Tag Archive for: Deemed

Toro deemed best again

Toro deemed best again: The Roehampton Club in South West London has chosen, in an extensive and thorough look at the market, to continue its long-term relationship with Toro and distributor Reesink Turfcare with another five-year full-fleet exclusivity agreement.

The tender process started over two years ago as the venue, ranked as one of the top multi sports clubs in the country, trialled a wide range of machinery in all weather conditions.

Toro deemed best again

Toro deemed best again

Course and Grounds Manager Peter Bradburn explains the process: “Our long-standing relationship with Toro is an important factor in the process of choosing a machinery partner, but not a deciding one. What’s most important is that we get the best machines for all our turf-based facilities.

“We have a golf course, ten grass tennis courts, four croquet lawns and extensive gardens to consider in our decision-making, which is why it’s so important that we conduct rigorous trials and demos with a range of brands.

“The analysis took place over two years and included the summers of 2020 and 2021. This meant the decision was not pressurised and could involve the whole team. Fortuitously, this gave us one wet and one dry summer with the machines. The May, June and July of this year had more rainfall than the winter of the previous year, which is the total reverse of what you’d expect going into a summer, and to put the machines through their paces in such extreme conditions was a great test.”

Peter had numerous factors to consider: quality, adaptability, service expectations and price – and it wasn’t just his decision either, it included the opinions of the 20-strong grounds team too.

“Forefront in every decision we make is what is best for our members. Are we spending their money wisely and will they be pleased with the results? It’s also important to know if the fleet will deliver what is best for the team too. Lastly will CEO Marc Newey and the Board sign it off as best value for the club? So, it’s not just one person’s decision, yet it was a unanimous one – Toro was deemed the perfect choice for the maintenance of all our surfaces and for its superior functionality once more. And the deal all-in was best suited for us when it came to price and servicing support as well.”

When the new machinery arrives in early 2022, it will be a fleet to reflect the club’s environmental stance, says Peter: “We’re very conscious of climate change and are endeavouring to reduce our CO2 emissions.  With that in mind, new choices involved in this deal are the Greensmaster 3360 hybrid riding greensmowers, plus three electric STAR EV utility and people carriers from distributor Reesink. And there was no doubt that the Flex 1021 pedestrian mowers would be included again – they’ve been key to our greens conditioning and the close cutting of the Reelmaster 3575-D mowers have been involved in improving the fairways for years now.”

While it is a continuing relationship with Toro, rewarding high performing staff and introducing fresh talent is key to make the most of the new fleet. Peter explains: “In the autumn, we promoted David Howe to Head Greenkeeper to succeeed Ashley Allpress. David has proved himself as Ash’s understudy and Jamie Wright comes in as the new deputy head greenkeeper to support David and start the cycle again. Like most aspiring course managers, Jamie has done his journeyman training in the USA with an enviable year at Pebble Beach and his formative years at Sunningdale. The gardens team has been revitalised with the arrival of Sam Cumber, who was part of the crew who won Gold for Richmond-upon-Thames through the Britain in Bloom horticultural competition three years concurrently.”

All of these changes spearhead neatly in time for the Ladies’ Gold Challenge Cup. Returning after a COVID-enforced break, the event – which is older than the Masters – opens the Spring golfing calendar at the club, with tennis and croquet championships to follow.

Peter concludes by saying: “While it was not a foregone conclusion that Toro would be the machinery partner we committed to, the continuation of our history, even as personnel change, reflects a strong partnership between the two companies taking us to 15 years of working together.”

To talk to someone about how the Toro range would suit your course, call 01480 226800.

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Wanderers Pitch Deemed “Poor”

Wanderers Pitch Deemed “Poor”: The Wanderers cannot afford any errors with pitch preparation over the next five years after the ICC confirmed that the surface used in the third Test between South Africa and India was rated as ‘poor’ by match referee Andy Pycroft. As a result, the venue was hit with three demerit points under a new system that was introduced by the ICC this month. Another two demerit points within a five-year period will lead to a 12-month ban from international cricket.

While Cricket South Africa have a right of appeal, they would appear to face a difficult job overturning the verdict. Concerns over the state of the wicket reached fever pitch on day three, when the unpredictable bounce led to a number of India’s batsmen suffering blows to the body and the day’s play was curtailed when Dean Elgar incurred a blow to the head.

Wanderers Pitch Deemed "Poor"

The match continued on day four after the officials declared it was safe to continue, but while Elgar batted on bravely and carried his bat in a South African defeat, he later said that the game should have been called off.

Some of Elgar’s concerns were mirrored in Pycroft’s official report, which the ICC released on Tuesday (January 30).

“The pitch prepared for the final Test was a poor one,” said Pycroft. “It had excessively steep and unpredictable bounce, and excessive seam movement. It deteriorated quickly as the match progressed, which made batting extremely difficult and hazardous, resulting in the medical staff from both the sides having to come onto the field of play multiple times to treat their batsmen.

“As the on-field umpires are also responsible for the players’ safety, they expressed concerns about the behaviour of the pitch, and debated after day three if it was appropriate to continue the match. In the end, the umpires made the decision to continue and the Test reached its natural conclusion on day four. However, there was still excessive variable bounce and seam movement when the Test match ended.”

The ICC’s announcement capped a series that was dominated by talk of pitches – a hangover from South Africa’s 2015 tour of India when the excessive turn led to the pitch in Nagpur to be rated ‘poor’. Eager to exact an advantage by preparing sporting wickets, South Africa asked for pace and bounce from their groundsmen. But they were disappointed by a dry surface at Centurion that was rated ‘average’ by the ICC, and got more than they asked for at the Wanderers.

After losing the third Test by 63 runs, captain Faf du Plessis admitted that the extra pressure from the team’s requests might be getting to groundsmen, but suggested that they needed to up their game.

“I’m in an environment where I have to score runs and perform, so it’s the same (for groundsmen). If there is an option to get a pitch in the way that we want to, you would hope that the experience would be there to get the pitches right.”

It is the first time that a pitch in South Africa has been rated ‘poor’. Australia recently suffered the same fate when the pitch for the fourth Ashes Test against England at the MCG was rated ‘poor’, but the ground escaped any demerit points because the new disciplinary system was not yet in place.

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