Killarney dealer Seamus Weldon has offered John Deere’s exclusive support for the Irish Open being held at Ballybunnion Golf Club, Co Kerry from June 29 to July 2. This is the first time the Irish Open has been held at the 107 year old links course, and the first time one manufacturer has supplied all the course maintenance equipment for the event.
Head greenkeeper Dan Blake already runs a large fleet of John Deere equipment on Ballybunnion’s two 18 hole courses, including walk behind greens mowers, ride on greens and fairway mowers, tees & surrounds mowers, Gator utility vehicles, an Aercore aerator and a top of the range compact tractor with cab, all supplied and serviced by Seamus Weldon.
Dan also visited Deere’s Feedback’99 programme at the company’s world-wide headquarters in Moline, USA last year, where he was impressed by the new developments being shown to European greenkeepers for their appraisal. He and club secretary Jim McKenna were therefore delighted to accept John Deere’s offer of further equipment for the prestigious Open competition, which is expected to attract crowds of around 12,000 a day this summer.
Among the latest machines being supplied are two 3235A fairway mowers, one of which is equipped with Deere’s new FTC attachment, featuring a gear driven, contra-rotating grass tender conditioner. This enables the attachment to provide a better, cleaner finish by grooming, re-cutting and dispersing grass clippings more evenly, particularly in wet conditions, without leaving unsightly clumps of grass on the fairway.
“This is an ideal attachment for greenkeepers who need to cut a lot of grass early in the morning when there’s dew on the ground and conditions are generally damp,” says Graham Williams, John Deere’s commercial & consumer equipment division manager. “The gear driven unit is more suited than a conventional belt drive to the faster speeds and durability needed on fairways.”
Seamus Weldon will provide some of the other new machines from their own demonstration fleet, as well as a service engineer on permanent standby before and during the competition. He will join the extra greenkeeping staff being employed for the event, which will bring the club’s total course maintenance staff to 20.
Ballybunnion’s extended John Deere fleet will include further walk behind greens mowers, a Roberine 500 tees & surrounds mower, a large number of Gators including an electric model, and two F1145 front mowers equipped with the new 72in Lastec articulating triple rotary mower deck. This is designed to follow ground contours on even the most undulating golf course fairway, and provide a cleaner, more uniform finish.
Dan Blake says: “We’ve done very well with the John Deere machines we’ve had to date. You couldn’t get better tees and greens mowers, ride on or walk behind, and the new 3235A fairways mower is ideal… it’s fast and the quality of cut is second to none.”
With more and more John Deere machines out working on golf courses throughout the UK and Ireland, greenkeeping staff have greater experience of the equipment’s reliability, quality of build and performance – and, just as important, the commitment John Deere and its dealers have to provide the highest possible standards of after sales service.
Jim McKenna adds: “With John Deere machines, we are getting value for money. And if there’s ever a problem, Seamus Weldon’s prompt after sales service will mean that expensive downtime is kept to a minimum. We are all looking forward to a very successful Open Championship, and are grateful to John Deere and to Seamus Weldon for their support.”