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Royal St George’s trusts Toro

Royal St George’s trusts Toro: Royal St George’s Golf Club has trusted in Toro since 2013. First came a fleet deal and then last year a new irrigation system was installed making it a Toro Total Solutions customer in time for the club to host the Open Championship for the 15th time.

Consistently ranked among the best golf courses in the world, Royal St George’s decision to opt for Toro machinery yet again for another five years was in large part down to its technological advances and product development.

Royal St George’s trusts Toro

In 2013 it was the very latest in green technology in the shape of four TriFlex Hybrid 3420 riding greensmowers with electric reel cutting units which particularly appealed to course manager Paul Larsen. This time it’s seven Greensmaster Flex 2120 walk-behind mowers delivering the ultimate finish.

“All the machines we chose last time have been so effective we’ve pretty much gone for the same again for our second five-year agreement,” says Paul. “In the demos, the Toro machines just did a better job on the course than everything else, and since we’ve had them they’ve proved their quality too. Five years later, the machinery from our first fleet is still as good as we wanted it to be.

“However, I’m always on the hunt for new technology, so we added in the Greensmaster Flex 2120 walk-behind mower to this deal. The results from which have particularly impressed me. The floating head prevents scalping and leaves a smooth finish every time, and we’ve seen an improvement to the greens.”

It was this faith in the brand, combined with the “brilliant service we’ve had from Reesink Turfcare” and a successful demo that resulted in the installation of a Lynx central control system and over a thousand Toro sprinklers last year. Here we take the opportunity to hear how the system’s performed since it was turned on in the spring of 2018 and faced one of the biggest tests for any irrigation system – a record-breaking heatwave!

Royal St George’s Golf Club is a traditional links course set amongst sand dunes, so of course its soil is naturally dry and fast-draining. “Hot, dry weather affects us anyway and the impact of having an old system had taken its toll over the last few years, so not only did the new system have a job in hand to bring the course back to the standard it was, but to bring further improvement too, all in the face of excessive dry weather,” says Paul.

“Despite all that we noticed instantly the difference precise and accurate control made to the course. Since we had Toro Lynx control and Toro sprinklers installed last year, we’ve been able to irrigate more precisely and, in the process, we’ve seen huge water savings and a big improvement to the course.”

Such is the relationship with Toro and Reesink that during The Open this year Reesink will be loaning the club more machines to keep up with the maintenance a tournament demands.

“We’ll start really gearing things up a couple of weeks before the tournament and then be out cutting every day during the event. Having the extra Toro machines on loan will be a huge help and is another step further strengthening our relationship with Toro and Reesink,” concludes Paul.

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Toro prevails at Brett Vale

Toro prevails at Brett Vale: With its third Toro package deal, Brett Vale Golf Club has invested in both purchase and lease Toro machines due to their exceptional durability.

Newly appointed head greenkeeper Tony Barker has great things in mind for Brett Vale Golf Club in Suffolk, and after seeing the machinery already at the course in action it made sense to further invest in Toro to continue the good work, he says.

Toro prevails at Brett Vale

“I started nine months ago at the same time the last Toro fleet deal had come to an end,” he says. “So my first big task was to look into the options available when it came to signing another machinery deal.

“I did look at the alternatives, but nothing could beat the way Toro worked on the terrain here. In fact, new machines from other brands didn’t perform as well as the Toro machines we’d had for five years already! Our location means we have a lot of steep hills that take a lot of power to climb up and the machines from other brands didn’t have the power to manage the steep terrain, whereas the old and new Toro machines did.”

After Toro came out on top at the demonstration, it was clear to Tony the way forward was to expand the club’s Toro fleet, achieved by purchasing a mix of the machines from its last deal as well as bringing in new additions.

“Toro machines are more durable than most competitor brands, without a doubt,” he says. “So it made sense to purchase some of the machines already at the club which had been, and still are, doing great work. But I wanted to expand the fleet too, to help progress the club and course further and improve on the already high standards. Having a comprehensive Toro fleet is a fundamental part of this progression, and credit must go to the club owner Chris Waters whose investment has enabled us to make this progression.”

