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Club Company’s fourth Ventrac 4500

Club Company’s fourth Ventrac 4500: 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.

Club Company's fourth Ventrac 4500

“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.”

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DJUKE Purchase Ventrac 4500

DJUKE Purchase Ventrac 4500: DJUKE, the specialist sports turf maintenance company, managed by former Queenwood course manager Cameron McMillan, has purchased a Ventrac 4500 compact tractor and a range of implements to bolster the company’s service portfolio to golf courses and other turf-related businesses. The new machinery package was delivered and installed by local dealer, RT Machinery, based at Nether Winchendon, Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire.

Cameron McMillan, who was at Queenwood for 15 years through the initial construction phase, grow-in and the opening in 2001 until 2015, is one of the McMillian dynasty that has managed many prestigious golf courses in the south of England.

DJUKE Purchase Ventrac 4500

“We purchased the Ventrac to broaden our service offering to our growing client base,” he said. “Since establishing the company in 2015 we have become known as aeration and drainage specialists through our DryJect, Graden and PC Drainage franchises. We are now enhancing our range of services to help customers maintain everything within the boundary of their property,

“Our initial purchase included Ventrac’s ToughCut deck, the Power Rake and a Power Brush. Woodland management is a time-intensive task for any on-site greenkeeping team. The ToughCut deck is excellent for managing these areas; it can cut through bracken, brambles and young saplings with ease and leaves a very acceptable finish.”

“The Power Rake is very impressive. We had a demonstration on a foul day and it renovated the surfaces of machinery pathways and golf car paths with ease. The Power Brush is typical of Ventrac’s attachments, easy to connect to the tractor and highly efficient in use. I can’t believe how compact, powerful and manoeuvrable the Ventrac is, whichever attachment is connected.

“Without doubt this addition to our fleet will enable us to improve the non-playing surfaces for our clients and provide business opportunities that were not previously open to us. I’m delighted with the machinery package and the superb service provided by Rupert Price and his team.”

Cameron McMillan has been in the fine turf industry for 36 years, beginning his career as a trainee at Sunningdale in 1982. He moved to Liphook as head greenkeeper at the tender age of 21, before getting involved with his first construction project at Pffafing Golplatz in Bavaria in 1990. In 1992 he joined Laleham Golf Club in Chertsey as course manager, moving to Stockley Park before taking the position at Queenwood in 2000.

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Lees Hall The Latest Golf Club To Purchase Ventrac 4500

Lees Hall In Sheffield Is The Latest Golf Club To Purchase A Ventrac 4500: Lees Hall Golf Club is the latest purchaser of a Ventrac 4500 compact tractor and attachments. Situated three miles south of Sheffield, it was designed by Alex Herd, the Open Champion of 1902, and opened in 1907 as a 9-hole course. It was remodelled to 18-holes in 1911 creating a 6,171 yard, par 71 parkland course with commanding views over the city.

Ian Whitehead is the Head Greenkeeper and heads a team of four dedicated greenkeepers. He has been in the job for 16 months, having previously been Course Manager at Hillsborough Golf Club for 23 years.

Lees Hall The Latest Golf Club To Purchase Ventrac 4500

 

“I’m really lucky to have a very supportive committee with the president and greens chairman putting their trust in me and providing the funds to help with my suggested improvement programme. It’s no secret that the course has been in decline for some years, but I see this as a challenge. We’ve implemented some immediate improvements and the members are making the right comments. We have upgraded various machines including a greens mower, tees mower and a greens iron.

“However, the purchase of the Ventrac 4500 from local dealer, Russells Groundcare, has been the real bonus. It’s a powerful, multi-purpose compact tractor on which you put many attachments. Glen Sawyer of Russells recommended it to me and I trust his judgement. We had a demonstration and it was a no-brainer; we had to have it. We had intensive operator training when it was delivered so everyone can get the maximum out of it.

“Like other recent purchasers of Ventrac, I was sceptical when I first saw the machine, it’s a bit quirky, but once you’ve sat on it you realise it’s a powerful and versatile tractor, very smooth to drive and the articulating Contour mower deck leaves a great finish. Its hill climbing is excellent and that’s a prime consideration here.

“We’re already looking at other attachments as we prepare our 2018 budget. There’s so much that this single machine can do with its selection of accessories which include a Tough Cut deck, Stump Grinder, Edger, Blower and more. I’m really excited about this machine and the challenge ahead; the perception of the club is already changing in the local area and membership is moving in the right direction. Good greenkeeping practices and the equipment to carry them out are essential. With the continued support of the club, we’ll get there.

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