The Vale Resort in South Wales has invested more than £400,000 in state-of-the-art John Deere golf course maintenance equipment, supplied by local turf professional dealer Frank Sutton Ltd of Raglan in Gwent.
The resort, home to two championship golf courses, has bought 16 new high-tech mowers and Gator utility vehicles to enhance the condition of both the Wales National and The Lake courses, and provide its 550-plus members and thousands of visitors with an even better golfing experience.
The latest purchases include four 8700A fairway mowers, four 2500B triplex greens mowers, four 220SL walk-behind greens mowers and four TS Gators. These have joined an existing John Deere fleet of four 8800 TerrainCut rotary rough mowers, four 2653B triplex utility mowers and another two 220SL greens mowers.
"The way the fairways and greens are cut has a direct effect on the playability of the course," says the Vale Resort's head greenkeeper John Borja. "These new John Deere machines will undoubtedly help to improve the condition of both courses and make a difference to the way the game is played on them.
"In order to keep the two courses in pristine condition, the cutting direction is alternated each day so that the ground doesn't become stressed. This also creates a striping effect which helps players differentiate between the precisely cut tees, fairways and rough. Having the best machinery is key to making sure our team can prepare the courses to their full potential for members and guests."
Set in 650 acres of Welsh countryside, both courses have a mixture of wooded areas, wide and narrow fairways and water features. At 7433 yards off the championship tees, the Wales National is one of the longest courses in the UK, while The Lake course is slightly shorter at 6436 yards. Both are maintained by a team of 15 year-round staff, with additional seasonal staff required in the busier playing season from March to October.
"Our aim, every day, is to ensure that our golf courses are presented to the highest standards possible and can be fully enjoyed by the players," says John Borja. "With the excellent support and after-sales service provided by John Deere and dealer Frank Sutton, we look forward to doing so for many years to come."