And it’s an impressive fleet that has been created, with a Reelmaster 6700-D, Groundsmaster 4700-D, three Greensmaster Flex 2120 pedestrian mowers, a Multi Pro WM Sprayer, a TYM T293 and more purchased at the end of the lease from the previous fleet, with a ProCore 648, two Greensmaster TriFlex Hybrid 3420s, a Groundsmaster 4500-D and a Workman HDX-D added to continue the good work.

“The Groundsmaster 4500-D that we purchased for the roughs is probably my new favourite,” says Tony. “It’s doing a great job already and really proving itself. In fact all the machines are. The playing surface has definitely improved already because of the quality of cut and the whole team is loving using Toro across the course.”

Set within a vale designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty, the 137 acre parkland course at Brett Vale makes for one of the most idyllic courses in Suffolk. With the club’s relationship with Toro and Reesink Turfcare, its official UK distributor continuing, the course looks set to keep improving.

Tony concludes: “At the end of the day, Toro provides durable and high quality machines that give us real results – so why would I change that?”

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The total solution from Toro

The total solution from Toro: Stratford-On-Avon Golf Club in Warwickshire has chosen Toro for its new irrigation system, adding to its full fleet of Toro machinery and becoming a Total Solutions customer.

Having spent years building up a complete Toro fleet to maintain its 18-hole parkland course, Stratford-On-Avon Golf Club knows the value of investing in the brand, which is why course manager Chris Bromley opted for Toro again when it came to club’s irrigation needs.

The total solution from Toro

“We’ve had Toro Infinity sprinklers installed across the course on the fairways, greens, surrounds, approaches and the larger tees, as well as T5 sprinklers for the smaller tees and then the Lynx control system with weather station to top it off,” says Chris.

“To put it simply, Toro irrigation provides everything we need. The sprinklers are easy to maintain and easy to use, particularly the Infinity sprinklers. They’re top accessible which makes any maintenance simple, plus changing the arcs, nozzles and trajectory is all quick and easy to do.

“With Lynx, everything you need is all on one screen. With the click of a button you can set up the irrigation for your whole golf course and control watering to the second which has had a big effect on water savings. We also opted for the weather station, which is great, because it allows us to monitor the course more accurately and irrigate precisely.”

With the club’s previous system coming to the end of its life, the new irrigation system was a welcome addition.

“Our old system was 20 years old and not having the latest technology to hand was made all the more evident in the heatwave of 2018,” says Chris. “The weather was so severe the fairways burned up and we were doing lots of hand watering. Trying to do that across a 160-acre course is hard work, so it was vital we got a new system in place as soon as possible.”

Despite the need for a new system, for Chris it was important that thorough research was undertaken before making a decision on which brand and system to go with.

“We visited distributor Reesink Turfcare on stand at SALTEX and Harrogate to talk through the benefits of the Lynx system as well as going along to Toro roadshows and visiting other golf clubs to see it in action. The club was investing a large amount, so it had to be absolutely right.”

Since the quick and seamless installation by Full Circle Irrigation completed in May this year, it seems Toro has more than proved itself to be the right system for the club.

“From start to finish it’s been great. The installation and service from both Full Circle Irrigation and Reesink have been very good and the course has massively improved. Previously it could take up to half an hour to set up a sprinkler programme, with Toro that takes seconds, and the water coverage we’ve seen is superb,” concludes Chris.

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Toro a driving force at The Drift

Toro a driving force at The Drift: The Drift Golf Club in Surrey has continued its investment in Toro as it embarks on a £1 million project to bring in new facilities and continue the improvement in the course seen over recent years.

In an enduring relationship with Toro, the club has purchased some equipment to run alongside its Toro lease deal, citing the brand’s quality and longevity.

Toro a driving force at The Drift

Course manager Mark Ogden says: “We see the value in both leasing and purchasing Toro. With a lease deal we can spread our budget across the year and upgrading to new machines every five years decreases the maintenance time needed and ensures the best quality cut at all times.

