Northern Ireland golf resort strikes major deal with John Deere

Lough Erne Golf Resort has taken delivery of an extensive range of new John Deere turf machines from dealer Johnston Gilpin & Co.

Lough Erne takes ownership of John Deere kit. Image: Supplied
Lough Erne takes ownership of John Deere kit. Image: Supplied

Lough Erne is just outside the town of Enniskillen in County Fermanagh and covers nearly 250ha. It is home to a five star hotel and two golf courses - the Faldo Championship and Castle Hume courses, with the Faldo chosen to host a future Irish Open Golf Championship.

Ownership of the resort has recently changed hands and is it now managed by a consortium from the USA, which has invested heavily in the venue.

One of the owners, Texan Mark Ward, is regularly on site helping manage the business and was present to welcome the new range of John Deere equipment this spring.

In the end six machines from the John Deere range were chosen because it is, according to Ward, reliable, efficient, and "the best equipment money can buy".

"We only want the best of everything, so when compared to other available options, it was quite an easy decision to choose the John Deere brand and the services of Johnston Gilpin," Ward added.

Sean Reilly has been the superintendent of the greenkeeping team for nine years. He worked closely with Ricky Neill, the grounds care machinery sales manager at Lisburn-based John Deere dealership Johnston Gilpin & Co, to determine exactly which machines were required.

Machinery purchased included a John Deere 5100M 100hp utility tractor, two 8800A TerrainCut five-gang rotary rough mowers, a 2030A ProGator utility vehicle equipped with a low-profile HD200 turf sprayer, a 1200A self-propelled bunker rake and a 2653B PrecisionCut triplex tees & surrounds mower.

Reilly said he is delighted with the new equipment. "We have been using John Deere rough mowers for a number of years and found them to be well suited to our terrain. The new 8800A models are very efficient and leave a good finish, as does the 2653B tees mower which is nice and compact yet extremely manoeuvrable.

"The tractor will be used with a top dresser most of the time, while the ProGator and sprayer will form a super partnership in applying liquid fertiliser and spraying for weed control."

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