The Club Company, which owns and operates 14 Country Clubs across the UK, has taken delivery of a further Ventrac 4500 compact tractor with Contour mowing deck and blower attachments. This latest combination has been delivered to Woodbury Park Hotel, Golf and Leisure near Exeter and brings the total of Ventrac machines within the group to four.
Chris Brook is the Group Courses Manager, with responsibility for all greenkeeping activities across the company. He is also the Course Manager at the company’s flagship property, Castle Royle Golf and Country Club near Reading.
“We already have three Ventracs across the group and they have performed exceptionally well,” he said. “They are brilliant in wet conditions as they only generate 6 psi and can get out onto the course when other equipment would seriously damage the surfaces. This Ventrac at Woodbury Park is our fourth within the group, the other three being at Nizels Golf and Country Club in Kent, The Club at Meyrick Park in Bournemouth and The Tytherington near Macclesfield.
“I was quite sceptical when the machine arrived for a demonstration at Castle Royle back in 2017, but was pleasantly surprised, and delighted, at the machine’s capabilities. Considering it is under 25 hp it is remarkably powerful and can go anywhere.”
The third machine in the group was delivered to The Tytherington in 2018, where the golf course was constructed using clay spoil from the building of the housing estate back in the 1960s. The underlying clay profile can be quite wet during the winter months and difficult to maintain.
Course Manager Gareth Tucker is in his second spell with the group. He was Deputy Course Manager in 2015 before taking up the post of Course Manager at Glossop; two years later he returned in his current role.
“This is an exceptional machine combination,” he said. “Unlike some parts of the country, we had a very wet summer and it has continued into the autumn. This has created some challenges for the greenkeeping team, but the Ventrac has got us out of jail on many occasions. With its minimal ground pressure it can go out in all weather. The Contour deck is used on the semi-rough and the quality of finish for Captain’s Day this year was exceptional; we can lift the height of cut and also use it on the rough.
“The Turbine Blower attachment is very good; some years we get a gradual leaf fall in autumn, but this year we’ve had a heavy fall in a short space of time. Add to this the wet conditions and the Ventrac has been brilliant. We can get onto the green surrounds, very close to the green edges, blow away the leaves without marking and keeping our members happy.”