Moor Hall Golf Club in the West Midlands has become one of the first in the UK to put Toro's new GreensPro 1200 greens roller through its paces.
Course manager Wayne Ganning included the machine in his replacement Toro fleet package after the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) recommended greens ironing to help improve the smoothness and trueness of the Sutton Coldfield course's greens.
As he explains: "There's a real buzz about irons in the industry at the moment and STRI recommended we try one to push our greens even smoother and truer. We didn't get a great deal of use out of the iron last summer because of all the rain, but when we did use it the results confirm that smoothness and trueness improved. Also surface performance achieved near-tournament levels with a significant increase in green speed by two feet, which STRI confirmed in a test. The committee and players also started to notice the difference towards the back end of the summer, so we're looking forward to getting the full benefit this summer. It's much better than the vibrating rollers we used to use. We're hoping it will help us cut back on mowing, too, which should help improve sward health."
The GreensPro is just one of several new arrivals at the 18-hole parkland course, after the club replaced an eight-year-old Toro fleet reaching the end of its useful life. Three new Greensmaster TriFlex 3400 greensmowers have particularly impressed. "There's definitely an improvement in the quality of cut," Wayne continues. "We're even using TriFlex on the tees as we're keen to get a better quality of cut on them, too. These new mowers are lighter and, from a maintenance point of view, the new lift-gate footrest is great. We've also opted for groomer brushes to stand the sward upright for a better cut and finish, which is very useful."
Wayne's other new mowers include a Groundsmaster 3500-D and 4500-D, and a Reelmaster 6700-D. "I've particularly noticed that the 4500-D rotary mower has a much quicker grounds speed, which makes us more productive," he adds.
A machine Wayne did get plenty of use out of during the washout summer was the SandPro 3040 bunker raker. "We bought a front plough as an optional extra and it pushed all the sand up despite the rain and really helped us to get the bunkers back into play more quickly after a downpour."
Finally, Wayne describes his new MultiPro 5800-D dedicated sprayer as "all-singing and all-dancing!". "It's brought us right up to date in terms of health and safety and legislation. We used to have a sprayer mounted onto a Workman utility vehicle, but having a dedicated machine is superb."
Wayne says he sticks with Toro because the reliability and longevity of the machines, together with the back-up from Lely, is "second to none". As he concludes: "We've always been red here at Moor Hall for as long as anyone can remember. I joined 14 years ago from The Belfry, when it used a competitor make of machinery, but Toro really won me round and I haven't looked back since."
For more information on Toro machinery, call distributor Lely UK on 01480 226800, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.toro.com.