After a long period of travel restrictions caused by Covid-19, Ting Ting Lim, Golf and Turf Strategic Account Manager from the John Deere Singapore office, finally had the chance to travel to South Africa in December 2022 to visit some of the top golf courses in the country. Joining her were Christo De Koning and Heinrich Genis, both representing the John Deere Dealer Network.

Exploring the South African Golf and Turf Industry

The team recognises the importance of staying up-to-date with the latest developments in the golf and turf industry, particularly with regard to John Deere equipment and technology. As such, they decided to conduct an exploratory study of the industry by meeting with key stakeholders.

The primary objective of the visit was to learn about the latest trends, innovations, and best practices in the golf and turf industry, with the aim of incorporating these insights to drive better outcomes. They also sought to understand the industry’s challenges and opportunities and identify potential areas for collaboration and partnership.

Engaging with Key Stakeholders on Sustainability, Customer Experience, and Technological Advancements

The team explored some of the most prestigious golf courses in the greater Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town areas. These included Wingate Park Country Club, Blair Atholl Golf Club, Silver Lakes Golf Estate, Clovelly Golf Club, Westlake Golf Club, Mowbray Golf Club, Hazendal Golf Club, Stellenbosch Golf Club, and the Stellenbosch University Campus.

During the visit, the team engaged in discussions around key topics such as sustainability, customer experience, and technological advancements. They found the experience extremely valuable and believe that the insights gained will help serve customers better and drive positive change in the industry.

Feedback and Key Discussions for Future Growth 

The visit was met with a warm welcome from the greenkeepers and chief mechanics at each golf course. They provided feedback on the machines currently in use and shared their experiences with John Deere products. Overall, the feedback was positive, reflecting the quality and reliability of John Deere’s machines. A few minor product improvement scenarios were shared by the chief mechanics, which were well noted and will be shared with the factories for further investigation.

During the visit, concerns relating to stock shortages were also raised. However, it was noted and accepted that this was a global problem, and efforts were being made to address it.

Trip Highlights: Supporting Turfgrass Management Education at the African Turf Academy

One of the highlights of the visit was a trip to the African Turf Academy, the only internationally accredited and recognised turf grass management academy in Africa. John Deere and their Dealer Network have provided funding and sponsorship to the academy for the past two years, demonstrating their commitment to the training and development of turfgrass professionals in Africa.

Positive Outcomes for All: Strengthening Partnerships and Driving Innovation

The visit proved to be a positive outcome for all parties involved, and it will help grow and strengthen the relationship between John Deere, its dealers, and customers. The trip demonstrated that John Deere is committed to working closely with its partners to provide the best products and services to the golf and turf industry.

Conclusion: A Continued Commitment to Excellence in the Golf and Turf Industry

In conclusion, Ting Ting’s visit to South Africa in December 2022 was an exciting opportunity to experience the world of golf and turf in a new and different setting. It was also an opportunity to showcase the commitment John Deere has to the golf and turf industry and its partnership with its dealers and customers. The positive feedback received during the visit is a testament to the continued efforts of John Deere to provide the highest quality products and services to its customers. 

Overall, the visit was a key step in an ongoing effort to stay at the forefront of the golf and turf industry and to leverage our knowledge and expertise to create a better future for all stakeholders.

Source: John Deere