Toro is well known in the industry for its durability and reliability, and nowhere has Toro's longevity been put to the test quite like the machines at Westridge Golf Centre in the Isle of Wight. Several machines have been in use for over 20 years - and are still going strong - which is why the club has recently purchased another two Toro machines.
Westridge's course manager Paul Jenkins, second from right, with club owner, Mark Wright, centre, and members of the greenkeeping team
Course manager Paul Jenkins explains: "Toro machines are so well made and are by far the most durable brand. In our experience with Toro, if you look after it, it will last. That's why we have our own mechanic and service each machine after every 50 hours of use. In fact, our oldest machine is a Toro Groundsmaster 3000-D which we've had for 30 years and is still being used!"
But it's not just the machines themselves that have lasted so long. With 44 years in the industry, Paul's faith in the brand has also stood the test of time, and continues, as he invests in another two Toro machines.
"The first club I worked at bought one of the first Toro GM3 machines in 1975, and from then I've been hooked," explains Paul. "At every club I've worked at, I have always strived to ensure there is at least 70 percent Toro machinery in the fleet to ensure the best possible course maintenance, and Westridge is no different.
"When I joined around 17 years ago there was a limited amount of turfcare equipment," he continues. "Over the years we've invested so that we have a majority of Toro machinery, and that continues with our latest purchase of a Toro Reelmaster 3100-D Sidewinder and Reelmaster 5610-D."
Having worked at 19 major tournaments around the world including The Open, US Open, US PGA and the Ryder Cup, all of which were Toro venues, Paul knows a thing or two about excellent presentation. And with Westridge Golf Centre in the process of expanding from a 9 hole to an 18 hole course, there was no better time to invest in more Toro to keep standards at the course high. Something which the club's owner, Mark Wright, fully supports says Paul: "We're fortunate to have someone like Mark who recognises the value in investing in quality equipment. He's a pro by trade and he understands that to play on the best surfaces you need the best equipment."
"We really pride ourselves on our presentation here, so both the new machines will be put to good use on the course, and even more so once it has been extended," says Paul. "The new Reelmaster 5610-D is great as it's slightly smaller and provides a finer cut than the Reelmaster 6500-D we had been using for the fairways. Despite the 6500-D being 16 years old, it's still a good solid machine so we will keep using it on the driving range."
"The Reelmaster 3100-D Sidewinder is also brilliant," he continues. "Every few years there always comes along an innovation that really stands out, and for me, the Sidewinder technology is one of those innovations. It's so unique to have a machine that can slide the cutting units from side to side and cut hard to reach areas safely. As a dual purpose machine, it's also reducing manual labour which is a great bonus."
As the only pay-as-you-play course available on the island, with a growing membership and an expansion underway, Westridge Golf Centre certainly has an exciting future ahead, with the course set to be enjoyed by the whole community for years to come.
"It's a very exciting time for Westridge and it's great to have Toro on board to help with the course maintenance now and in the future," says Paul. "Put simply, Toro machines are just designed well with durability in mind. I've visited the Toro factory in Minneapolis before, and I've seen for myself that what Toro is doing is head and shoulders above everyone else."