“I’ve always been a big fan of Toro as the quality of their machines is clear. We’re so confident with the quality and robustness of the Toro machines we bought some equipment alongside the lease deal, so we’re in a win-win situation.”

The new fleet comes at a prime time for The Drift, with the course undergoing extensive improvements and developments, as Mark explains: “We’ve just started work on our driving range, which is a £1 million project to bring in new facilities, and part of a wider plan to improve the course. Having new Toro machinery is a large part of that process. Ensuring we have high quality equipment to keep up with the maintenance of the improved course is vital.”

With a Groundsmaster 4300-D, two Greensmaster TriFlex 3400 mowers, two Reelmaster 5610-D mowers and two Workman MDX-D utility vehicles, it’s a fleet more than capable of not only maintaining but also improving the impressive 18-hole championship course.

“Most of these machines are like-for-like upgrades,” says Mark. “Which is great for us because it means the whole team is familiar with them. We’ve also brought in two new Toro Greensmaster TriFlex 3400 machines for the tees and approaches and we’re already seeing a huge difference in both the aesthetics and quality of the playing surface.”

Mark concludes by saying: “The course has really flourished recently with a growing membership to prove it. Having Toro on board keeps the team and our members safe in the knowledge the course will be maintained to a consistently high standard.”

And with Toro clearly more than worth the investment, the owner of The Drift has also chosen Toro for its second club – Badgemore Park Golf Club in Oxfordshire!

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Productivity from Toro at Stowmarket

Productivity from Toro at Stowmarket: As part of a significant investment project, Stowmarket Golf Club has committed to its first fleet deal with Toro and distributor Reesink Turfcare.

Stowmarket Golf Club, set in the beautiful Finborough Park in Suffolk, has long been a Toro customer, but this is the first time it has bought multiple machines together.

Productivity from Toro at Stowmarket

Matt Gill, who has been at the club since 1989 and course manager for the last 13 years, says: “We’re investing in the future of the club and Toro is very much a part of that. We’re focusing on making sure the course can stay open for play all year round. We have been making improvements, enlarging our tees, overseeding fairways and improving the drainage and pathways. Not only are we keen to ensure that our members can play all year round, but that they can play uninterrupted for as long as possible each day, which is an area where Toro is key.

“In this deal we’re replacing our existing Reelmaster 6700, a machine that has performed consistently and constantly for 11 years, ensuring we’re always ready for play by 9.30am. I wanted the continuity of Toro and although the old machine is still going strong, we demonstrated a number of five unit machines but opted for the wider machine again, ensuring minimal disruption and increasing productivity.”

As well as a new RM6700, Matt has chosen a Workman HDX-D utility vehicle with a Multi Pro 200 sprayer and Pro Pass 200 top dresser, about which Matt says: “We’ve been thinking about how to tackle the pitchmarks on a regular basis and the solution is to use the Toro Pro Pass top dresser. Since the multi-tasking Workman and top dresser arrived we’ve made great savings in the time spent applying sand and incurring much less disruption as we do it.”

Matt explains the value the new sprayer and top dresser will have maintaining the club’s recent investment in the fairways: “We’ve heavily invested in the fairways in the last two years due to the drought and it’s important we safeguard that investment. The ability to easily transform the Workman into either a utility vehicle, a precision sprayer or an effective top dresser in only 20 minutes is going to be particularly useful for that and ensuring optimum grass growth.”

Matt has been buying Toro machines for over a decade, throughout which time Toro’s longevity, productivity and value has been proved time and again. “We’ve stuck with Toro for as many years for good reason, they provide us with the productivity we need to get the job done,” he says.

“We can also vouch that Toro’s longevity is unmatched which has been a major factor in our decision. Working with Reesink, and in particular Reesink’s area manager Julian Copping over this time, has been like working with friends, that’s why we’re now making this investment with Toro in our first fleet deal. They really are the company to beat.”

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Grangers no strangers to Toro

Grangers no strangers to Toro: Marking a 20-year relationship Grangers Ground Maintenance, based in Hitchin, has taken delivery of two new Toro machines.

