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Burnley firm in deal for greens and fairways maintenance at the Open
TOP players including Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will have a Burnley firm to thank as they tackle the greens and fairways at one of the golfing world’s biggest tournaments.
Balmers Garden Machinery, in Trafalgar Street, Burnley, and John Deere are the official suppliers of course maintenance equipment for the 2012 Open Championship at Royal Lytham.
The two firms will be supplying more than £500,000 worth of machinery, including mowers, tractors and Gator utility vehicles plus two technicians and other staff free of charge for the final preparations before the tournament starts on July 15.
Head greenkeeper Paul Smith, who is in charge of an army of 100 staff, believes he would not be able to carry out a fraction of what he has planned without this level of assistance.
He said: “The support of John Deere and Balmers is key. For the first time, we will be mowing fairways in one direction and we will require six fairway mowers to do this.
“Without the additional machines brought in by John Deere we would not have the time each morning to meet the R&A’s minimum maintenance guideline requirements.
“Having machinery you can rely on can be the difference between everything going smoothly or not.
"Without them, and the key support they provide, it wouldn’t all come together the way it does.”
Darren Barker, golf salesman at Balmers, is assisting at his second Open Championship after helping out in 2001. Two other workers will be on hand to help maintain the equipment.
He said: “As a dealership, we love being involved in The Open. It is great to feel a part of the team and it was a really good experience last time, especially when there was praise for the quality of the greens.”
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