Northumberland Golf Club has been named as an open regional qualifying course from 2013, and the Dennis FT510 walk behind cylinder mower is a vital component of the preparations. The course, which originates from 1898, is a mixture of parkland and heathland, and was designed by James Braid and HS Colt.
The most popular mower offered by Dennis, the FT is designed with interchangeable cassettes which give the option to fit 11 different heads including two sizes of scarifier, verticutters, brushes, spikers and slitters as well as five or nine blade cutter cassettes and can be swapped within 30 seconds. A pair of FT510s are used at Northumberland Golf Club to cut 40 tees twice a week on the 22 hole course.
The course layout includes four holes – known as the winter holes – in the centre of the adjacent Newcastle racecourse, which give increased flexibility for members, such as when tournaments are taking place. They also allow uninterrupted play in the winter months, protecting more vulnerable holes on the main course, hence their name.
Head Greenkeeper Gordon Proudlock says of the FT510’s renowned cassette design: “We can swap the cassettes to cut, brush or scarify, and it is a quick and easy process. Without compromising cut quality this versatility means that we don’t have the need for a number of different machines.”
Hand mowers are used on the tees to minimise scuffing on the turns, which Gordon says will be significant as the course is prepared for 2013. Full variable drive on the FT510 gives the operator total control and a three part steel geared differential roller makes for easy turning.
“We need to avoid any tyre marks or scuffing and using a walk behind mower such as the FT510 is the best way to ensure this,” he explains, adding that the finish offered by the FT510 has proved consistently good since the mowers were purchased three years ago.
Setting the cutting height in 0.5mm increments is effortless via a tool free click system and an adjustable comb assembly is fitted as standard to lift horizontals before cutting.
“When we use the various cassettes, it is very straight forward and accurate to reset the working height for the cutting cylinder with the click system” says Gordon. “The FTs are robust and reliable, and their build quality is excellent,” he says.
However, Gordon concludes that the outstanding feature of the mowers is their user-friendliness and exceptional ease of handling. “We have got on so well with the mowers over the past three years that this would make them our first choice when the time comes for replacement,” he comments. “I must also mention the after sales service which has been minimal but excellent. Greenlay Grass Machinery have always been very prompt and professional in responding and very helpful.”