Newbury & Crookham Golf Club have purchased a Ventrac 4500 compact all-terrain tractor and two mowing decks, which course manager Chris Ball says will make the 148-year-old club’s grounds maintenance department even more so. effective. Purchased from a local dealer, TH White, the set included a Contour mowing deck and a Tough Cut deck, which will allow the yard maintenance crew to work smarter and safer when maintaining Wooded margins and steep banks on a 6,000 yard course.
“My team did an exceptional job during the pandemic crisis and it is right that we make sure that they are working safely, not only under these exceptional circumstances, but at all times. These two decks in conjunction with the eight wheel tractor unit ensure that when working on the tees or around the tank they can do so safely. As a small team of only six, it’s important that we work smarter; now we can cut areas mechanically with one person, where we had previously used many team members with brush cutters, saving many hours of green space maintenance that can now be used elsewhere on the course.
“The Tough Cut Deck will help us both ecologically and aesthetically, keeping the woodland ground open and encouraging more spring bulbs to flourish. We want to see carpets of bluebells in the years to come. In addition, with the Contour Bridge, we will be able to maintain steeper areas on the course making the presentation even more appealing to members and visitors. We have only had the equipment since mid-May, but it has already proven its worth; it’s a simple, smart design, gets the job done, and is easy to maintain. “
Chris Ball joined the Woking Golf Club as an apprentice in 1994 and immediately knew this would be his career of choice. In 1998 he moved to Guildford Golf Club and four years later joined Walton Heath, working under the guidance of two renowned industry figures, Clive Osgood and Ian McMillan. In 2002 he joined Bearwood Lakes, where he was appointed Chief Greenkeeper, reporting to the Course Manager. He has been responsible for courses at Newbury and Crookham since 2014.
Newbury & Crookham is one of England’s oldest clubs, established in 1873. The 18-hole, par 69 golf course measures just under 6000 meters and is set amidst beautiful mature forest. Located on the south side of Newbury, between Greenham Common and the racecourse, the current course dates back to 1923, when the Newbury and District Club was founded. The Crookham Golf Club was founded in 1873 on Greenham Common, but after its requisition in 1940 by the MOD, members were given temporary membership by their neighbors, which eventually became permanent and the club adopted its current name.