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The Double A Trading Company, Cupar & Aberdeen
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Golf Course Service at the Double


The Paul Lawrie Golf Centre on the banks of the River Dee in Aberdeen features a 9-hole par 3 course, a 26-bay driving range and a six-green short game area.

The centre has benefited in recent years from a new John Deere course maintenance equipment package supplied by local dealer Double A Trading, complete with servicing and PowerGard protection. The fleet currently includes a 2500B greens mower, 8000E hybrid electric fairway mower, 8800 rough mower, Pro Gator utility vehicle with HD200 low-profile amenity turf sprayer and Dakota top dresser attachments, XUV 855D Gator utility vehicle and 4066R compact tractor with front loader.

Head greenkeeper John Merchant (pictured) heads a team of three alongside Ryan McKinnon and Shaun Ferguson. He was initially looking to replace just a couple of machines, and having worked at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club for 13 years before joining the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre, he knew the John Deere product range and dealer Double A well.

"The centre's older machines were starting to fall apart and our annual service costs were astronomical, it was really hurting the bottom line,"he says. "Initially I was only thinking of replacing a couple of tees and greens triplex mowers, then Ron Simpson of Double A recommended we consider a whole package with servicing and PowerGard included. This meant we could fix and budget for the whole life costs of the equipment, without putting a strain on the centre's finances.

"With just three staff we are always very busy, and we really have no time to be carrying out a lot of servicing and worrying about maintenance. PowerGard covers everything apart from the Gator all I have to do is check the machine hours, complete the service books and that triggers the service. For the winter service the machines generally go back to the dealer, while in season theyre fully serviced on site.

"It's hard to choose a favourite as they're all good machines, but the 8000E is the one that has brought about the biggest change compared with our previous kit," says John. "With its three-wheel manoeuvrability and smooth tyres, it just does a great job right across the course - it's more like a greens mower in operation.

"The Gator is used on the driving range, fitted with a front-mounted collector. It can manage up to 20,000 balls a day and it does a phenomenal number of hours, thousands a year. Use of the centre has really taken off since the whole place was extensively renovated and remarketed -people are often queueing up to use the driving range, he adds.

"There are three PGA professionals, Paul Lawrie's coach Andrew Lock being one of them, who provide coaching and instruction in the fully equipped private teaching bays. There's also a bespoke custom fitting bay, a well-equipped shop, a coffee shop and a physiotherapist and with the new John Deere equipment and dealer service package in place, the centre has really taken things to the next level."

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