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A short course with a long lifespan

A short course with a long lifespan: Edinburgh’s Swanston Golf Club has reinvested in its Templar Course, some thirteen years after it first opened. The 9-hole par 3 course partners the Club’s 18-hole course and its short format is proving more popular than ever, appealing to many who appreciate the ability to play a round in under an hour.

Situated at the foot of the Pentland Hills with wonderful views across Edinburgh, Fife and beyond, Swanston Golf Club was founded in 1927, originally as a ladies-only course. Such was the panoramic beauty and challenging hilly nature of the course, demand from members’ partners meant that it wasn’t long before the Club was opened to all. It now prides itself on inclusivity, with a thriving junior section and a spacious, family-friendly Clubhouse that is open to members and non-members alike.

A short course with a long lifespan

A short course with a long lifespan

Recognising the popularity and further potential of the Templar Course, the Club’s management team re-engaged Huxley Golf in early 2021 to recreate all of its nine tees. As there are no natural grass alternatives, the whole course benefits from reliable artificial tee surfaces which guarantee year-round play.

Thirteen is unlucky for some but not for us it seems!” remarked Club Manager Secretary Mike Robson. “I understand that Huxley Golf worked on the initial installation thirteen years ago, so its testimony to their product and installation skills that Templar has stood the test of time. This is the first occasion that I have had the opportunity to work with Huxley Golf, but I had no hesitation in putting my trust in the company to revamp what is an increasingly popular feature of our Club.

From the longevity and performance of the initial installation, it was clear to me that the quality and playing experience of Huxley Golf surfaces remain unbeatable.”

Huxley Golf’s Hugh Fraser oversaw the project from removing old rotten wood bases to creating brand new playing surfaces using the company’s renowned Premier Tee Turf 2. “We were delighted to be entrusted with reinvigorating this fabulous short course, which will undoubtedly attract an even wider range of people and help the Club develop golf in the Lothian area,” he commented.

At the same time, the Huxley Golf team helped the Club lay a brand new practice tee strip near to the driving range. Measuring some 6ft (1.8m) by 75ft (22.8m), this large all-weather feature marries perfectly with adjoining natural grass to create a facility with season-long playability.

For over half a century, the name Huxley has been synonymous with premium all-weather golf surfaces and products. Endorsed by the UK’s leading golf organisations as well as many legendary golfers and celebrities and their coaching teams, the Hampshire-based company’s artificial golf surfaces are in use all around the world at top-flight courses, resorts, and training academies. For more information visit www.huxleygolf.com.

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Paul Cricket Club’s long serving groundsman

Paul Cricket Club’s long serving groundsman: Unsung hero, Steve Snell, has kept Paul Cricket Club’s pitch in top condition for nearly 60 years and has no plans of stopping any time soon.

Read the full article from The Falmouth Packet here

Paul Cricket Club's long serving groundsman

Paul Cricket Club’s long serving groundsman

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Louth’s lease deal looks long term

Louth’s lease deal looks long term: Founded in 1965, Louth Golf Club is situated in the Lincolnshire Wolds, an area of outstanding natural beauty. 

The 18-hole parkland course offers attractive panoramic views from every hole over the Lincolnshire countryside and towards the Humber Estuary.

Louth’s lease deal looks long term

Louth’s lease deal looks long term

Responsibility for the course’s upkeep at this family friendly community club is down to a young team of just three full-time greenkeepers headed by Sean McDonnell, who was deputy head greenkeeper at East Herts before moving here from Bedfordshire about a year ago.

Sean’s arrival coincided with the club’s decision to upgrade its older competitive course maintenance equipment and invest in its first ever package for eight new John Deere machines from local dealer F G Adamson & Son, based on a finance lease deal with PowerGard maintenance set up by John Deere Financial.

The new fleet includes a 2500B triplex greens mower, 2500E hybrid electric greens mower, 7700A PrecisionCut fairway mower, 8800A TerrainCut rough mower, 2653B tees & surrounds mower, 3038E compact tractor with front loader, ZTR 997R commercial zero-turn mower and an HPX 815E Gator utility vehicle.

General manager Nikki Chantry, who is also a qualified PGA golf professional and was the club’s director of golf before taking on her new managerial role in summer 2018, had recognised that Sean’s predecessor was spending far too much time repairing ageing equipment and not enough time out on the course.

They were familiar with John Deere as the club had already been running a newer 8700A fairway mower and 8800A rotary rough mower as part of the mixed fleet. Together with greens chairman Richard Ablott, a meeting was therefore set up with Adamson’s commercial sales manager Tony Jenkins and salesman Scott Trestrail.

Scott knows the course very well as he had worked as a greenkeeper at Louth Golf Club for 15 years before joining the dealership. He put this knowledge to good use in recommending a package to meet the club’s specific requirements without overcommitting it financially, and when Sean took over he only changed one machine on the proposed kit list.

“Some of our other older machines were simply falling to pieces, and we decided that buying a couple of new replacements now and again was not a sensible approach long term,” says Nikki Chantry. “In addition, we kept having to bring in people from outside to do the frequent and expensive major repairs that were necessary, so that’s when Adamsons came in and showed us how to find a better solution.

 

“We went for a finance lease package rather than outright purchase, and John Deere Financial offered us a very competitive deal which has made our overall financial planning much easier.”

 

Sean McDonnell was also impressed by the dealer’s support when things were continuing to go wrong with some of the older machines during the changeover. “On my first day at the club the cutting units fell off one of the old greens mowers, but we got a replacement plus a banks mower straight away from Adamsons to tide us over. The dealer’s been very helpful in that respect right from the start.

“I like the cut quality you get from the John Deere mowers,” he adds. “You get a sharper cut without digging into the surface, and you know if you set them up at 4mm, you get 4mm. The TechControl system with password protection on the A Model mowers is good too – it puts me in full control so I can set them up the way I want in order to deliver consistent quality across the course, whoever’s driving.

“With a small greenkeeping team it’s vital that none of us are spending valuable time in the workshop instead of out on the course. We’re now able to benefit from using up to date technology that is much more reliable and productive, and that can only be a good thing.”

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