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Wentworth’s New John Deere Partnership

Wentworth’s New John Deere Partnership: Wentworth Club and John Deere Limited have announced a new, exclusive partnership for the supply of golf course maintenance equipment to the world famous West, East and Edinburgh Championship Courses at Virginia Water in Surrey, from spring 2019.

Wentworth Club has been the host venue since 1984 for the PGA Championship tournament, which is regarded as the flagship event on the European Tour. The 2019 BMW PGA Championship is being held on the West Course from September 19 to 22, with John Deere and its supplying dealer Farol Ltd providing additional technical and equipment support.

Wentworth's New John Deere Partnership

The new course maintenance fleet consists of over 140 machines including mowers for tees, surrounds and approaches, fairways, greens and rough, as well as compact and utility tractors, Gator utility vehicles and the latest state of the art GPS PrecisionSprayers.

“We are delighted to welcome the John Deere company to Wentworth as our exclusive partner in the supply of greenkeeping and grounds machinery through its regional dealer Farol,” said Wentworth Director of Golf & Greenkeeping Kenny Mackay.

“This agreement represents a significant investment to ensure our fleet is always at the leading edge of technology and innovation.”

John Deere has been a leader in GPS technology in the agricultural industry for many years and is now developing systems specifically for golf course maintenance use, with Wentworth Club being an early adopter. The new advanced technology sprayer delivers great environmental benefits by applying inputs far more accurately and only to predetermined target areas. This significantly reduces overall chemical usage and can potentially cut spray costs by up to 15 per cent.

Using AutoTrac, the sprayer steers itself automatically to an accuracy of 2.5cm using RTK (real-time kinetic) satellite guidance. It also features individual nozzle control and Wireless Data Transfer, which enables spray records and application maps to be sent from the machine to the John Deere Operations Centre website or mobile app, where they can be remotely accessed at any time.

The new machinery fleet has been purchased on a planned replacement cycle in line with Wentworth Club policy, using a John Deere Financial operating lease specifically tailored to reduce the lifelong cost of ownership.

“The world of course management and greenkeeping is changing fast and John Deere is at the forefront of these developments,” said Carlos Aragones, John Deere’s Turf & Golf Sales & Marketing Manager for Europe, CIS, North Africa and the Near & Middle East.

“John Deere equipment helps to maintain many of the world’s greatest golf courses, and we are honoured to now include Wentworth Club in that prestigious company. We look forward to building a long and productive partnership with the Wentworth team, and to the Club becoming one of our leading strategic partners in the golf industry across Europe and beyond.”

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Royal Reesink’s New Partnership

Royal Reesink’s New Partnership: Royal Reesink has joined forces with Vincent Achten to create TurfTroniq, a company that will develop and deliver the technology for automated steering of Toro mowers to the UK and Ireland.

The collaboration with Vincent, who has more than a decade of experience in robotising mowers, is in response to customer interest for automated steering for Toro. TurfTroniq has developed two types of system, both have been supplied to customers in Europe and ongoing  trials continue: the Assisted Mowing System (AMS) is an advanced mowing aid and the Robotic Mowing System (RMS) is a fully automatic system which enables the machine to mow independently.

Royal Reesink's New Partnership

David Cole, managing director of Reesink Turfcare UK, says: “We’ve watched with interest the progress of this technology so far and it’s ever-evolving. TurfTroniq has developed a real understanding for where GPS control technology is, how it works and what needs to happen to deliver a reliable, safe and quality product to our customers.”

AMS automatically lowers the mower units and follows the pre-programmed mowing lines. All the operator has to do is turn the machine in front of the cutting line and the system takes over. There are several potential benefits to this approach, says David, predominantly that it can be used for training operators and eliminating ‘fairway creep’, raising the standard of the operator, their productivity and enhancing course presentation.

“AMS can be set-up by an experienced operator for a junior member of the team to complete the mowing to an extremely high standard,” David explains. “It gives the operator mowing experience, allows for machine familiarisation and helps with training. The skills of the more experienced operator can then be redeployed to more challenging and technical work rather than time consuming wide area mowing. And because the machine can follow exactly the same route each time, it eliminates ‘fairway creep’ and ensures the definition of the fairway remains the same cut after cut.”

