Thanks to the flexibility of Toro's UK distributor Reesink Turfcare's finance options, Dean Wood Golf Club signed its second Toro fleet lease agreement despite being in the midst of the lockdown.
Course manager Chris Halkerd, centre, with Reesink's Mike Turnbull, right, and Cheshire Turf Machinery's Chris Halley
With golf clubs across the country temporarily closing their doors earlier this year, you'd be forgiven for thinking that investment in their courses would stop. But for Dean Wood Golf Club this wasn't the case, as the club has invested in more Toro.
Chris Halkerd, who has been at the club for 24 years and course manager for 15, explains: "We'd come to the end of our first lease deal with Toro in March, just as the lockdown came into force. This threw the club into a state of uncertainty, but luckily with help from Reesink and Cheshire Turf Machinery, we were able to continue our investment in the club."
With the range of flexible finance options that Reesink provides, the club was able to reduce costs while bringing in a fleet of brand new and upgraded machinery.
"The finance offering from Reesink couldn't be matched by anyone else," continues Chris. "And while we'd had other brands demonstrated, it was clear to us that Toro was the way to go. The course has steep gradients in places, and other brands just couldn't get up there. It was this combination that sealed the deal."
"The board was in immediate agreement with the plan, but we put it to the members to vote as well. It was almost unanimous. Despite the uncertainty of the market, it was clear to everyone this deal presented the best opportunity to save money and greatly improve the course."
The deal means the club now has the bulk of its payments scheduled for next year which Chris says has given the club "real peace of mind that the financial risk for this year has been reduced, without compromising on the service for our customers."
And the excellence the club strives to provide has certainly been noticed. With the greenkeeping team posting on social media throughout lockdown showing them hard at work with their Toro machines, interest has boomed. The club has gained around 100 new members (and counting) in the last four weeks alone, with some even joining before the course had reopened.
But whether old or new members, they've all noticed the quality Toro has brought to the course, says Chris: "We've had so much feedback from members saying that the course looks exceptional. Thanks to the new and upgraded machines, I've even had someone say it's never looked better in the 40 years they'd been coming to the club!"
"The new machines are fantastic," continues Chris. "I've been particularly impressed by the Reelmaster 3575-D which has reduced our fairway cutting time by 45 minutes, and the Greensmaster TriFlex Hybrid 3420 is not only great for the environment, but it takes away any worries about hydraulic leaks as well as reducing noise. I actually had to check it was cutting when we first got it on the course - it was so quiet I didn't believe it was turned on!
"The ProCore 648 aerator is another game changer, and we've got a new TYM 503 tractor which is a great workhorse. My thinking is that after five years we'll purchase them both, as it's clear they'll provide huge benefits as permanent investments."
So with the member count continuing to grow, and the course the best it's ever been, it's safe to say that Dean Wood Golf Club is a COVID-19 era success story.
"We are really lucky and grateful to be in the position we're in now, but we wouldn't have been able to do it without the forward thinking board and members we have here at the club. Not to mention the excellent support from both Cheshire Turf Machinery and Reesink who've been instrumental in navigating us through the best possible course of action during this time."
To talk to someone about the finance options available and how the Toro range would suit your course, call 01480 226800.