Leicestershire Golf Club presents a tough cut for its machinery fleet. The 6329-yard par 68 parkland course has a large percentage of ridge and furrow, which is challenging for any form of machinery. And, excelling at the challenge is Toro.
In particular, a 14-year-old Groundsmaster 4500-D and 21-year-old Reelmaster 6500-D continue to surprise Chris Lewis, course manager. “The machines manage the challenging ridge and furrow, which was created by a system of ploughing in the middle ages, with relative ease and that’s why we’re a 100 percent Toro club. Not only that, they also demonstrate incredibly good value in their longevity and continually impressive performance; especially the older machines, which are still running problem-free.
“These two machines in particular are surprising us with just how well they are performing despite their age and the number of hours on their clocks. They are a great example of why we stick with Toro year after year.”
In fact, Chris has spoken specifically about how impressed he is with these two machines before. In 2012 when the machines had clocked up 15,000 hours between them, well over the average machine life expectancy, he praised their robust build-quality and reliability. Five years on and nothing has changed. Now the GM4500-D boasts almost 10,000 hours of work, with the RM6500 just 1500 miles behind that.
And the workload at the popular course, which is home to the English Men’s Open Mid-Amateur Strokeplay (Logan Trophy), shows no signs of slowing down. Some bunkers are being repositioned as part of an ongoing course improvement programme and there are plans to extend the course by introducing two par fives, making the par 70 course around 6400-yards. But what will remain the same are the contours for the mowers to manoeuvre and the steeper areas that the RM6500-D in particular has to climb. The wear and tear the machines get as a result makes their longevity all the more remarkable.
“The GM4500-D has a pretty tough workload to contend with. As the only mower doing all the semi-rough cutting across the course, it’s out cutting all day, up to five days a week.”
So, what’s the secret? “Build quality, good mechanics and regular thorough machinery maintenance,” says Chris with the utmost confidence and the hours on the clock to prove it.