Major Rollermower To Debut At SALTEX

Major Rollermower To Debut At SALTEX: Phil Cole at Cotswold Turf Care knows a good mower when he sees one.

“The MAJOR Swift is a great performer and always leaves an excellent finish,” Phil nods approvingly. He’s been maintaining the grounds at Cirencester Park Polo Club for nearly 30 years so is particular that the turf provides a safe yet fast playing surface.

Major Rollermower To Debut At SALTEX

The exceptional double-wing design of the new MJ71-730T increases productivity and efficiency without compromising on the quality of cut. “The front and rear rollers ensure we leave a level and striped finish at precisely the right height of cut, every time. It levels the ground back down to its original condition after we’ve had eight or ten horses running over it.”

“Because it’s made of high-strength Strenx® steel, it’s lightweight and avoids compaction, which is beneficial to maintain the best ground condition,” Phil continues. “For a big machine, it is far more manoeuvrable than I expected – it can turn on a sixpence! It is also a very low consumer of power, therefore more economical with fuel.”

“We have a small team, so a reliable wide area mower is essential to alleviate time pressures and reduce costs,” continues Phil. He and his team at Cotswold Turf Care manage equestrian grounds, football and rugby pitches and golf courses, as well as parks across Gloucestershire. The team cuts a minimum of 6000 acres throughout the year. “The 7.3m Swift wings fold to 2.60m, making it great for safe road transportation between multiple sites. It’s about the largest make available that can be safely transported on the road.”

The trailed versions display the MAJOR qualities of durability and low maintenance. “There are no belts – just a strong and simple, heavy-duty driveline with a shear-bolt in the PTO drive,” Phil continues. “The MAJOR Swift is galvanised so it’s going to last us a long time!”

The larger units also have rubber encasing the hinges of each arm. This protects the joints while adding mobility for each wing over uneven ground for a more consistent cut.

Looking the part is just as important as playing the part. “Players and spectators have commented on how good the grounds look,” concludes Phil. “At a recent board meeting, the committee members commented very favourably about our grass cutting and the playing surface.”

See the new 7.3m Swift roller mower at the MAJOR stand (J112) at Saltex 2019 from Oct 30-31 at the NEC Birmingham.

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Manor of Groves GC Exclusively Toro

Manor of Groves GC Exclusively Toro: Following the arrival of its second Toro fleet, Hertfordshire’s Manor of Groves Golf Club is now exclusively Toro, achieving its all-red status ahead of its deadline of 2020.

Head greenkeeper Lee Brinkley says this sees his ambition realised from when he joined the club three years ago: “I had previously worked at a Toro club and my main goal when joining Manor of Groves was to improve the quality of the course, to make it comparable to the course that I’d become accustomed to. I resolved to be exclusively Toro by 2020 as I knew what a difference it would make, and now we’ve achieved that – ahead of schedule – it’s evident for everyone else too!”

Manor of Groves GC Exclusively Toro

The par 71, 18-hole, 6,237 yard course at Manor of Groves has been subject to a large investment to improve the already fine design and part of that investment comes in the form of Toro. It was in 2018 that the first Toro fleet arrived at Manor of Groves with Lee citing the brand’s quality, value for money, time-saving benefits, ease of maintenance, noticeable results and after-sales service as the reasons behind the purchase. Lee says nothing has changed since then.

“All of those things still apply, but I can add in more! There’s definitely a better atmosphere at the club. It makes a significant difference to club spirit when there’s high quality, innovative, equipment to use. You really notice the sense of pride there is to use a decent machine. This has been very apparent since the machinery arrived and we’ve seen just what it’s capable of. And it’s great to see how happy the members are with the improvements to their course and the investment from the club to ensure Manor of Groves strives to be a course everyone talks about.”

Completing Manor of Groves’ Toro red shed are the Groundsmaster 4000-D, Groundsmaster 3500-D with Sidewinder, ProPass 200 top dresser, GreensPro 1260, ProCore 648 aerator and Workman MDX-D utility vehicles.

