Fairway mowers supplied by Ransomes Jacobsen dealer, Burrows GM of Leyland, are being used by Chris Whittle and his greenkeeping team at Royal Birkdale as preparations for The British Open gather pace.
Chris has been using the two-wheel drive version of the Jacobsen LF-3400 light fairway mower for the past few years and his current pair of machines will be supplemented by a further three from Ransomes Jacobsen’s tournament support fleet as the prestigious event in July gets ever closer.
“I’m absolutely delighted with the performance of these machines; they have performed boringly well,” he said. “They have been extremely reliable and the quality of cut is superb, wet or dry.”
The R&A have stipulated that the fairways will be cut in one direction only, once every day from tee to green, with all clippings boxed off. The five machines will drive in staggered formation down each fairway to achieve the required finish.
Royal Birkdale has seen many alterations over the past couple of years with only holes 7 and 12 remaining in their original configuration. Bunkers have been removed, refurbished or moved with eight new ones created to bring the total up to 123.
“I won’t be changing my maintenance regime, it will just become more intense in the final weeks leading up to The Open,” Chris added. “We’ll mow the greens at 3mm, twice in the morning and once again in the evening; tees and surrounds at 6mm daily; the fairways will be maintained at 9mm, with the semi-rough at 30mm.
“I have 10 permanent staff and I will supplement those with 12 experienced greenkeepers from local clubs. We’ll be working from 4am until 10pm and we’re really looking forward to it with increasing anticipation.”
Ransomes Jacobsen www.ransomesjacobsen.com