Since its inception in 1986 company director Martin Granger has built Grangers Ground Maintenance up from a solo enterprise to a company now employing over 25 people and for most of that time Toro has been aiding its growth.

Grangers no strangers to Toro

The company, which provides services to local authorities and associations, has chosen two Toro zero-turn rotary mowers for grounds contracts in the east of England. Martin picked the Groundsmaster 7210 with durable heavy-duty seven-gauge deck construction and the industry’s toughest spindle assembly for guaranteed longevity and the Z Master 7000 for its multi-use productivity. This joins the Toro STX Stump Grinder already part of Grangers Ground Maintenance’s fleet.

“We chose the Z Master 7000 because it really impressed us at a demonstration,” Martin says. “It’s an incredibly well-built machine with an impressive ground speed that allows it to cover a lot of area quickly. The biggest benefit though is probably its size – as a smaller model it’s able to get into some tighter spaces and manoeuvre within them effectively. We’ve been able to use it in places where we’d normally be using a walk behind mower, so it’s saved us time and made the team more productive!

“In fact, the time savings we’ve seen with the new Toro machines is really quite impressive. We’re currently down a member of the team, but getting the same amount of work done, thanks to how productive these machines are. When we’re back to full capacity, we’ll be finishing each job well within our timeframe which will be a big bonus for our customers.”

And it’s the perfect combination of the quality of Toro machines and the excellent back up service from distributor Reesink Turfcare that sees this relationship continuing, says Martin.

“Toro machines are always solid and well built, but the service from Reesink, particularly from rep Julian Copping, is just brilliant. We have a tight schedule here, so things need to be fixed quickly if there are ever any issues and machines have to be delivered on time when ordered. With Reesink, there’s always a quick turnaround, they’re always on the end of the phone when you need them and if they say they’re going to do something, they do it. I’ve never been let down.”

With the benefits that both Toro and Reesink bring, Martin says there’s never a doubt in his mind when it comes to choosing Toro.

“They can provide what other competitors can’t,” Martin concludes. “From the technical side with benefits like hydraulic lift on decks which other brands lack, to always knowing where you are with Reesink. Everything about Toro and Reesink Turfcare is brilliant.”

Despite this trust in Toro and Reesink, Martin is vigilant in his research. He says: “We replace our mowers every two years but always look at all the options available before making any decisions. With our experience of Toro stretching back 20 years, it was no surprise to us that they proved the best solution again.”

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Toro brings improvement for Hamilton

Toro brings improvement for Hamilton: Based on a recommendation, Hamilton Golf Club in Lanarkshire, Scotland, opted for Toro for its irrigation refit.

And based on its subsequent performance course manager Bruce Cruickshank credited the Lynx central control system and Infinity sprinklers for being “years ahead of the competition” and delivering “a definite improvement to the course” which has helped increase membership.

Toro brings improvement for Hamilton

Bruce explains the journey to this point: “Our irrigation system, like many clubs across the UK, was originally installed in the late 70s so was overdue an update. We started the process by speaking to irrigation consultants about specific issues we were having with an excess of wet areas on the course. We weren’t sure if they were caused by ineffective irrigation or drainage and they were able to recommend an irrigation upgrade to solve that.”

It was bringing in Applied Irrigation to install the new system who recommended Toro as the best system to solve the problem, comments Bruce: “We were advised to go with Toro by Callum Oliphant from Applied Irrigation. He vouched for Toro as the best system on the market and as far as we’re concerned, he’s right!”

Not only was the process completed smoothly, but the new system also proved vital for keeping the greens to a high standard during the heatwave last summer, as Bruce explains.

“Using the computer to adjust the sprinkler water percentage was very useful during that time and we would have really struggled without Toro irrigation,” he says. “The incredible results we’ve seen really are a testament to the quality of the product. And praise must of course go to Applied Irrigation for the expert installation, Reesink Turfcare for the great back up provided, and to the club captain Michael Reilly for his work and support.”

Since having Toro irrigation on board, Bruce and the members at the club have seen “a definite improvement to the course” which can only certify the club’s first investment in Toro as a success.

