Natural surroundings, teeming with wildlife and less than an hour’s drive from Paris, maintaining the picturesque course at Golf de l’Isle Adam is a dream come true for Leslie Pillier...
Nestled on an idyllic, wooded hillside just 45 minutes from the capital is the Golf de l’Isle Adam club. One of the most beautiful courses in the Ile de France region, it is where Parisians go to escape the city and immerse themselves in nature. Someone who gets to do this every day is Head Grevenkeeper Leslie Pillier, who describes his relationship with the course as one of ‘love at first sight’.
Head Greenkeeper, Golf de l’Isle Adam
“I fell in love with the course even before I came here to work. I visited it once and thought it was beautiful. So when the job came up, I just had to have it!”
It’s easy to see why Leslie lost his heart to the Golf de l’Isle club. Ideally located in the midst of the wooded Oise Valley and part of a 200-hectare estate – including a clubhouse located within a restored 18th century farmhouse – it is a nature-lover’s paradise. There are frequent encounters with wildlife for lucky golfers ‘recharging’ their batteries in the countryside as they make their way around the 6,188 m par 72 course.
“For me, what’s amazing is all the nature we’ve got here. I’ve just seen three deer – and we’ve got tortoises, hares, rabbits, herons, lots of wildlife… It’s just amazing.”
Leslie and his team strive to follow the philosophy that originally guided world-renowned architect Ronald Fream when he designed the Golf de l’Isle course, one that ‘must allow every player to set a goal that he can achieve and seduce both the beginner and the best players’. To ensure that the wide fairways, with their natural undulations and vast greens, keep offering players these challenges and rewards in equal measures, Leslie has recently put his faith in John Deere – a new and indispensable way of working.
“I’ve never bought John Deere before now, not the whole fleet. It’s the first time and I do not regret it at all – it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
The course has gained a great reputation, because of the sheer variety of landscapes that players encounter and the appealing design of its holes interspersed among forest and plateau – a magnificent synthesis between British and American trends. Achieving this kind of finish takes dedication, skill and a significant fleet that can be counted on 100 per cent.
“John Deere machines help us with what we’re doing, because they’re reliable and have a very good quality of cut. We’ve got some very good machines here now.”
Leslie’s desire to try all of the John Deere machines for size has been satisfied at the Golf de l’Isle course. And the ownership experience has been overwhelmingly positive, even down to the aftersales service from his local specialists. This partnership allows him to relax and concentrate on maintaining the expected high standards, safe in the knowledge that he can rely on his team and machines to ensure that ‘downtime’ is a thing of the past.
“Our relationship with the John Deere dealership is very good. We order the part we need, it’s normally delivered within 24 hours and the machine is ready to go again, no problem.”