The RMS meanwhile is a fully automatic system to enable the machine to mow independently using 3D camera technology to quickly detect obstacles in its path. David says: “This is a technology some of our customers tell us they are interested in and want to understand more about in terms of its potential place within their own particular maintenance regimes. With a focus on increased productivity through minimal overlap and repetitive mowing results, there’s no doubt a role for it in the turfcare maintenance of tomorrow. We look forward to engaging with customer opinion to understand further what place this emerging technology has for them in a practical sense and that’s where TurfTroniq is right now.”

Over the past several years, the systems have been installed on Toro fairway mowers and have been extensively tested and, according to TurfTroniq, proved to be very reliable. Systems are working in the field and continue to undergo rigorous testing in daily maintenance operations. Both systems are easy to use, and the progress of the machines can be monitored live with any smartphone.

This collaboration to develop GPS mowing technology for Toro mowers with Vincent’s experience supported by Reesink’s distribution network for the UK and Ireland, will ensure that Toro customers will soon be able to benefit from assisted and automated steering. Roon Hylkema, director of Royal Reesink B.V, concludes:” The market is ready for this innovative technology and we are delighted to be able to make it available in the UK and Ireland.”

For more information, visit: reesinkturfcare.co.uk

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Farleigh’s New Partnership

Farleigh’s New Partnership: A brand new partnership between Farleigh Golf Club, John Deere and dealer Farol Ltd has seen the first ever fleet of John Deere course maintenance equipment arrive at the course. This forms part of an ongoing investment in the club and its facilities worth £6.5 million since the Hayton family acquired Farleigh in 2010, to become part of The Foxhills Collection.

“The partnership is a true representation of our commitment to improving quality and maintaining our golf offering at all times,” says Adam Walsh, who has been general manager for two years following a spell as golf sales manager.

Farleigh's New Partnership

Opened in 1997 near Croydon, Farleigh is a fast-draining downland-style course which boasts 27 Championship-standard holes redesigned by Ryder Cup legend John Jacobs, with greens built to USGA specifications. Three separate nine-hole loops can be played in any combination as three different 18-hole layouts or even all 27, each layout providing an enjoyable challenge for golfers of all abilities.

The course hosted the 2018 PGA Assistants’ Championship as well as its southern section final qualifier, and is the only national PGA venue in the area. The club has also recently signed up for the next two years to host the national PGA Fourball Championship.

Adam Walsh explains the reasoning behind the club’s decision to partner with John Deere and Farol for the first time: “Our previous fleet was coming up to eight years old, so we decided to go through a formal tender process to upgrade and replace the machinery as necessary. At the same time, we were looking to establish a new partnership approach with a supplier as an exclusive agreement, rather than simply replace the odd machine here and there over time.

“The local dealer Farol started demonstrations with us in 2017, arranged by golf & turf area manager Dave Searles, and we soon found that there was a real willingness to create a proper partnership with the club and meet our long-term business needs. One of the main influencing factors in the choice of John Deere was the effort that was put into delivering the full package we were looking for, compared to the other companies we dealt with.”

Course manager Kenny MacPhail, who has been at the club for approaching five years, had used some John Deere equipment before but as he says: “What’s good for one course may not be so suitable for another, so I wanted the greenkeeping team to experience the John Deere kit as widely as possible before we made the final decision.

Farleigh's New Partnership

“Generally we’ve been impressed with the range, especially the easy height of cut adjustment on the rotary 8800A TerrainCut rough mower and 7400A trim & surrounds mower, which both feature the programmable TechControl display. We have a lot of drainage ditches, and the 7400A’s shiftable deck system saves a lot of manpower, as it can mow down into them more easily.

“The overall operator experience is good too – everything is laid out simply and is very user-friendly. It’s obvious a lot of engineering thought has gone into the manufacturing process, particularly to make servicing and maintenance very straightforward.”

Other machines in the 14-strong fleet include both 2500B hydraulic and 2500E hybrid electric greens mowers, 8900A wide area fairway mowers, a 1600T wide area rotary mower, Pro Gators with top dresser and sprayer attachments, TH 6×4 Gator utility vehicles and a 5075E 75hp utility tractor.

