From 1616 to present, Royal Dornoch Golf Club's reputation for golfing excellence has only grown over the past 400 years. Now considered one of the top golf clubs in the UK and amongst the best in the world, the traditional club keeps ahead of the curve by bringing in the best technology available to maintain the courses - as proven by its second investment in Toro machinery.
Course manager Eoin Riddell explains why the club purchased Toro machinery: "We can't get enough of Toro, it is by far the best turfcare machinery brand we've tried. On top of that, we have a great relationship with the distributor Reesink Turfcare and our dealer Gammies, where we are on a first-name basis with all the staff."
The courses follow the remote links landscape and there to tame the wilderness is an impressive fleet of 35 Toro machines, as well as a Toro irrigation system with sprinklers and two TYM tractors.
Above all, the Groundsmaster 4500-D is Eoin's favourite new machine. He enthuses: "The 4500-D is a great mower that can cut anywhere and has unbelievable productivity. It makes light work of the courses, turf nurseries, driving ranges, and a grass runway we maintain."
This is down to the model's SmartPower technology that enables a consistent cut anywhere. The intuitive feature works by automatically adjusting the mower's engine speed according to cutting conditions, while maintaining optimal power to the blades.
And the Toros are not just a hit with Eoin: "We have 20 members of staff through the season and they all love the Toros. They are well-built, operator-friendly and reliable, which is probably why our mechanic finds them easy to work on too," says Eoin.
Keeping technology current is a priority at Royal Dornoch, where the operation of Toro's myTurf Pro fleet management program is in full swing. Eoin counts this among his favourite bits of Toro kit.
He says: "When we brought in myTurf we were all a little dubious to begin with, but that quickly changed. Our machines simply pass a sensor at our shed door that automatically records how long they've been in operation and, from this, calculates preventative maintenance and replacement parts needed.
"Our mechanic can access this information, plus user manuals for every Toro machine manufactured, by simply logging in to myTurf on his computer. The program makes life so much easier for him and eliminates human error, making cost of ownership calculations far more accurate."
At such a busy club it's no wonder myTurf Pro is proving useful. In 2016 the club celebrated 400 years of golf with 250 tournaments during the year, during which the Toros were always out.
Eoin explains: "At some points we were hosting two tournaments a day and Royal clubs from all over the world joined us for a week-long celebration. Throughout it all we could rely on our Toros, which worked all-year-round - morning, nights, even weekends - with barely a hiccup!
"We work our machines very hard, so it's important that we frequently update them with the best technology available from Toro. Royal Dornoch is a traditional club with a great history, but in such a fast-paced industry we must move forward with technology to maintain a world-class reputation."