Greens rolling `on the up` at Cinque Ports

By Tania April 12, 2019 10:03 Updated

When time ran out for Cinque Ports Golf Club’s longstanding greens’ roller, course manager James Bledge had to act fast.

Flying high in England’s top 100 courses, the Kentish links venue hosts an international tournament in spring and the clock was ticking to prepare pristine greens with minimal fuss.

With the old roller on its last legs, James set about combing the market for a replacement. “I was searching for the right machine for the task and when Lee Strutt [RAC Club course manager] tipped me off about the Salsco HP11-III, I viewed it at BTME and was so impressed I bought it straight off the CLS Selfdrive stand.”

Cinque Ports hosts the Halford Hewitt tournament at the end of April – “our biggest event and the world’s largest amateur golf competition with a field of 640. The Salsco greens roller saved us valuable time and trouble in preparing for it”.

Lying in undulating links land, the 18-hole championship course boasts 1.7 hectares of greens and “some insane slopes” presenting “particularly challenging conditions for underpowered machinery”, James notes.

“Our old greens’ roller vibrated a lot, dropped material and was slow. Rolling was a two-man job – one riding the machine, the other following up to switch the green and pick up debris.”

“The HP11-III completes the job in around three and a half hours, a full hour faster than our previous roller and requires only one man,” he says.

“Rear brushes keep rollers clean, breaking up debris to prevent it dropping on the surface in clumps. The previous machine was okay but could end up stuck at the bottom of a slope, especially on dewy mornings. The Salsco’s surface traction is unbelievable and the roller tackles inclines with ease.”

Rolling is key here,” James explains. “The traditional grasses in the greens demand heavy upkeep and we don’t want to cut too short. A mix of fescues, bents and Poa, with some refined ryes are very old school and tricky to maintain, so when we’re not cutting, we roll.”

Time savings mount up, he adds. “We’re rolling probably 70 times a year, so the Salsco saves us 70 hours and only one man is needed.”

James and his team of ten have taken the Salsco to their hearts. “The HP11-III is comfortable and smooth in operation. When you come to the end of a pass, you have a nice slow stop with no juddering. The powerful LED light on the roller lets us work later or earlier too.

“The distributor, CLS Selfdrive, stay in regular touch and stock a large range of Salsco parts so I’m more than happy with service level and reliability,” he says.

CLS sales executive Peter Stanley notes: “With all three rollers on the HP11-III independently powered, traction up slopes and banks is exceptional in wet or dry conditions. That’s clearly proved a major benefit for James and the team at Cinque Ports.”

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By Tania April 12, 2019 10:03 Updated

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