Ransomes Spider is helping to free up staff and making neat work of the ocean-side slopes on the fairways at Old Head Golf Links. It was designed specifically to mow steep banks.
The Spider was therefore a smart option for the 90ha diamond of land jutting out over two miles into the Atlantic Ocean on cliffs 90m high in some places.
Course superintendent Neil Deasy said productivity, playability and health and safety were the prime drivers behind the purchase of the four-wheeled, four-wheeled-drive mower.
"The second fairway is a typical example of what we have to contend with," he said. "Semi-rough areas to the sides of the fairway are 40 degrees plus in some places.
"This used to take two of the team a day and a half to trim with strimmers. With Spider it takes just one-and-a-half hours.
"By mowing regularly we can manage the grass, keeping it at 50mm, to ensure any wayward balls can be found more easily.
"From a health-and-safety standpoint and operator comfort perspective, the Spider is in a class of its own.
"The operator can stand on level ground above the machine, so that means no stress on hip and knee joints.
"She or he is not in contact with the mower so there are no vibration issues and because he can operate it from as much as 50 metres away there’s much reduced noise levels.
"We have reduced the time devoted to maintaining these areas from a week to a single day of man hours."
Local distributor Kevin Broderick delivered the kit, with optional lower height to reduce the cut to 50mm. It can tackle slopes up to 55 degrees and has four rotary blades with a cutting width of 1.23 m.