Course Maintenance

A Quasquicentennial Celebration For Canmore With Toro And Reesink

Canmore Golf Club is celebrating 125 years with delivery of the industry’s first and only fairway hybrid mower, the Reelmaster 5010-H from Toro.
    It’s quite the achievement to reach your quasquicentennial milestone and Canmore Golf Club in Dunfermline, Fife decided to combine that with also making it the year they chose distributor Reesink Scotland to help address several problems it was experiencing, all of which were solved thanks to this brand-new budding relationship and one of Toro’s most revolutionary inventions: the Reelmaster 5010-H.
Golf course manager Graeme Holland, who has been overseeing operations at the club for over 30 years, explains the decision-making process: “It was time to make some changes. We needed to reduce fuel consumption and noise pollution and just felt the time was right to go the hybrid route for environmental reasons, and we needed a dealer we could rely on.”

Recognised as the industry’s first and only fairway mower with a true hybrid drive system, the Reelmaster 5010-H represents an absolute breakthrough in technology and is a big highlight in the turfcare machinery journey towards electric power. And now two are part of Canmore’s arsenal.
Graeme continues: “The reliability is there with Toro. They test the machines a lot more than the competition so they’re a lot more user-friendly and easier to work with. They have similar controls as the greens machines and that means we can swap machines with no issues. Sometimes we don’t even need to call in a mechanic because we can work out the problem ourselves as they’re so intuitive.
    “The price of fuel is horrendous right now so any savings we could make and redistribute to other parts of the golf course were most welcome. We’re saving around 20 percent on fuel now and that works out to be quite a substantial figure on the total cost of ownership.
    “Three quarters of the course is surrounded by houses, so noise was an issue when we started work in the mornings. Now we carry on with our routine as normal but with less disturbance. Pollution-wise, they’re a lot cleaner than diesel and of course there’s no risk of hydraulic oil spills.”

Graeme further comments on the performance of the Reelmaster and how he had some reservations at the start:
“We have a lot of slopes to cut so we needed a fairway machine that had four-wheel drive and enough power to get the job done,” he explains. “I was a bit sceptical as the 5010-H only has a 25hp engine but with the batteries also producing power, it’s more than enough and we can safely work in any conditions on the course. We’re getting a very consistent cut throughout and thus there’s a much better level of play on the fairways.”

The decision to change dealers came into play as the service the club was receiving from its previous dealer was not up to par with Graeme’s standards. He comments: “The overall experience is better with Toro and Reesink. The service department at Reesink Scotland, from the reps to the mechanics, is brilliant. Their back-up and knowledge of the machinery is fantastic – they know everything there is to know. Their service van holds maybe fifty common parts that we would use, so all it takes is a quick call and they’ll have whatever it is we need ready the next day.

“We’re always extremely busy as we’re a small club with just about one of every machine. So, if one goes down, we need that quick turn-around to allow us to keep things always moving. Reesink fits the bill for that, and we couldn’t be happier we made the switch especially in such a key year in our history.”

To talk to someone about Toro technology and how the Toro range could suit your course, call 01480 226800.

One-in-three greenkeepers looking for work outside of golf

BIGGA releases results of major survey that details life at the UK’s golf facilities in 2022
    The British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) has issued the results of a major industry survey, with some of the findings representing a stark warning to the golfing industry.
    More than 1,300 members of BIGGA, representing golf clubs across the United Kingdom, responded to the survey, which asked them to provide details of working conditions at their facilities, in addition to commenting on their job satisfaction.
    With talk of difficulties regarding the recruitment and retention of staff common, BIGGA undertook the survey to gain solid evidence of the challenges at UK golf clubs, and the results have raised a number of concerns.
    Although 56% of respondents said they were happy working within the greenkeeping profession, 35% admitted they were currently looking for opportunities outside the industry.
    With regard to issues of recruitment, 53% are running with teams at less than full strength, while 83.5% said they struggle to recruit new staff.
    The boom in golf that followed the coronavirus lockdowns in the past two years has translated to a general increase in staffing numbers, with golf clubs having on average one extra full time greenkeeper compared to the previous poll in 2019.
    However, investment in staff welfare facilities hasn’t materialised, with, for example, only one in five facilities offering single sex changing facilities and toilets for female team members. Despite increased reliance on technology, nearly half of clubs do not provide internet connectivity within the greenkeeping facility.
    Further details and a results breakdown is available on the BIGGA website at: https://www.bigga.org.uk/news-listing/greenkeepers-bigga-workforce-surve...

