As part of Minchinhampton Golf Club's 125th anniversary celebrations this year, the club in Stroud, Gloucestershire, has been hosting a '125 campaign'. It's a scheme that has seen all areas of the club come together to attract 125 new members in this special year. It has also celebrated with a number of new Toro machines to keep course presentation looking its best.
Course manager Paul Worster says: "The club planned many things for its 125th year. We knew course presentation had to be the best it could and that our machinery would be instrumental in achieving this objective.
"This club has risen from humble beginnings to three 18-hole courses on two different sites with over 2000 members. It hasn't achieved this by taking poor managerial and financial decisions. We were looking for machinery which performed well, was easy to use, reliable and durable. It also needed to command a reasonable residual value. We're a long-standing Toro customer and Toro ticks all these boxes."
Minchinhampton Common Golf Course, as it was originally known, was established with one course - the Old Course, as it is known today - in 1889. It was one of the earliest clubs in the west of England. Today the club comprises three members'-only 18-hole courses. The Avening and Cherington courses were opened in 1975 and 1995 respectively.
"Minchinhampton is effectively three different courses on three different landforms," says Paul. "And that gives us lots of different requirements to consider! Our new machines, a Groundsmaster 3500-D, Reelmaster 3550-D and two Greensmaster TriFlex 3420s, are being used on the Avening and Cherington courses. We're cutting the greens at the Avening and Cherington with the 3420s, using the RM3550-D on the approaches and a GR3500-D for the semi-roughs.
"The Old Course is a completely different kettle of fish, though," says Paul. "It's actually a public common. What with the undulating ground it's a course that requires the might of our Reelmaster 5610, which is complemented by two Greensmaster 3250s and a second Sidewinder GR3500.
"Toro copes very well with all the challenges this club presents," he says. "The Cherington has been an Open Championship Qualifying course in its relatively short history, and is maintained by Toro throughout. That is certainly not something we plan to change any time soon."