“The Toro Lynx controller and Infinity sprinklers have taken updating to another level – they’re years ahead of the competition in terms of the technology and quality they offer,” says Bruce. “The control system is just fantastic and it’s so easy to use, being able to control so much on my phone is really useful. With the sprinklers, I particularly like that the spray height can be adjusted to deal effectively with windy conditions, plus being top accessible makes maintenance far easier.

“From start to finish, this process has been a joy to see carried out.”

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idverde signs contract with Toro

idverde signs contract with Toro: Europe’s largest provider of grounds maintenance and landscape construction services, idverde, has signed a contract with The Toro Company today. The contract establishes a three-year partnership with Toro as a preferred supplier to idVerde’s network of locations throughout France, the UK and the Netherlands.

Through this contract, all idVerde branches will have access to the full range of Toro products, including reel mowers, rotary mowers, flail mowers, and small-area and wide-area mowers, as well as landscape contractor equipment. Toro’s extensive product portfolio also includes irrigation and snow removal products, and its equipment is widely used at notable sports venues and historic sites around the world.

idverde signs contract with Toro

The decision to work with Toro complements idverde’s ongoing strategic expansion plans, aimed at adding to the company’s capabilities and geographical coverage. “We were looking for a reliable partner with a strong presence, both at the local level and throughout Europe as we continue to expand,” said Pascal Amico, director of purchasing at id verde. “With Toro’s distributor network, we will have full coverage in terms of product, service and support. It’s exactly what we need to ensure consistency in quality and performance across all of our branches.”

“Toro is an ideal partner for id verde, not only because of our presence throughout Europe, but also because of our shared values,” said Andy Brown, corporate accounts manager at The Toro Company. “Both companies have a long history of being committed to quality, environmental responsibility, customer relationships, and putting safety first. We’re looking forward to supplying idverde with the products and support they need to build on that legacy moving forward.”

According to Anthony Nadalin, senior marketing manager at The Toro Company, idverde will also benefit from Toro’s current focus on developing new products for the landscape contractor market. “Toro is investing heavily in new products so we can offer a total solution for contractors of any size, whether it’s a small independent business or a large group like idverde,” Nadalin said. “From clearing and preparing the site to landscaping and maintaining it, Toro has equipment solutions for virtually every aspect of grounds’ care. Our partnership with idverde is a real proof that Toro has the broad product portfolio that contractors can count on to get the job done right From Start to Finish.”

Beyond access to Toro’s wide portfolio of product, the partnership also relies on the network of support that Toro offers in France, Holland and the UK through its dedicated and long-term distributors in each country.

“We have processes in place throughout France to handle best-in-class parts delivery, local training and technical support” says Jean-François Larvor, commercial director at Solvert, Toro’s distributor in France. “We are here to ensure that the Toro equipment always delivers peak performance and optimal productivity to all idverde customers.” Toro’s distributors Jean Heybroek in Holland and Reesink Turfcare UK, echo the same best in class support in their local markets

Toro’s strong commitment to developing innovative and safe products that yield performance, productivity as well as Toro’s relentless pursuit of eco-friendly and sustainable practices are a perfect match with idverde’s values around eco-responsibility and passion for delivering landscape beautification and maintenance.

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Toro a hit at Robin Hood GC

Toro a hit at Robin Hood GC: Robin Hood Golf Club in Solihull has come on board as a Toro fleet customer for the first time as course manager Luke Dennis attests to Toro outperforming other brands across the UK and beyond.

With a career that has seen him work on championship courses hosting major tournaments such as The Ryder Cup, across the UK for European tour events at the Belfry, Forest of Arden and Slaley Hall and further afield to Sweden for the Scandinavian Masters, as well as working in machinery parts maintenance, Luke certainly has an in-depth perspective when it comes to golf course machinery.

Toro a hit at Robin Hood GC

“I have the benefit of having experience working on the maintenance of machinery parts and as course manager which means I can look at a machine from two different perspectives – what it requires for upkeep and how it operates,” says Luke. “And my experience has shown me on both fronts that Toro outperforms and outlasts the competition.”

