Mowing bomb craters in Holland


Mowing bomb craters in Holland
Sean Dudley

Specialist mowing equipment supplied by Ransomes Jacobsen is helping a Dutch golf club keep its fairways in top condition, despite the unique challenges presented by World War Two-era bomb craters across the property.

The nine-hole Domburgsche club is one of the Netherlands’ string of links courses, along with hallowed names such as Royal Hague and Kennemer. The course is located hard on the North Sea coast in the far south-west of the country, and, in 1944, was used by the German army as a defence structure to prevent the landing of Allied forces. The concrete bunkers and anti-aircraft guns located on the course were heavily bombed and the resulting bomb craters demand special tools for maintenance.

Head greenkeeper Arjen Bosschaart uses a Jacobsen SLF-1880 to maintain the fairways. The craters in the fairways were partly reinstated after the war, but Bosschaart says the specialist SLF, with its 18 inch cutting cylinders, is the only machine capable of handling the spectacular contours. 

 “We used to use a Jacobsen TriKing on the fairways and it proved to be a good and reliable machine, but the SLF-1880 with its narrow units and turf groomers has definitely made a huge improvement to the condition of our fairways. The severe undulations are perfectly followed and the small width and low weight makes turning in the roughs easy,” he said. “Also, because of the huge height elevations on the fairways the machine has been equipped with an additional safety structure. This prevents accidents as there are several situations where the machine cannot be seen by the golfers.”