One roller doing twice the job
Paul Robinson is a Course Manager who likes to cut back on mowing in favour of rolling in the winter months, in order to produce the best playing surface at that time of year. The members at the beautiful Worplesdon Golf Club in Surrey would testify that this approach helps ensure a good playing surface for a heathland course committed to all-year-round golf.
Over recent years the club has required two rollers to undertake the job until Paul decided in 2020 to switch to a Salsco HP11-III. He visited John Lockyer at The Wisley Golf Club and discussed his experiences with the Salsco and tried out his machine. The verdict on both counts was positive, and when Paul committed to his first Salsco, he fully expected that another would have to follow. However, the boost in productivity it achieved was so impressive that the additional investment hasn’t been required.
The Salsco with its three-roller drive follows the undulations with ease, with no roller spin, which was always a concern with its competitorsCourse Manager Paul Robinson
“On a weekend with two staff, both would previously have needed to use the two rollers,” says Paul. “But the wider footprint of the Salsco and its speed means that one machine is efficient enough to roll all 18 greens. It also delivers a superior surface, so it really is a win-win situation.”
The Salsco played an important role in helping the green staff to achieve a high standard of presentation for two charity Pro-Ams, which included a field of established professional golfers, during 2020.
“Initially, I was concerned that the Salsco might be too heavy a footprint in the winter months, but so far that hasn’t been the case,” says Paul. “If the ground conditions are not suitable, common sense must prevail and rolling would not be attempted. The brushing system on the units works extremely well. My one piece of advice would be to ensure that you keep the chains and belts at the correct tension for the Salsco to work to its optimum and achieve a sharp, clean finish.”
If traction was going to be a problem it would, he says, be evident on Worplesdon’s 8th and 17th MacKenzie greens, which have some challenging contours and are amongst the steepest in the south of England. “The Salsco with its three-roller drive follows the undulations with ease, with no roller spin, which was always a concern with its competitors,” says Paul.
The news that Lister Wilder was to become the sole importer and supplier for Salsco greens rollers from January 2021 was welcomed by Paul who has also sourced four Baroness LM56 greens mowers, three Baroness LM66 tees mowers and a Grillo out-front mower from the company’s depot near Guildford. “The Salsco has a Honda engine, which I regard as pretty bulletproof, but it’s good to know that we have a reliable source of spares from a dealer we know and trust,” he says.
Worplesdon is a course that remains much as it was originally laid out by J F Abercromby in 1908, with greens and bunkers constructed by the legendary Willie Park Junior. A major programme of bunker renovation has been undertaken over recent months to maintain their considerable contribution to a challenging round of golf.
Paul has now completed 26 years at the club, with the last ten as Course Manager and still enjoys the course as much as the first time he played it in 1982.