The club has had a mix of machinery up until now and the difference in having a full Toro fleet of high-quality, durable machines is palpable. And it came as no surprise to Luke when extensive demonstrations for the club’s new fleet, organised by Reesink Turfcare’s Jon Lewis, beat out the competition.

“In particular the Reelmaster 3575 really stood out,” says Luke. “The after cut appearance achieved with the perfection brushes is the best I’ve ever seen despite unfavourable weather conditions at the time of the demo.

“We also opted for the Reelmaster 3100 with groomers to enhance the semi rough. Although quite an unusual decision, so far we have received amazing feedback on the definition and quality of the ball lie achieved, which allows a cleaner impact to the back of the ball for golfers.”

With Robin Hood Golf Club now 126 years old, the parkland course of Harry Colt design is a well-regarded golfing venue near Birmingham, and its recent addition of a full Toro fleet comes as the next step in its ongoing development.

Over the last ten years, there’s been a substantial investment to help reconstruct and modernise the course, and the Toro package deal is the cherry on the cake, explains Luke.

“The full Toro fleet means we have reliable, high quality machines, which allow us to present the course to a high standard week-in week-out for our members and visitors,” concludes Luke. “And I’m pretty sure we will continue to see the course improve with Toro on board.”

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Toro up for the job at Upminster

Toro up for the job at Upminster: It was word of mouth and recommendations from nearby customers that saw Upminster Golf Club opt for Toro irrigation.

When Andy Cracknell assumed his new post as course manager at Upminster Golf Club two years ago, one of his first projects was overseeing the installation of a new irrigation system, all he had to do was choose who to go with.

Toro up for the job at Upminster

“By the time I came on board the decision had been made that the system needed to be replaced but it had not yet been decided who would be best to deliver on our objectives, which included a high degree of control to advance the turf quality on the fairways and approaches in particular.”

And it was fellow golf clubs in the vicinity of the club in Essex that made a potentially difficult decision straightforward, says Andy: “Some neighbouring clubs in the M25 area were using Toro irrigation and getting great results. The ground here is London clay and can be particularly difficult to work with, which meant I paid close attention to their experience using Toro irrigation, mainly the Lynx central control system. Everyone was raving about how effective it was.”

This is thanks to the level of control the Lynx system offers, as well as the option to choose sprinklers such as Infinity that can be accessed from the top down to prevent the messy, difficult and time-consuming process of digging up the sprinkler body for maintenance and servicing.

Clay soil needs to maintain a steady moisture level – if it gets overly wet or dry it’s easily damaged when dug up or walked on – hence the reason why Infinity sprinklers appealed so much to Andy.

“It was so important to have a system that offered us the ability to irrigate specifically to our soil’s unique needs,” he says. “We had moved past the point where it was okay to be irrigating in units of minutes, we needed to get down to the millimetre. When treated in the right way clay-based soil has the potential to be really fertile and we’re starting to see the positive difference this level of control is bringing to the quality of the soil.

“We have 150 Infinity sprinklers on the greens, surrounds, approaches and three of the fairways and there’s just no comparison when it comes to adjusting in the field, they’re so easy to use.”

The club also has T5 and T7 sprinklers fitted to specification on the tees and because says Andy “he wanted to keep everything all Toro”.

Apart from ease of use and better-quality turf, Andy says the benefits for going with Toro don’t stop there: “We’ve been using the system for seven months now and we’re definitely making a saving on the amount of water we’re using. We used to use about 70 cube of water a night on the greens but we’re using around 30 now. When you’re irrigating off the mains that’s significant.”

Hopefully though it won’t be long until Upminster has a degree of self-sufficiency to its irrigation, as Andy explains: “We have a river we can do more with. It can certainly be turned into a feature as an aesthetic benefit to the course, but more importantly we can irrigate from it too. That’s one of our next projects.”

Upminster Golf Club’s irrigation system was installed by Full Circle Irrigation and organised by Reesink Turfcare, the sole Toro distributor in the UK for golf and sports fields equipment and irrigation products, and Andy says “it’s been an excellent experience. We’ve had four or five site visits from Cevan Edwards from Reesink and everything has been very smooth.”

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