Langdon Hills Golf and Country Club has taken delivery of a wide selection of golf course maintenance equipment from Ernest Doe & Sons Ltd, the Ransomes Jacobsen dealer based at Ulting. The new equipment has been taken on a contract hire basis and is one of the first leasing contracts that Ernest Doe have undertaken with a golf course operator that includes a comprehensive maintenance support package.
Situated between the south Essex villages of Bulphan, Horndon-on-the-Hill and Westley Heights and with commanding views across rolling countryside to Canary Wharf, Langdon Hills is a 27-hole complex overseen by course manager Tony Dunstan and a team of eight greenkeeping staff.
Langdon Hills was originally owned by Greene King, the brewing company based at Bury St Edmunds, and was part of a four-course portfolio when they ventured into the golf sector in the 1990s.
Eddie Wright, a golfing enthusiast with the foresight and financial resource to rejuvenate the facilities at the 200-acre leisure complex, purchased Langdon Hills from Greene King 18 months ago.
In February 1999 the membership was 231. Today it stands at 820 with corporate membership closed. There is a strong junior section and a golf academy is held each weekend.
The new equipment, with a retail value of over £200,000, includes Ransomes pedestrian and Jacobsen ride-on greens mowers, Jacobsen tees, surrounds and fairway mowers and a Cushman Turf-Truckster with mounted top dresser.
Colin Phillips, managing director at Langdon Hills, speaking at the official handover said, “The facilities here at Langdon Hills include a 48-room hotel, club house, function and banqueting suite and the golf course. It’s our business philosophy to maintain all the facilities to the highest possible standards and that means having the best equipment with the best finance option available. Eddie Wright is making a huge investment here and phase two of the business plan is now in place to make Langdon Hills a first class leisure resort.
“With contract hire and the integral maintenance programme we have a known fixed cost for the next four years and that is excellent from an overall management viewpoint. We don’t expect to reap the full benefit of this leasing and maintenance plan until perhaps years three and four as the equipment ages and requires additional maintenance.
“We looked at two major machinery manufacturers when we prepared our initial machinery requirements and we extensively researched the dealers that represented them. We eventually selected Ransomes Jacobsen and Ernest Doe for their impeccable credentials of excellent product and, most importantly, first-class service and after-sales support, which is critical.”
Andy Turbin, general sales manager at Ernest Doe added, “Langdon Hills is one of the few golf courses that has had the foresight to take advantage of a contract hire arrangement with a comprehensive maintenance package. It’s proved to be a favoured option with local authorities and municipal contractors and it will be interesting to see the benefits it has in the golf sector. The appeal is the fixed cost aspect with the knowledge that if any machinery does fail, we’ll be there immediately to repair it or with a replacement on standby if we have to take it back to the depot.
“We are also involved in an extensive training programme with the greenkeeping team to ensure that they get the optimum value from the new equipment and to ensure that they are fully conversant with all the routine maintenance procedures.”
An environmental policy at Langdon Hills has resulted in 2,000 trees being planted on an annual basis and the addition of numerous lakes and ponds has made the course far more interesting as well as creating wildlife habitats.
Ransomes Jacobsen www.ransomesjacobsen.com
Langdon Hills www.golflangdon.co.uk