Toro machinery and Toro the dog at two Peterborough golf clubs

Rosie Duckworthin Machinery & Mechanics

The family-managed duo of golf courses, Thorpe Wood Golf Course and Orton Meadows Golf Course in Peterborough, continues its joint ambition to switch to Toro with the arrival of its latest fleet.

Simon Fitton, managing director of Nene Golf Ltd, with Toro the dog and latest Toro machines.

Golf is in Simon Fitton's blood. Not only is he a fourth-generation golf professional, he's also the third generation of the Fitton family to be managing the two courses. Simon assumed the role of managing director of Nene Golf Ltd, the company managing both sites, in 2010 and has been adding more Toro to the shed on an annual basis - and has also added a rescue dog called Toro to the ranks!

Simon says: "I took over the company from my dad in 2010, but the first Toro arrived a decade before me. Since then, we've been on route to becoming all Toro and I foresee that being achieved in three to four years. Every year we switch more out and get one step closer."

The reason for this, Simon says, is the service from Reesink Turfcare and rep Julian Copping is "surprisingly good" and the quality and reliability from Toro is "sound".

"I met Julian pretty much as soon as I joined and the relationship was there straight away. It was all good, actually surprisingly good - very natural - and as a result it has easily developed into what it is today. Julian continues to help us sort out what we need and makes the process very easy."

The machines delivered in this most recent order includes, among others, a Reelmaster 3100-D with Sidewinder, Workman HDX utility vehicle, ProPass 200 topdresser and an ex-demo SandPro 5040, which, with up to 17 attachments all of which can be changed in under a minute, is the perfect addition for two busy clubs.

So, with the machinery replacement programme taken care of, Simon can concentrate on the recent developments across both courses driven by the changing industry: "We're already unusual in that we're a business comprising two courses, in two locations offering our customers two great challenges. But the industry is changing and we're making updates to both courses to make sure we don't get left behind. These include a 23-bay covered floodlit driving range, the building of which meant we had to adjust parts of the course to accommodate it, a large putting green by the first tee and a chipping tee by the 10th. Meanwhile, Orton Meadows has an updated 12-hole Pitch and Putt course to introduce more people in the area to the game and provide somewhere for players in the area to perfect their shots."

With two 18-hole courses and all these new additions to the clubs, it is probably quite a challenging role for Toro? "You'd never notice," says Simon. "Toro takes everything we throw at it, whether it's course maintenance or more challenging build projects, in its stride. And you can really notice the difference as we get more Toro - you see how the quality cut, finish and care spreads to cover more of the course."

So how about Toro the dog, how does he fit into the story? "That's a story that was just meant to be," says Simon. "I already had a dog called Welly and although I wasn't looking for another, I'd heard of a rescue dog that needed a home. His name was Toro and as soon as I saw him I knew he was coming home with me! I don't know why he was given the name of Toro but it certainly suits us - he arrived and in the same week so did a new arrival of Toro machines!"

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