Northwood Golf Club experiences ‘chipping’ of a different sort
Story published at 14:51, Friday, July 11th, 2014
The wooded, rolling countryside in which Northwood Golf Club is set makes it the perfect location for the par 71, 18-Hole parkland course. Founded in 1891, it continues to be a genuine delight to play, providing new challenges on its free-draining USGA greens that provide all-year-round golf. It is situated just 16 miles from the centre of London and is now widely regarded as one of the finest courses in the area.
Wes Walker,Course Manager for the past 3½ years, has been at the club for over 10 years but has 15 years’ experience in greenkeeping. After an HND at Myerscough College he did a year placement at Gleneagles and an 18 month
programme at Ohio State – both great experiences. At Northwood Wes has a team of six full time guys, two part-timers along with a part-time mechanic.
Because of the substantial parkland the course is set on, there is a fair amount of tree maintenanceto be done. This would involve hiring a chipper during the month of January, however, over the hire period they had to still carry out other jobs so part of the time it would lie idle – “not a sensible thing,” said Wes. Tree work was needed outside of the hire period when they would use a trailer and burn all the waste.This would nearly always be an extremely time consuming job – “not a sensible thing,” said Wes again.
After consulting a ‘chipper’ owning friend, who showed how he managed to fly through treework, Wes decided the club needed to buy one.Jon Ryan at Browns brought a GreenMech Eco150 TMP to demo and within 10 minutes Wes and 3 members of the committee decided they had to have one!
The GreenMech Eco 150 TMP Wood Chipper is designed to fit the 3-point linkage of compact tractors from 24hp to 45hp. Although small in size,this chipper has a generous 150mm timber chipping capacity.Its large 800mm x 700mm infeed chute folds away making it ideal for stowing when in transport position. A 280° rotation on the discharge chute allows the operator to chip into the required direction of up to 5m.
Wes likes that it is simple and robust for its size, “Because we’re not doing any major tree surgery it’s perfect for all our work – we use it all year-round. It’s easy to take to site for clearing holly or managing woodland areas. Until we purchased the Eco150TMP some areas just didn’t get touched. For example, we have a bank that stretches 300m long and 50m widein some places. We went along the whole length of it with the chipper leaving just the trees standing – the view from the clubhouse, and the whole appearance of the course, has been transformed. It’s also transforming play. On a small par 3 hole there was a tiny gap where you could just play a golf shot through. We’ve now cleared away the holly and brash and the whole shot from the tee is now possible – it’s transformed the play for that hole. I would happily recommend the Eco150 TMP as perfect for any work on a golf course.”
One aspect of the purchase has been the very positive attitude of the members. The quality and speed of the greens may be one thing, but the pleasing appearance of the whole course is regularly commented on.
Northwood Golf Club www.northwoodgolf.co.uk