Lee says about the order: “The GM3500-D with Sidewinder is incomparable. I don’t believe there is anything else available like it, it is that good.”

Lee also opted this time for a TYM Tractor T353 and loader. He says: “We’ve never had a TYM tractor before, but when you have such a good level of customer service from a distributor, like we do with Reesink Turfcare, you certainly don’t go looking anywhere else. We’re using the TYM to pull the new ProPass top dresser and together they’ve cut our labour for sanding by over half!”

And while it’s certainly taken hard-work and persistence to get the club to where it is today, Lee says it’s been more than worth it: “Everyone is invested in the vision. We’ve removed everything that wasn’t Toro and as a result there’s been a complete turnaround. To look at how far the club has come in just three years, how happy the team and members are and how now we’re able to maintain such high standards, is just great.”

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AriensCo To Make Zero-Turns In UK

AriensCo To Make Zero-Turns In UK: AriensCo has announced that production of Ariens brand zero-turn mowers will commence at the company’s factory in Great Haseley, Oxfordshire.

It’s believed these will be the first zero-turns to be manufactured in Europe. AriensCo reports seeing an exceptional growth in demand for zero-turn mowers in the UK and Europe. This follows similar trends in the US, where sales have more than tripled since 2003 as the popularity among users has soared. According to industry analysis, zero-turn sales in Europe have grown more than 30% over the last four years, making them the fastest growing category of ride-on mowers and third fastest in the lawn and garden power equipment sector.

AriensCo To Make Zero-Turns In UK

“Sales of zero-turns in Europe have experienced exceptional growth over the past three years,” says Darren Spencer, Vice President – EMEA and Asia. “AriensCo has experienced this growth in numerous markets and, based upon extensive research with our distribution partners, we expect the growth to continue. This industry analysis points to the many opportunities to be met by producing zero-turns at our Great Haseley plant. We currently sell into ten different countries within Europe and aim to increase our European footprint in 2020. Future growth will accelerate as the benefits of zero-turn mowers are understood by customers. Zero-turn users are experiencing increased speed of cut and greater versatility over tractors and out-fronts.”

During 2019 AriensCo continues to make significant investment in the Oxfordshire factory in preparation for zero-turn production, including a new production line, fixtures and tooling. The UK will be manufacturing CE zero-turns for European markets only and will initially be producing the IKON, APEX and ZENITH models. Close collaboration with the US will be maintained to ensure products match up to Ariens’ reputation for manufacturing quality.

Zero-turn production in the UK is seen to offer significant advantages, allowing for rapid delivery and improved availability throughout the year. There is also potential for zero-turns to be adapted with features and benefits to meet local market needs.  Increased utilisation of the manufacturing facility at Great Haseley will provide operational cost benefits and will generate a number of new jobs for the area. The first zero-turn to come off the production line will be at the end of October.

For further information or to become a dealer for AriensCo, please call 01844 278800 or email uksales@ariensco.com

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Variseeder A Fantastic Asset

Variseeder A Fantastic Asset: Derek McJannet, head greenkeeper at Matlock Golf Club, claims that the SISIS Variseeder 1300 has proved to be a fantastic asset and has signalled some huge improvements to the stunning course in Derbyshire.

Founded in 1906, Matlock Golf Club is situated 850 feet above sea level in the hills of Derbyshire just on the edge of the Peak district, which as one can imagine, offers some fantastic backdrops and scenery.

Variseeder A Fantastic Asset

Derek has been at the club for eleven years and is part of a four-man team which tends to the 18-hole moorland course along with the club’s crown bowling green. Throughout his tenure the team has maintained the course to an excellent standard much to the delight of the club’s members.

Derek admits that maintaining the course can be challenging at times with a relatively small team and it is for this reason that he started to research current machinery which would be of benefit to the greenkeeping team as well as the golf club members.

“In one of my previous roles I had used the SISIS Variseeder and knew that it would be an asset here, however we always had a budget to consider.

