English Golf Courses

The Bedford buys John Deere

Almost £1/4m invested in new machinery to improve maintenance of top course

THE Bedford Golf Club at Great Denham has invested almost £250,000 in a fleet of new John Deere course machinery.

On arrival at The Bedford almost a year ago from his previous course, Woburn Golf Club, head greenkeeper Simon Trotter was encouraged by joint owners Geoff Swain, Steve Kavanagh and Eamon McEvoy to upgrade the whole fleet as part of the club’s long-term leasing plans, rather than simply replace a handful of machines.

The new line-up includes a TE electric and two HPX 4x4 Gator utility vehicles plus a Pro Gator with an HD200 amenity sprayer; a 260SL walk-behind greens mower plus trailer; two 2500E hybrid electric greens mowers with groomers; 7200 tees & surrounds and 7700 fairway PrecisionCut mowers; a 1600T Series II wide area rotary mower, and much more.

The 15-year old, 18-hole course boasts some of the largest tees in the region, in addition to large, undulating greens.

“Overall it was a case of wanting to invest in new technology that was best for the course,” said Trotter. “We have a lot of pretty wispy rough, which grows quite long, and previous machines just weren’t suitable.

“From tees to greens, including the driving range, we have approximately 15 hectares of grass to mow, plus about 35 hectares of rough.

“The John Deere 1600T was, therefore, a big factor in our choice, and proved on demo to be by far the best solution for us - it just blitzed the job. It provides a better quality of cut and plenty of power, which is certainly needed for the size of area it has to mow.

“The triplex ride-ons are used on the greens and tees, but the approaches are now mown by hand to give a better definition and quality of finish. There’s not been that much grass growth yet this year, but this has already improved the look and quality of all the approaches.

“Another important aspect of the deal is the dealer back-up and after-sales service, which is excellent. I’ve known the Tuckwell groundcare manager Martin Green since my Woburn days, and it’s very reassuring to know that the dealer and John Deere are there for us when we need them.”

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