Terra Spike GXi8 HD helps Woolley Park advance aeration

Terra Spike GXi8 HD helps Woolley Park advance aeration: Playing ‘catch up’ is a necessary evil for many turf professionals. Whether juggling weather windows, staff availability or extended playing schedules, quite often something falls behind.

Happily for the team at Woolley Park Golf Club, Wakefield, the delivery of a new Terra Spike in November, and four months of constant hole punching, has them ahead of the curve with their advanced aeration programme.

Terra Spike GXi8 HD helps Woolley Park advance aeration

Terra Spike GXi8 HD helps Woolley Park advance aeration

The West Yorkshire club is a family run business which features a challenging 18-hole course, and a measured Par 3 course, in the spacious and peaceful setting of an old deer park. The site is beautifully landscaped and ringed by trees.

This season, John Rowbottom and his team of four greenkeepers and apprentice, retired their long-standing greens aerator and separate fairways machine selecting the Wiedenmann Terra Spike GXi8 HD to replace both.

John Rowbottom, head greenkeeper, said:

“Over the last 8 months aeration across both our courses was taking too long to complete. Being a 27-hole golf centre, we need speed on the greens. Previously to get around them all could take 3-4 days; and it was a job no one wanted.

“In seasons past, we tried a shallow aerator, which was quick, but didn’t give sufficient depth. Last year with Balmers GM, Wakefield, we looked at what was on the market, favouring the ’two birds with one stone’ option and happened upon the GXi8 HD, with its access all areas credentials.

“We knew it was fast and incredibly smooth and were excited for its great results and minimal disruption, so reducing the impact of maintenance work on our golfers.

“All in we have 22 hectares of fairways and 3 hectares of greens.  Since November, we have achieved an aeration pass on the greens in each of the four winter months, varying depths as we’ve gone. We’ve also covered the fairways twice. During the last week of November, we hired an additional GXi8 from our dealers, Balmers to take best advantage of a weather window: completing one full rotation. We’ve been out with Our Terra Spike pretty much every day since, and have now two full circuits across booth courses.

“Our whole ethos is investment into the golf course. Our greenkeeping team are resourced with the machines they need for task.  Through sheer volume of work we’ve got through ten sets of tines, but the upside is we’ve an exceptional volume of holes in the ground. We’ve literally hammered holes in every square inch of this place but we are better for it. It’s helped no end to get that little bit of extra depth.

“The Wiedenmann has revolutionised the way we aerate. If we set our minds to it, with an early start and a late finish we can get all 27 greens done in a day, rather than the three to four days it took previously.

“Covering fairways used to be a two-to-three-week job and if you got bad weather in and amongst then heaven help you!

“Now the job is much less frustrating and takes less than a week. The team feel they are making real progress rather than plodding at a slow speed.

“On the fairways ideally, we only want to work the soil up to 15 cm. Ninety-five per cent of our land is built upon coal measures sandstone so we are just hoping to prick through the top soil and then let the stone layer do its thing. We have the off fairway where we know we have a clay pocket. On those we’ve been able to drill down to full depth; getting as deep as we can to help mother nature.

“In our part of Yorkshire we’re the last golf course to shut for rain and the first one to reopen after it.

“Aeration really is essential. With wetter winters and golfers wanting to play longer into the season, the GXi8 just brought us straight back up to speed. Keeping the surface open and, keeping it free draining in combination with managing footfall really helps.  The Wiedenmann is a real eye opener and fantastic piece of equipment.”

Darren Barker, Sales Director, Balmers GM said:

Thank you to John, Philip & Jane Rowbottom and the team at Woolley Park Golf Club for their purchase and positive feedback. We knew this machine would work hard and be put through its paces. The Wiedenmann is all about speed, reliability and increasing aeration productivity.”

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