Garon Park joins TORO's Club GDC

Amy Ellinghamin Golf

Garon Park GCGaron Park Golf Complex in Essex has become the latest club to benefit from an all-new Toro Golf Decoder Controller (GDC) irrigation system, installed by specialist sports turf contractor MJ Abbott Limited.

The 27-hole Southend-on-Sea course was originally designed and built in the early 90s by Professional Golf Association (PGA) Master Professional and European Institute of Golf Course Architects (EIGCA)-qualified architect Alan Walker. Alan is a now a director at Garon Park and part of the consortium that purchased the club from its previous owners in 2010. Alan and his team are working towards returning the course and complex to its original design and function.

Key to realising that ambition was the installation of a new irrigation system. Alan decided to install the Toro system on the recommendation of Michael Martin from irrigation consultant Robin Hume Associates, which designed and specified the system, but says his familiarity with the brand sealed the deal. "I was drawn to Toro because of the strength of the brand," he reveals. "Together with the backup and aftercare service offered by Toro, Lely and MJ Abbott, I was more than happy to go with the Toro system."

The new GDC irrigation system spans the club's greens, tees and approaches across all 27 holes. This includes nine holes of existing irrigation, which was reconfigured to work with the new control system. The project also required the custom-build of a new pumping station. It is hoped the irrigation will particularly keep Garon Park's free-draining, sand-based greens playable all year round, avoiding the need to use temporary greens in future.

"So far, so good," says Alan. "We're now using the system and are very happy with its operation and performance. The improvements to course conditions are clear to see - I would certainly recommend Toro GDC to other courses."

For further information on Toro's GDC irrigation system, contact distributor Lely UK on 01480 226858, email or visit

Toro Irrigation products are distributed throughout mainland UK by Lely (UK) Limited, 1 Station Road, St Neots PE19 1QH. Call 01480 226858, email or visit for further details.

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