Course Maintenance

AMS customers praise robots for improved turf health 

AMS customers give their positive feedback about the results they have achieved since installing the robotic maintenance system.

  AMS Robotics are the UK distributors of Belrobotics robot technology; they offer automated turf maintenance and ball management solutions for large green spaces, such as golf driving ranges and sport facilities.

Golf clubs and sport pitches across the UK have immensely benefitted from the AMS’s robot technology. Clients both old and new have given their feedback on the significant differences and improvements it has made to their outfields and maintenance methods.

  First to give their input is one of AMS’s oldest customers, the China Fleet Country Club. Dean Bennett - the general manager - had this to say:

“China Fleet Country Club installed the range robots over 5 years ago. In this time we have seen significant improvements to the efficiency in ball replenishment and service as well as a reduction in man hours required to collect balls. We have also seen great improvements in the condition of the outfield as heavy machinery isn’t required any longer.”

The positive assessment of the robotic system highlights how successfully it has integrated into their workforce and is the reason it continues to work perfectly for them and their outfield. As one of AMS’s initial customers, China Fleet has been utilising the older Belrobotics Classic Line, which includes the robot ball collector BallPicker along with its sister the BigMow robotic mower. For ball washing and transportation back to the dispenser they are using AMS’s automated ball wash and return system.

Key benefits for golf facilities employing robot technology are better ball management, resulting in time and cost savings; improved turf health due to the robot’s lightweight design; minimising its impact on the outfield, thus eliminating the occurrence of soil compaction caused by traditional heavy ball collecting and mowing equipment.

  Steve Tebbutt, the director at Fernie Fields Football Club was second to comment on how robotic mowing has been working for them:

“We have been highly delighted with the system since its installation last August. Throughout the season it has performed beyond our expectations as a replacement for a traditional man and machine. The pitch is in much better condition and the support from Automated Managed Services has been absolutely brilliant.”

Fernie Fields were one of the first football pitches to take on the new Big Mow connected line as a mowing alternative, and because it has worked so well for them, they are planning on taking on another BigMow for their training pitch.  

  AMS’s mowing maintenance packages includes either the Belrobotics BigMow or ParcMow robotic mowers and is designed for large green spaces such as sport pitches. The robotic mowers are a lightweight, quiet, cost and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional ride-on mowers. They constantly mow and finely mulch clippings to promote healthy turf, leaving no green waste to collect or remove.

  Next to give their evaluation was Colin Jenkins from Grimsby Golf Club. They have had the system installed for several years.

“I am absolutely delighted with my automated range system. It allows my maintenance team to concentrate on the presentation of the range, rather than the messy expensive business of collecting range balls. The outfield is in much better condition than it was when we picked up using a traditional picker.”

The robots have been a great success for Grimbsy Golf Club and has allowed them to focus their efforts on other aspects of running the facility.

  In conclusion, it is clear that the feedback regarding the condition of the outfield considerably favours the robots over the traditional man and machine. This, coupled with the cost and time savings, means the AMS robotic system look set to continue to be the most efficient and sustainable choice for any forward-thinking modern facility.  

If you would like more information about AMS Robotics and their products, please contact:

01462 676222 or www.amsrobotics.co.uk.

Liphook Golf Club invests in Baroness

In 15 years as a mechanic and greenkeeper at the much acclaimed Liphook Golf Club, Neil Jones has been used to putting mowers back on-cut on a sometimes daily basis, and backlapping of the cylinders has been a steady routine. It was then a pleasant surprise for him to get to know a pair of Baroness LM2700 five-unit fairway mowers that the club acquired from Lister Wilder nearly two years ago.

“We check them every time they go out and you don’t need to keep setting them up,” says Neil. “Sometimes you don’t have to set them up for three weeks at a time. The backlapping is absolutely minimal -k maybe five or six times since we got them, whereas on our previous machines it was needed every week.”

