Guernsey: For La Grande Mare Course Manager Rick Hamilton, relief grinding is what it’s all about when it comes to reel maintenance. So, when he had his pick of grinders, he opted for the Foley Company‘s Accu-Pro 633 with Accu-Touch 3 Control (ATC).
Hamilton first used a Foley grinder 30 years ago while working in Asia. In his role as a consultant over the ensuing three decades, he used grinding products of several manufacturers. However, he has remained impressed by the principles Foley has stuck to and how they have developed their machines to make them user-friendly and deliver consistent results.
“The main reason I stayed with Foley was to do with the principles of relief grinding. They have such excellent relief grinders. Although other manufacturers have good machines, they don’t relief grind at the same level and, for me, that’s what it is all about,” he said.
“Foley has always kept its principles and it’s something I believe is essential in maintaining a good quality reel and delivering and retaining the sharpest cut. You have to relief grind.
“Because it’s an important part of maintaining the reel, I wanted to make sure we could always grind when we needed to. That’s what made the ATC so important. We don’t have a full-time mechanic, and I want all my guys to get involved. I’m a fully qualified engineer and greenkeeper, so I’ve done a lot of the maintenance work since I’ve joined here and I’m teaching the team.
“Having machines like this that are automated means once they’ve all been trained up, everything is programmed in and is easy for them to step in and grind.
“You get the same finish and quality every time because the machine is programmed to do that. The inputs are all the same, and the results will be the same, and we want consistency.”
The ATC system provides a step-by-step tutorial for new technicians, while more experienced operators can use the system straight away to tell the machine what they’re working on. The machine then does the rest. Automatic placement features, the Accu-Reel Selector and Cylinder Height Stop, automatically locate the reel for a fast and easy spin and relief grind in one set-up and work with the pre-set relief angles to provide hands-free relief grinding.
To get Hamilton and his team set up on the machine, Ian Robson from Foley Company’s United Kingdom distributor, ProSportUK Ltd, went to Guernsey to install the grinder and provide training for Hamilton’s team. Following the session, the entire team could use the grinder, with the results showing on the course.
“Ian was amazing. The guy really knows his stuff, and the training was excellent,” Hamilton said. “My staff picked it up really quickly, and they were extremely impressed with the result. They actually enjoyed grinding and doing the job, which is particularly important. Some guys who aren’t so mechanically inclined tend to shy away, and one of my guys who isn’t so mechanically minded found it very straightforward and easy to operate.
“Now, they understand the machine, and they can see the result on the greens when they go out and see the mower cutting. Even to that point, when they came back in with the mower and re-checked the cut and reset all the settings, they couldn’t believe how good it was and how long the quality of the cut lasted.”
Foley is a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.