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Westerly Vaul GC gets Jacobsen LF 570 fairway mower

Tiny Vaul Golf Club, on the Isle of Tiree, has taken delivery of a Jacobsen LF 570 fairways mower from dealer Fairways GM at Inchinnan, Glasgow.

Tiree is the most westerly and windy of the islands of the Inner Hebrides but is also the sunniest– enjoying some of the highest levels of sunshine anywhere in the UK. The nine-hole club has a steady membership of 70, from an island population of around 650 and boosted by holiday visitors.

From the 4th tee, there are spectacular views towards the beach and the islands of Barra, Rum and Jura. The white sandy beach has spectacular contrasting turquoise waters, sufficiently shallow to allow you to walk 100 metres into the sea. Dolphins, seals and whales are regularly seen by fishing boats slightly further out.

Club Captain, John Graham said:

“The Jacobsen replaces the club’s tractor and towed mower which had reached end of life. Cutting just becomes quicker, more precise and much more enjoyable.

“We have two part-time greenkeepers, John MacCaskill and Neil Connor, both of whom do a fantastic job. John concentrates on the fairways, while Neil tends the greens.

“Already, John has been across a few choice spots and experimented with settings, but it’s not been warm enough for the grass to properly start growing.”

Vaul’s nine holes are predominantly flat with some undulations.

“We don’t have trees on Tiree, nor do we have any bunkers on the course,” continued John. “These are hazards from which the golfers – and the greenkeepers – are spared. Greens are also fenced off because the land is common grazing, so it’s usual to have animals on the fairways. However, here, the real golfing test, is to keep straight and not head into the ‘machair’ land.

“Machair is what we call the grassy plains on the island. Machair is pretty much unique to the Hebrides. Consider it as dune grassland; it’s unprepared, so not something we need cut. On the course it’s deemed in play; it’s like going into deep rough from off the fairway. The challenge is to keep off the machair as it’s particularly difficult to get out.

Fairways GM’s Area Sales Manager, Stuart Cameron, delivered the mower and gave the handover briefing which included, the two Johns, Neil and the club’s mechanic, Sandy Macintosh.

“We were delighted when Stuart arrived with our new machine,” continued John. “It was supposed to be a day trip for him but due to Calmac’s ongoing issues with its fleet, he had an overnight as the evening ferry didn’t sail.”

Stuart Cameron said: “It had been my third attempt to get to Vaul because of the weather, but staying a night was no hardship at all; I couldn’t have been happier.

“Without doubt it was one of the most welcoming and hospitable places I’ve ever been. I definitely didn’t get the famous sunshine, but the beaches and waters were indescribable. I’ve made it clear to everyone that if there are any machinery requests, I will come back instantly”.

Caption: (L-r) John Graham, club captain, Stuart Cameron Fairways GM, John MacCaskill, greenkeeper, and Neil Connor, greenkeeper.

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