Rough mower New course manager for Yeovil but Toro stays Yeovil Golf Club in Dorset has long been a Toro customer and that remains the case with the arrival of new course manager Jason Connaughton who, within days of his arrival, placed his first order for a Toro Groundsmaster 4000-D. Jason says it was an exciting time to join the 27-hole parkland course as the club was undergoing a management restructure. He says: “The club is in a very exciting position. There has been a management restructure and we are working together to move the club forward in a positive way. Plans to buy in new machinery are well supported, and we are all in agreement that investment should focus on our number one asset: the course.” As mentioned, first up is a Toro Groundsmaster 4000-D, which Jason had the pleasure of using extensively at his previous club, Saffron Walden Golf Club in Essex: “I have experience with most machinery brands and for me the Toro GM4000-D is the number one rough mower. We had just replaced like-for-like at Saffron Walden, so when I arrived at Yeovil and spotted the gap for a rough mower I turned straight to Toro and the GM4000-D again.” Jason didn’t have to wait long, Elliot Wellman from local Toro dealer, Devon Garden Machinery, was on site by Jason’s second day to discuss what was needed to join the two Toro Greensmaster TriFlex 3400 mowers, a Groundsmaster 3500-D, two Workman MDX-D utility vehicles, a Workman with ProPass 200 topdresser, a Workman with Toro 200 sprayer, a Reelmaster 5610-D, and last but not least a Reelmaster 3100-D already helping to move the club forward. 03 03 Course manager Jason Connaughton, right, with Elliot Wellman from dealer Devon Garden Machinery on the left and club secretary Chris Huggins. news lines . summer 2018 . 09 Dealer network expansion Demand for TYM Further strengthening the geographical availability of the TYM product, TYM’s dealer network has expanded to include KJ Stoneham and Rafferty Newman in 2018. Providing both dealers’ customer bases with a comprehensive compact tractor range, the appointments extend TYM’s coverage in mid and north Devon and West Sussex. The simple reason behind the appointments is to meet the demand for supply TYM is experiencing as customers, specifically private estates, small holdings and farms, hear about TYM’s growing popularity. Commenting on the significant growth of the brand in the past year, Reesink's Steven Haynes says: “Our expansion is based on the demand we’re finding in the marketplace for a reliable, quality tractor for a wide range of jobs. It’s great to know that our products are reaching a wider market and benefitting even more customers.” Q&A With Lee Fortis, head groundsman at the Kia Oval, home to Surrey County Cricket Club and the England cricket team. When India played Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy final 2017 a global audience of up to a billion tuned in to watch play take place at one of the most historic sports clubs in the world – the Kia Oval. So what’s daily life like for Lee with so many eyes on his work? Talk us through a typical working day. Our working days vary depending on the time of year and whether we have a game or training session. Until recently all Surrey County Cricket Club 1st XI training sessions took place at the Kia Oval, but now we have a separate facility in New Malden for non-match day training. Match day and training days are pretty structured involving the removal of covers, erection of practise nets and cutting the whole ground. What is the biggest challenge you face? Providing a surface which allows for a good contest between bat and ball, and is entertaining for the paying public. This is what all our preparation and maintenance work is designed to achieve. Occasionally we don’t meet this and then the challenge is getting yourself back up to succeed again. What’s the difference in looking after grounds which play home to county and international matches? Internationals are of course very special occasions – last year’s ICC Champions Trophy final between India and Pakistan, for example, had a global TV audience of a billion people. But we put in the same preparation and targets for that as any other game. Does your day ever throw you any surprises? All the time! But with experience I’ve learnt to worry about these less and just get on and deal with it. There’s no manual for cricket groundsmanship and everybody’s circumstances are different. What works in our situation may not work in someone else’s, so it’s important to be flexible in your work and willing to try new techniques. What do you like most about your job? I consider cricket groundsmanship more of a lifestyle than an actual job, and I especially enjoy working outdoors. What’s your favourite bit of Toro kit, and why? The two bits of kit which have made the most impact at the Kia Oval are th e Toro ProCore 648 and Toro Greensmaster TriFlex. When I first arrived, the outfield had poor drainage and lacked presentation. These machines have made a definite impact on reducing consolidation, as well as improving infiltration rates and the presentation.