A Merseyside golf club’s decision to switch from outright ownership of its Toro turf machinery fleet to an Operating Lease has proved a hit with the club’s committee and greenkeepers alike.
Eighteen-hole parkland course Haydock Park has been a loyal Toro user for 27 years this year. But a few years ago the club took on a five-year Operating Lease from distributor LelyUKto keep its fleet in optimum working order and better manage its machinery budget – a finance deal it has recently renewed for a second time.
Here, the club’s secretary manager and head greenkeeper reveal the advantages of this popular finance option…
David Hughes, secretary manager: “The big decision to switch was made five years ago. With an ageing fleet, we found we were having to replace machines piecemeal, year-on-year, as they reached the end of their useful life. So we decided to replace all the machines in a part exchange deal and go for the Operating Lease. Because our fleet is updated on a continual basis, we now have the very best cutting units and technology available. It’s versatile too, allowing us to add to our fleet as we go. And that keeps a smile on the face of our head greenkeeper!
“The really great thing about the lease is it’s helped us better manage our machinery budget. Major repairs apart, regular maintenance is included, which means a large proportion of our monthly costs are now fixed. It gives us peace of mind. I’m certainly glad to know there won’t be any skeletons jumping out the closet and landing on my desk! Backed by the support from our local dealer Cheshire Turf Machinery, and Lely and Toro, it suits us down to the ground.”
Terry Wharton, head greenkeeper: “I’ve been with the club for 31 years, so remember when Toro first arrived. My original boss chose Toro, but we’ve continued to use it because it’s such an excellent product. There’s no downtime, the machines are easy to set-up and maintain, and the quality of finish is fantastic. We wouldn’t change for the world now.
“This is the second time we’ve opted for a five-year Operating Lease. Maintaining the very best standard of finish for our members is important to Haydock, so we like to use the newest machines and latest innovations. Our members want it to be right. For example, we’ve just upgraded our Reelmaster 2000-D mowers for two Reelmaster 3100-Ds. They’re excellent – the quality of cut is even better and the operator ergonomics have been improved too.
“The committee looks after the club finances and they’re really on-board with Toro. They feel very comfortable with this purchasing system. Not only are the machines fantastic, but Cheshire Turf Machinery provide a great service too – if ever there’s a problem they’re down here in no time to get us back up and running. What more can I say? The length of time we’ve used Toro speaks for itself.”