Productive peace at Hillside Golf Club

. minute read

Toro electric machinery enables all-day course maintenance

Having seen improved productivity from all-day course maintenance from using Toro electric machinery, Hillside Golf Club in Southport has subsequently invested in four more Toro all-electric eTriFlex 3370 greensmowers and two Toro Workman GTX-Lithium utility vehicles from distributor Reesink Turfcare.

When the club invested in its first eTriFlex three years ago, the aim was environmental to eliminate the risk of hydraulic leaks on the greens. Having used the machine for three years now there’s an additional benefit: it’s favoured just as much for the lack of operational noise, which has enabled greens staff to mow throughout the day.

Hillside Golf Club’s links manager Chris Ball, right, with Reesink Turfcare’s Mike Turnbull and one of the club’s new Toro all-electric eTriFlex 3370 greensmowers.

The club invested in its first eTriFlex three years ago, the aim was environmental to eliminate the risk of hydraulic leaks on the greens.

Links manager Chris Ball explains: “The way golf clubs mow has changed, and it’s not always possible to fit in all the work we need to do before play starts any more. This is due to a post-COVID increase in members and visitors and the commonly held view that rounds played over the same course take longer than they once did.

“Work needs to happen all day – and the solution to that is simple, it’s silent electric power.”

The R&A agrees in its Pace of Play guide, stating that course maintenance during play is necessary and adapting maintenance schedules is vital to have as little negative impact on pace of play and the players’ enjoyment as possible.

“With the electric mowers, we can work around members and guests without disturbing them and gives us the ability to get in right behind tournament play as it happens which is essential in keeping on top of the course throughout an event,” Chris says.

When Chris bought the original mower, total cost of sale was a big factor, yet at the time it was an unknown. Thanks to Toro’s newly developed cost calculator, designed to compare operating expenses of alternative energy-powered machines, it’s now known that using the eTriFlex over five years will save £10,153 compared to its diesel equivalent.

“I can well believe it,” says Chris. “There’s a number crunching exercise to be done but I’d say we’re well on the way to that. It’s the absence of downtime and lack of repairs required that’s particularly noticeable, and how easy and quick maintenance is. And that’s without factoring in reduced running costs and no fuel.”

Seeing how this way of working improved productivity and elevated the condition of the course helped the club make the decision to boost its electric machinery fleet with Toro electric utility vehicles from distributor Reesink Turfcare, too. With the Workman GTX-Lithiums on board bunker work such as raking can also run alongside mowing throughout play.

All of this is part of a wider sustainable picture with Chris and the team working towards being non-reliant on chemicals, carefully choosing the perfect combination of drought-resistant organic feeds and disease-tolerant grasses. The goal is to use less water and fewer inputs and spend less money to get the same results.

“It’s important to make the investment now to reap the benefits in the future,” Chris concludes – and leading the way with electric machinery has been an integral part of that investment in the future.