Perched as it is on the highest point in Cheshire and offering panoramic views over Lancashire, Merseyside and the Welsh mountains, members at Warrington Golf Club would be forgiven for thinking they are far away from civilization on the tranquil 18-hole course.
Perched as it is on the highest point in Cheshire and offering panoramic views over Lancashire, Merseyside and the Welsh mountains, members at Warrington Golf Club would be forgiven for thinking they are far away from civilization on the tranquil 18-hole course. But with highway M56 just a mile down the road and houses all around, quite the opposite is true.
Managing the tight mowing schedule and undulating course conditions is course manager John Mcloughlin’s responsibility. Here he tells us how he achieves the fine balance with the help of Toro.
“To keep standards consistent, we aim to cut the full course a minimum three days a week throughout the playing season. We are a very busy course, so it is important we can achieve this in a five-hour period to finish ahead of golf teeing off at 8 o’clock in the morning.
“We chose three Greensmaster® eFlex™ 2100 electric pedestrian mowers, as they are so quiet and allow us to cut the greens before 7 o’clock, which had previously not been possible. The extremely quiet operating experience and their contour-following design has worked fantastically well on our undulating site.”
As well as the day-to-day management of the course, Mcloughlin and his full-time team of seven greenkeepers are working closely with a number of contractors, such as arborists, mechanics, irrigation technicians and a pest control team to create a more heathland feel to the course. The aim is to deliver this by the “careful management of the woodlands, introducing and sustaining fine grass species across the site, the introduction of heather, and by firming up the playing surfaces to facilitate the running game,” says Mcloughlin, “and, of course, Toro plays a big part in these plans.”
“With the help of Cheshire Turf Machinery we also chose two Greensmaster 1600 pedestrian mowers for the hand mowing of the tees, a TriFlex® 3420 hybrid triple mower for the aprons, two Reelmaster® 3550 mowers for the fairways and a Reelmaster 3100 for the semi roughs. The quality of cut and finish from that combination of machines is exceptional in helping maintain plant health and vigor on all the playing surfaces, which is essential to firm them up.”
The set up and maintenance of the Toro machines is, says Mcloughlin, “universal”, which allows for a very straightforward user experience across the fleet: “Toro machines are really user friendly, which allows all the team to be confident when operating them. It is extremely rewarding to be able to develop and educate the team to allow them to perform to the best of their abilities on a daily basis.