The last piece in the jigsaw of Royal Norwich Golf Club’s new state-of-the-art greenkeeping facilities and workshop was put in place last week following the arrival of a new fleet of Toro equipment.
Split over two levels, the Turf Care Centre provides 500 square metres of equipment storage space, housing a professional fleet of Toro mowers and machinery. Only the second all air-conditioned facility in the country, the building was reclaimed from an old refrigeration warehouse and also houses a team room with pool table, meeting rooms, workshop and parts storage, a boot room with washing machine and dehumidifier, and staff showers.
Its brand-new appearance hides the fact that much of the structure’s materials including the steel frame, external wall cladding, insulation, staircases, fencing, gates and even the diesel tank are all recycled. All of this further adds to the facility’s green credentials with the solar PV roof panels providing all its daily energy needs.
Peter Todd, director and estates manager at the club, is delighted with the new facilities. He said: “The building is completely insulated, so it will be highly efficient. All of the daytime power is generated from the solar panels on the roof, as well as supplying 40 per cent of the clubhouse electricity needs.”
The facility has been home to a loan fleet of used Toro equipment, compiled to accommodate the growing-in phase of the courses, but now it welcomes the beginning of Todd’s new Toro fleet.
Reesink’s Trevor Chard, who has worked with Todd for more than 18 years, first at The London Club, where they introduced of a new Toro fleet of machinery, and now at Royal Norwich, said: “There are so many different requirements when tending new and growing-in turf. For example, it’s pedestrian mowing to start with to prevent bruising the grass, and only once the grass is more established that ride-ons will be required. It’s tough, unforgiving work for the fleet, there’s a lot of dust and stones to contend with as the earth moves and settles into its new formation.”
Todd added: “If my time in construction at Gleneagles taught me anything, it’s that you can never predict what a new course will throw at you. One thing I didn’t envisage was using rotary mowers on the tees. But dwarf perennial rye grass in a blend with fescue took hold and grew so quickly in those early days, we needed to get on top of it fast and only a rotary would do.”
Now joining that loan fleet, which has worked so hard in the early stages, are four Toro Flex 2120 pedestrian mowers forhand cutting the greens, the Greensmaster 1600 is Todd’s top choice for the tees and the Groundsmaster 4500-D and Groundsmaster 3500-D are taking on the initial mowing of the fairways and semi-roughs.
“With things on a new course moving so fast and so many different requirements at each stage, I knew I needed a machinery partner that would be flexible and accommodating,” said Todd. “I respect the Toro brand and have enjoyed working with Trevor for all these years, but I needed to know I had flexible and immediate support, and Reesink’s East Anglia service division gave me that.”
Royal Norwich’s new 18-hole course at Weston Longville, which was designed by Ross McMurray of European Golf Design, is due open this summer. The club also boasts a six-hole academy course.
Royal Norwich Golf Club https://www.royalnorwichgolf.co.uk