The Belfry is enjoying the benefit of new Toro equipment as it prepares for this season. It follows an investment by owners the KSL Club Corp in over £200,000-worth of new Toro machinery last year.
Director of golf at The Belfry, Angus MacLeod, has been a Toro user for over 33 years and the company's mowers have long been used at The Belfry. "As far as I am concerned, Toro equipment is in the premier league," says Angus.
"We run all Toro mowers at The Belfry and have invested in new ProCore aerators, workman utility vehicles and dedicated greens rollers this time.
"But choosing Toro goes beyond the equipment. For me it is the people that I deal with that are of equal importance."
Angus praises the help and support he receives from his local Toro dealers, Meriden-based Redtech Machinery Ltd, good backup being one of his key demands.
He also appreciates being offered the chance to evaluate different items of equipment and being able to talk through his needs with people who understand his requirements. A good example is the GreensPro 1200 roller.
"Dedicated greens rollers are really useful items of equipment but I have to say some of the designs I have tried are not really that operator friendly," he says.
"As it is offered with a steering wheel, the Toro GreensPro 1200 is easier to use. The unit we now have does a good job working to prevent any debris build up on the rolls and delivering a consistently firm playing surface."
When evaluating the tractor powered Toro ProCore aerators, Angus suggests he was impressed by their quality of work, build quality and ease of maintenance. Of equal importance was the post aeration finish.
The need is to aerate with the minimum interruption of access to the courses, the adoption of Toro aeration kit being subject to meeting tough performance demands.
Key likes include the hydraulic top link fitted to both the ProCore SR72 and SR75 models as they enable depth setting to be altered on the move.
If this suggests Angus adopts all the latest Toro equipment then it is also worth noting that this is not necessarily the case. When given the choice between fixed head Greensmaster 1000 and the advanced floating head Greensmaster Flex pedestrian greens mowers Angus selected the former as he feels they can give a tighter cut on the greens on The Belfry's three courses.
When Angus became director of golf at The Belfry in 2012 he was taking on not one but three very different courses: the Brabazon, PGA National and the Derby. Each course has its own distinct character and golfing challenges.
Getting to grips with one course is difficult, but three presents an even greater task. To add just a little extra frisson of challenge, these courses are for many a benchmark of excellence.
"I am keen to keep an eye on equipment developments and am always open to trying new kit," he adds. "Those who play golf at The Belfry have high expectations and it is my job to ensure we meet them.
This means I expect a lot from the equipment we use. Both Lely UK and our local dealers, Redtech, take a keen interest in our needs and neither just assumes we will select Toro kit. We talk to one another and that really counts."