This decision was not taken lightly as the club holds the unique position of hosting Final Qualifying rounds for The Open Championship when held at Royal Liverpool, Royal Birkdale and Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club.
John Muir is Course Manager with forty years greenkeeping experience under his belt. He knows what he is talking about when it comes to course maintenance. “I was looking to up-grade our mowing equipment and felt that the self-propelled models available were almost over- developed for our purpose. With that came increased costs, maintenance requirements and demands on staff time.”
“There was a time, many years ago, when links greenkeepers used gang mowers as a matter of course. Things changed and they became less fashionable,” said John, “Although the performance of powered mowers is not in doubt, gang mowers have also come a long way since those days. I decided that they warranted another look, particularly in view of current economic constraints.”
John approached Clive Nottingham of Lloyds who listened to John’s concerns regarding height control and clip rates, width and blade requirements. Clive produced a set of Leda quintuple gang mowers with 9-blade cylinders providing a more than acceptable clip rate of 50.6 clips per metre and infinitely variable height adjustor.
“The Leda gangs have been used all season and if I’m honest they have performed beyond our expectations,” declared John “We raised the height of cut by 2mm compared with our previous mowers to accommodate the undulations over the wider working width, with no detrimental effect to the fairways and links.
Gang mowers have many advantages because they are very robust. They require far less maintenance and servicing. Most golf courses already own a tractor, which is the power source for the gangs. The tractor can also be used for other purposes when not mowing.
“I actually believe this set of gang mowers performs better than previous methods,” said John “But it’s not just about performance it’s the whole package. Overall we have got a much more economic deal without compromising on results.”
West Lancs GC www.westlancashiregolf.co.uk
Lloyds & Co Letchworth Ltd www.lloydsandco.com