Dean Wood Golf Club’s course manager Chris Halkerd



Dean Wood Golf Club has recently signed its second Toro fleet lease agreement, despite being in the midst of the lockdown. With golf clubs across the country temporarily closing their doors earlier this year, you might think now wouldn’t be the right time to invest in course maintenance. But thanks to the flexibility of Reesink’s finance options, this isn’t the case, as we find out from Dean Wood Golf Club’s course manager Chris Halkerd.

Why did you decide to sign another Toro fleet deal?

The main selling point was the finance offering from Reesink. It couldn’t be matched by anyone else. That, combined with the quality of Toro machines, sealed the deal. We’d had other brands demonstrated, and that made it clear to us. The course has steep gradients in places, and other brands just couldn’t get up there.

Course manager Chris Halkerd, centre, with Reesink’s Mike Turnbull, right, and Cheshire Turf Machinery’s Chris Halley.

Did the lockdown make you question if the timing was right?

Obviously the lockdown threw the club into a state of uncertainty, and happened just as our last lease deal came to an end, but we had extensive conversations with Cheshire Turf Machinery and Reesink which put our minds at rest. It was clear with the finance options available, we could continue investing in the club.

What was the biggest benefit of the finance offering?

With Reesink finance, we now have the bulk of our payments scheduled for next year, which means the financial risk for this year has been reduced. In basic terms, we’ve reduced costs for this year, while being able to bring in new and improved machinery.

The board was in immediate agreement with the plan, but we put it to the members to vote as well. It was almost unanimous. Despite the uncertainty of the market, it was clear to everyone this deal presented the best opportunity to save money and greatly improve the course.

How have your members reacted to the new fleet?

We’ve been posting on social media throughout lockdown showing the work we were doing at the club when it was closed and showcasing the Toro machines in action. From that, interest really boomed. We gained around 100 new members, and counting, in the last four weeks alone. We even had people joining up before the course had reopened! Now that we’re open everyone’s noticed the quality of the course. Someone even said to me that thanks to the upgraded machines, the course has never looked better in the forty years they’ve been coming to the club.

Which Toro machines are your favourite?

I’ve been particularly impressed by the Reelmaster 3575-D which has reduced our fairway cutting time by 45 minutes, and the Greensmaster TriFlex Hybrid 3420 is not only great for the environment, but it takes away any worries about hydraulic leaks as well as reducing noise. I actually had to check it was cutting when we first got it on the course – it was so quiet I didn’t believe it was turned on!

What’s next for the club?

We’re planning to buy a couple of the machines in the new fleet once the lease is over, like the ProCore 648 aerator which is a game changer, and the TYM 503 tractor which is a great workhorse. I think they’ll both provide huge benefits as permanent investments.

Chris is planning on buying the ‘game changing’ ProCore 648 aerator at the end of the lease deal.
Obviously no one is completely sure what’s going to happen over the next couple of years with everything going on, but for us, with our member count still growing and the course the best it’s ever been, I’m quite excited to find out!

Chris Halkerd

Course manager, Dean Wood Golf Club

To talk to someone about the finance options available and how the Toro range would suit your course call 01480 226800

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