It adds up to a lot less maintenance time and many more resulting working hours, which is a delight for Course Manager David Murdoch in his quest to continually raise the standards on a course that is already in the UK top 100. 

“We knew about the emerging reputation of the Baroness, so we included it in our demos when the time came for two new fairway mowers,” he says. “We also looked at two competitors, and the Baroness came out best. The guys all test the machines that we look at, and they were all happy with the Baroness.”

He adds: “It’s a machine that’s not all-singing and dancing with lots of bells and whistles. However, I simply want a mower that cuts really well and gives me the best possible presentation. We have had them for nearly two years and have never regretted the decision to buy them.”

On the maintenance front, Neil has been impressed that there are only a few grease points to worry about and that the other routine work is very straightforward and accessible. 

“The units are amazing,” he says. “We can all of us (a team of eight) set them up, and it really is very easy. They are big units and they float well on our fairways, which are quite undulating.”

Given the reduced maintenance needs, the Baroness is now widely recognised as the best option on the market for whole-life service costs as well as for sheer long life.

The LM2700 is an important tool in Liphook Golf Club’s box, as it puts in hand the extensive course remodelling with which it will celebrate its centenary in 2022. Two years of pre-planning and extensive environmental and ecological studies have already gone into a masterplan that includes two new holes, three greens and four tees. Phase one starts this year with the aim of having the work complete in 2021. 

This quality, heathland course was originally designed by Arthur Croome. Tom Simpson later made some revisions and what has emerged is a course that sits at number 66 in Golf Monthly UKs top 100 courses and comfortably at 45th in the Top 100 Golf Courses in England, who describe it as being ‘for the connoisseur, not for the dilettante’. 

The tight fairways are lined with an abundance of heather, gorse and trees, making accuracy essential for golfers. The greens are true and fast, with subtle breaks and borrows and are widely recognised as being among the best in southern England. 

David adds: “We want to maintain our standards throughout our centenary project while also raising the bar that bit higher. The long term aim of the changes is that the result looks like it has been here for ever.”

Dom Pedro Vilamoura, home of the Portugal Masters, invests in reliability with new Club Car fleet

Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Club, Vilamoura, host venue to the Portugal Masters since 2007, has invested in a new fleet of golf vehicles from Club Car, citing the brand’s reputation for reliability as the key factor for the busy resort.

Club Car, Official Supplier of The European Tour and a brand of Ingersoll Rand, supplied a new fleet of 60 Tempo golf cars to the Vilamoura venue, one of Portugal’s most popular golf destinations which features five championship golf courses and welcomes 60,000 players annually.

Pietro Dal Fabbro, CEO of Dom Pedro Golf, said: “Dom Pedro Vilamoura is one of the busiest golf destinations in the country, and our fleet has to be the most reliable on the market in order to meet that demand. 

“We make no compromises when it comes to quality and customer comfort at Dom Pedro, and Club Car is the brand that we can trust to deliver on that.”

The new fleet of golf cars, supplied and maintained by local dealers Golfejardim, comes from Club Car’s popular Tempo range – winner of Golf Digest’s Editor’s Choice Award for Best Electric Car for two consecutive years. 

Dom Pedro’s new fleet features rust-proof aluminium frames, alloy wheels, premium comfort seats and a spacious dashboard, as well as Club Car’s market-leading connectivity solution, Visage.

Kevin Hart, Director of Golf Sales EMEA at Club Car, said: “Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course hosts one of the most prestigious tournaments on the European Tour schedule and has welcomed many of the game’s greatest players. It is a true honour for one of the most established golfing venues in Portugal to put their faith in the quality of our vehicles.” 

Dom Pedro has long been recognised as Europe’s most complete golf offering, comprising five world-class championship golf courses, all within a 3km radius: Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course, Dom Pedro Old Course Golf Club, Dom Pedro Pinhal Golf Course, Dom Pedro Laguna Golf Course and Dom Pedro Millennium Golf Course. Each is set in the magnificent natural surroundings and exhibit at least five teeing options to challenge golfers of all abilities.