During my time in Ireland I’ve tried to observe and understand the things that are done similarly and differently to what I’ve seen and done in the States. The maintenance of the equipment seems very similar to what I’ve experienced back home.
Like most courses, the mechanics are a vital part of the Adare Greenkeeping Team. Jonathan "Jonny" Coleman is the head mechanic and has been a mechanic for 20 years. Tom Normoyle started in 2003, and Maurice Hennessy began in January of 2022. Tyler McNamara started in September of 2021 for a school work experience (internship).
When it comes to reel mower maintenance, the mechanics check the quality of the cut of each reel mower before they go out onto the course. Typically greens and approach mowers get sharpened every two weeks. The fairway and rough mowers are sharpened as needed. Adare uses the Anglemaster 4000 and the Express Dual 4000DX from Bernhard & Co. The mechanics have 43 units and around 91 reels to sharpen. The Bernhard grinders are in constant use every day.
The reel mowers that make up our fleet include ten Toro Flex 2120s, six Toro Flex 1021s, seven Toro Greensmaster 1600s, six Toro Reelmaster 5410s, two Toro Reelmaster 5510s, nine Toro Reelmaster 3100 Sidewinders, and three Toro Triflex 3400s. This is just the reel mowers in the shed, not including buggies (aka utility vehicles,) rotary mowers, and heavy equipment. Overall there are 300 pieces of equipment shared between the golf, grounds, and gardens teams.
For the mechanics to keep an organized system, the floor is taped and each piece of equipment is numbered. Each morning if an employee wants to use any equipment with an engine, they must first perform a check on it. This check includes making sure there is oil and fuel in the machine. After checking, the employee signs out the equipment on a Google doc. There is also a Google doc for an employee to report any problem that arises. This system allows Jonny to keep track of what equipment is being used.
So you see, the maintenance of the equipment at Adare Manor is very similar to what good courses practice in the U.S. I enjoyed learning more about this vital part of the operation here during my visits with the workshop staff.