Sitwell Park Golf Club in Rotherham has taken delivery of a Ventrac 4500 compact tractor and two attachments from Russell Group’s Groundcare Division. And the key reason for the purchase was its versatility, according to Course Manager Martin Hayward.
“It’s an incredible machine,” he said. “It’s so versatile, and it can do what other machines can’t do. We’ve purchased it with a Contour deck and a blower, which basically means we have two machines in one; three if you count the stump grinder attachment we have on loan from Russells.
“We’re a parkland course situated in a valley with some severe undulations, so maintaining some of the slopes are an issue. Previously we’ve used strimmers in these high maintenance areas, but with a small team it takes a lot of man-hours and anything we can do to reduce that drain on resource is good and the Ventrac does just that.”
Hayward, who joined the club last April, leads a team of four dedicated greenskeepers. He said: “When I came here I identified a problem with shade on some of the greens, the 5th having the biggest issue, so we’re currently working on a programme of extensive tree removal to allow more light and increase airflow into these areas. Glen Sawyer at Russell’s kindly loaned us the stump grinder attachment and it has certainly impressed the lads. The Ventrac is certified to work on slopes up to 30 degrees and this has enabled us to get into areas that were previously not maintained. This will certainly help with the presentation of the course and I’ve already had positive comments from some of the members.”
He added: “I’m very lucky here having a supportive committee who have agreed to a planned replacement programme for our equipment. When we were looking at the Ventrac, all of my team were part of the decision-making process. To a man, they were all impressed and then it was just about making a business case for the committee to agree. It wasn’t that difficult as they quickly saw the versatility of the machine and how, in the long-term, we can add attachments at a fraction of the cost of buying a dedicated machine.”