Hever Castle Golf Club in Kent has been part of the grand Hever Castle estate since 1992. The castle is steeped in royal history as the place where Henry VIII courted the young Ann Boleyn. But it was in 1920 when a nine-hole golf course was built for its wealthy American owner William Waldorf Astor's personal enjoyment - and this is where today's 27-hole championship course lies.
Much care over time has been taken to keep 'golf' central to the castle's future and today that job falls upon Hever Castle Golf Club's Club Manager Jon Wittenberg and Course Manager David Wood. Jon and David have spent time over the past nine years developing the course and its facilities, including investing in the correct turf maintenance equipment, green development and drainage.
The club has recently invested in new Toro equipment and David has been incredibly pleased with it so far, saying "Toro has the best quality machinery on the market".
David Wood was delighted to be offered the opportunity to trial the mowers before purchasing. "It was extremely important for us to get to know what machines Toro had to offer," says David, "and the opportunity to ask any questions we had before a decision was made."
Since taking delivery of four Greensmaster TriFlex Hybrid 3420s and two Reelmaster 3100-D mowers, David has found his overall time in course maintenance reduced. The hybrid mower is specifically used for precision mowing, cutting the club's greens every day to a height of just 3mm. The proven Flex suspension allows the cutting units to float freely over the contours and undulations of the green, resulting in a superior quality of cut and appearance.
David also approves of the environmental benefit of using a hybrid mower, saying that "greener machines are better for the club, the environment and are more practical as there are a lot fewer hydraulic leaks".
The Reelmaster 3100-D mower can be used on any type of turf, making it easy for the greenkeepers to cut the tees and surrounds to required heights, even in hilly and wet conditions. With a choice of five, eight and eleven-blade cylinders and adjustable cylinder speeds, the RM3100-D can be configured to meet all mowing needs. David has also been very happy with the club's purchases so far.
He says: "Toro mowers provide a better quality job than the previous machines we used. They are also easy to set up and maintain, which makes my job a lot easier and more time-efficient."
Since using Toro's mowers the club has been highly praised by its members for the quality of the course and the estate's grounds. Jon is now looking forward to refining the work that's already been achieved and has set his sights on becoming one of the most successful golf clubs in the UK.