Royal Norwich chooses Toro as it prepares to relocate

Georgie Scottin Golf

Toro brought in to help club tend 45-holes across two different sites

Royal Norwich Golf Club has invested in Toro as it embarks on one of the most exciting times in its 123-year history.

With all the legal and planning formalities nearly complete, it is expected that Royal Norwich will relocate to the nearby location of Weston Park Golf Club where it is the intention to build a brand new premier 27-hole facility.

Phil Grice, general manager at Royal Norwich, says: "We are at the start of a very big project. Our vision is to create one of the region's most prestigious golf facilities and we're off to a great start with course designers European Golf Designers, who designed Celtic Manor 2010 Course, on board and a recent and considerable investment in a range of new Toro machines.

"The relocation won't take place until late 2018 or early 2019 and in that time we need the machinery to ensure the quality of the golf course at Royal Norwich our members always expect. Plus soon, when the course at Weston Park is "growing in", we will merge our two greenkeeping teams and will be relying upon this equipment to help tend 45 holes between the two sites. That's a big ask and we knew whatever brand we chose would be under immense pressure to perform, but the quality of the Toro machines leaves us in no doubt they are up to the task."

Phil says the decision on which machines to choose was a collective one by "those at the coal-face", head greenkeeper Mark Dingle and his greenkeeping team of five. "We have opted for two Greensmaster TriFlex 3420 greens machines and a Reelmaster 5510-D fairway mower, which will ensure the quality of our greens, tees and surrounds, plus a Workman GTX utility vehicle. The GTX is the newest utility vehicle on the market and really versatile and, considering the range of work we have coming up, that's essential."

The history and heritage of the two clubs will combine with an ultra modern 27-hole course, a 200-seat function facility and stunning atrium bar, and to accommodate the unique course, Phil says he will need to grow the fleet twice more in the next couple of years. Working with UK Toro distributor Reesink Turfcare over this initial stage has been, Phil says, "a pleasure. It was obvious our business was important to the team, they bent over backwards to support us, nothing was too much trouble and they supplied an incredible amount of machines to loan and to demo before we made our decision."

Phil, who has been at Royal Norwich for five years and will move with the club to the new site when it opens, says that while it's the end of an era for Royal Norwich it is a unique time for the members of both Royal Norwich and Weston Park. "The plans point to a progressive new club, one which will set a new standard for the region. This investment in Royal Norwich and the quality of the course, plus what's to come will mean there is much for our members to be excited about and look forward to."