Course Maintenance

AMS (Automated Management Services) will once again showcase their robotic grounds care solution at BTME 2019.


The automated ball wash and transportation system along with the Belrobotics robot mower and range ball collector will be exhibited on stand 139 in the blue zone.
AMS’s robotic maintenance solutions are designed for large green space areas where turf maintenance is required such as sport pitches/fields and golf facilities.

The robot mower can cover areas of up to 24,000 m2 and cut the grass between 5-7 times a week. The robot ball collector can cover 30,000m2 and drops the collected range balls into a ball pit, which washes and transports the balls back to the dispenser.

“The BTME show offers a great platform for us to promote our eco-friendly, efficient and cost saving alternative to conventional mowing and driving range ball management. Visitors can expect to see our robot technology in action and a wealth expertise from our technically knowledgeable sales force who will be on hand to discuss their individual turf requirements.” AMS Managing Director Philip Sear

AMS service solution requires no capital outlay and the cost is administrated through an affordable monthly price plan. The robots are lightweight, environmentally friendly, reduce costs associated with labour, fuel, waste removal and could transform the health of your outfield in just over a year.

Sterling results from Toro at Stirling Golf Club

Toro fleet helps club prepare for 150th anniversary
Lying on a tilted slab of ancient volcanic lava in front of the historic Stirling Castle is Stirling Golf Club, one of Scotland’s oldest golf clubs, which is preparing for its 150th anniversary with a helping hand from Toro and its distributor Reesink Turfcare.

All eyes are on the club in central Scotland, whose golfing credentials actually stretch back to 1505 when golfing activity involving Monarch King James was first recorded, as it prepares for its anniversary. But with a carefully constructed Toro fleet the pressure to keep the course up to standard is under control, says course manager, James Lindsay. 

“It’s an exciting time and everyone is looking forward to it, but it does mean there are a lot of people expecting great things; 150 years is a big deal after all! We’ve been completely redoing the bunkers for the anniversary, working with renowned course architect Howard Swan of Swan Golf Designs repositioning, reshaping and draining them all, which will be finished in time for the celebrations, so members can enjoy a newly refreshed course. It’s important for us to be able to provide the best, especially as there’ll be a full calendar of events over the year with members and dignitaries invited.”

Maintaining such a respected course, James knows having the best turf maintenance equipment is essential. Since his appointment six years ago, he has continually updated the machines at the club and it now boasts a 100 percent Toro fleet.

“I’ve always used Toro: they’re the highest quality and most reliable, so it’s a no-brainer really. Plus, having an all Toro fleet makes it’s easier to train people, which means we can spend more time working on the course. They’re quick to cover the grounds, which saves us fuel, but the speed doesn’t stop them giving a smooth finish. Being 100 percent Toro has improved the club in lots of ways.”

He continues: “The machines themselves are really dependable, but on the rare occasion there’s been an issue it’s been fixed very quickly. It’s comforting to know that if there’s ever a problem, there’s always someone at the end of a phone who can get it sorted.”

With the fleet consisting of a Greensmaster TriFlex hybrid 3420 and two GR3250-D mowers, a Reelmaster 5610-D, RM6500-D and RM3100-D, plus a Groundsmaster 4500-D, Workman MDX-D and Procore 648, the club has built up a comprehensive collection.

“I have to say my favourite to use is the Procore 648,” says James. “Aeration is key and this machine works at a good speed and delivers a tidy finish.”

With the club busier than ever, James and the rest of the greenkeeping team are safe in the knowledge the course is in good hands with Toro – and that’s set to continue as James concludes: “We’re signed on to a five-year exclusivity agreement, I trust the products and service and know what I’m getting. I don’t see us stopping our agreement anytime soon. Toro machines keep this club at the very top of its game, and why would I change that?”

Balmers GM becomes BIGGA education supporter

The British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association is proud to announce that Balmers GM has become an Education Supporter of the association.

Balmers GM has been established in the turf machinery industry since 1979. Nearly 40 years later and the company has depots in Burnley, Lancashire and a second depot in Wakefield, serving the West and South Yorkshire areas.

In becoming a BIGGA Education Supporter, Balmers GM will support the members of the association and the wider greenkeeping industry and provide a number of educational opportunities across the north of England through the BIGGA framework.

In addition to John Deere’s full line of professional and domestic turf equipment, Balmers GM supplies and services machinery from other manufacturers, including Etesia, GreenMech, Scag, Stihl, Weidenmann and GKB.

Employing approximately 50 people across all departments, providing new and used equipment sales, service, parts and commercial hire to a wide range of customers including golf and sports clubs, local authorities, contractors, the leisure industry, equestrian centres and smallholders.

In addition, Balmers GM maintains one of the country’s largest stocks of used commercial machinery, delivering to both national and international customers.

Lauren Frazer, BIGGA Business Development Manager, said: “Balmers GM has a fantastic reputation across the north of England and we’re delighted that the company has come on board as an education supporter for the association.

