Edinburgh, Scotland: Gleneagles will hold a unique position in golfing history when the biggest event in women’s golf concludes this weekend, by becoming the first venue in Europe to have hosted both the Solheim Cup and the Ryder Cup.
As the Gleneagles and volunteer greenkeeping teams, led by Golf Courses Manager Craig Haldane, together with Director of Agronomy and Estates Scott Fenwick, were putting the finishing touches to the Jack Nicklaus-designed PGA Centenary Course, John Deere and local dealer Double A were equally busy behind the scenes.
The greenkeeping team at Gleneagles has risen to 100 people, with tournament standard conditioning also extending to the King’s Course, which hosted the Junior Solheim Cup, and the Queen’s Course, which remains open for member and VIP visitor play during the week.
John Deere is the official golf course and turf maintenance machinery event partner to Gleneagles for this 16th biennial edition of the Solheim Cup. The company has a long association with professional golf, having been a title sponsor on the PGA Tour, official supplier to the PGA Tour for over 25 years, official supplier to the Ladies European Tour and a partner at numerous Solheim Cup events.
In addition, John Deere is partnering Gleneagles by exclusively providing golf course maintenance machinery and ancillary equipment for use across all three courses.
“We are very grateful for the support from our local dealer Double A as we’ve been gearing up the John Deere fleet ahead of the tournament,” said Haldane.
“Typically we aim to maintain all three courses at a very high level all year round, but we’ve upped the ante for the Solheim Cup. Closing the course three weeks prior to the event allowed it to recover from any stress and provided additional time to prepare and introduce a higher frequency of cut. By fine-tuning our existing practices we’ve been able go up another level in terms of a quality cut and finish for the tournament.
“We’re also very fortunate to benefit from the extra resources and experience provided by the volunteer greenkeepers supporting our team. Eight of the 52 volunteers are women, who have joined our own Laura Campbell and BIGGA’s Head of Membership Services Tracey Maddison to help with the course preparations, so it’s fitting that we can showcase the equal role women play in our industry, especially during the Solheim Cup.”
Carlos Aragones, John Deere’s European Turf Sales & Marketing Manager, added: “The Solheim Cup is one of the biggest events on the 2019 sporting calendar and we are delighted to be a part of it. We are also proud of our collaboration with Gleneagles in helping to prepare the course for such a prestigious tournament.”
In 2019, John Deere and its dealers are supporting more than 10 major tournaments in the UK and Ireland, every month from the Betfred British Masters at Hillside Golf Club in May to the Solheim Cup and this month’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
This involves providing specialist support staff and more than 150 machines, including walk-behind and ride-on greens mowers, tees and surrounds, fairway and rough mowers, compact tractors and Gator utility vehicles.
“Traditionally we work closely with the individual club’s course managers and greenkeeping teams to help keep all the machines in the fleet serviced and ready for work each day, and ensure all cutting units can achieve the highest possible quality of cut,” said Chris Meacock, Turf Division Manager with John Deere Limited, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
“This partnership approach helps everyone to achieve the best possible results where they matter, out on the course, and keep things running as smoothly as possible throughout the event.”