St Andrews Links is home to two of the latest Foley Company grinders that have become popular machines with the greenkeeping and maintenance teams.
St Andrews Left to Right -Workshop Manager Lani Togi, workshop team member Alec Straith
Ease of use and quick grind times have contributed to the popularity among the staff who have to cater for everything from family golf to the Open Championship. An average Open tournament requires up to 110 units to be sharpened and the Foley will be there to ensure uniform cutting perfection in 2022 when the 150th edition of the Championship is played.
Away from the Old Course, the greenkeeping and maintenance teams are kept busy with six other courses catering for families and all regular golfers, totalling in the region of 230,000 rounds of golf a year. No one is more familiar with what it takes to accommodate such a large volume of golf more than workshop manager, Lani Togi.
For himself and his team, the Foley Company 653 Accu-Master Reel Grinder and 673 Automatic Bedknife Grinder make grinding quicker, easier and most importantly for Lani, more enjoyable.
"When it comes to saving time, the Foleys are a lot quicker than anything we've used before," he began. "Previous grinders have been quite labour intensive, whereas we don't have that issue now. The team really like using them, and if they're happy using them, it makes it so much easier because they do a good job and we get the best results.
"One of the biggest things that's helped us get those results is the Borazon stone that we have for the 673 bottom blade grinder. The new Toro E-Reels use a tungsten mixture that makes them extremely hard, and that stone really cuts it in well. That prevents a lot of problems that previously would have meant we would have to sharpen them repeatedly to get the same result. Now we get it done the first time around."
Well thought out automation and features are a part of what makes the 673 Bedknife Grinder so user friendly. An Innovative Bedknife Mounting System uses powerful electromagnets to hold the bed bar in place, and Positive Gauge Stops to make set-up fast and straightforward. You can grind any bed bar arrangement without additional tooling and use the Fast Angle Set-Up to provide repeatability without recalibration. Set the Angle Stops once, and the 673 will grind the same angle repeatedly to ensure consistency and time-saving. Changing from grinding the front face to the top face is as simple as pushing a button and watching as the powered Tool Bar rotates into the position.
Automation is only one part of what makes Foley Company's operation work for its customers. Training and a full back-up service are crucial elements to ensuring users can always grind when they need to, and with UK distributor, ProSport UK Ltd, Lani trusts they'll never have any issues.
"When it comes to buying machines, it's not always about the cost of the item; it's the personal side of things as well," he said. "You buy from people, and we've worked with Ian at ProSport UK for many years, and we know we can rely on his back-up service."