Relationships renewed at Glasgow Golf Club

Relationships renewed at Glasgow Golf Club: Founded as a members club in 1787, Glasgow Golf Club is proud of its heritage as the ninth oldest golf club in the world. The club jointly operates its heritage parkland course at Killermont on the outskirts of the city and its championship Gailes Links Course on the Firth of Clyde at Irvine in Ayrshire.

Between them, course managers Brian Dickson at Glasgow Gailes and Stuart Taylor at Killermont have nearly 70 years of experience leading their respective greenkeeping teams. They have recently re-established their working relationship with local John Deere dealer Nairn Brown Ltd of Busby by investing in a John Deere Financial deal for new course maintenance equipment worth more than £1 million in total, spread over five years.

Relationships renewed at Glasgow Golf Club

The finance package, a mix of mostly contract hire plus some finance lease, includes John Deere’s PowerGard Maintenance and Protection Plus service and repair plans, which provide comprehensive, budgeted cover for the full five-year period.

A total of 19 John Deere machines plus a Tru-Turf greens roller were initially delivered this summer, with the greater number going into Glasgow Gailes. These include E-Cut hybrid electric triplex greens mowers plus PrecisionCut walk-behind greens mowers and fairway mowers, tees & surrounds and TerrainCut rotary rough mowers, two ProGator utility vehicles equipped with amenity turf sprayers (one featuring a Rogers covered spray boom), XUV Gators and 4R Series compact tractors.

“We’re constantly arranging demonstrations of various manufacturers’ machines to see what’s available on the market and keep up with the latest technology,” says Stuart Taylor. “John Deere has made a lot of changes and adaptations in recent years to make jobs more efficient, such as the A Model mowers’ TechControl display, rear roller power brushes on the reels and different size cutting heads to suit ground conditions and undulations better.

“The 2653B utility triplex mower, which we use with 30in heads for cutting round bunker edges in particular, has had some big changes to make it easier to operate, including the SpeedLink quick adjust cutting units for really fast height of cut changes. The quality of cut is very consistent and the mowers hold their cut without needing to make lots of adjustments.

“Greasing the mowers with groomers fitted used to be quite awkward, but John Deere has made the machines easier to service now. The sprayer is also easier to attach and detach as well as to operate, using the automatic rate controller.

Relationships renewed at Glasgow Golf Club

“As the customer we need to look at the bottom line very closely, and we found the John Deere Financial package very straightforward as well as competitive. It provided an excellent paper trail, and everything was laid out clearly with nothing hidden away – this made a big difference. John Deere may not make everything we need, but we’ve been able to mix and match and get the best deal for the club.

“We already knew Nairn Brown is first class at providing prompt service and repairs when necessary, and John Deere’s overnight parts delivery is second to none. When you’re dealing with a big contract like this one, it’s also important to build the right relationship – you need to be flexible, accommodating and to work together. Build in the right machines and backup service, and the whole package just looked to be the best and most attractive option.”

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Glasgow Academy’s Koro FIELDTOPMAKER

Glasgow Academy’s Koro FIELDTOPMAKER: The Glasgow Academy has become the first independent school in Scotland to purchase their own 2018 model KoroÒ FIELDTOPMAKERÒ (Koro FTMÒ) with the patented Universe® rotor from Campey Turf Care Systems.

The demands of maintaining pitches for a school that offers football, rugby, hockey, cricket and athletics on eight pitches across four locations as well as a separate sand and water based astro pitches has its own unique issues when it comes to renovations with a short 10-week window at the end of the school year.

Glasgow Academy's Koro FIELDTOPMAKER

For head groundsman, Robert Cheape, there is very little crossover time during terms with sports seasons often overlapping. His team of five also have the main school and prep school grounds to maintain and the decision to bring in a new Koro FTMÒ was to provide flexibility and choice to renovations.

“We have multiple sports with very little downtime between them,” he said. “As one season finishes the next season starts and that was one of the reasons behind getting our own KoroÒ, because we wanted the flexibility to manage the pitches in a better way.

“In our situation being able to vary to what degree we use the Koro FTMÒ on the pitches is massive and directly tackles the issue of short periods of downtime.

“We’ve got the Universe® Finesse 5mm blades on it and the material that’s been coming out with it has been unbelievable and the organic matter it’s been ripping up is very impressive, especially when we compare it other machines we’ve used in the past, it’s far superior to everything else.

“I was very impressed with it then but even more so now with the new model because of the flexibility when it comes to the different blade sizes on the Universe® rotor because it gives you the option to use what you need.

“I’d love to “Koro” off the pitches completely but because of the overlap of the various sports we just don’t get the time, it would mean taking some time off of cricket, so it would be them who would suffer, and although they are flexible there’s only so much room to manoeuvre.”

The machine was first used on the site in June 2018 and that was the first time any Koro FTMÒ had been used on the school grounds. Despite being aware of the machine through various magazine articles and demonstration days hosted by Campey, Robert had never used the machine.

With the help of Campey product specialist, Richard Heywood, during the installation, Robert and his team of seven quickly became familiar with the machine, and the man who has worked at Glasgow Academy for 30-years is already very impressed with the operation and results.

“I’ve been aware of the machine for a good few years now,” he said. “I’ve seen it in all the magazines and I’ve seen it at a couple of demos, one at Stirling Albion in 2016 and one in Fleetwood four or five years ago and Greenock Morton.

“We’ve never had the machine working in our place before, so this is the first time it’s been used. We try to keep all of our work in-house but occasionally for the bigger jobs like primary drainage we use other contractors but generally, we do it all ourselves with machines like the ShockWave 220.

“We got a good demonstration from Richard Heywood when he delivered the machine, but I think by using it more we’ll build the familiarity with it and be able to use it to greater effect on the site.”

The weight and balance of the Koro FTMÒ have been analysed resulting in a lighter, steadier ma-chine with the redistribution of weight using a removable 100kgs meaning a much smaller tractor can be used to run the machine. This is because the centre of gravity has been shifted towards the tractor making it easier to lift. Even when the weight is removed the machine still has improved balance against previous models.

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