“Then there was one incident last year in which we experienced some damage on some areas of the course. We needed to find a quick solution and ended up borrowing a SISIS Variseeder from a neighbouring golf club.  With the machine we were able to double pass all of the tees with seed, feed them and they came back to a better standard than what they were before. This was when we knew that we needed to get one of our own. I think the results from the Variseeder we borrowed convinced the committee as well.”

The SISIS Variseeder is a versatile easy to use tractor mounted seeder with a variable seeding rate ideal for golf course maintenance and for use on lawns and amenity areas. It has a fast work rate, is low maintenance with few wearing parts and enables overseeding to be undertaken without taking ground out of play. Complete with a studded roller, the Variseeder prepares the seedbed by creating thousands of little “plant pots” to receive the seed without linear grooves that can disturb play.

Derek and his team use the Variseeder on all of the tees and also over-seed any bare areas on or around the greens and approaches.

Variseeder A Fantastic Asset

“For us the biggest benefit is that it just saves us so much time,” said Derek. “It is now just a one-man operation, whereas before there were two or three of us doing it all by hand. From start to finish, we can get all of the areas completed in just a couple of days. The Variseeder is also incredibly easy to use, it creates these little pockets and simply drops the seed in.

“It is incredibly fast and effective and we are seeing much better coverage and a more uniformed establishment compared to when we were doing it by hand.

“Maintenance-wise it is a dream and we hardly have to worry about it. There are no hydraulics so there is no risk of oil spills either. I’ve been after a Variseeder for at least three years so I’m pleased I finally have one.

“The members have noticed the difference and are very happy with what we are producing – and if our members are happy then I am happy.”

For further information or a no obligation demonstration, please contact SISIS on 01332 824 777 or visit www.sisis.com

For more news, reviews and insightful views, you can follow SISIS on Twitter @SISISMachinery and like the company’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/SISISMachinery. You can also view the latest SISIS videos by visiting www.youtube.com/SISISMachinery

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New Agria Launches At SALTEX

New Agria Launches At SALTEX: Agria UK is a new sister company to Wiedenmann UK and introduces two unique hybrid remote-controlled rotary mulching mowers at Saltex.

Agria was established near Stuttgart over 70 years ago. Originally for agriculture, it changed paths to cover soil cultivation, green space maintenance and pavement cleaning. Still prominent in these sectors, their German engineering has gained them a worldwide reputation for handheld multipurpose machines. Now their hybrid bank mowers are an exciting development and will be the specific focus for Agria UK.

New Agria Launches At SALTEX

Both Agria machines offer Hybrid-Drive-Concept, making them more efficient and environmentally friendly than hydraulic concepts.

The agria 9600, with its low centre of gravity and rubber tracks, powers safely through heavy duty work on steep slopes to 50°. In two widths, 112 cm and 80 cm, it cuts and mulches in two directions and is effortless on a variety of applications, including fine turf.

The agria 9500 is a remote controlled compact mower which performs to a very capable 45°.  With brushless motors and electromechanical braking it takes manoeuvrability to a new level. Zero turn, it has a working width of 70 cm and takes problem areas in its stride.

David Rae, managing director of both Agria UK and Wiedenmann UK said:

“Remote controlled units lead the way for safe technology.  These new units are perfect for purpose. Build quality and ease of use are exceptional. They help future proof the industry.

“We’ll be at Turf Maintenance Live! on Oct 22 & 23, at St Albans, then the following week will launch at the NEC for Saltex, Stand D097.”

Agria UK will operate through a network of stocking dealers across the UK and Ireland supported by Jason Bristow, Chas Ayres, Michael James and Andy Kerr.

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Smoothly Does It At Ganton GC

Smoothly Does It At Ganton GC: Ganton Golf Club in North Yorkshire has upgraded its irrigation system with Toro Lynx central control and Infinity sprinklers on the greens and aprons.

And it was an installation which went “almost too smoothly” according to deputy head greenkeeper Mathew Wormald thanks to the combined efforts of Reesink Turfcare and Green Irrigation.