“We have just had a record financial year and the club is definitely going in the right direction,” says Adam Walsh. “The course continues to improve, and stylistically it’s different to the majority of courses in the area – it’s very open and exposed and sets different challenges, more like an inland links.

“We aim to provide a relaxed atmosphere, while underpinning every step we take with the emphasis on quality and attention to detail in order to give our members and visitors the best possible value. We’re very enthusiastic about the future at Farleigh, and this new partnership with John Deere and Farol is a definite step forward in helping us to achieve our goals.”

For more information, visit: www.JohnDeere.co.uk

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Taddy’s John Deere Partnership

Taddy’s John Deere Partnership: Since the start of the year, Tadmarton Heath Golf Club near Banbury in Oxfordshire has seen investment in a new management team, strategic changes to the course under the eye of course architect Ken Moodie and its first ever course maintenance equipment fleet deal with John Deere and local dealer Farol Ltd.

The avowed ambition of golf operations manager John Stubbs, course manager Jim McMurdo and general manager Matt Draper is to achieve a place in the UK’s top 100 golf courses. Already ranked at #91 in National Club Golfer‘s Top 100 courses in England, Taddy – as the locals call it – is a classic heathland layout featuring gorse and broom, with an ‘inland links’ character. It has been described by NCG editor Dan Murphy as “absolutely delightful and quintessentially English, with a pretty stone clubhouse at its centre.”

Taddy's John Deere Partnership

The new machinery has been bought on a five-year John Deere Financial lease deal, including PowerGard maintenance and protection. The package features 12 John Deere machines, including 220SL walk-behind and 2500E electric hybrid greens mowers, A Model fairway mowers, a 1600T wide area mower and Gator utility vehicles in addition to a Tru-Turf greens roller, Fleming trailers and a Weidenmann Super 600 three-in-one flail mower, collector and verticutter for the rough.

“We wanted to rationalise the existing machinery fleet and deal, which was coming up for renewal,” says John Stubbs. “As part of the tender process we met the Farol team for the first time, including golf & grass director James Moore and area sales manager Mike Wheeler. We were looking for a completely open, honest and transparent deal at the best possible price, and we found that Farol and John Deere were very easy to work with all the way through the process.

“Their approach gave us confidence that they could deliver what we needed to help achieve our ambition of becoming the premier all year round course in this area. We had plenty of help and advice on which machines would provide the most efficient and affordable solution for the golf course and the club, and in the end the decision to partner with John Deere and Farol was a very straightforward one.”

As it boasts one of the last remaining areas of proper heathland left in the county, the course has undergone a five-year regeneration project as part of the club’s vision to put the traditional heath back into Tadmarton Heath. More recently all the bunkers have been redesigned or rebuilt, and Jim McMurdo has begun a process of improving the greens, reducing the more punitive rough areas and raising the overall standard of the course presentation.

“The initial aim has been to make the golf course look a lot more professional and make the greens and rough fairer,” he says. “One of the first jobs was to bring the fairway cutting height down to 13mm, which made a massive improvement straight away – the increased differentiation means golfers now find it easier to see where to play and where to avoid.

“We’ve also opened up all the bunker areas and defined the run-offs around the greens, to help improve the overall playability. It’s really a very simple approach – it’s about uniformity and attention to detail, so that everything in the eye is set up the same way, to create the best overall impression.”

John Stubbs adds: “The new investment created an amazing wave of interest in the improvements – people regularly come up to me to say how pleased they are with the way things are going, and new members are joining all the time. It was certainly a great confidence boost for us to get the Board’s approval to spend what is admittedly a large sum of money for a private golf club.

“It was also good for Jim and his greenkeeping team to know that every single recommendation that was asked for has been delivered. Our goal is to maintain the traditions of the golf course, with its history and heritage, but packaged in a forward thinking way, while also providing a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere as well as first class service throughout the club.”

