Arnold Phipps-Jones is the course manager at Three Rivers Golf and Country Club in the village of Cold Norton. He bought three of John Deere’s new 220E hybrid electric mowers for the greens on the club’s Kings and Jubilee courses, having first seen them at the BTME show in Harrogate.
The Kings is a near 50-year old course with push-up soil greens, while the Jubilee was built just 12 years ago with sandy USGA specification greens. The idea was to switch to alternating between ride-on 2500A triplex mowers and hand mowing on all 36 greens.
"It’s the fast height of cut adjustment that really scores," said Phipps-Jones. "The fact that it’s a single fix that guarantees parallel alignment saves a lot of time and trouble, and removes uncertainty and human error altogether. A five-minute demo from the dealer was all we needed, and all the staff can do it very easily now.
"It takes accuracy to a whole new level and the mowers are unfailingly precise, even on the Jubilee’s undulating greens," he added.
Phipps-Jones, who is also BIGGA’s south east region board director, has a once a week greens cutting policy – it’s nearly always on a Friday, as he believes it’s important that the greens look their best at the weekend.
The 220E's were bought from local Essex dealer P Tuckwell.
At Colne Valley Golf Club, owner Tom Smith took delivery this spring of three new John Deere 220SL walk-behind greens mowers, also from Tuckwells. He is BIGGA south east chairman.
He said: "The C Series mowers had done a great job for us and the new SLs seemed like a continuation of the solid precision we had come to expect, but with important refinements to give us still more benefits. I’m confident that the accuracy and quality of cut of these new machines will see the greens look and play at their best.
"I like the challenge of setting up the whole course, but the greens are the icing on the cake," he adds. "Nothing makes you feel better as a greenkeeper than when a player compliments you on the state of your greens."