New front-line forces at Malvern
Story published at 14:04, Wednesday, December 9th, 2015
The Worcestershire Golf Club, one of the oldest in England, has taken delivery of the biggest single delivery of new equipment in its 136-year history. The package, supplied by Redditch-based T H WHITE Groundcare, includes a Jacobsen Eclipse 322 greens mower, GP400 tees mower, TR3 first cut and a Fairway 250 mower, as well as a Smithco Tournament roller, Turfco Torrent blower, Cushman Hauler Pro, Iseki TG5390 tractor, AFT45 trencher, Wessex RMX roller, MX loader and a Fiat Fiorino van.
The order is the first stage in a five year plan put together by new Course Manager Steve Lloyd to re-equip the club in a financially sensible way. “The Club has always battled with difficult drainage and soil conditions,” said Steve. “Water runs straight off the Malvern Hills and sits on the many flat greens which have clay under-soil, leading them to become ‘thatchy’ and soft.
“When I arrived at the Club in 2014, my first task was to get the water management under control. We started by digging a series of new drainage trenches and we are working at the moment on detailed drainage for three of the greens. We have hollow-tined and verti-drained the fairways twice in the last year, as well as adopting a new feed programme. It’s paying off and we have been able to adjust the cut from 19mm to 13mm.”
When Steve took on the job, the Club was running quite a lot of older machinery which had resulted in a parts bill for £21,000 in a single year. “That just didn’t make economic sense. I knew something had to be done so the first thing I looked at was the front-line mowing equipment,” he said. Over 14 years at Burghill Valley Golf Club near Hereford Steve had become familiar with the quality and reliability of Jacobsen mowing machines and so he contacted Simon Bingham at Jacobsen dealer T H WHITE to work out a viable programme of equipment renewal.
“I was keen to re-equip with Jacobsen mowers, but one of the great things about doing business with T H WHITE is that they are main dealers for a huge range of groundcare equipment and they also hold a Fiat Professional dealership for commercial vehicles – a real one-stop shop!”
The new equipment has replaced a third of the club’s front-line machinery and has greatly accelerated cutting times. “The Groundcare team aims to get out onto the fairways at 6am and we can now have them all done by 8am, ahead of the golfers,” Steve added.
Steve works closely with the Club’s Greens Chairman to determine future plans and next in the replacement programme will be utility trucks, sprayers and top dressers. “It has been not just a challenge, but a real privilege to come to Malvern – when you start to see the results of your work it’s extremely gratifying. The support I’ve received from T H WHITE has been outstanding too.”
Looking ahead, there are many opportunities to consider that will continuously improve our offering. It’s an exciting time of change at Worcestershire Golf Club, but one that will always be tempered by tradition.
T H WHITE www.thwhite.co.uk
The Worcestershire Golf Club www.theworcestershiregolfclub.co.uk
Ransomes Jacobsen www.ransomesjacobsen.com