Now less than a year away from its official opening in July 2012, Trump International Golf Links Scotland has employed a comprehensive fleet of John Deere course maintenance equipment since the final shaping of the new course and growing in of the turf started in earnest last spring.
Already known as a world class golf course developer, business magnate Donald Trump has stated that this £750 million development along a spectacular stretch of dune coastline on the Menie estate, north ofAberdeen, has the potential to be the greatest course anywhere in the world.
Links superintendent John Bambury was initially employed by the Trump organisation to oversee the grow-in of the 7400-yard long 18-hole course, designed by respected architect Martin Hawtree. As he explains, a very high bar has been set in terms of the standards of the course’s design and construction: “The fairways have to be better than the best tee boxes, the tee boxes have to be better than the best greens, and the greens have to be better than anywhere else in the world.”
As a first step, following delivery of the turf, the course needed the right choice of turf maintenance equipment from the start of the growing in period. “The equipment had to be put in place very quickly, and John Deere did a very good job for us in this respect,” says John.
“After our first meeting, basically to discuss the list of equipment and specifications that we needed, we agreed the deal and the first group of machines was delivered within a week. We needed to work with a company who could supply new machines as and when required, as we didn’t want or need to put in a big fleet right from the start. It had to be a very methodical process, and the John Deere agreement has worked very well for us to date.
“We are hand cutting all the greens and tees, and box cutting all the fairways, so it’s a hell of an operation. The John Deere 2500B triplex mowers are excellent for following contours on the approaches and surrounds, and we have a mixed fleet of nine Gator utility vehicles – these have been used all over the course during the construction work, and have proved absolutely invaluable.”
The John Deere fleet includes a complete range of walk-behind and ride-on greens, tees & surrounds, fairways and roughs mowers, Gator utility vehicles, compact and utility tractors, pedestrian and tractor-mounted aerators plus a core collector, and turf sprayers.
The new John Deere dealer for the area, The Double A Trading Company, recently voted Professional Turfcare Dealer of the Year at the 2011 Industry Awards for land-based machinery dealers, is providing introductory training clinics and maintenance programmes as well as a full parts and service back-up for the course equipment.
“Martin Hawtree has come up with the perfect course design, using the natural topography, and it’s really a remarkable achievement,” says John Bambury. “It marries the contrasting elements of a rugged, beautiful landscape and pristine grass surfaces and makes them totally complementary, while maintaining the essential links experience.
“Ultimately this will be a four and a half to five hour golf experience like no other, which will be focused as much on the natural beauty of the dunes and coastline as on the golf. This is not just a project, it’s a very special golf course, and there’s no other in the world I’d rather be.”
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