BIGGA CEO Jim Croxton said: “I’m pleased to be able to present robust data to the wider golfing industry that lays bare some fairly frightening statistics on the challenges that exist within our profession.

“We know anecdotally that there are major challenges regarding the recruitment and retention of staff and also that pay, conditions and welfare are major contributors, but to see in black and white that nearly 35% of greenkeepers are looking for work outside the industry is truly a concern.
    “Equally, finding out that only one in five facilities are equipped for female staff members shows that the sport’s laudable ambitions to improve equality and diversity are not translating into our side of the game.
    “But the key question is what does the game of golf does with this information? It is widely known that there is currently a general challenge in recruiting and retaining staff across society. In order to continue functioning, many sectors have responded with significant pay increases and improvement in working conditions. Golf requires an integrated approach by the entire sport to overcome the challenges laid out by this survey. This approach will need to clearly lay out the challenges, create targets and devise plans to achieve our ambitions.”
 
For more about BIGGA, you can visit their website and follow them on Twitter.Three Of A Kind For Reesink

 

Three Of A Kind For Reesink

Third branch opens in Burwell for East Anglia and Midlands
    Continuing with its firm focus on sales, servicing, training and parts for all brands with a locally-focused team, Reesink UK has opened its third branch in Burwell, Cambridgeshire.
    The branch which serves the areas of Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire, joins Reesink Scotland and Reesink South East and opens up direct access to local turf machinery specialists in an extensive new area.
    The brief for branch manager, Trevor Chard, was to set up a dealership that builds relationships on a local level, deals directly with customers and responds to specific customer needs for the area. Not only has that been achieved but surpassed, as he explains: “The pleasure of managing a branch is that the autonomy to make decisions in terms of what we stock, distribute and deliver is, to a degree, for us to determine based on the specific needs of customers in the area.”

Customers will be familiar with the brands Reesink UK distributes: Toro fine turf and groundscare machinery, STAR EV utility vehicles and golf buggies, Farmtrac tractors and TYM tractors which are all available through the branch, about which Trevor comments: “These brands, in particular STAR EV, are doing very well in this area, but breaking it down even further customers are particularly interested in the sustainable options offered by each brand. The all-electric Greensmaster eTriFlex 3370 riding greens mower, Workman GTX Lithium Ion utility vehicle and the Reelmaster 5010-H hybrid from Toro, and the FT25G all-electric compact tractor from Farmtrac for example.

“As a result, we’ve been able to fine-tune the range we offer our customers, we’ve taken on board new brands specific to what the market here is responding to and that’s proving to be a winning formula.”

The wide-spread interest in reducing CO2 emissions by businesses in the area led to Reesink Burwell widening its offering since opening to include Cramer, the biggest amperage available for battery-driven power tools, and Biocircle for sustainable cleaning of turfcare machinery.
    Alongside the brands it offers its customers, a large part of the branch’s business is servicing maintenance contracts. The ReeAssure scheme has three plans available for machines and what particularly appeals to customers is that you can put certain machines on different plans.
    Trevor continues: “This is a key part of the business – we have 77 ReeAssure Maintenance contracts of which 21 percent are Gold. As the customer puts individual machines on a plan and not necessarily the whole fleet, we have many customers with machines in all three plans. That takes some managing and it’s why we’ve staffed the division up with three really experienced mobile technicians. These guys can do everything from routine maintenance to scheduled servicing on mowers, sprayers, aerators, you name it. Our customers need to know that with their machines on plan with us, downtime becomes a thing of the past, especially with our parts distribution running as the head office’s does, on 24 hours delivery.”

Completing the offering available through the branch is training, with space on site to accommodate practical training in the workshops and forecourt and theory in meeting rooms. Trevors explains: “Again, we have the autonomy to produce and provide training specific to what our customers want and need, stepping away from the general plans available through head office. We can design our own packages, making training even easier for customers.”

What is next for the branch, which thanks to remodelling an office in COVID restricted times, is a little later than planned? Trevor says: “We just want people to know we’re here. That through us they can get access to the best international brands available on the UK market, but with the benefit of working with local turf machinery specialists. We’re independent, we don’t funnel into a system, we can respond instantly to local market changes and design our business to offer the right products for the local industry as it moves forward in new directions.”

To speak to Reesink Burwell about what brands, services and expertise it can offer, call 01638 594 340.