Newslines Spring 2019

Reinvention and redevelopment Toro instrumental in reinvention of two clubs Toro machinery has been instrumental in the reinvention of two municipal golf clubs in the South Liverpool and Merseyside areas. Managed by golf operators Green Circles Estates, Allerton Manor Golf Club in South Liverpool and Sherdley Park Golf Course in St Helens, Merseyside have both undergone significant transformations in recent years. When Green Circle Estates became the Operating Partner with Liverpool City Council in 2015 for Allerton Manor Golf Club, it was an easy decision to purchase a fleet of Toro machinery to maintain the greens. Confidence in Toro was confirmed when Green Circle Estates became the Operating Partner of St Helens Council in May 2018 for Sherdley Park Golf Course and additional Toro machinery was purchased. Bryan Joelson-Mulhall, director of golf for both courses, says: “The investment and redevelopment of each is in a bid to provide an affordable and accessible golf offering true to the courses’ pay and play roots, but with the kind of facilities and standards expected at private members’ golf clubs. We support public access and welcome anyone to play and enjoy the facilities at either of these fantastic golfing locations. “The investment in state-of-the- art Toro greenkeeping machinery will now improve the playability of the course, focusing on raising the standard and improving the quality of the turf across the site. Only Toro was ever considered for this role and is used exclusively at both clubs.” Richie Shields, Allerton Manor’s new head greenkeeper, pictured, says: “It’s been great to join the club at this exciting stage with investment being made and a brand-new fleet of machinery to ensure we achieve objectives.” Q&A When we spoke to Charlotte Pring two and a half years ago, she was one of seven greenkeepers, and the only woman, using a new fleet of Toro machinery to maintain the course at Oake Manor Golf Club in Taunton. Since then, Charlotte has moved to the other side of the world to work at The Hills Golf Club near Queenstown in New Zealand. Here, Charlotte, who can be seen above using Toro on top of The Hills club house, tells us about some of her biggest achievements, which include helping with the installation of a new Toro irrigation system at one of New Zealand’s most exclusive golf clubs: How has it been in New Zealand and at The Hills? New Zealand is unbelievable. The country is beautiful and there’s so much to do on your doorstep. In Queenstown, you can ski, mountain bike, surf, and hike all in the space of an hour’s drive. The people are so relaxed, it makes working here a lot of fun, but still professional. What are the main differences you’ve noticed about greenkeeping in New Zealand? Greenkeepers in New Zealand care so much about the health of the ground, looking after the organic matter that gets put in and only using limited products when they feel they really need to. What was it like joining the team? At first, I found it very intimidating. Once I started getting to know everyone, I began to relax and easily became one of the team, being a female was not an issue at all. Everyone has passed on their knowledge and experience and I can hardly believe I’ve been a permanent member of staff for just over two years. What is The Hills like? The Hills Golf Club is laid out on the site of a former 250-acre deer farm on the outskirts of Arrowtown in Central Otago on the South Island. It’s surrounded by the Remarkables Mountains and the Crown Range and since it opened in 2007 has hosted several NZ PGA and NZ Open tournaments; it’s the curren t NZ Open host course along with Millbrook Resort. What’s your biggest achievement? Thanks to being offered a sponsorship visa, I’ve gone from being part of the seasonal team to a full-time, permanent member of staff. Since then I’ve helped install a new Toro irrigation system, build a new nine-hole par three course and level and shape some of the greens, tees and fairways, which are three projects I’m really proud to have been involved with. What Toro machines are you using at the club? We have tw o Groundsmaster 4000-D machines, fiv e Greensmaster Flex 21 pedestrian mowers, Timemaster 30 inch (which Charlotte can be seen using on the clubhouse roof above) and the Sand Pro. What are your plans for the future? I’d love to stay in New Zealand and at The Hills for as long as they’ll have me, and that means aiming for residency. Making the move to New Zealand was the hardest, but best decision I’ve made in my life. news lines . spring 2019 . 09 TYM tractors Small tractor, big power SmythamHoliday Park in Devon has made the switch t o TYM and purchased a ne w T353 tractor to ensure it has the best machine for the large park’s needs. With 10 acres of grass to be cut and collected up to twice a week in peak season, the tractor needed to be reliable, durable and powerful, says owner Tony Harper. “We needed something simple and straightforward that meets the demands of a holiday park. It’s important for us to have a reliable workhorse with a lot of power, but small enough to manoeuvre between the caravans with cutting units attached.” The T353 is keeping the park in top order and has even been used to move a 12-foot-wide caravan, weighing five tonnes, offsite. “It’s a bit of a funny sight, seeing a little tractor pull a big caravan like that, but it just shows the power it has,” says Tony. “I knew once I’d seen it in action it was the best product out there for the price and I’m confident it will improve the quality of the park.” I’ve used all brands in my career and always revert to Toro for performance and a good result. Richie Shields Head greenkeeper at Allerton Manor Golf Club, left