The Vale Resort in south Wales has invested more than £400,000 in state-of-the-art golf course and greens equipment as the new golf season gets off with a swing.
The resort, home to two championship golf courses, has purchased 16 new high-tech John Deere cutters and mowers to enhance the condition of both the Wales National Golf Course and the Lake Golf Course. It is hoped the new equipment will give its 550-plus members and thousands of visitors, an even better golfing experience this year.
“This state-of-the-art machinery will undoubtedly improve the condition of both courses and make a difference to the way the game is played on them,” said John Borja, the resort’s head green-keeper.
“In order to keep the two courses in pristine condition, a variety of cutting machines are required to cut the grass in a specific manner each day in order to give it the best opportunity to grow. The cutting direction is alternated so the ground doesn’t become ‘stressed’, creating a striped effect which helps players differentiate between the precisely cut tees, fairways and rough.”
Set in 650 acres of Welsh countryside, both courses have a mixture of wooded areas, wide and narrow fairways, and water features. At 7,433 yards off the championship tees, the Wales national is one of the longest courses in the UK, with the slightly shorter Lake course at 6,436 yards.
Both courses are maintained by a team of 15 year-round staff, with additional seasonal staff required in the busier playing season of March to October. The varied landscape of the courses mean high standards are vital to ensure they can be fully enjoyed by players.
“The way the fairways and greens are cut have a knock-on impact on the playability of the course,” said Mr Borja.
“The preparation of the golf greens requires specialist cutting equipment to ensure they meet an exact height; we have set measurements for each aspect of the green down to the nearest millimetre. Having the best machinery is key to making sure our team can prepare the course to its full potential for guests and members.”
The Vale Resort team’s newest purchases include four 8700A fairway mowers, four 2500B ride-on greens mowers, four 220SL pedestrian greens mowers, and four TS Gator utility vehicles. They add to their fleet of four TXT8800 rough cutters, four 2653B banks mowers and another two 220SL pedestrian mowers.
“Our aim, every day, is to ensure our golf courses are presented to the highest standards possible,” added Mr Borja. “With the excellent support and after care provided by the John Deere network and its local dealer Frank Sutton Ltd, we look forward to doing so for many years to come.”