Henderson Grass Machinery helps Charleton rise from the ashes: When fire destroyed the clubhouse of Charleton Golf Club, near Leven, in January, the club must have thought they’d used up all their bad luck for the year in one fell swoop …. then came Covid 19, and the work, and plans, to get back on their feet were stopped in their tracks
Now, however, in a scene straight from the Phoenix from the Ashes play book, the club is fighting back. A new clubhouse is rising from the foundations of the original and, thanks to local machinery dealer, Henderson Grass Machinery, Head Greenkeeper Brian Heggie has the tools to get on with the job of maintaining the course.
“After the fire, and when lockdown made it possible I sat down with Scott McNeil, of Hendersons, we looked at the older machinery in our sheds and established how much of money it would raise for a deposit on some good quality second hand machinery,” explained Brian, as he sat aboard a Toro 45100, one of the results of the negotiations.
“We had a limited budget, so if what we have bought takes us through the next three years we might then be in the market to buy slightly newer machines. Had we committed ourselves to a fleet of brand new machines the lockdown and pandemic would have meant that we would have struggled to pay for it,” explained Brian, who having maintained the course singled-handed during lockdown, has recently appointed a Deputy and taken on two apprentices.
In the end, the club purchased a new 60hp Kubota tractor with a Vertidrain; the Toro 4500 rough mower; a Toro 3100 tees mower; a Toro 3400 greens mower; a SISIS scarifier, with more pieces of kit due to arrive over the next few months.
“We tried to take the used machinery from some of the bigger golf clubs and resorts because they had the full maintenance packages so the machines were well maintained and within their hours – and with it being Toro kit, you knew it was going to last.”
Henderson Grass Machinery has had a longstanding relationship with the Charleton Estate and Brian is delighted to have the company on his side.
“I can’t fault them. If I ever need a machine, like a seeder for example, they will lend it to me while Scott (McNeil) being an ex Head Greenkeeper himself knows what it is like to run a golf course on a limited budget and tries to help as much as he can,” said Brian.
Charleton Golf Club is just the type of golf club that Hendersons are keen to support and their pre-owned machines are perfect for a golf club with tight budgets.
“The clubhouse fire was a huge blow to the golf club and we immediately felt that we should help as much as we could to get them back on their feet,” explained Scott, who was Head Greenkeeper at Brechin Golf Club in Angus, and another Fife club in St Michaels Golf Club, near St Andrews, before joining the sales team at Hendersons.
“My aim is always to try and find exactly the right machinery to fit the needs of the golf club, rather than try to give them something that is perhaps close to what is required but not exactly right,” he explained.
“Brian and I both knew what was needed to bring the course on to the next level and we worked closely together initially to generate the funds for the deposit and then secure the machines that were needed.
“We want to continue to work with Charleton to help them overcome both the fire and the consequences of Covid 19 and then kick on to the next level,” said Scott.
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