Wentworth Club and John Deere have agreed a new, exclusive partnership for the supply of golf course maintenance equipment to the world famous West, East and Edinburgh Championship Courses at Virginia Water in Surrey, from spring 2019.
The deal includes automated and autonomous vehicles and equipment.
Wentworth Club has been the host venue since 1984 for the PGA Championship tournament, which is regarded as the flagship event on the European Tour.
The 2019 BMW PGA Championship is being held on the West Course from September 19 to 22, with John Deere and its supplying dealer Farol Ltd providing additional technical and equipment support.
The new course maintenance fleet consists of over 140 machines including mowers for tees, surrounds and approaches, fairways, greens and rough, as well as compact and utility tractors, Gator utility vehicles and the latest state of the art GPS PrecisionSprayers.
Kenny Mackay, Wentworth director of golf and greenkeeping, says: “We are delighted to welcome the John Deere company to Wentworth as our exclusive partner in the supply of greenkeeping and grounds machinery through its regional dealer Farol.
“This agreement represents a significant investment to ensure our fleet is always at the leading edge of technology and innovation.”
John Deere has been a leader in GPS technology in the agricultural industry for many years and is now developing systems specifically for golf course maintenance use, with Wentworth Club being an early adopter.
The new “advanced technology sprayer” delivers “great environmental benefits by applying inputs far more accurately and only to predetermined target areas”, says the company.
This significantly reduces overall chemical usage and can potentially cut spray costs by up to 15 per cent.
Using AutoTrac, the sprayer steers itself automatically to an accuracy of 2.5 cm using “real-time kinetic” satellite guidance.
It also features individual nozzle control and Wireless Data Transfer, which enables spray records and application maps to be sent from the machine to the John Deere Operations Centre website or mobile app, where they can be remotely accessed at any time.
The new machinery fleet has been purchased on a planned replacement cycle in line with Wentworth Club policy, using a John Deere Financial operating lease specifically tailored to reduce the lifelong cost of ownership.
Carlos Aragones, John Deere’s turf and golf sales and marketing manager for Europe, CIS, North Africa and the Near and Middle East, says: “The world of course management and greenkeeping is changing fast and John Deere is at the forefront of these developments.
“John Deere equipment helps to maintain many of the world’s greatest golf courses, and we are honoured to now include Wentworth Club in that prestigious company.
“We look forward to building a long and productive partnership with the Wentworth team, and to the Club becoming one of our leading strategic partners in the golf industry across Europe and beyond.”