When the board of directors at Heswall Golf Club on the Wirral Peninsula chose Toro for the first time in 2013 following a lengthy study of the “top three” brands, it was in a move to help improve the quality, appearance and playability of the course. Now, two and a half years later, it’s time to catch up with the club to see how things are going.
Guy Cannings, course manager, says: “Until the end of 2013, we’d never had a Toro machine here at Heswall, so to go from nothing to a whole fleet was a big move. Although Toro performed brilliantly in the demos and in all areas actually, any step into the unknown comes with uncertainty.”
There was no need for reservations though, as Guy says the “quality of the mowers is evident in the quality, now, of the course aesthetically and how it plays; it has improved since we’ve started using Toro and we are attracting more players to the club as a result, which is fantastic.”
Not only has the ten-strong Toro fleet proved itself by helping improve the quality of the existing course, but it has also tended six greens as they have been relaid. And as a result of its positive performance, Heswall has since added to the shed with another Reelmaster 3100-D with Sidewinder, a Groundsmaster 4700-D and a ProPass 200 trailed topdresser.
Guy says: “When it came to adding to our fleet, we didn’t just opt for Toro again simply to add to an existing predominantly Toro fleet, we conducted a thorough evaluation and Toro came out on top again.
“The RM3100-D has proved itself over the last couple of years, it’s really economical, which is why we have invested in another for the greens. This will complement the original Sidewinder which will now apply its versatility on the greens surrounds, tee banks and semi-roughs.”
Steve Halley of Cheshire Turf Machinery, Heswall’s local Toro dealer and who worked with the club to agree the deal, which also includes a maintenance package, says: “Before any machinery was installed we took the greens staff to Reesink Turfcare HQ in St Neots for operator training. This was to ensure the team was confident in the operation of the mowers, how to get the most out of their new machinery and manoeuvre the fleet safely and skillfully.”
Reesink is renowned for its industry-leading training, which is delivered by nationally recognised quality assured trainers and assessors, and is committed to those companies, like Heswall, who wish to develop and invest in their employees’ skills.
It also provides the perfect opportunity for everyone to get to know each other better, as Steve Halley confirms: “Not only are the training courses beneficial on a practical level, they also offer the opportunity for everyone to get to know each other. We’ve really enjoyed working with Guy, Graham [Capewell, club secretary] and the team over the last couple of years and it’s great to hear they are finding more players now enjoying their beautiful course and all it has to offer.”