Precision cutting for greens

Arnold Phipps-Jones of Three Rivers Golf Club with one of his three John Deere 220E hybrid electric greens mowers.
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.
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,” says Arnold. “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 adds. The mower’s floating head design is particularly effective for close contour following in these conditions.
Arnold, 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. All six full-time greenkeepers, including Arnold, have to do six greens each; unfailingly, it’s ‘job done’ for each of them in less than two hours.
Bought from local Essex dealer P Tuckwell the 220Es have also proved very economical thanks to the electric drive on the cutting cylinders. The team of six full-time plus two part-time greenkeepers can cut 15 or 16 greens on a single tank of fuel.
Since he bought the proprietary club 11 years ago, it had been his practice to hand cut the greens. John Deere’s previous 220C models had done the job well for the last five, but it was time to upgrade and Tom also made his choice at BTME in Harrogate.
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