Real-World Benefits at a Long-Standing Links Club in the UK

Sometimes we forget that Smithco is a global brand in golf and that we have equipment at some significant courses around the globe. In this month’s blog we look at the real-world benefits of a Spray Star 2000 at a prestigious links course in the UK.

Located on the eastern seaboard of the UK, Hunstanton Golf Club, with its superb championship links course, has recently purchased a Spray Star 2000. This is a club with a lot of history and since its founding in 1891, Hunstanton has hosted over 40 events of national standing including 12 British and English Ladies Amateur Championships, five Brabazon Trophies and three English Amateur Championships. 

In 1974 the course witnessed a feat of incalculable odds when amateur golfer Bob Taylor holed in one in the practice round of a regional competition. The following day, during the first round of the event, he again holed in one. Amazingly, he did it again the next day in the final round. If three holes in one on consecutive days wasn’t enough, they all occurred on the 191-yard, par 3, 16th hole!

Peter Read is the Superintendent and has been at the club for 36 years, the last 10 in his current role. He leads a team of just six, who manage the 6,741-yard, par 72 course, once described by three-time Ryder Cup captain and PGA Life member Bernard Gallacher as “a classic links course- a true championship test of golf.”

Sometimes we forget just how small the green keeping teams are in the UK and Europe and therefore they are more reliant on the use of technology.

The Spray Star 2000 was purchased in April 2022 and was delivered with a 6 metre spray boom and Smithco’s Star Command System which incorporates turn compensation, 25 cm nozzle spacing, virtual, on-screen nozzle control and DynaJet droplet control from TeeJet Technologies. The onboard Aeros 9040 controller provides precision guidance, application rate control, mapping and variable rate application.

Commenting on the Spray Star 2000, Peter Read said,

“This sprayer is a big leap forward and is really simple to operate. It might look complicated, but it’s extremely easy and intuitive. The guidance system is superb and you only spray the areas you want to.”

“What is really impressive is the spraying system and the control you have over the nozzles and application rates. Unlike other sprayers, it has the nozzles spaced at 25 cm intervals, whereas competitors are spaced at 500 cm; this helps control drift and increase accuracy.”

“You simply cannot overspray with this machine. It might sound complicated, but the pulse rate modulation system allows the droplet size exiting the nozzle to increase or decrease to maintain the desired application rate at any speed. You don’t have to understand it; it just works.”

“This is not the cheapest machine on the market, but you soon recoup any extra cost with the savings you make by not wasting any product you’re putting down. I’m saving around $725 every time I apply a wetting agent and that’s twice a month on greens and three times on fairways during the summer. I’ll probably save a further £2,500 on fungicide applications during the year.

“The spraying technology is just so good; you can be spraying an area, come across golfers, stop and return later and it picks up exactly where you left off. No wasted product and no overspray. It’s brilliant!”

The local Smithco dealer, Ernest Doe & Sons, has a great relationship with the facility and organized a refresher training day for their sales team. 

David Annis, our senior spray technician, flew in from Wayne, PA, accompanied by John Moore,  European Sales Manager, who together explained how to get the very best results from the Spray Star and ensure the ultimate control of the sprayed solution to the turf. Superintendent Peter Read, also attended the session.

At the end of the training, John Moore, reviewed the event saying,

“Our Spray Star range has numerous features far superior to competitors,  especially our 1 inch nozzle spacing and pulse width modulation, which provides infinite control of the droplet size and means we can maintain the correct application rate at any speed. 

“This refresher course for the Ernest Doe team was extremely beneficial and they certainly left the event with a greater understanding of the precision spraying systems available to the end-user and the savings that can result from using gps technology.”

Real-world takeaways of the Spray Star 2000

  • Simple to operate
  • Excellent GPS
  • Control over application rates
  • No overspray
  • No wasted product
  • Money saving
  • Build great relationships with customers
  • Utilise those relationships