There are virtually no limitations to the fine turf areas that could be treated by the ProPass 180 broadcast-type top dresser from Turfmech that was installed recently at the Westin Turnberry Resort, Ayrshire, Scotland.
According to Golf Course and Estate Manager, George Brown, the machine will be used to apply top dressings "as and when needed" to turf surfaces on any part of the world-famous resort. However, it is Turnberry's 18-hole Ailsa and Kintyre championship courses, nine hole Arran course and 12-hole par 3 pitch and putt course that will be the principal recipients of little-but-often top dressing treatments by ProPass 180. Turnberry's Ailsa course is the venue for the 2009 Open Championship.
"Since its arrival, we've used the ProPass 180 to lightly dress most of the golf greens at Turnberry to help keep the putting surfaces smooth and true," commented Mr Brown. "All of our courses are exceptionally busy through the year, so the machine's high workrate is very important also, enabling top dressings to be applied quickly and effectively with minimal disruption to play."
Supplied by Turfmech dealer, Nairn Brown (Glasgow) Ltd, Busby Station, Busby, Glasgow, the ProPass top dresser is mounted on and powered by a John Deere ProGator turf vehicle, also supplied by Nairn Brown.
Replacing a drop-style top dresser, the ProPass 180 uses twin rear spinners to apply dressings across bout widths from 2.7m to 10.7m (9ft - 35ft), adjusted by altering the discs' speed of rotation. Application rates can be varied by adjusting the speed of the internal feed belt, or by opening or closing the rear tailgate, or by driving faster or slower. By using a combination of all three measures, the greenkeepers at Turnberry are able to exert precise control over the amount and depth of dressings to suit the specific mix being applied.
"There is not too much in the machinery world that gets me excited these days but I can honestly say that the speed and finish of the ProPass 180 are in a different class," concluded Mr Brown. "The staff love it because it's easy to set-up and use, getting the job done in less than half the time taken before."
Photo: Pictured with Turnberry's new John Deere ProGator and ProPass 180 top dresser are, from the left, Norman Bartlett of Turfmech dealer, Nairn Brown (Glasgow) Ltd; Jim Campbell, senior mechanic at Turnberry; and Martin Lothian, head greenkeeper on Turnberry's Ailsa Course, venue for the 2009 British Open Championship.