Course Maintenance

Gullane Golf Club and Toro Partnership to Hit 25 Years

Gullane Golf Club in Scotland and Toro certainly have history. With the latest deal taking it to 25 years, it’s a partnership claimed to have produced putting surfaces as close to perfection as nature will allow.  

That accolade was made about the effect of the Greensmaster TriFlex Hybrid 3420 mowers on the course for the Scottish Open three years ago and with a new machine in the club’s last order, clearly the Toro effect continues. 

“Toro gave us the attention to detail to create near-perfect conditions. It always has, and it’s why this latest deal takes our relationship to a quarter of a century,” says course manager Stewart Duff.

With three 18-hole courses, Gullane No. 1 carved into ancient links turf, Gullane No. 2 sweeping down to a nature reserve, and Gullane No. 3 with views across Aberlady Bay to the Firth of Forth and beyond, it’s no wonder the club is regarded as one of the most picturesque golf spots in the world. And with a state of the art short game practice area, driving range and children’s course as well, Toro certainly has a lot of area to cover when it comes to maintaining the course. Helping with that is the Groundsmaster 4700-D, which is a like-for-like replacement in the last order from Toro distributor Reesink Turfcare.

Stewart explains: “We split our Toro fleet between the courses as we have so much ground to cover, but there are a couple of machines we use across all three; the Groundsmaster 4700-D is one of those machines. With a cutting width of 12.5ft alongside a high-powered engine it’s incredibly productive.” 

And it certainly gets put to good use at Gullane, says Stewart: “In the growing season we have the machine in use five days a week across all the courses, doing three times the amount of work compared to our machines that just work on the one course. So the 4700-D that we had in our last fleet for four years, actually did the equivalent of 12 years’ worth of work – but even then, it was still going strong when we signed the new agreement.”

Joining the Groundsmaster 4700-D and the Greensmaster TriFlex Hybrid 3420 mowers in the last fleet purchase was the Toro Workman utility vehicle and ProPass 200 topdresser. 

Stewart continues: “We’re constantly looking at small tweaks we can make in order to get the best possible results and improve the courses for all, and Toro plays a big part in that. For example, we opted for the two Reelmaster 3550-D fairway mowers as the smaller sized cutting units allowed us to follow the contours better, which results in a better quality of cut. The slick tyres on the machines also prevent any turf damage when turning.” 

Included as part of Gullane’s tournament support fleet in 2018 were Toro’s GTX electric utility vehicles and they certainly impressed Stewart with him saying at the time he’d be changing his utility vehicles to be Toro based on his positive experience. The arrival of three Workman utility vehicles in the last order sees Stewart true to his word and it sounds as though Toro will be around for many more years to come at Gullane. 

Stewart concludes: “The team and I are delighted to have Toro here at the club for another five years; although realistically that’s more than likely going to be another 10 years. We really do feel as though we have the best possible machinery for the courses and with a club that wholeheartedly supports that relationship, I can only see us continuing to invest in Toro in the future.”

How to Genuinely Minimise Downtime and Maximise Productivity when Using a Kawasaki-Powered Mower

Spring signals the start of the busiest period for your machines and Kawasaki has some top tips for minimising downtime and maximising productivity.

Coming out of winter storage and into the growing season, your machines will need to be functioning to their full capabilities. Martin Cook, Parts and Technical Manager at Kawasaki Engines, highlights key maintenance tasks to make sure your engine and machines perform at their absolute best this season.

First and foremost, remove the spark plugs and check the gap. Oil on a spark plug could be a sign of low compression. Do not be tempted to clean the carbon deposits off the spark plugs, this can cause more problems than it’s worth for the price of a new spark plug. It is very important to get this right as misfiring or poor performing plugs can put stress on the engine. 

The importance of performing overall checks on your machines cannot be underestimated and some have to be done more frequently than others. Engine oil level, loose or lost nuts and screws, fuel and oil leakage, battery electrolyte level and checking for a clear air intake screen are best done daily. Make sure you clean the air cleaner foam element every 25 hours and the spark plugs and air cleaner paper element every 100 hours or in preparation for Spring, whichever comes first. 

While most of the checking and cleaning can be done by a workshop technician or competent landscaper, greenkeeper or groundsperson, there are some checks best performed by an authorised Kawasaki Engines Dealer. For example, changing engine oil and filter, cleaning the cylinder head fins and checking and adjusting the valve clearance.

If you did not drain the tank before storing the machine for winter, you are going to need to check the tank is clear of any water or debris. Ethanol attracts water and the engine could misfire if there is water in it. This should be easy enough to do as most engines have plastic, see-through tanks and the water will be sitting at the bottom. If in doubt, drain and refill. 

Most ride-on mowers will have two oil reservoirs, one for hydrostatic oil and one for engine oil. Always check you are using the correct one when topping up. Some hydrostatic drives use the same oil as the engine. For those please check your machine’s operating manual.

One of the most important things you can do for the overall performance of your machine is to make sure the blades are sharp and balanced. All other aspects of the mower’s maintenance can be perfect, but if the blades are dull your engine has to work that much harder to deliver, and that has repercussions on the longevity of the engine’s life and fuel economy, as well as leading to recutting, affecting productivity. 

