Rating the Industry

Rating the Industry

Who's tops in quality products, communication and brand strength? And who would you like to work for?

December 15, 2011

Want to know more about these rankings? GCI Editorial Director Pat Jones explains all in the December Editor’s Note. Click here to read.

You buy from companies you trust and respect. GCI asked superintendents their opinion of the reputations of the companies in our industry through an online survey, with about 350 valid responses. Questions had randomized lists and were multiple choice, preventing the same few companies to be chosen simply because they were at the top. Along with our results, we've included some choice superintendent comments about how they feel about their favorite companies.

Our compiled answers don't necessarily tell who's spending the most money on marketing, and definitely don't define total market share or sales. What they do is give us an idea of which companies superintendents think are meaningful to the industry right now.

Which industry companies do you admire most?



Industry companies you trust the most to provide reliable products and support?

Top 10 companies that do an effective job marketing and advertising to the industry:


Which ONE chemical company does the best job of serving your specific agronomic needs? Which ONE chemical company best supports your professional and management needs? Which ONE chemical company offers the best combination of value and products?

Syngenta responds...

Providing our customers with the highest quality of service and products has been our No. 1 goal for decades. We remain a global leader in the manufacturing of quality plant protection products for the golf industry with a never-ending commitment to our customers and to the innovations they desire. The widespread acknowledgement by survey respondents to that fact further validates our belief that our efforts to deliver the best overall value and reliability to superintendents help retain our industry leading position.

Our commitment to our customers goes far deeper than the integrated product solutions we provide. Syngenta product purchases give superintendents access to agronomic technical support that is "second-to-none," as mentioned in the survey. Syngenta also strives to understand the superintendents' non-agronomic needs. As such, we partnered with the Wake Forest University School of Business in 2009 to develop the Syngenta Business Institute -- an intensive, two-day educational event designed for and by superintendents. We are energized by the results in this survey and will continue working to maintain the trust and confidence of our superintendent customers. Syngenta will continue to listen to the needs of our customers and dedicate the necessary resources to provide innovative solutions today and into the future.

— Scott Reasons, Head, Syngenta Turf & Landscape North America

Which ONE major mowing equipment company produces the best quality cutting products for your needs?

Toro responds…

Toro and our distributor partners worldwide consider it a privilege to serve and support the golf industry. We are both honored and humbled to be recognized by our customers as an admired and trusted company. While this trust is earned over time, the company’s ongoing approach to doing business and serving customers is best summed up by one of its key people values that simply states: Do what we say we will do. We try to make this mentality transcend everything we do – from product development and quality to customer service and our relationships. These survey results validate one of the core values of our company; that is the deep respect we have for customer relationships. Recognized as a leader in the industry, Toro continues its commitment to investing in customer relationships, differentiated products, channel development and the ongoing health of the golf industry.

— Darren Redetzke, vice president, Toro Commercial Business


Which ONE industry company would you love to work for if you could and why?


Top company to work for

So why would so many golf course superintendents, if they had the chance to give up turf, would work for Toro? Here is a sampling of some of the typical answers they gave…

  • Toro is a professional company with a product to be proud of one they stand behind.
  • It's a very diverse company that makes quality products, is very active in the industry, big market that includes residential and lawn care
  • Work for the best
  • Good products sell themselves.
  • I'd like to help innovate new equipment products for the best use on golf courses.
  • Toro. Seems that it would be fun and rewarding to sell a product that you have a ton of experience with and has quality to back it up.
  • Toro...I am a second generation golf course superintendent and in 90 percent of my career I have used Toro irrigation and equipment. I believe in Toro and as I tell my Toro reps, "I bleed Toro Red." They have treated me and my clubs the best of any company in the industry.

But what was also intriguing was that "Uncertain/Unknown was the runner up to Toro. Here's what some superintendents had to say to those responses…

  • I couldn't sell if I tried.
  • I love what I do as a golf course superintendent, if I had to do something else it would have to be somthing that improved the environment.
  • I prefer to remain a superintendent and not work on that side of the industry.
  • I would never want to change to the "other side."
  • None (of those companies) are golf courses, so I will stay put, but if had to work for one, which ever paid the most!
  • None of them - I fully expect to retire as a golf course superintendent.
  • None... but I would like to own Toro.
  • I'll pass.
  • I really don't know ?!
  • Sorry, I am not a good sales person, so it would be best if I stayed at the user end.

Maybe for some superintendents the grass isn't greener on the other side?