For more information, visit: www.JohnDeere.co.uk

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GreenFields Announce New Partnership

GreenFields Announce New Partnership: GreenFields, sports turf specialists, have announced their new partnership with financial funding experts, Sedulo. The collaboration was officially confirmed at a Stadium Development seminar hosted by GreenFields on 17 May at Hyde United FC. As Official Pitch Partner of the EVO-STIK Northern Premier League, GreenFields hosted the seminar in which ten member clubs attended and were supported by Sedulo who presented ways in which they could support with financing new development plans. This was also supported by the leagues architectural partners, Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP).

With offices in Manchester and Leeds, Sedulo will work with GreenFields on a national basis to support potential clients who have aspirations to obtain new sports pitches but who require financial advice, financial planning and sometimes funding opportunities to be able to attain their goal.

GreenFields Announce New Partnership

Paul Milton, Director of GreenFields commented: “We’ve been looking for a financial partner to meet the growing demand from our clients for financial advice so pairing with financial funding experts Sedulo is an excellent step forward for us to be able to offer this guidance to potential clients. We realise that the aspirations of clubs and educational establishments to install a new sports pitch can sometimes seem financially unrealistic, but now working with Sedulo more of these dreams will be able to become a reality.”

With Sedulo’s comprehensive financial knowledge and capabilities, they are able to assist potential GreenFields clients with the preparation of detailed business plans to support planning submissions for a new synthetic, hybrid or natural grass pitch. They can help put forward the best possible business case for standard funding routes such as through the council, or if typical funding routes aren’t available, Sedulo can match businesses with alternative funding routes when a bank isn’t suitable. They will scour their huge pool of lenders in order to find the best options available for each unique client.

Jack Christian, Senior Funding Manager at Sedulo presented at the seminar and has already received a number of requests from attending clubs for one to one meetings to discuss their financial plans to secure a 3G pitch, he commented: “We are always looking to support new clubs across the UK. Sport is a specialism for Sedulo and we have a lot of experience in advising on the funding and finances for sports clubs. We are keen to work alongside GreenFields to enable more sports clubs to develop their facilities and increase their long-term revenue streams.”

Over the coming months, GreenFields will be working with Sedulo to provide clubs with exclusive financial assistance and information on a one to one basis as well as focusing on running more in-depth development seminars.

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Ransomes Partnership Continues

Ransomes Partnership Continues: Continental Landscapes, a leading grounds maintenance company, recently took delivery of 33 pieces of machinery from Ransomes. The investments marks a 20-year relationship between Continental Landscapes and Ransomes. PA Turney both demonstrated and sold the machinery, having nurtured the relationship between the companies for over two decades.

Continental Landscapes was established in 1989 and currently has more than 20 U.K. branches. It has a diverse portfolio of clients including local authorities, government departments, industrial and commercial concerns, housing associations, sports clubs and private individuals. The company also employs more than 700 people.

Ransomes Partnership Continues

Tom Dew is the plant and machinery manager at Continental Landscapes, having joined the company in 1991. Commenting on the relationship with Ransomes and PA Turney, Tom said:

“We are very proud of our long-standing relationship with both Ransomes and PA Turney. Ransomes make quality machines which are British built. Impressively, its rotary mowers cut like cylinders as they can cut lower than other machines.

“Service and back-up is a huge consideration for us. In my opinion, there is no better dealer than PA Turney. They look after all our branches, and if we need assistance at one of our branches in Scotland, they will travel from Oxfordshire and be there the next day. The combination of exceptional machinery and back-up support is the reason that we keep returning to Ransomes and PA Turney.”

Amongst the new machinery are two Parkway 3 cylinder mowers, 28 HR300 rotary mowers with Müthing decks, two MP493 rotary mowers and one MP495 cylinder mower. Continental Landscapes was one of the first customers invited to test the new Ransomes HM600, a collaboration between Ransomes and Müthing; it will be launching in 2018.

Commenting on the relationship and the machinery, Municipal National Accounts Manager at Ransomes Nathan Walker, said:

“It is testament to the design and manufacturing teams at Ransomes, and the staff at PA Turney that Continental Landscapes has been a loyal customer for so many years. I hope this continues with our future developments such as the new HM600; the feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive. It’s going to be an exciting year ahead for all concerned!”