Smoothly Does It At Ganton GC

“It’s so rare in life to have something deliver exactly what it says it will and this irrigation system does just that. From the start everything has worked well, performed and delivered exactly what we want, where we want it. Working with Peter Newton from Reesink and Rob Green from Green Irrigation has been a pleasure, in fact, installation went almost too smoothly, I kept thinking it can’t be this easy!”

The sandy course in the rural Vale of Pickering, which is one of the top 80 golf courses in the world, was once a North Sea inlet. Over the years the original characteristics of the heathland and links course have changed, and undulations have been lost due to woodland and heathland growth. As a result, the greenkeeping team of nine have been restoring the more traditional aspects of the course. Some of the aprons have been made larger to widen the areas of play.

And it’s this that instigated the decision to replace the irrigation system, says Mathew: “The previous system was over 20 years old so we were coming up to the time to replace it, simply to take advantage of the technological improvements a new central control system, such as Toro Lynx, would offer. But really the upgrade was made all the more urgent after the work implemented to update the course.

“Basically, the old sprinklers didn’t have the capabilities to throw the arc of water as far as we needed with the changes we’ve made to cover the bigger area of play on the greens. Full uniform coverage is so important, and we simply weren’t getting the reach.”

Mathew had a diverse CV before joining Ganton with stints in Belgium and Hong Kong, all of which bought valuable experience to one of the very few clubs to have staged the Curtis Cup, Walker Cup and the Ryder Cup.

Having previously used Toro irrigation, Mathew says: “I’ve used Toro irrigation before, so I was aware how easy it was to use and how precise. We don’t rely heavily on our irrigation system here, mainly because the grass is deep rooting so we can push it a bit more and that’s another thing that appealed so much about the Toro system – we can be as accurate as we need to be, tackling only the areas that need it. This will be far more efficient for us long-term.”

And it’s not only Lynx and Infinity that are working so well together, as previously mentioned the relationship with Reesink and Green Irrigation delivered too. Mathew concludes by saying: “It was a project that didn’t just bring us a solution to a problem, it introduced us to some really knowledgeable people in the industry and from start to finish was problem-free.”

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Up For The Cup At Gleneagles

Up For The Cup At Gleneagles: Gleneagles will hold a unique position in golfing history when the biggest event in women’s golf concludes this weekend, by becoming the first venue in Europe to have hosted both The Solheim Cup and The Ryder Cup (in 2014).

As the Gleneagles and volunteer greenkeeping teams led by golf courses manager Craig Haldane, together with director of agronomy and estates Scott Fenwick, put the finishing touches to the Jack Nicklaus-designed PGA Centenary Course, John Deere and local dealer Double A are equally busy behind the scenes.

Up for The Cup at Gleneagles

The greenkeeping team at Gleneagles has risen to 100 people, with tournament standard conditioning also extending to The King’s Course, which is hosting The Junior Solheim Cup, and The Queen’s Course, which remains open for member and VIP visitor play during the week.

John Deere is the official golf course and turf maintenance machinery event partner to Gleneagles for this 16th biennial edition of The Solheim Cup. The company has a long association with professional golf, having been a title sponsor on the PGA Tour, official supplier to the PGA Tour for over 25 years, official supplier to the Ladies European Tour and a partner at numerous Solheim Cup events.

In addition, John Deere is partnering Gleneagles by exclusively providing golf course maintenance machinery and ancillary equipment for use across all three championship golf courses.

“We are very grateful for the support from our local dealer Double A as we’ve been gearing up the John Deere fleet ahead of the tournament,” says Craig Haldane. “Typically we aim to maintain all three courses at a very high level all year round, but we’ve upped the ante for The Solheim Cup.

“Closing the course three weeks prior to the event has allowed it to recover from any stress and provided additional time to prepare and introduce a higher frequency of cut. By fine tuning our existing practices we’ve been able go up another level in terms of a quality cut and finish for the tournament.

