The British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) recently presented Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club with its Best Newcomer Award 2004. And the Suffolk Golfing Union now rates the 18-hole Martello course – the fifth oldest in all of England – as one of the county’s best.
The elevated status the course now enjoys represents the achievement of a personal dream for club course manager John Houston, who came to Felixstowe Ferry two years‘ ago with the ambition of making the course one of Suffolk’s finest.
“It was a team effort,” says John, “and involved a lot of hard work from deputy course manager Glenn Rayfield and our team of five greenkeepers.”
John says his fleet of Toro turf maintenance equipment has also played an important part in improving the presentation of the course. He says: “In my 32 years as a greenkeeper, I‘ve always used Toro. They‘re the best, they‘re built to last.”
Last year John brought in two Toro Greensmaster 3250-D ride-on mowers and one of the firm’s Toro Bunker Rakes to add to his existing four Toro Greensmaster 1000 pedestrian greens mowers.
“The new 3250s are so reliable and with their new cutting system we have the flexibility to cut lower if we want. In the summer we keep it at 4.5mm, but during tournaments, like the Suffolk Seniors in 2004, we take it down to 4mm. The Bunker Rake is also a marvellous tool, it really breaks up the sand and goes good and deep.”
Next on John’s shopping list is a large Reelmaster 6700-D fairway mower. “It has floating heads, which are ideal for getting into the undulations on the course – and so much better than gang mowers. The priority is always presentation.”
Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club www.felixstowegolf.co.uk