One of the biggest challenges facing both the club and the 460 members at the 18 hole, West Wilts Golf Club near Warminster, Wiltshire, is the terrain. Situated on 105 acres of mainly chalk downs, the course ranges from around 100 metres above sea-level at it’s lowest point to over 200 metres at the peak. Established in 1891, West Wilts is a year-round course that maintains excellent playing conditions, even in the depths of winter - but it can get cold! Course Manager Neil Bungay has been at the club since 2000 and is part of a four-strong permanent green-keeping team, all with a long-service record.
“We’ve got a really great course here,” commented Neil, “but it certainly has its challenges. It’s probably the driest course around in the winter because we have good drainage and therefore we get lots of visitors. We’ve just invested in three pieces of essential machinery to help us to maintain the quality of the course, they are all John Deere’s and we are really happy with our choice.” West Wilts took delivery of a new John Deere 6x4 Gator, which replaces an older model that has been with them since 2001, they also specified a new John Deere 2500B riding greens mower and the latest John Deere 8800A riding trims surround mower.
“We’ve been John Deere for many years,” said Neil, “mainly because of the quality of the finish they produce, but also because of their reliability and the excellent dealer back-up we get from Tallis Amos Group. The Gator has no other equal and the last one gave us seventeen years of excellent service and has been a really good investment - so why change from a good thing? The riding greens mower (2500B) is the best you can get, and always gives us an excellent finish - which is very much to do with the pride we take in preparing our golf course. Then there’s the new 8800A! `We’ve tried every other brand on the market and nothing compares with this excellent trims surround mower.
With our undulations and steep terrain, we needed a machine that would cope with the many contours that populate our course and this one does it superbly every time. It follows the undulations, maintaining a perfect cut without any scalping - for us, it is the perfect choice.” Neil and his team of professionals often give feedback from the their experience of their machines on any little way that John Deere can make improvements to their equipment, sending their comments through their local dealer, TAG, back to John Deere in the USA. “We have a great relationship with Bob Culverhouse at TAG because they really take care of us,” added Neil, “John Deere equipment really helps us to prepare our greens to the highest standards. We get emails direct from John Deere in the USA, thanking us for our input, and that gives us the feeling that we too are being appreciated for our efforts.” he concluded