“We’re also very fortunate to benefit from the extra resources and experience provided by the volunteer greenkeepers supporting our team this week. Eight of the 52 volunteers are women, who have joined our own Laura Campbell and BIGGA’s head of membership services Tracey Maddison to help with the course preparations, so it’s fitting that we can showcase the equal role women play in our industry, especially during The Solheim Cup.”

Up for The Cup at Gleneagles

Carlos Aragones, John Deere European turf sales & marketing manager, adds: “The Solheim Cup is one of the biggest events on the 2019 sporting calendar and we are delighted to be a part of it. We are also proud of our collaboration with Gleneagles in helping to prepare the course for such a prestigious tournament.”

In 2019 John Deere and its dealers are supporting more than 10 major tournaments in the UK and Ireland, every month from the Betfred British Masters at Hillside Golf Club in May to The Solheim Cup at Gleneagles and the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in September. This involves providing specialist support staff and more than 150 machines including walk-behind and ride-on greens mowers, tees & surrounds, fairway and rough mowers, compact tractors and Gator utility vehicles.

“Traditionally we work closely with the individual club’s course managers and greenkeeping teams to help keep all the machines in the fleet serviced and ready for work each day, and ensure all cutting units can achieve the highest possible quality of cut,” says John Deere Limited turf division manager Chris Meacock. “This partnership approach helps everyone to achieve the best possible results where they matter, out on the course, and keep things running as smoothly as possible throughout the event.”

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Husqvarna Launch Automower Fairway Kit

Husqvarna Launch Automower Fairway Kit: Global market leader in outdoor solutions, Husqvarna, has introduced a new robotic mower fairway kit designed to be used on golf fairways and other sports turf applications.

The new kit lowers the cutting height of Husqvarna Automower® to a minimum of approximately 10mm whilst also providing new cutting height steps of 12.5mm, 15mm and 17.5mm. The standard cutting height on all Husqvarna Automower® models excluding the AWD models is 20mm.

Husqvarna Launch Automower Fairway Kit

The kit ensures that the lower cutting heights required on areas such as fairways can be achieved using a Husqvarna robotic mower. The combination of Husqvarna Automower® and the new kit allows areas such as fairways to be maintained at a constant length throughout the year, creating consistency in the playing conditions experienced by golfers. The ultra-silent mowers are also extremely unobtrusive, ensuring that players are not disturbed and also allow night time operation.

The use of robotic mowers on large and labour intensive areas of grass which require regular maintenance also allows the redeployment of grounds staff on to more skilled tasks. The robotic mowers are designed to cut little and often, recycling the micro-clippings back into the soil improving grass quality whilst maintaining a consistent grass length throughout the growing season.

Worcestershire Golf Club are amongst a growing number of golf courses utilising Husqvarna Automower® as part of course maintenance. Steve Lloyd, Course Manager commented “It’s great because it means we can keep a consistent cut throughout the week. It also saves us time on a large area, allowing the team to focus on hard to reach and trickier areas. One of the best things is how the micro-clippings fertilise the grass. The quality of the grass has improved massively in a very short space of time”.

The kits are designed to be used on the following Automower® models : 420, 430X, 450X, 520 and 550.

Husqvarna Automower® fairway kit includes:

  • Spacers – 10mm and 12.5mm (only one to be used)
  • New cutting disc
  • Fasteners
  • Lid
  • NOTE: Due to the lower cutting height the skid plate should not be used.

To learn more about Husqvarna Automower® technology and range visit: http://www.husqvarna.com/uk/products/robotic-lawn-mowers/

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GM3 At West Herts 50 Years On

GM3 At West Herts 50 Years On: The first Toro Greensmaster 3 ride-on mower was sold to the West Herts Golf Club in Hertfordshire in 1969. And fifty years later the GM3 is back at the club where it all began, united with the person who sold it all those years ago.

Rochelle Bedford, marketing manager at Reesink Turfcare, the sole Toro distributor in the UK for golf and sports fields equipment and irrigation products, says: “As Toro celebrates its centennial milestone serving the golf industry across the world, it encouraged us to look back at how it all began for Toro in the UK.

