When you’ve been at a golf course since its very beginning, overseeing its construction and grow-in all the way to it hosting Tiger Woods winning the World Golf Championship, it’s natural you would want the best machinery to look after the grass on a daily basis.
Phillip Chiverton has been using Toro for 25 years, and at The Grove in Hertfordshire, where he is course manager, since 2001. But this is the first year he has replaced all the club’s Toros at the same time and it’s made significant repair savings.
Phil explains: “It was time to do a full machinery replacement. We haven’t needed to do so for many years. The mowing model we follow works well and suits the design and presentation of the golf course. But we’re at the start of a three-year plan, which covers, among many things, maintenance and improvement work for our calendar of events and tournaments.
“The machinery is of course a huge part of that and replacing everything at once has made a marked difference to our repair costs, they have quartered! We were expecting to see some savings as some of the machines we were replacing were, in the case of the Greensmaster 1600s, over 12 years old, but it goes to show that as technology improves over time, the machines become more efficient.”
It’s not just golf that Phil and head mechanic Neil Corley have to consider when choosing new machinery – the full-sized football pitch is regularly used as a training base for the England squad and numerous NFL teams – but the replacement programme of the greens, fairways, tees and approaches and grounds mowers plus aerators and utility vehicles was a like-for-like.
“Neil and I have worked together for ten years and have very similar views on machinery choices. We generally run to the rule: if it’s not broken, don’t try and fix it,” says Phil. “We would have liked the lighter-weight fairway mowers, for example, but due to time and resources the Reelmaster 5410s fitted with groomers works well. We were tempted with the electric Flex 2100s, too, but we don’t have an issue with noise on the golf course so we kept the petrol version, and the Groundsmaster 4700 is the only rough mower on the market that can cut the rough without scalping.” This is high praise indeed, for the Kyle Phillips-designed course is undulating with sharp designed edges.
Phil has been getting his Toro machines from Oliver Landpower for 25 years and has built up a firm relationship with Charlie Glenister, who, being only two miles away, can be on-hand should problems arise, which is a particular advantage during tournaments and events.
There’s a great deal of pressure when preparing to open your course to the world as The Grove will do in 2016 for the British Masters, but Phil and his 14-strong team are a dab hand and with the reliability and performance of Toro, and the support of Oliver Landpower on side it will undoubtedly rival their previous successes on the global stage.
As Phil finishes with saying: “Toro were the first machines to cut the grass at The Grove and will probably be the last. We’ve been through the purchasing process many-a-time over the years and Toro is the best I’ve found.”
Toro turf products are distributed throughout mainland UK by Lely Turfcare, 1 Station Road, St Neots PE19 1QH. Call 01480 226800, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.lelyturfcare.co.uk / www.toro.com for further details. And in Ireland by Lely Ireland Limited, Kilboggin, Nurney, Co. Kildare. Call 00 353 (0)45 526170 or email email@example.com.
The Grove www.thegrove.co.uk/golf/