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Royal Dornoch Trusts Toro

Royal Dornoch Trusts Toro: From back in 1616 to the present day, Royal Dornoch Golf Club’s reputation for golfing excellence has only increased over the past 400 years. Now considered to be one of the top golf clubs in the UK and amongst the best in the world, the traditional club stays ahead of the curve by bringing in the best technology available to maintain the courses ­– as proven by its second investment in Toro machinery.

Course manager Eoin Riddell explains why the club purchased Toro machinery: “We can’t get enough of Toro, it is by far the best turfcare machinery brand we’ve tried. On top of that, we have a great relationship with the distributor Reesink Turfcare and our dealer Gammies, where we are on a first-name basis with all the staff.”

Royal Dornoch Trusts Toro

The courses follow the remote links landscape and there to tame the wilderness is an impressive fleet of 35 Toro machines, as well as a Toro irrigation system with sprinklers and two TYM tractors.

Above all, the Groundsmaster 4500-D is Eoin’s favourite new machine. He enthuses: “The 4500-D is a great mower that can cut anywhere and has unbelievable productivity. It makes light work of the courses, turf nurseries, driving ranges, and a grass runway we maintain.”

This is down to the model’s SmartPower technology that enables a consistent cut anywhere. The intuitive feature works by automatically adjusting the mower’s engine speed according to cutting conditions, while maintaining optimal power to the blades.

And the Toros are not just a hit with Eoin: “We have 20 members of staff through the season and they all love the Toros. They are well-built, operator-friendly and reliable, which is probably why our mechanic finds them easy to work on too,” says Eoin.

Keeping technology current is a priority at Royal Dornoch, where the operation of Toro’s myTurf Pro fleet management program is in full swing. Eoin counts this among his favourite bits of Toro kit.

He says: “When we brought in myTurf we were all a little dubious to begin with, but that quickly changed. Our machines simply pass a sensor at our shed door that automatically records how long they’ve been in operation and, from this, calculates preventative maintenance and replacement parts needed.

“Our mechanic can access this information, plus user manuals for every Toro machine manufactured, by simply logging in to myTurf on his computer. The program makes life so much easier for him and eliminates human error, making cost of ownership calculations far more accurate.”

At such a busy club it’s no wonder myTurf Pro is proving useful. In 2016 the club celebrated 400 years of golf with 250 tournaments during the year, during which the Toros were always out.

Eoin explains: “At some points we were hosting two tournaments a day and Royal clubs from all over the world joined us for a week-long celebration. Throughout it all we could rely on our Toros, which worked all-year-round – morning, nights, even weekends – with barely a hiccup!

“We work our machines very hard, so it’s important that we frequently update them with the best technology available from Toro. Royal Dornoch is a traditional club with a great history, but in such a fast-paced industry we must move forward with technology to maintain a world-class reputation.”

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GEO Award For Royal Dornoch

GEO Award For Royal Dornoch: An internationally-renowned golf course has earned a coveted global sustainability accolade through its commitment to the community and natural environment.

Royal Dornoch Golf Club has been awarded the GEO Certified® ecolabel, an international symbol of ‘great golf environments’. This recognises clubs that have met high standards for performance in nature conservation, water and energy efficiency, ethical and environmental supply chain, pollution control and community engagement.

GEO Award For Royal Dornoch

An independent assessment of the famous club concludes: “Royal Dornoch is not only set within a stunning coastal landscape, but its course ranking demonstrates the commitment and expertise given to management, which together place significant responsibility on the club to manage efficiently and sustainably in all areas of working.”

The award not only further elevates the standing of the historic club, but also enhances its ability to host major events. The R&A, the game’s governing body, is a supporter of GEO (Golf Environment Organization) and the Certified ecolabel is now a prerequisite for clubs staging large competitions. All ten host venues for The Open are now GEO Certified®.

Richard Allison, Project Manager, GEO Certified – Facilities, said: “Royal Dornoch is an outstanding example of a golf club with sustainability as a natural extension of its operation.

“From habitat creation and steps to future energy independence among its range of sustainability work, our congratulations go to everyone at the club and we look forward to seeing what the next few years brings.”

The assessment highlights the “exemplary” management of a Site of Special Scientific Interest which adjoins the golf course and states the club’s energy resource management is “particularly impressive”.

A new maintenance facility runs on renewable electricity with solar-PV cells providing 12 kilowatts of energy for daily use with surplus returned to the National Grid.

An air-source heat pump provides hot water and underfloor heating for the offices and communal areas, while in the clubhouse major energy initiatives include a phased changeover to LED lighting, installation of smart meters to track consumption accurately, and motion sensors and push-button timers throughout appropriate areas. Electric vehicles are also being introduced to the club’s maintenance fleet.

The club regularly monitors wildlife on the course, with species including otter, snipe, woodcock and pine marten all resident.

Royal Dornoch’s support for the community includes making donations to a number of organisations through a variety of funds. The GEO assessment highlights money raised to provide defibrillators in the town and a community fund that has distributed about £20,000 to worthy causes in three years.

Royal Dornoch’s general manager Neil Hampton said: “This is a very important award for us. We take enormous pride in our environment and are committed to doing everything we can to act responsibly and sustainably.

“The club also takes seriously its role in the community and be as good a neighbour as we can be.

“The GEO Certified award is a prestigious international honour and we are delighted to receive this recognition.”

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