At Ladbrook Park Golf Club

PICTURED ABOVE: Course manager, Kevin Fellows

Ladbrook Park Golf Club, situated in the Warwickshire countryside near Tanworth-in-Arden, say they have put their trust in Ventrac and taken delivery of four 4520 all-terrain compact tractors and 13 attachments to maintain their prestigious 1908 Colt-designed course.

Kevin Fellows has been the course manager for 38 years, having joined the club in 1985 from nearby Shirley Golf Club. He was appointed to his current position in 1994.

Commenting on the club’s decision to take this route, he said, “With the exception of our fine turf areas, the majority of the course is now maintained with Ventrac equipment. It fits in with our agronomic requirements and does everything apart from fine turf and aeration. For all other areas - approaches, fairways, semi, rough, our ecology areas, transport, ditching, haulage - the Ventrac system fits perfectly. At the moment we have everything we need. It fits our current maintenance plan; tomorrows objectives and our longer-term direction.

“Selling it to the board of directors was not an issue. The initial thinking was to identify machines for replacement on a like-for-like basis and then progressively, over the next few years, replace and update as necessary. The alternative was to take the Ventrac route. Fortunately, the finance director and board were keen to fund our replacement programme, with the support of the Greens committee, whichever direction we chose."

Kevin continued, “It was a big commitment to swap out our existing fleet and go, almost exclusively, with Ventrac. Once we started to look, we became increasingly discontent with some of the market forces; supply lines and cost were major considerations. As a course manager you have to think laterally, so I asked myself is there a better way of doing this? Covid caused a reset in thinking; prior to the pandemic a lot of clubs were committed to one manufacturer or another. We were principally a one manufacturer machinery operation.

“I was looking for something that gave us more versatility and began by looking at compact tractors from various manufacturers. Then, by pure chance Jon Lewis dropped by one afternoon with a trailer of Ventrac equipment. Naturally enough I had a look and next morning Jon gave me a brochure. And the rest is history!"

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