0 Sherborne puts TORO through its paces

Sherborne GC.jpgWhen Sherborne Golf Club in Dorset decided to change from a hire-purchase plan to a lease, course manager Chris Watson put all the major machinery brands through their paces before signing up to Toro.

The 18-hole course, which boasts stunning countryside views over Blackmore Vale, now benefits from a five-year Toro exclusivity agreement after switching from another manufacturer's fleet for this more financially viable deal.

"A lot of items in our old fleet were due for a change and so I proposed a lease as opposed to a hire-purchase plan to the club's management in order to save the club money and enhance the course," Chris comments.

"In March last year we tested every bit of equipment available from all the leading manufacturers and appraised each piece on performance and build quality. All the greenkeeping staff were involved and a few months later we spent a whole rainy day analysing what was good and why. Toro came out on top."

With Toro streets ahead before running costs had been considered and a deal thrashed out, Chris and the committee were ready to talk business with distributor Lely and dealer Devon Garden Machinery (DGM). "The exclusivity deal was struck earlier this year," Chris reveals. "Toro's excellent build quality, better service intervals and cheaper parts clinched it. We also knew DGM to be very reliable, which they've proved to be, having supported us 100 per cent since we received the Toro kit."

Three Toro mowers - a Greensmaster 3250-D, Groundsmaster 4000-D and Reelmaster 3100-D Sidewinder - are now maintaining the club's course, together with a Workman 4300-D utility vehicle and Workman 200 Spray System.

"The machines are excellent," says Chris. "The testing really paid-off - we chose the right equipment and are now reaping the benefits. We've had a lot of positive comments about how good the course is looking, not only from players but also the club's chairman, who attributes the improvements to the new Toro fleet.

"The Toros may be more expensive in the short-term, but running costs are less in the long-term. Finance-wise I'm spending £400 to £600 per month more on the new machines, but my maintenance budget has dropped from £12,000 to just £3,000. And at the end of the five-year agreement, we will still have a product that is a valuable asset."

Toro commercial turf maintenance products are distributed throughout mainland UK by Lely (UK) Limited, 1 Station Road, St Neots, PE19 1QH. Call 01480 226800, email toro.info.uk@lely.com or visit www.lely.co.uk or www.toro.com for further details.

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