Stratford Oaks Golf Club, in Warwickshire, spent its time in lockdown carefully considering the best machinery maintenance equipment for the long-term future of the club. Its conclusion, unanimously, was a Reesink finance deal for a Toro fleet.
It was a lockdown deal done completely by phone and email. It was a deal done to bring financial security and peace of mind for the next five years. And it was a deal which sees the club step away from the old and welcome a new brand to the club for the first time in 21 years.
James Cleaver, course manager, is behind the change of direction and breath of fresh air this will bring to the club. He says: “From the beginning Toro was the top contender in terms of the brand I thought we should go with, but what made all the difference here was the service from Reesink. The effort put into making sure we had what we needed to trial, answering questions, being available and delivering what we wanted throughout lockdown was above and beyond the rest.
“I was expecting, with good reason, service to be different during lockdown, I would have understood if it had dipped at times, but it never did despite how busy they were. And as soon as they could visit safely, they did. It filled me with the utmost confidence.”
So why the change? James says it all comes down to financial security and delivering a better course for its rapidly growing membership: “The Board got together in lockdown to discuss the club’s approach to maintenance. It’s obviously essential, yet in uncertain times making such a significant investment and financial commitment is a decision which needs careful consideration.
“Previously the club had been buying individual machines when needed, which when there are such competitive finance options available, doesn’t have to be the way. So, we worked out what we needed, what the budget was and Reesink offered us a finance deal to suit. We believe this is the best way to see the club through these times safely, with what it needs and with the security of knowing what it will cost. Planning is key for the next few years!”
The fleet is comprised of 11 new machines, including two Toro Greensmaster TriFlex Hybrid 3420 greensmowers, a Groundsmaster 3500-D, a Multi Pro 5800-D sprayer, ProCore 648 aerator, two Greensmaster Flex 21 mowers, a Workman MDX-D utility vehicle, power brush and verticutting units.
Also, bringing a slightly different approach to the team’s maintenance regime and extending the fleet are two lightweight Reelmaster 3575-D cylinder mowers, James explains: “This is the first time we’ve had the use of two fairway mowers and it enables us to cut 10 hectares in around three hours in the morning. Not only is it more productive, but from a safety point of view, the staff are no longer trying to cut the fairways with golfers around them. The Reelmasters are one of the lightest on the market, which for the soft ground conditions we get here will make all the difference.”
How is it, we wonder, welcoming a new brand of machinery to the club after over two decades? James says it feels reassuring: “We needed the reassurance of having and using a quality brand, known for its reliability. It feels like quality using these machines, and the host of benefits they bring are extensive.
“We’re in a high-density area in terms of clubs nearby and it’s essential to have the edge, especially moving forward out of lockdown, and we believe choosing and using Toro gives us that. The fact that Reesink made it possible with such fantastic customer service and financial support fills us with a huge amount of positivity for the future of Stratford Oaks Golf Club.”