One easy way to maintain your Kawasaki Engine’s reliability is by using only Kawasaki Genuine Parts. This can make all the difference between a reliable machine and one that is not. Using non-genuine parts means your machine is less likely to operate as productively or efficiently as it should. When you choose Kawasaki Genuine Parts you are assured of quality, reliability and compliance with original equipment specifications.

Most oil filters look the same on the outside, but inside a Kawasaki filter, a slotted alloy tube protects oil flow. A pressure-activate bypass valve prevents cold-start wear and maintains flow in case of blockages. Silicone valves, rubber seals and a heavy canister stand up to high temperatures and severe use. Kawasaki build provides a different level of engine protection, one you can count on. 

Similarly, with Kawasaki air and oil filters, these are specifically designed with permeability that matches flow rates, operating pressures and temperatures of your Kawasaki engine – and most importantly, they fit exactly. 

With machines heading into their busiest period, make sure you’re preparing them for peak performance. Time spent on routine preventative measures now, will mean any downtime is kept to a minimum and productivity at a maximum.  

Club Car Launch Slimmed Down Carryall 502

Club Car’s versatile Carryall 502 model, the Utility car, designed by superintendents for superintendents, is now available in a narrow profile specifically for rental fleets.

The Carryall 502 Slim has all the modern, innovative attributes of the Carryall 502 that make it perfect for golf course maintenance, yet it has extra manoeuvrability with slimmer bed and canopy options and measuring a maximum 100 inches long and 46.5 inches wide.

Tony Swinnerton, Club Car’s EMEA Commercial Vehicles Leader, said: “Yet again Club Car has listened to golf course superintendents and people working with these vehicles every day, and responded by putting customers’ needs at the heart of an updated design.

“The smaller profile of the CA502 Slim means rental operations can be streamlined by maximising the number of cars delivered at one time, as they will fit side by side on most trailers.

“The design retains all the benefits of the standard model with extra operator room for all-day comfort and a low profile dash which maximises range of view, but being smaller makes it easier to navigate narrow paths, small openings and confined spaces.” 

During the design phase of the Carryall 502, Club Car interviewed more than 400 superintendents in order to tailor the vehicle precisely to the requirements of golf course maintenance.

One of the key features of the both the Carryall 502 and Carryall 502 Slim version is best-in-class visibility, with a wide windscreen and a lowered dashboard for a better view of the turf. 

The monsoon canopy with integrated water management is also the widest in its class. It is designed to protect both occupants and equipment from inclement weather, while draining water off to the sides of the vehicle to help protect the rear box.

The Carryall 502 Slim’s steel bed box is 3.8 inches narrower than the standard model, yet it still has ample storage space to fit tools and equipment.

Other key features of the Carryall 502 Slim include: 

A 14 horsepower gas engine with closed loop EFI engine, or an electric zero-emission option with Trojan T145 extended range batteries

A rustproof aircraft grade aluminium frame, chassis and cargo box with Rhino lining to deaden sound, along with best-in-class ergonomics

A total vehicle capacity of 1,200 lbs (544 kg)

Dashboard with two USB charging ports and a multi-use drinks/tool holder

Optional LED headlights

For more information on Club Car visit: www.clubcar.com

New Regional Business Manager for Southwest and Midlands

David Timms joins the Reesink Turfcare team

David Timms is delighted to be working with Toro again after 18 years as the new regional business manager for Reesink Turfcare in the Southwest and Midlands.

Having started his career in the turfcare industry as an area sales representative in Sussex working with Toro and Hayter machinery in 2003, David went on to become sales manager within the distribution company of JSM in 2007 before relocating to Somerset with Textron in 2011. Now he has come full circle as he returns to working with Toro machinery.

“It’s great to be back working with Toro and Reesink,” says David. “I’ve had a love for the brand since working with them 18 years ago and for some time now, I’ve had the desire to again work with and promote the leading brand, so when the opportunity arose it was a really easy decision. The build quality, innovation and range that Toro provides is above and beyond competitors, so I feel very fortunate to be in a role where I can confidently sell the best machinery in the market. With over 100 years trading as a stand alone mower company, it really speaks volumes about Toro and its future.”

In addition to bringing near two-decades of experience with him, David also starts the role with a philosophy to work according to the fundamentals of selling machinery, something he feels will help him in his role and benefit customers.

“In my time in the industry I’ve learned what is really fundamental when it comes to selling turfcare machinery,” says David. “First and foremost is building strong relationships with customers, dealers and colleagues. People don’t buy from people they don’t know. Secondly, backing both the product and customer through the machine’s life is very important, and simple aspects which are all too easily overlooked. All customers are asking is for you to go out and do a good honest job.”

David is already enjoying the work and is excited for what’s to come: “The most exciting part of the job is definitely the opportunity it provides to build on existing and new relationships with customers in the industry, made even better by the fact I have the confidence that customers now genuinely want to buy the brand, with it already at the forefront of most customers wish lists.”

With the industry starting to move forward from a time of uncertainty, David is optimistic about the future of golf, and Reesink and Toro’s part in that.

“I would hope that over the next 12 months we see a resurgence in golf, particularly as people appreciate the chance to get outside more than ever,” David concludes. “With Reesink and Toro having the most comprehensive and reliable offering of machinery, servicing, parts support and warranties in the market, and customers more concerned with whole life costs and longevity of equipment, we are well placed to meet customer needs.”

David can be contacted via Reesink on 01480 226800.