Ventrac for Burnham Beeches: Burnham Beeches Golf Club, located in the Thames Valley in south Buckinghamshire, 25 miles west of London, is the latest club to take a package of Ventrac equipment.
Delivered by local dealer, RT Machinery Ltd, the package includes a Ventrac 4520 all-terrain compact tractor unit together with a selection of attachments including an articulating Contour deck, a Tough Cut deck, a Triple Cylinder unit and a Trencher.
Lee Bishop is the Course Manager and is now in his 24th year at the club. He began his career at the nearby Harry Colt-designed Stoke Park Golf Club in 1992, before moving to Burnham Beeches as an assistant greenkeeper back in 1999 and then making the amazing leap straight into his current position in 2006. He leads a team of seven greenkeeping staff, which will be expanding later this year with the addition of a further experienced greenkeeper, an apprentice and two summer staff.
“We are an established parkland course, now over 130-years old, and situated mainly on clay,” he said. “Therefore, we have a requirement to manage the trees and woodland margins that line the fairways and frame the greens. We can be wet after heavy rainfall.
“I first saw the Ventrac on social media and then I was invited by a very good friend of mine, Stuart Langhorn, the Course Director at Beaconsfield Golf Club to see the machine that he had bought. I was extremely impressed and contacted our local dealer, RT Machinery to arrange a demonstration. The management team were so impressed and we purchased the package within a couple of weeks of the demonstration!
“The Tough Cut deck is superb for managing our woodland margins; it takes down brambles and young saplings with ease and this helps to keep up the pace of play, making it easier for our golfers to find their balls after a wayward shot.
“The Contour deck is articulated at both ends and that makes it ideal for bunker surrounds and tee banks but it has been a godsend during the winter months as we have been using it on our fairways when it is too wet to cut with our fairway mowers. We can get out when it’s wet and put some definition down; the members have noticed and we’ve had many favourable comments. The Triple Cylinder unit will be used for the perimeter fairway cut and this has enabled us to remove a dedicated machine from our fleet.
“The Trencher has been outstanding this winter. As I said earlier we can be wet after heavy rain, but the trencher enables us to get out and drain the wetter areas when we want. We are not reliant on contractors, we can do it in-house and in a timely fashion. I would recommend not severing power cables, though; National Grid are not too happy when that happens!
“Finally, a shout-out for Price Turfcare, RT Machinery and Tom Stidder. Price Turfcare, the importer, have been so reactive and professional to work with; RT Machinery are renowned for the way they treat customers and we can certainly support that and Tom Stidder, who did the installation training, was extremely thorough and knowledgeable. That’s formidable support, all round.”
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