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agria 9600 gives new & safer options for Kingsbarns Golf Links

Kingsbarns Golf Links has purchased a remote-controlled agria 9600 slope mower to prioritise health and safety in high and hard-to-reach places.

The ‘Worldwide Top 100 course’ with spectacular views of the Fife coastline, will again be one of the co-hosts for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship from October 1-8, 2023, together with the Old Course at St Andrews and Carnoustie Golf Links.

Course & Facilities Manager, Innes Knight, selected the hybrid 1200 mm wide machine from Scottish dealer, Fairways GM at Kinross and took delivery in May.

Opened in summer 2000 to huge acclaim, Kingsbarns is laid out on three plateaus with wide fairways and large greens. Its immense quality, rolling dunes and almost constant North Sea views have made it an international bucket-list destination.

"Kingsbarns, although manmade, mimics millions of years of erosion, with steep dune structures and has many areas with distinctive fescue edges. Several of the most dramatic slopes bring their own challenges," said Innes Knight.

"Crucially, for us, we have a very playable golf course with wide accepting fairways. Should you stray offline into the rough, we want where you land to be manageable as well."

"Some locations are both undulating and so large that strimming is not an option, especially as they need a weekly cut. The agria being remote controlled goes beyond the scope of the ride-on machinery. It comfortably reaches areas too steep and dangerous to attempt previously. We’re lucky to have an understanding owner of the golf course who wants us to be equipped with the tools to do everything safely."

Agria UK and Wiedenmann UK’s lead demonstrator, Andy Kerr, gave the Fife team full familiarisation and handover training at delivery.

"Andy’s session was first class; it’s early days, we’ve only been out a few times, so are still finding our way. Soon, I’m hoping one of the team will zip through the gears as quickly as he does and have the agria delivering the efficiencies we’re hoping for… we have a very busy golf course; golf begins at 07.00 am, so there is only a small window to get out in front."

Andy Kerr said: "Health & Safety is always prioritised; the agria operates via a remote-control pad with joystick, allowing the operator to stand up to 100 metres away, always in a safe position. It tackles slopes to 55° which means, steep inclines. Tilt and vibration sensors are built into the remote-control pad in case the operator accidentally trips or falls. When these sensors are triggered, the machine shuts down completely."

"I really like its electric brushless drive technology; the constant low voltage requires very little engine power to drive. The big advantage of this is that it allows maximum horsepower to be directed to the blades, giving excellent mulching of the grass, and leaving very little on the surface. Genuinely, it won’t take long for the Kingsbarns’ team to master the control pad and have the agria power through its work."

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