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golf green and tractor
golf green and tractor

Funding keeps Highland greens in shape

The Bonar Bridge Ardgay Golf Club was established in 1904 and is the only golf course in the area for 15 miles. It is a nine-hole course set in heath and moorland and is considered by some to be one of the most beautiful courses in the Scottish Highlands. The Club has over 100 members who generally play between April and September.  

Maintaining the golf course to a high standard is important to retaining members and attracting visitors to the course, and this requires a range of equipment designed for different areas of the course. The Club did not have a cutter designed for rough grasses and ground. They used a piece of machinery, the ‘super 500’, for rough cutting, which it is not designed for. This was causing unnecessary wear and tear, which was likely to shorten this piece of kit's life span if the situation continued. The Club decided to seek funding to purchase a tractor mower which is much more appropriate to the type of work. The full-time Groundsman researched various models and obtained quotes for both new and second-hand rough cutters before selecting a used ‘John Deere’ tractor.  

“The purchase of the rough cut mower has made a great difference to the groundsman for she has been able to keep the grass rough in much better condition than was possible with the Super 500. The grassy rough on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 8th used to be thick and clumpy and balls landing in it were often lost or unplayable. On the 1st the rough lies directly ahead of the men's tee and often provided a particularly discouraging start to a round.


Many of the competitors at Open Competitions and returning visitors have remarked on the improvement. Two members who live in Inverness, 50 miles away, told me they had joined because they find the course a pleasure to play on. The Club is committed to keeping the course in as good a condition as is possible and the use of the Rough Cutter is important in maintaining this. Now that the snow is clearing we are looking forward to the start of the season in April with a well-kept course.” 


Barbara Watson, Club Council Member

The new mower will reduce wear and tear on the ‘super 500’ mower, reducing maintenance costs and an instant improvement with areas of the course being brought under control that had not previously been possible. Having a full range of grass management machinery will enable the Club to maintain the golf course to a much higher standard, helping to maintain membership levels and attract visitors from outwith the area.   

Funding came from the RWE Rosehall Wind Farm Community Fund, which supports a broad range of community activity and development of benefit to residents within Ardgay & District; Creich; and Lairg, within the County of Sutherland. Grants are available to constituted not-for-profit groups or organisations working to benefit these communities.