When efficiency matters
Golf membership at The Club at Mapledurham, to the north west of Reading, is stronger than ever since the Covid-19 pandemic, with golfers out enjoying fresh air and exercise all day, every day. Work to keep the 18-hole course in pristine condition has to be carried out in short windows of opportunity in order not to disrupt play, so the greenkeeping team needs machinery that is both reliable and efficient to maximise productivity. When it comes to taking care of the rough, they rely on the Trimax Snake S2 to get the job done with a quality finish that is second to none.
The Club at Mapledurham is one of 15 golf and country clubs owned and operated by The Club Company. Like most venues within the group, it includes fitness and leisure facilities alongside its beautifully kept golf course. The 5,960-yard par-69 course is particularly popular with senior golfers, who benefit from the comparatively short length of the course and the fairly flat terrain.
Group Course Manager, Chris Brook has overall responsibility for the upkeep of all 15 courses, having been with the group since its inception back in 1996. The Course Manager at Mapledurham, Michael Rapley, has also worked for the group for many years, both at the Castle Royle club in Berkshire and at Mapledurham since 2019. The company has been using a range of Trimax rotary mowers extensively since 2003 – the wider, more powerful Pegasus models for its larger courses and the Snake for its smaller sites, such as Mapledurham.
“It’s horses for courses,” says Chris. “The Trimax Snake is ideal here at Mapledurham where the course is quite compact and where we need its exceptional manoeuvrability to cut around trees and navigate restricted spaces. Its turning ability is great too – being able to continue cutting while turning sharply improves productivity. We use it to cut all the rough, so it is out at least weekly during the summer months, then every two to three weeks once autumn comes.
“The Snake produces a great finish and maintenance is quick and easy, so downtime is minimal. That really matters when dealing with such a busy course. It sits on gravel, so drainage is excellent here and days when the course has to be closed are few and far between. We are always up against the clock, so efficiency is key.”
Course Manager, Michael has been impressed with the many improvements made on the latest Trimax Snake S2 such as the new stubless LocTEK roller bearing retention system, which improves alignment and bearing life and is designed for easy replacement. He comments: “The bearings on the front and back rollers have been upgraded since our previous model and there is a definite improvement in performance.
“We also like the new height adjustment mechanism,” he adds. “It enables us to change the cut height quickly and safely without needing to raise or lower the wings. We use this feature a lot and adjustments can be made easily in just a couple of minutes to change the cut for the semi-rough.”
Both Chris and Michael agree that the quality of cut is exceptional. With three articulating decks, the Snake follows the contours of the ground, while its front and back rollers protect against scalping. The rollers produce a striping effect for a truly superior finish.
Michael’s five-strong ground care team at Mapledurham has no problem carrying out routine maintenance on their Trimax mower. “Its design makes it very straightforward to work on, and some of the new features, such as the automatic belt tensioners, reduce the need for adjustments and cut downtime to a minimum,” he says. “We need our machinery to be efficient, reliable and productive and the Trimax Snake S2 certainly ticks all our boxes.”