The Open Regional Qualifying club in the Midlands has committed to Toro as it brings back the feel of its past with Toro machinery and thinks to the future with a Toro irrigation renovation.
Course manager, Rob Hay, who has been at the club for five years says the reason behind the commitment is twofold: “Over the years the course had been managed as a parkland course which it wasn’t designed to be.
"We’ve been working towards returning the course to its original heathland state as designed by Harry Colt, opening up each hole and giving it a flavour of the old days. Toro machinery is key to that.
“This is our first fleet lease deal, but we’ve been using Toro since before I started, and Toro is instrumental in this vision taking shape. Toro has made a big impact and brought about noticeable change in the direction of the course’s maintenance and members are seeing the difference. Many have commented on how the course now looks like they remember it from the early 1970s and plays with a true running heathland style from those days too, which we’re delighted to hear.”
When it comes to the irrigation, Rob says the club’s commitment to Toro is a nod to the future: “We’re not in a predicament with our current system, but we’re forward planning so we’re ready for a seamless transition when the time comes. What we noticed in the heatwave of last year was that there are areas that could be improved upon, more efficient and better managed. In the midlands we’re water scarce and as we irrigate from a local river the goal is to get ourselves into a position where we’re using our water better and utilising every drop. We believe Toro is the partner to make that happen.
“I’m conscious this is a big outlay – one of the biggest a course can make – and it’s important we get this right. We’re currently working with Reesink and Adrian Motram finalising the plans for what’s exactly needed and if the quality of the irrigation system is anything like that of the Toro machinery, I know we’ll be in for a great experience using Toro Irrigation.”
As one of only 13 Regional Qualifying courses in the UK, Northamptonshire County Golf Club has high standards to maintain, plus the challenge of an unusual 21-hole layout to contend with. “We appreciate we’re in the company of a select few being a Regional Qualifying course and take great pride in the fact that we resumed our status last year for the 147th Open,” says Rob.
Retaining that position comes with hard work and dedication, which Rob and his greenkeeping team of nine have in abundance. “Every year there are new projects to undertake and as a team we look forward to this as much as we do the usual high season maintenance work. It’s a good challenge for us all and having Toro on board has really made a difference.”
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