When it comes to golf tournament support, additional machinery and staff from both John Deere and the local dealership are regularly provided to supplement the existing course maintenance fleet for major events throughout the season, says John Deere Limited turf division sales manager Chris Meacock.
"The requirement for extra machines is driven by a number of factors, including the additional fine manicuring often required to bring the cut to PGA and LET presentation standards. For example, extra fairway mowers can be needed to cut in one direction only early each morning, to meet the R&A's minimum maintenance guideline requirements. Having machinery and support that you can rely on can be the difference between everything going smoothly or not at any tournament.
"In 2019 we supported more than ten major tournaments in the UK and Ireland, every month, from the Betfred British Masters at Hillside Golf Club in May to The Solheim Cup at Gleneagles and the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in September. That involved providing more than 150 machines including walk-behind and ride-on greens mowers, tees & surrounds, fairway and rough mowers, compact tractors and Gator utility vehicles - so we were kept busy!"
"In addition, we supported the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Lahinch, The Open and Senior Open Qualifiers at Royal Lytham and St Annes, plus the Senior Open Championship itself, The Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and Ladies Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club, the AIG British Women's Open at Woburn and Irish Amateur Close Championship at Ballybunion."
"To ensure standards are maintained throughout the course preparation period as well as the four days of tournament play, and ensure the smooth running of the competition, John Deere and the local dealer's specialist product support managers, service staff and technicians work closely with the individual club's course managers and greenkeeping teams to help keep all the machines in the fleet serviced and ready for work each day, and ensure all cutting units can achieve the highest possible quality of cut."
"We also work closely with each club to provide greenkeepers with technical training at our Langar HQ, as well as specialist onsite training, particularly when new machines are supplied. This is designed to help operators understand all the main aspects of machinery servicing and maintenance, and how to optimise machine performance. This partnership approach between the club, John Deere and the dealer helps everyone to achieve the best possible results where they matter, out on the course."
"There is a huge amount more preparation and maintenance needed before and during these big events, which puts additional pressure on the home greenkeeping team to maintain high standards of presentation. We aim to help relieve some of that pressure by not only increasing the number of John Deere mowers used on the course, but also to set them up to the club's preferred specification for things like reel size and configuration, roller type, clip rate and tyre selection. In this way, they will match up to the existing machinery fleet and the cut quality can be maintained at exactly the same consistently high level across the course every day."
"In addition to the specification and setting up of the machines, we also provide a 24 hour back-up service as well as overnight parts delivery from Europe if they are not held at the dealership or our parts warehouse at Langar. The approach is to help keep things running as smoothly as possible throughout the event."
"From experience, we find that the on-site support team quickly establishes an effective daily routine alongside the home greenkeeping team that covers any and every job that needs doing, up to and including washing the machines down and clearing away divots from the practice tee at the end of the day. Everyone involved mucks in when required and is glad to have the opportunity to contribute to such prestigious events, as well as benefit from the experience."