Andy Smith – Course Manager and John Cockburn – (former) Oliver Landpower

 

“We discovered that the very first GM3 sold in the UK was still going 50 years later! Also uncovered was the club that bought the machine and who sold it!”

The person in question, John Cockburn, tells us how it all came about: “I was working for Flymo in 1968 when I was told we’d be receiving a prototype of a new machine to trial and debut at a three-day exhibition in Meyrick Park in Bournemouth. That machine was the Toro Greensmaster 3.

“I was working with two demonstrators, Graham Pooley and Geoff Urquhart, at the time and seeing as none of us had used the machine, we decided to ask Meyrick Park Golf Club, which neighboured the exhibition centre, if we could trial the machine there. They kindly said yes, so early in the morning of the first day of the show we cut all the greens at the club to see how the machine performed.

“We were all really impressed, and with a better knowledge of how well the machine worked we cleaned it down and returned it to our show stand. We were able to demonstrate the machine with more confidence and got good feedback from customers.”

And it was this positive response which led to Flymo ordering 14 machines when they launched, the first of which John promptly installed at West Herts Golf Club. Many things have changed over the years, but there are some constants. Installation training upon delivery and the brand’s reputation for producing long-lasting, reliable mowers to name just a couple.

John says: “The machines proved to be extremely reliable, doing a first-class job and quickly building up a good reputation. We easily sold all 14 of the GM3 mowers in that first year, along with others that followed.”

Andy Smith, course manager at West Herts Golf Club since 1993, says it was a ‘blast from the past’ having the GM3 back at the club: “Seeing the GM3 really took me back to how things used to be. West Herts is a Toro club through and through. From the very beginning it recognised the quality of Toro and all these years later, we still consider it to be the brand to be beaten.”

In the early-80s Lely UK, as now Reesink, took over the distribution of Toro and what has built up since is a reputation centered on reliability, durability and support, says David Cole, managing director of Reesink.

“The Toro Greensmaster 3 was an innovative ride-on product born from Toro’s established golf focus and it projected the brand into the UK as a producer of high quality, innovative golf equipment. Since then a mutual trust has developed between our customers, us as distributor and Toro which can be truly viewed as a partnership. We’re extremely proud to have represented Toro and its product values for so many years and we thank our UK golf customers for their long-standing loyalty, confidence and trust.”

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European Tour & Toro Renew Partnership

European Tour & Toro Renew Partnership: The European Tour and The Toro Company have extended their long-term partnership by four years, as the worldwide provider of outdoor environment solutions celebrates its 100th year serving the golf industry.

The renewed agreement takes the European Tour’s relationship with Toro to more than 20 years,   meaning they will continue to supply turf maintenance and irrigation products across the European Tour, Challenge Tour and Staysure Tour in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, as well as servicing the European Tour Destinations portfolio of world class golf venues.

European Tour & Toro Renew Partnership

The agreement is a highlight of a milestone year for Toro as it celebrates a century of innovation in the golf market, which started with the introduction of the industry’s first motorised fairway mower in 1919.

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “The Toro Company has a long history of excellence in the golf industry, and we are delighted to extend a relationship which is instrumental in presenting host courses across the world in the best possible condition.

“Toro is a company that shares our values in areas such as sustainability and innovation, and we look forward to working with them over the next four years, extending one of our longest-running supplier associations.”

Andy Brown, Senior Sales Manager EMEA at The Toro Company, said: “We are proud to continue our longstanding relationship with the European Tour as official supplier of turf maintenance and irrigation products.

“This has been an important relationship for The Toro Company over the past 20 years, and we look forward to continuing to provide equipment and support. It’s a privilege to have a role in preparing world-class courses for some of the greatest players in the game.”

Toro products that range from mowers and utility vehicles to bunker rakes and irrigation systems, have become synonymous with quality, durability and value. Away from golf, the company’s products are used at venues and events including the Château de Versailles in France, Real Madrid Club de Fútbol in Spain and Walt Disney World® Resort.

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