For people who are interested in watching grass grow, as well as cutting and controlling it, there will be a first ever major exhibition of all the modern equipment in North Wales held at Conwy Golf Club in April.
The idea for the Ground Maintenance Machinery Exhibition came from Conwy head greenkeeper David Lewis after more than 200 people from around the country turned up for a smaller one-off event at the club.
The aim is to attract more than double that total of visitors thanks to free entry for the huge event on 21st and 22nd April, with five of the major exhibitors and 20-30 smaller exhibitors planning to attend to show off their wares.
The Wednesday and Thursday event is a first in Wales and only the third of its kind in the UK, the only one of those held at the start of the summer offering the chance to try out the equipment on the grass and surroundings of the large practice area at Conwy Golf Club.
The exhibition is aimed at golf club greenkeepers and managers, but also anyone involved in caring for large areas of ground such as caravan parks, large estates, forestry commission and local authorities.
The major exhibitors will be Toro, Major Owen, Ransomes, Campey Turf Care and Farmura Environmental, along with plenty of smaller exhibitors offering a wide range of goods from fertiliser to top dressing and timber decking.
“There is nothing like this in North Wales or the North West of England,” explained Lewis. “We held a smaller version with just Major Owen, the big distributor in North Wales, and we had around 200 head greenkeepers who came to that.
“We also had a lot of calls from other companies who were interested in coming along, which was not fair to allow at the time.
“That gave us the idea of trying to do something much bigger. We are aiming for around 500 visitors of people in the trade coming from all over North Wales, as well as Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and the Wirral.
“There is a massive indoor trade show in Harrogate in January and when we talked to some companies there, they thought it would be fantastic to have something outdoors so people can get on the machines and actually cut grass there and then.
“We will be able to do that on the practice ground and the space we have here around the golf course is one of the attractions. We have had a lot of interest so far and look forward to seeing the event start.”
The success of last year’s event is something the club are looking to build on. “Basing this on a golf course means that the equipment can be demonstrated on the practice green and the driving range, which makes us different to the other events,” explained Conwy’s chairman of greens David Williams.
“Major Owen showed off their range of equipment here last year and it seemed all the greenkeepers in North Wales came to it, partly because we are so well situated on the coast with easy access from the A55.
“Lots of people said Conwy is an ideal venue, so we thought we should run an event ourselves to take advantage of the excellent facilities that we have got here as well as the good location.
“Entrance is free to visitors so the exhibitors can invite their guests to the event being over a Wednesday and a Thursday.”
For more details on the event, go to www.conwygolfclub.com
Conwy head of greens David Williams and head greenkeeper David Lewis on the practice ground where the exhibition will be held.