“The growing number of companies signing up to support BIGGA shows how respected our members are in the wider industry. BIGGA members are leading the way when it comes to innovation, technology and embracing new ideas out on the golf course and it is brilliant that Balmers GM and our other Education Supporters are keen to be a part of that success.

“Thank you to Balmers GM for your valuable support of BIGGA members. BIGGA is hugely grateful to all Partners and Education supporters – and the many individual contributors – as the funding they provide goes a long way to underpinning our Continuing Professional Development programme and all educational activity.”

For further information on Balmers GM visit

“Toro Is The Future” For Mid Kent Golf Club

Mid Kent Golf Club’s newly appointed course manager, Darryl Manion, has committed to increasing the club’s Toro fleet with a renewal agreement and four new machinery purchases in his first three months at the club in Gravesend.

Darryl arrived at Mid Kent Golf in 2000 and has worked his way up the club through senior and deputy roles before taking on the course manager position. He is dedicated to renewing the current Toro fleet and expanding it further.

He explains: “I’m not interested in changing a system that works. I want to make the club better, not take a step backwards. The service we get from Toro is second to none and to be honest I can’t think of anything better to suit the course’s needs. Our team works hard to keep standards high, but it would be useless if we didn’t have the right equipment behind us, which is why I want to continue with Toro.”

With Toro already front and centre at the club, Darryl explains why expanding is the right choice for Mid Kent: “The design of Toro machinery has always impressed me, they get the job done quickly which saves fuel and their durability in particular is better than any other brand I’ve used. The quality is undeniable really. I’ve only been in this role three months, but I’m already looking to the future and to what we can achieve. By renewing machines each year and updating the fleet, I know the quality of the course will only improve. The way I see it, Toro is the future for Mid Kent Golf Club.”

Mid Kent Golf Club, which is over a century old, is regularly referred to as a course of classic design and has long enjoyed glowing praise for the fact that the challenge and aesthetic layout of the course Willie Park Jr took great care in creating has never been diluted. This is a situation Darryl is keen to maintain.

“I’ve had experience with Toro for many years and there’s nothing else that meets the same standard. I’m lucky enough to be in a position to make investments to maintain the club’s charm and make improvements that mean we stay with the times – I want to take that opportunity and ensure the future of Mid Kent is the best it can be and going forward, that means Toro.”

The club currently boasts a comprehensive collection of Toro machines and utility vehicles plus two TYM tractors so there’s no question the club has long recognised the value they bring. With a Workman MDX-D and Groundsmaster 4700-D purchased this year, and a Reelmaster 3100-D and Greensmaster Triflex Hybrid 3420 on order, the fleet is expanding and with Darryl in charge there have been no delays in making that happen.

“The new machines are going to be a great addition to the fleet we have already,” says Darryl. “Each machine we get from Toro always works perfectly for the job it’s intended for, which is what makes them different to other brands. I think my favourite machine is the Reelmaster 3100-D Sidewinder, because I know it’s going to be a job well done before I even start. It gives good definition around the greens which is really important and, of course, very satisfying.”

TYM T393 chosen to headline BTME after successful launch year

The TYM T393 has been chosen by distributor Reesink Turfcare to headline its TYM tractors stand at BTME because of its perfect positioning to bridge the gap in the TYM line up, from the compact utility range into the mid-duty range.

TYM sales manager, Steven Haynes, says: “The T393 was the logical choice to bring to BTME. It’s done hugely well in the UK in its first year, the fact that it’s able to do a lot of the tough stuff as a compact is a major benefit which will appeal to the fine turf market. It has already established itself as a comprehensive workhorse, a tractor that can take on the small and big jobs with ease.”

A 39hp Yanmar engine, two transmission options: 12x12 speed manual with dash mounted shuttle lever or a three range HST transmission, and the highest lift capabilities in its class at 1200kg, means productivity is at the fore of the T393’s design. It has one of the highest hydraulic flow rates with a maximum output of 42 litres per minute, making it suitable for use with a wide range of hydraulically driven attachments.

The cab features wide opening doors which allows for easy access on and off the tractor and, unlike larger models, there is no intrusive B-post on the tractor to hinder visibility.

Steven continues: “The T393 brings the utmost versatility to our TYM offering in the UK. It’s more productive per acre and is the ideal choice for those who don’t need a larger framed mid-duty model but need the most amount of power, productivity, versatility and efficiency in a compact package.”
Also on stand will be two of 1st Products’ rear-mounted tractor attachments: the AERA-Vator and the VC Verti-Cutter. A complementary fit with TYM, this newly introduced capsule range increases the options customers get from their tractor.

“Tractors are of course designed as implement carriers,” says Steven. “Making use of this capability with attachments rather than bringing in additional machines for mowing, tilling and shredding saves space in the shed and is much more economical and these products are ideal for that.”

Completing the line-up is the popular heavy-duty T503, renowned for being more than capable for all tractor-based applications on the golf course.

Steven concludes: “This is our biggest show in the UK and represents how far the TYM name has come in a few years. We’re looking forward to welcoming people to stand 202 in the Red Zone, to show our products existing and new.”