Highwoods Golf Club in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, has taken delivery of its first Toro machinery fleet, in a move designed to take the course to the next level. It's the 18-hole club's second fleet deal, but its first with Toro. Highwoods made the decision to change manufacturers in conjunction with the greenkeeping team, with advice from other clubs and specialists, after identifying what it required to raise the bar.
General manager Austen Moran says: "We pride ourselves on the great strides we have made to move the club forward in recent years. This machinery fleet deal is a major investment and is the next step in achieving our plans to further improve the course. We've had time to embrace the new machines and are proud we've been able to do so with minimal disruption for our members."
Head greenkeeper Darren Farley and his five-strong team had identified the course design they wanted for winter and summer play, and quickly determined that Toro was the brand for the job.
Their shopping list comprised two Groundsmaster 3250s, a Reelmaster 3100-D with sidewinder cutting units, a Reelmaster 5510-D and a Workman HDX-D-4WD.
"There are many things I've noticed about Toro throughout this process that have impressed me," says Darren. "First is the fuel efficiency. The stats are pretty impressive and we are making great savings. We're also making savings on time. The RM3100-D in particular really suits our course and is giving us two miles extra cutting an hour with absolutely no difference to the quality of the cut. This of course has made a difference to our productivity."
There are new machines to cut the greens, fairways, roughs and tees, but, with its clay-based soil and reputation as a 'grass factory', it is Toro's fine cutting units that have really been put to the test.
"We've got 150 acres to cut and 88 of those are fairways," continues Darren. "Most of our course is highly manicured and requires a very fine cut. The attachments we have to help with the maintenance of these areas, such as the groomers, which fluff up the grass, are making a real difference to presentation. We cut daily and make adjustments on a weekly basis and this helps us keep on top of everything."