Newslines Summer 2017

Always something new at Wentworth Club and the BMW PGA Championship Highlighted kit: Greensmaster eFlex, Reelmaster 5010-H & TYM tractors Ever critical eyes adopted a new focus on this year’s BMW PGA Championship . The iconic West Course at Wentworth Club was subject to major reworking from June 2016 ahead of this year’s tournament at the end of May – all 18 greens were stripped and reseeded, and the bunkers redesigned. Wentworth’s director of courses & grounds, Kenny Mackay, says: “The 8th, 11th, 14th and 16th greens were subject to a complete rebuild with a further five having major work done. The bunkers were remodelled to address problems that included poor drainage through to inconsistent sand depth, with no fewer than 29 being removed completely.” Also new to 2017 was the decision to mow the fairways in one direction so there were no stripes, plus an alteration to the sequence in which the greens are cut. Instead of the team mowing and preparing all 18 tees and greens ahead of tee off, mowing of the back nine was delayed until the first player was on the course. Build-up to the tournament begins in May, Kenny says: “Thankfully, we have a fantastic relationship with suppliers like Toro and Reesink plus the support of BIGGA and the European Tour team. The key to a good build-up to a tournament is working together and trying to anticipate problems before they become one. Experience of the BMW PGA Championship of course helps, but I’m always learning. That is what keeps this job interesting.” In terms of the kit employed at Wentworth for such an event, there were 20 hand mowers in action, with 40 mowers in total. “We bring in extra Toro equipment from Reesink Turfcare’s Tournament Support Fleet, with two of the company’s service personnel joining our in- house mechanics to look after the equipment.” The Toro equipment and TYM tractors used to tend the West Course are leased as part of the deal with Reesink Turfcare set up as part of a five-year programme, with the key mowing kit for the West Course replaced on a two-and-a- half-year cycle. This, says Kenny, is to allow access to the latest mowing technology: “We use hybrid fairway mowers , for example, and hand mow with electric greens mowers . I believe in always looking at improving the way in which we do things.” Kenny is clearly grateful for the wide support he receives not just from Toro and Reesink and his own in-house team, but the BIGGA volunteers too. The remodelled bunkers were tended to by 25 volunteers and those viewing the tournament on ultra-high definition television sets could not fail to see the care that went into raking the bunker sand, or indeed the care and attention to detail that goes into the whole course. Toro brings wow factor and members to Chevin Kit: GM7200, Greensmaster TriFlex 3400, GM4700-D, RM3100-D, RM3100-D with Sidewinder, RM5510-D & ProCore 648 Chevin Golf Club’s first Toro fleet has brought the wow factor to an already impressive course and, according to course manager Andy Mellor, membership at the club near Derby has increased. “The course was in a good state when I arrived, but there were some areas for improvement,” he says. “One of the problem areas was the finish around the trees and on the roughs. I thought the answer would be Toro’s Groundsmaster 7200 , and I was right. Its accessibility is fantastic, it’s in and out of the trees in no time. The range of cuts is extensive and that has allowed us to create a more bespoke cutting regime and a much smarter aesthetic on the roughs.” Making a particularly good impression with the five-strong greenkeeping team is the Reelmaster 3100-D with Sidewinder , with Andy calling it “the machine of the moment”. Andy says the machine earns this high praise because of the option to shift the cutting units from side to side: “Being able to move the cutting units left and right gives an extra 24 inches and increases the overhang for trimming. This is particularly beneficial when it comes to maintaining the bunkers, lakes and ponds, as pictured above. There’s no risk of damaging the walls because the weight is balanced away from the edge, and of course therefore there’s less risk that the machine and operator may tip into the bunker or lake!” The service from dealer Cheshire Turf Machinery has played a large part in Andy’s satisfaction. “I had a fantastic relationship with the Toro dealership Devon Garden Machinery who covered my previous club and the backup and support from Cheshire Turf Machinery here has been brilliant, too. Nothing is too hard for my contact Chris Halley and it’s clear Reesink Turfcare takes a great deal of care over which dealerships to work with. “Toro has eliminated all the niggles and little problems remaining on the course and as a result playability is further improved. Member retention is excellent and, since Toro came on board, 60 new members have joined.” 06 . news lines . summer 2017 01 Toro at work at the 2017 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club. Pictured inset, director of courses & grounds, Kenny Mackay. 01