Course Maintenance

GKB Machines teams up with BIGGA to provide educational support for golf greenkeepers

The British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association has welcomed GKB Machines as its latest Educational Supporter.
  GKB Machines was founded in 2015 and offers sustainable, reliable and robust maintenance machinery for natural, synthetic and hybrid turf. A part of the GKB Group, the family-owned company has a commitment to sustainability, which it backs up with the production of energy neutral machinery since the company began in 1946.
  During a difficult 2020 for everyone, continuing professional development became more important than ever and BIGGA hosted significant opportunities for education for the greenkeeping industry through various online formats, including the Continue to Learn Extra webinars, National Regional Conference and, most recently, the Continue to Learn education programme that took place as an entirely-online event across two weeks during January.
  These opportunities for BIGGA members to develop their professional skills and knowledge despite the ongoing coronavirus health crisis are made possible thanks to BIGGA’s Education Supporters and Partners.
  BIGGA Head of Business Development Lauren Frazer said: “The efforts of the GKB Machines team mirror many of the priorities that BIGGA and its members are striving towards, with an emphasis upon sustainability and more efficient working practices and an awareness that the only way to achieve these aims is through education and a proactive broadening of knowledge. Our two organisations share significant synergy in these and many other ambitions and I am delighted that we are able to welcome GKB Machines on board as our latest Education Supporters.”
  GKB Machines UK Sales Director and Operations Manager Tom Shinkins said: “It’s great to be able to support greenkeepers in this way and to give something back to the industry I came into as a 16-year-old apprentice.”
Head to the BIGGA website to find out more about GKB Machines and its commitment to sustainability and reliability.

New mower makes its mark at The Point

John Deere’s south-west England turf dealership Masons Kings sold the first 2750E hybrid electric triplex mower in the area to The Point at Polzeath resort in north Cornwall, with the golf course’s head greenkeeper Tom Collings calling it “... just the mower I wanted.”

The 18 hole golf course sits just above the Camel Estuary with stunning views out over Hayle Bay and Pentire Point, and was England Golf’s GolfMark ‘Club of the Year’ winner in 2017. The club was bought out of liquidation in 2012 by husband and wife team Jeremy Davies and his wife Eva, who have since made a significant investment in every aspect of the business.
This has included the course maintenance equipment fleet, to get the course back into better shape and improve standards across the board. As a result, the greens are now considered to be among the best in the county and the presentation of the course is first class. Most holes have seen significant changes, with improvements to the fairway definition, bunkers, tees and greens, and a new 160-yard par 3 7th hole being developed.
The club has steadily replaced its previous, ageing machinery fleet over the last five years and invested in new John Deere machines from the Masons Kings outlet at St Columb. In addition to the 2750E, a new pedestrian Aercore 800 aerator was delivered to the club following an end of year demonstration, “...just in time for Christmas!” says dealer sales consultant David Barnes.
Summer 2020 also saw the arrival of a 7700A PrecisionCut fairway mower, following two 220SL walk-behind greens mowers in 2019 and a 9009A TerrainCut rotary rough mower, 4066R compact tractor, ProGator utility vehicle and 8800A TerrainCut mower spread over the previous three years.

“We are continuously investing in John Deere’s latest golf equipment and precision technology as we aim to be the leading supplier of machinery and product support for golf courses across the south-west of England,” adds David Barnes. “The Point at Polzeath was the first club in our area to buy the new 2750E, and we are confident it will do a great job across the course for Tom and his team.”

Tom Collings came to The Point from nearby Trevose in 2009 and has seen the change of ownership breathe new life into what at that time had been a struggling business. “The owners believe if you’re not moving forward, you’re going backwards, so they’ve continued investing as far as possible, even during the pandemic,” he says.

“We bought the 8800A outright back in 2016 as part of the initial machinery investment, but since then we’ve taken all the mowing equipment on a five-year finance lease arrangement with John Deere Financial. We’ve continued to buy the tractors, utility vehicles and hand mowers, as these tend to last a lot longer if you look after them well, although it always depends on the owners’ preference each time.

“I also have a good relationship with David Barnes and parts manager Rob Blundell at Masons Kings,” adds Tom. “They have always been very helpful and accommodating, even before we started buying more John Deere equipment, and have helped me out many times by supplying parts for our older kit, for example – so in a way it’s been our turn to repay the favour with these latest purchases.

“I first saw the 2750E on social media after it was launched at BTME, and then John Deere invited me to visit Wentworth. Territory manager Nick Ashman talked about the changes the company had made to the mower and the benefits it could offer, so I was keen to have a look at it working on our course.

“Masons Kings arranged a demonstration here and after cutting the first green I was completely sold, I just found it a totally different experience to any previous mower. Given how it handled and coped so easily with the conditions around the course, the decision to buy one was a no-brainer – it was just the mower I wanted.”

For more details: Chris Meacock, John Deere Limited. Tel: 01949 860491