Course Maintenance

Bruntsfield Links Looking After Its Investment With Toro

A £1.2 million investment in the 18-hole course at one of the world’s oldest golf clubs, Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society in Edinburgh, has concluded with the arrival of a brand new Toro fleet of machinery to safeguard the investment. 
As course manager Neil Hogg says, you don’t create something of this quality if you don’t have the machinery to keep it at its best: “This is our first package deal and the timing coincides with the conclusion of the extensive revamp of the course by golf course architects Mackenzie and Ebert. The course has been designed around a very modern spec and reflects the way golf is played in the 21st Century. We knew we needed a package deal to take care of the course and deliver the results it deserves.”
The main objective of the redesign was to keep the original Dr Mackenzie shapes and feel but bring it up-to-date. Mackenzie and Ebert follow in the footprints of past course work completed by Willie Park Jnr, Dr Alister Mackenzie, James Braid and Fred Hawtree. 
 
“Despite being an Open qualifying venue since 2011, there hadn’t been any changes to the course since the early 1970s,” Neil says.
 
There are now eight new holes and more than 80 bunkers which have been redesigned and repositioned to reflect the distances club golfers are now striking the ball, plus the course has been restored to a par 71 to create longer play. The 12th & 13th holes were combined to create a challenging dog leg par five into a prevailing wind and a new signature par three hole at the 16th over a pond has been introduced.
And already Neil notes the improvements are making a big difference for the club: “The course improvements were designed to elevate Bruntsfield to be one of the top parkland courses in Scotland. The works have only recently finished, but have made such a difference and been so well received, we’ve surged up the Top 100 Golf Courses list by 69 places. Plus, we’ve seen an increase in membership too and now have an extensive waiting list in place.”
 
However, the equipment in the shed wasn’t quite so shiny and new, as Neil explains: “The shed was previously a mixed bag of machines. Some were getting on for 30 years old and the machinery that made up the fleet as a whole hadn’t really been considered. With Dougie, our CEO’s guidance, plus that of Reesink’s Stuart Tait and David Raitt, we looked at how we could streamline things and ensure the best for the future of the course.”
 
Dougie Cleeton enjoyed a successful tenure as managing secretary of Blairgowrie Golf Club before joining Bruntsfield and bringing with him sound knowledge of what to expect with the redesign of a course, says Neil: “We were lucky to get Dougie. He’d been involved in similar projects before and brought with him a wealth of experience. Together we went through the machines in the shed and planned the new fleet.”  
 
Included in the deal are two Reelmaster 3575-D fairway mowers, two Reelmaster 3100-D mowers with Sidewinders, five Greensmaster 1000 pedestrian mowers, two Greensmaster 3250-D ride-on greens mowers, a Workman MDX utility vehicle and a TYM 503 heavy-duty tractor.
 
“The new fleet is delivering on our expectations. All the staff love using the machines, the fairway mowers are so nimble and light, and the pedestrian mowers in particular are a big hit. Plus, maintenance and servicing are a lot easier.” 
 
Neil finishes by saying: “It’s the perfect end to a successful project. We started out with quality and longevity in mind and we conclude with it too. The machines will respect the course and bring out its best for years to come.”
 

Cannes Mougins Golf & Country Club goes Li-ion

Cannes Mougins Golf & Country Club, a former European Tour venue located just a few miles inland of the famous Promenande de le Croisette, Cannes, has become the first venue in France to receive Club Car’s new lithium ion powered golf car, the Tempo LI-ION.

Club Car, Official Supplier of The European Tour and a brand of Ingersoll Rand, delivered a new fleet of 38 lithium ion powered golf cars to the venue, the first fleet of the newly launched Tempo LI-ION to be installed on French turf.
An extension to the Club Car Tempo range, the Tempo LI-ION is a redesigned car with a lithium ion battery seamlessly integrated into the vehicle’s construction and operating system. The result is maximum management efficiency with up to 50 percent electricity savings, and a zero-maintenance battery.
Olivier Villaeys, Director at Cannes Mougins Golf & Country Club, said: “The new fleet of Tempo LI-ION not only provides us with an opportunity to reduce labour and utility overheads, but it also adds to our business by enabling us to promote our partners and our own restaurant through the integrated touchscreen Visage platform installed in each car.”
 
Developed to automotive-grade safety and performance standards, the batteries in the new Tempo LI-ION cars require no watering, saving valuable labour time. In addition, Tempo LI-ION’s smart charging capabilities include automated off-peak charging for lower energy costs, charging rates that are two to three times faster than lead acid powered cars, and longer running times per charge.
The Tempo LI-ION can be equipped with the Visage Fleet Management platform, which allows course superintendents to manage their fleet’s usage, performance and charging schedule remotely, as well as installing system updates remotely.
The newly installed fleet at Cannes Mougins, delivered and maintained by local dealers Solvert, also features a selection of utility vehicles to support day-to-day club operations, including two Tempo 2+2 and one Carryall 500 Food & Beverage.
Kevin Hart, Director of Golf Sales EMEA at Club Car, said: “The Tempo LI-ION marks a new era for golf cars, and to see one of the most historic and renowned venues in France being the first to invest in the new technology is very exciting, and a testament to the Club Car brand.”
 

Toro beats the competition for a fourth time at Bridgnorth Golf Club

Bridgnorth Golf Club in Shropshire recently signed their fourth renewal agreement with Toro despite competitive offers from other brands because “nothing matched up” says head greenkeeper, Martin Jones.
When it came to the end of the club’s third renewal agreement with Toro, Martin chose to consider all the options to find the best possible machinery for the parkland course situated alongside the River Severn. 
 
“One company even brought a whole fleet for us to trial,” says Martin. “But at the end of the day, myself and the whole team agreed that nothing matched up to Toro.
“Since our first agreement, we’ve been impressed with the quality of machines, service and the improvement to the course, and it’s continued to get better through the tenure of two more agreements. In fact, in the last five years, I can count on one hand the number of issues we’ve had! That’s an incredible track record that’s hard to beat.”
 Martin also credits the service from local dealer Oakley’s Groundcare and Reesink Turfcare, an official Toro UK distributor, as largely influencing the decision to renew for a fourth time. 
 
“We’ve got a great relationship with Oakley’s. On the rare occasion we have a problem, I know I can pick up the phone and they’ll get a mechanic out to us in an hour and a replacement machine within a day. Similarly, Reesink’s area manager John Pike has been really helpful, from general advice to the training; it’s all been great.” 
 
Having been at the club for 42 years and head greenkeeper for over 20, Martin knows quality when he sees it, which he says is exactly what Toro provides. 
 
“The quality of Toro machines is second to none and every single machine does exactly what it says on the tin. That’s why we’ve renewed like for like as well as purchasing a couple machines from our previous fleet.” 
 
The new fleet consists of a Greensmaster TriFlex 3400, Groundsmaster 5610, GM4000-D, GM3500-D and Reelmaster 3100-D alongside a purchased Workman HDX-D and GR3250-D. “The quick release unit of the Greensmaster TriFlex 3400 in particular is fantastic,” says Martin. “It’s a real time saver and the standard of cut is outstanding.” 
“With every new renewal the course has improved, particularly the fairways and the tees,” Martin concludes. “With Toro things just keep getting better!”