Established in 1928, Headfort Golf Club, in Kells, Co. Meath is one of the finest and most visually stunning 36 hole golf parkland complexes in the whole of Ireland. Rivalling the best clubs in the country, famous Irish golfer Christy O'Connor was commissioned to design its second 18 hole course which opened in 2000.
Head greenkeeper John Smyth and his 14 staff, who are responsible for keeping the course looking as pristine as possible, are ably assisted by a seven-strong fleet of Kubota machines.
"Six of the machines were bought in the last three years," said Mr Smyth. "We are moving towards an all-Kubota groundcare fleet because the machines are totally reliable, easy to use, and have the added bonus of being extremely price friendly," said Mr Smyth, a veteran of 12 years at the club.
All of the machines were supplied by Kubota tractor and groundcare equipment dealer Irish Grass Machinery, which recently moved into larger premises in Blanchardstown, Dublin.
The latest machine to join Headfort Golf Club's Kubota line-up is a 30hp B3030 diesel compact tractor which incorporates a wide range of features to provide the quality, power, comfort and performance to ensure that the toughest and most demanding jobs are tackled speedily and efficiently.
Kubota's new B30 Series has set new standards in compact tractor technology. Available with a choice of transmissions, a hydraulic independent PTO system and fully hydrostatic power steering, these groundbreaking tractors include first-in-class integral, factory fitted, air conditioned cabs as standard – for improved operator comfort and increased productivity in all conditions.
Another feature John Smyth likes is the mechanical cruise control which allows the operator to set, increase or decrease, and override pre-set speeds without resetting the cruise control lever.
The B3030 joins three other Kubota B Series compact tractors. Two are used for sanding and scarifying the greens, plus general work that includes hauling trailers loaded with tools and materials around the site. The third has a cutting deck underneath and is used solely for cutting the grass around the edges of the clubhouse and around trees.
A Kubota 59hp GL5740 mid-size tractor looks after the cutting of rough grass on the original 18 hole course, with its air conditioning providing comfortable working conditions for the driver in the hottest weather. It's also used for spraying the fairways and with the advantage of an independent PTO the driver can turn off the sprayer from inside the cab in just two seconds.
The GL 40 Series mid-range tractors are highly versatile, boasting high power-to-weight ratio and a choice of several variants to suit every application. Equipped with the latest Kubota E-TVCS low emission diesel engine, the L40 Series machines are amongst the cleanest on the market.
Completing the Kubota line-up at Headfort are two Recreational versions of the RTV900 four-wheel drive all-terrain utility vehicle. Designed and built on tractor technology, the RTV900 is an extremely rugged machine that has set a new standard in its class.
"They are great multi-purpose runabouts," said Mr Smyth. "They do everything you can think of from carrying sand and other materials, to fetching and carrying small pieces of equipment and tools. They are very popular machines which the guys always make a rush for at the start of each day.
"The after sales service provided by Michael Smyth - who is no relation - and his team at Irish Grass Machinery is first class and can't be faulted," said Mr Smyth. "They give the machines their annual service while our qualified mechanic looks after their day-to-day maintenance. This ensures they are always in optimum working order and ready to go every morning.”