Singing Hills Golf Course Invests in Baroness 

One of the great attractions at the Singing Hills Golf Course in Sussex is that you can take your pick from three loops of nine holes. Play just nine when time is tight or choose two nines from the Lake, Valley or River courses.

For the greenkeeping team, that sets some significant challenges at the start of each day as they work to stay ahead of play. It requires dedication – but from a practical point of view it also means investing in sufficient grass cutting machinery so that the crew can spread their time over what are effectively three courses.

Course Manager for the past six years, Mark Lunday also puts great faith in having the right machines for the job and is in no doubt that Baroness is the brand that delivers what he wants in terms of quality of finish in particular. Singing Hills has invested in two LM551 five-unit fairway mowers and a pair of three-unit LM 331 surrounds mowers for the collars, approaches and tees.

“Baroness machines really are a fantastic piece of equipment,” he enthuses. “ The best I have ever used in more than 30 years in the industry. They are a delight the way they stay on cut once you have them set up, and the quality of the finish is superb.”

“We had our previous brand for 15 years but the machines never gave us the same quality of cut. We looked at three brands this time and Baroness came out as the best all round – less complicated, more robust, more refined and better quality. We went with them and and we have not been disappointed.”

He adds: “Our mechanic is happy because they are so good to maintain, and that’s because they are very straightforward where other brands build in far too much computer complexity. From an operator’s point of view, the Baronesses are very nice to operate – you have your rev counter, switches and not too much more to worry about. 

Mark is also full of praise for the after sales service that he gets from both Lister Wilder and Baroness. “Luke Collins (Baroness UK Area Sales Manager) comes in to see us and asks what we like and what we don’t like and then those issues get dealt with. They listen where others don’t bother, and they care about our opinions.”

The LM551 is available with 22 and 26-inch units along with optional accessories such as the groomers, which Mark particularly likes because the machines go out when dew is on the ground without leaving any clip.

The LM551’s mower units have an industry leading range of motion combined with unique tension support and down pressure features, allowing the machine to consistently and accurately follow the most undulating surfaces. They are equipped with Kubota V1505-CR-TE5 engines for solid reliability.

Meanwhile, the LM331 benefits from a simple design that allows it to to hug the contours and undulations around the bunkers and surrounds. Mower arms are equipped with unique mechanisms that absorb the bouncing of the machine and maintain consistent down pressure.

It’s a recipe that is working well at Singing Hills, a parkland course opened in 1992 in beautiful surroundings at the foot of the South Downs. Today, it has developed into one of the best courses in the area, with lush fairways, maturing trees, large greens and tees. It addition to its 27-holes, it has a fine clubhouse and 14-bay floodlit and covered driving range.

Mark and his team of eight have progressively updated the course over recent years, working in particular on upgrading the drainage and rebuilding tees and paths. Plans for this year include a large lake to further boost the irrigation.