Astbury Golf Club, in South Cheshire, has significantly improved the presentation and playability of its key playing surfaces, thanks, in part, to a partnership agreement with leading turfcare machinery specialists Toro.
Having previously used a mixture of different machinery brands, in August 2013 Astbury signed up to a five-year partnership agreement with Toro, supplied by UK distributor Lely Turfcare and local Toro dealership Cheshire Turf Machinery.
Within three years the club has brought five machines on board - two Greensmaster 3250-D ride-on mowers, a Groundsmaster 4300-D, Reelmaster 3100-D and Workman MDX-D - and this month welcomes its sixth; a Toro Reelmaster 5510-D fairway mower.
Alan Percival, greens chairman and director, explains how the partnership agreement initially came about: "When the club's current course manager Dave Blank joined Astbury three years ago, he, together with the greens committee, set the objective of significantly improving the presentation and playability of our greens, tees and fairways. Dave led the improvement programme and in parallel we embarked on our conversion to Toro equipment."
Dave, who heads up a five-strong team, explains why he and the greens committee opted for Toro when appraising turfcare machinery: "Toro makes the most reliable and easy to work on machines in the industry. I'd used Toro prior to joining Astbury, so my own experiences with the brand, coupled with recommendations picked up from the greenkeeping community, made Toro the only choice."
Of the fleet, Dave says he and his team are particularly impressed by the Groundsmaster 4300-D: "With its atomic blades, it's able to really bash up the autumn leaf fall, which is fantastic. It's light too and not overly big, so doesn't cause compaction issues like you can get with others.
"It's also important that we get a real precision cut, and the Groundsmaster and other Toros are doing a fantastic job of that. The end result is there for all to see," says Dave.
The Groundsmaster 4300-D's Contour Plus cutting technology takes quality of cut to an impressive level. Air inlet pockets keep the grass standing tall for the cleanest possible cut, while optimised design and use of lightweight materials means less weight and turf compaction without sacrificing performance and functionality.
"We have achieved considerable success," Alan adds, "much to the delight of the club membership, and there is no doubt that the use of the Toro machines has been a major factor."
"Overall we're highly delighted with the machines," Dave concludes, adding that future plans see orders for a Toro ProCore aerator later in the year, and another Reelmaster 3100-D and Groundsmaster 4300-D mower over the next two years.
For more information, visit www.toro.com