Waterville Golf Links, rated 34th out of the top 100 golf courses, has purchased the very latest riding greens mower, the Jacobsen Eclipse 322, from local Ransomes Jacobsen distributor Kevin Broderick Ltd.
The Eclipse 322 is a hybrid-powered riding greens triple, which uses a small diesel engine and continuous generator to run an electrical system that powers all the principal functions on the machine – traction drive motors, cutting reels, steering and reel lift and lower.
Mike Murphy, respected links superintendent at the course, which is situated on a stunning peninsular on the Ring of Kerry says: “Where do you start when talking about this mower? I suppose the main reason for purchasing the Eclipse is its lack of hydraulics. That means there’s absolutely zero chance of an hydraulic oil spill on the greens. But now that we’ve used it for some time, we’re seeing massive fuel savings; I’m using four litres of diesel to cut 18 greens, instead of 12 to 13 of petrol with our previous Toro triple.
“We specified our machine with solid front rollers and Jacobsen’s new 15-blade reels and they are providing a superb finish on our fescue-dominant greens. As far as I’m concerned the more blades the better when cutting fescues! I can dial in the mowing speed, transport speed and, best of all, the frequency of cut – the number of cuts per metre I want on all greens. Once set, these variables are locked in, so every green is cut to exactly the same specification; you just can’t do this with any other ride-on greens triple.
“We were consistently stimping 10 feet at 5mm height of cut during the summer and as we moved into autumn raised it to 6mm and got readings of 9 feet on the stimp. I’m very happy with that. If we can gradually increase height of cut and maintain ball speed, that’s very good for the turf.
“We used hand mowers exclusively on the greens until three years ago, but we now alternate this with ride-ons for productivity reasons. Our previous triples provided a very acceptable finish, but the Eclipse surpasses anything else. I would love to get a couple more for the tees and collars.”
Ransomes Jacobsen www.ransomesjacobsen.com