Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club course manager James Bledge is on a mission to make the club a "bucket list destination", choosing to invest in the complete Toro Total Solutions package to help it get there.
Course manager James Bledge, centre left, shakes hands with Reesink's Richard Wood, joined by Reesink's Larry Pearman, left, and Royal Cinque Ports' James Leah.
Regarded as one of the finest links courses in England, Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club in Kent has been impressing members and tournament players for 126 years and key to that longevity is the club's determination for continuous improvement and investment. Most recently that has involved the club signing its second five-year machinery agreement plan with Toro, as well as installing a new Toro irrigation system.
James explains: "Royal Cinque Ports has a lot of history and has been at the top of its game for over a century. Next we want to make this course a bucket list destination for golfers and to do that investing in our course maintenance is vital."
This is the second Toro machinery package the club has invested in says James and when it came to investing again Toro easily came out on top in a series of demonstrations.
"With our first Toro fleet we saw a real improvement and you wonder if that could happen again. But it has," says James. "Toro is an innovator and that never changes, the product just keeps getting better."
Once the decision to go with Toro again had been made, the greenkeeping team and James put together their 'dream package' which includes four Greensmaster Flex 2120 pedestrian mowers, a Reelmaster 3100-D Sidewinder and three Greensmaster TriFlex 3420 mowers to name just a few, in addition to three Greensmaster 1000 pedestrian mowers and a Groundsmaster 4500-D purchased from the club's previous fleet.
"In particular the new Greensmaster Flex 2120s have been great. The course seems flat from afar but is incredibly undulating, especially the greens, which can be tricky to work with. But that's not a problem for the Flex 2120 - the head of the mower follows the green closely and contours seamlessly, so we don't get any scalping which is pretty special. We have seen instant improvements in appearance and so have the golfers which is even more important"
With the decision made on machinery next up was who to trust with irrigating the course. "The quality of the machines is fantastic, and we saw the same with the irrigation system," says James. "It became clear that the Total Solutions package was the best way to get our course to where we want it to be. Plus, we've got a great relationship with Toro distributor Reesink and sales rep Richard Wood, which made the decision a lot easier. Whatever we need they're always there, whether that's backup service or general advice - Reesink really feel like a part of the team.
"There are some incredible courses nearby doing amazing work and we want to be at that level. Places like Royal St Georges and further afield at St Andrews Links who also use Toro, they invest a lot in their maintenance, and it shows."
With Toro on board, the future is looking bright for the club, but when asked which machine is James' favourite, the answer is unexpected: "To be honest, I like to take out the Multi Pro 5800-D sprayer, not only is it highly accurate in its application and easy to use, but best of all, it has room for my dog Stevie to come out for a ride!"
With the new Toro machines and the new Toro Irrigation system just installed, James is confident they're on track to turn the club into a top golfing destination.
For more information visit: www.reesinkturfcare.co.uk