For more information, visit: www.jacobsen.com/europe

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Kubota’s Rugby Partnership

Kubota’s Rugby Partnership: Kubota UK have announced that they are extending their elite sponsorship of Aviva Premiership club Northampton Saints until 2020.

The market leading machinery manufacturer and supplier of world-renowned Kubota engines joined forces with Saints back in 2015, the company’s first ever sponsorship with a top flight sports team.  Based on the success of the partnership, Kubota is looking forward to continuing its support for the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons.

Kubota's Rugby Partnership

Dave Roberts, Kubota UK’s Managing Director, said: “ Signing a new deal with Northampton Saints was an easy decision for us. Over the past 3 years that we have been involved with the club, it has proved itself to be an outstanding partner, delivering fantastic exposure for our brand, a high quality match day experience and, of course, a great way to showcase our products. Partnering with Saints aligns perfectly with our drive for excellence, and the desire to lead our respective fields. We’re delighted to be continuing to build on that over the next few years.”

As part of the deal, Kubota provides some of its industry leading groundcare solutions to help the Franklin’s Gardens Ground Staff maintain its pitches to the highest standards in the Aviva Premiership.

Mark Darbon, Saints CEO, is thrilled to see the relationship between the two organisations blossom.  He commented: “This is a partnership in the truest sense of the word.  Kubota UK has been a great asset to the club in recent years and we are delighted to have extended our partnership with them.

“At Saints, we set out to have the highest standards in every area of our organisation. This includes how we maintain our stadium pitch – one of only three natural grass pitches in the league – as well as our training facilities. Having the highest quality training and playing surfaces is vital in allowing the team to perform.

“By continuing our work with Kubota, we are helping build the best platform to realise our ambitions, and we are looking forward to working closely with the machinery manufacturer over the next two years.”

The elite sponsorship package also means Kubota receive a suite of commercial rights, from prime brand positioning on the back of the Saints playing shorts for all matches, to the Kubota logo featuring prominently in the stadium including on the big screen, on the perimeter advertising boards around the ground and in the matchday programme and matchday tickets.  The sponsorship also includes corporate hospitality and player appearances for Kubota events.

Karen Tipping, Kubota UK’s Marketing Manager, concluded: “Rugby union has a really strong appeal with our dealer and end-user customers.  As Saints are one of the leading professional rugby clubs in Europe, our sponsorship gives us the opportunity to extend the reach of the Kubota brand as well as further strengthen our relationships with our dealer and end-user customers.”

For more information on Kubota UK call 01844 268000 or visit www.kubota.co.uk.

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John Deere Partnership Renewed

John Deere Partnership Renewed: John Deere and the Ladies European Tour (LET) have confirmed an extension to their partner agreement as of January 2018, during which Deere will continue to be designated the Tour’s official supplier of golf course maintenance equipment which includes mowers, tractors and Gator utility vehicles.

Under the terms of the agreement, LET tournaments – including The Solheim Cup at Gleneagles in September 2019 – will be supported by John Deere equipment through the company’s European golf dealer network. Deere officials will also continue to work closely with the LET’s agronomists, with the goal of helping to produce better quality playing surfaces across the continent.

John Deere Partnership Renewed

The announcement was made by LET chairman Mark Lichtenhein on the John Deere stand at BTME 2018 in Harrogate on Tuesday January 23, together with John Deere’s global turf marketing director Manny Gan and European turf sales & marketing manager Carlos Aragones.

“We are delighted that John Deere has decided to extend its relationship with the Ladies European Tour for the next two years, beyond The 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles,” said Mark Lichtenhein. “This is a testament to our enduring partnership since 2006 and demonstrates the alignment of our brands and our joint objective to ensure a bright future for the women’s game.”

Carlos Aragones added, “We are also delighted that what has already proved to be a fruitful relationship with the Ladies European Tour is continuing to grow. The strength of the John Deere brand is based on the quality of our products and customer service, and we are very proud to be associated with both the LET and The Solheim Cup.”

The Solheim Cup is the highlight of the women’s professional golf calendar, when the best women golfers from Europe and the United States compete for this prestigious biennial trophy. The next tournament takes place on the world-famous PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles in Perthshire, Scotland from September 13-15, 2019.

For more information, visit: www.JohnDeere.co.uk

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