been good news all round," says club secretary/manager Martyn Bonner. "Membership has been sustained and there's now a waiting list, while the income from green fees has been increased - and I believe that's all down to the improved quality of the course."