Thonock Park chooses Ventrac

Alistair
By Alistair March 10, 2022 09:07

Thonock Park, situated in the heart of the Lincolnshire countryside, is the home of two stunning 18-hole courses and the PING Academy, a multi-purpose coaching studio. It is the latest club to appreciate the benefits of Ventrac, purchasing a 4500 all-terrain compact tractor with a Contour deck and Turbine blower from Rotherham-based dealer, Russells.

Rob Acheson is the course manager and has been in the post for the past two years. He began his career at Hillsborough Golf Club, then spent 10 years at Wortley Golf Club followed by five years at Worksop before being appointed to his current role. He manages a team of 10 greenkeeping staff.

Commenting on the purchase of the Ventrac package he said, “We wanted a machine that was versatile and value-for-money; a machine that could be used for multiple tasks and, if possible, operate in wet conditions.

“We contacted Russells and they suggested we have a look at the Ventrac. They came over for the demo on a very wet day, when even our fairway mower was struggling; in fact, it was stuck out on one of the courses! It was unbelievable, it worked brilliantly without causing any damage to the turf, and everyone was impressed. We placed the order shortly after the demo and it arrived a few weeks later.

“The Contour deck has a dual use; we maintain the semi-rough and around the bunker edges. It leaves a fantastic finish and the float of the outer cutting sections of the deck means we can get close to bunker edges without damaging the turf.

“The Turbine blower is a great piece of kit for clearing the autumnal fall on the Park course and for a small blower it easily rivals our tractor-mounted blower. It’s manoeuvrability and light weight allows it to get closer to the treeline providing more effective clearance.

“We recently hired in the Trencher attachment from Russells to create drainage bands on the fairway of the fourth hole on the Parks and it proved to be a really great asset. So much so, that we have now placed an order to buy one.”

General manager Ben Hatch added, “From a management perspective the Ventrac’s ability to operate on steep slopes up to 30 degrees and in seriously wet conditions, ensures that we can continue to maintain areas of the course in adverse weather and, most importantly, it allows the team to operate safely; a serious consideration when working on steep undulating terrain. Sometimes it’s the only machine we can get out of the shed during very wet weather.

“Overall, it ticks all of the boxes from a health and safety perspective and its versatility makes it excellent value for money. Rather than buying a dedicated mower to perform a single task, we have effectively purchased three machines for the price of one competitor machine. Financially, the numbers really stack up. It’s a great addition to our fleet.”

After being played on for over 90 years, the Thonock Park course was revamped in 1985 by former Ryder cup player, Brian Waites. At 6,223 yards (par 70), it is not the longest of courses but, with its tree-lined fairways, true greens and stunning views of the Lincolnshire countryside, it offers a great day’s golf for members and visitors alike.

Aptly named after Karsten Solheim, the founder of PING, the Karsten Lakes course was opened in 1997, after being crafted by legendary English golfer, Neil Coles. At 6,900 yards (par 72) from the back tees, it offers a very different challenge to the Thonock Park course, with strategically placed bunkers and prominent lakes and water features on many holes providing a great test for all abilities.

Alistair
By Alistair March 10, 2022 09:07

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