Demand in the marketplace and customer feedback has been a key driver behind the introduction of the new Toro Reels+ and EdgeSeries Reels+, which allow technicians to streamline their operations. With the bearings already pressed on with required low-drag flock seals and spacers, customers can save approximately 15 to 20 minutes of installation time per reel.
Additionally, the overall cost to the customer is lower due to the fact that additional bearings, seals and spacers are sold at a discount from the individual part retail price for each component. Integrating the reels and components together also eliminates the guesswork for technicians and ensures the recommended bearings are utilized, which can contribute to the overall longevity of the cutting unit.
“With this launch, anytime Toro customers see the plus symbol (+) next to reels or EdgeSeries reels, they know they’re getting a fully-integrated reel assembly, complete with bearings, seals and spacers,” said Grant Adams, marketing manager at Toro. “We are confident that this new solution is going to simplify and streamline the maintenance processes in the long run, ultimately making a positive contribution to the bottom line of the operation.”
In most cases, Reels+ assemblies will replace all reels currently offered through Toro’s distribution network. In some cases where reels do not require bearings – for example, in gang reels and some greens applications – singular reel units will be available.
Reels+ and EdgeSeries Reels+ are being phased in during 2018.
Highlighting the study – conducted by TEConomy Partners – is $84.1 billion in activity directly driven by golf in 2016, a 22 percent rise from $68.8B in the 2011 report. The industry supported $191.9B in total annual activity, including 1.89 million jobs and $58.7B in wages and benefits.
Golf’s annual contributions to America’s economy also include:
--$34.4B in revenue from golf courses, clubs, resorts, driving ranges and other facilities (2.9 percent compound annual growth rate since 2011)
--$25.7B in tourism spending (4.6 percent CAGR)
--$7.2B in new home construction in golf communities (18.5 percent CAGR)
--$6B in sales of golf equipment, apparel and supplies (1.4 percent CAGR)
--$2.4B in professional tournaments, associations and player endorsements (3.16 percent CAGR)
--$1.9B in investment in existing golf facilities (4.6 percent CAGR)
Demonstrating golfers’ and businesses’ commitments to charity, $3.94B was raised in 2016 through tournaments and other activities.
“The many positive trends show how golf is vital to the prosperity of America’s economic and social well-being," says Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation and administrator of WE ARE GOLF. “Increases in so many categories signify the health of golf has far-reaching influence across many sectors of the U.S. economy.”
The fourth report since 2000 to measure the game’s effect, research encompassed golf course operations, tourism, real estate, supplies, tournaments, associations, charitable events, capital investment and other commercial segments.
“We are thrilled to welcome Will into this new leadership role on our Turf and Ornamentals business,” said Mark Schneid, head of Environmental Science North America. “Having led many parts of our Environmental Science business around the world, Will brings a perfect combination of deep knowledge of the green industry, a thorough understanding of the customers we serve, and the seasoned people and business management skills to lead our team in exceeding expectations.”
MacMurdo was most recently director of Environmental Science Canada. With Bayer, he has also held leadership roles with Environmental Science in Australia, France and Canada. Prior to Bayer, MacMurdo held key leadership roles with Aventis and Rhône-Poulenc Canada Inc. MacMurdo holds a bachelor of science from Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture.
“The opportunity to head up the U.S. Turf and Ornamentals business has always been an aspiration,” MacMurdo said. “My career path over the last 25 years in Canada and Australia has given me the experience to lead a great team here in the U.S. As we maintain and grow our best-in-class innovations, it’s also important we stay focused and committed to serving as a thought leader in our industry. This focus will be critical for us to shape future opportunities.”
Creative comedic opportunists.
After spending three days in Houston for the 72nd annual American Society of Golf Course Architects meeting, I scribbled this three-word phrase into a notebook on the flight home.
The meeting included education, meals, receptions and, yes, golf. But, more important, a gathering of 70 architects offers insight into the personalities committed to a challenging profession.
Don’t be fooled by the Ross tartan jackets. People who dress alike at industry functions don’t think alike. An educational session moderated by Bill Bergin about fairway width and tree removal sparked a fluid hour-long conversation. The group of architects who volunteered their thoughts swelled to 15, with nobody duplicating a colleague’s perspective. “We’re fortunate to work in an industry and on property that has such great diversity,” Bergin said.
Fairway width to an architect designing a new course on an expansive piece of Texas land could mean 50 to 80 yards. The same concept could mean 25 to 40 yards to an architect restoring a course in a leafy Northeast neighborhood. Like golf course maintenance, architecture is site specific. How to maximize enjoyment of the land requires a creative side.
For many architects, creativity started at early ages. Outside the rooms hosting educational sessions and receptions, a “Where The Dream Began” display featured the early sketches of Nathan Crace, Steve Forrest, David Johnson, Stephen Kay and Forrest Richardson.
Youthful exuberance still exists – even in a leaner, post-recession golf market. Architects now spend more time using phones and tablets than sketch pads, yet a zest for designing, renovating, restoring, enhancing and tweaking golf courses remains.
Of all the people in the golf business, architects might have the best sense of humor. From Jerry Lemons retroactively laughing about an emergency landing he made while piloting an airplane to Todd Quitno’s colleagues-to-politician roasting at the Donald Ross Award Dinner – we’ll stray from revealing whom Quitno compared to Donald Trump – architects prove success in a chosen field can be achieved without taking yourself too seriously. Needle somebody wearing the Ross tartan at your own peril. Their retaliation will be witty.
Spending four hours with an architect in a golf cart introduces playing angles you never thought you would observe. Yes, not all architects see the game from the middle of the fairway. You’re also destined to hear a few one-liners you will want to save for a buddy trip. The mouth can be a creative tool.
Above all, golf course architects are about seizing opportunities. The dreamy sketches of their childhood have turned into adult-sized complexities. Landing a new project, especially one in their home country, has become an unobtainable goal for most architects. The ASGCA boasts 184 members and 15 1/2 new American courses opened in 2016, according to National Golf Foundation data.
To assist their members and perhaps cajole stagnant facilities to improve their courses, the ASGCA published a Market Trend Watch survey with the Sports & Leisure Research Group. Key findings from the survey: labor presents enormous challenges for operators and golf course renovations lead operators’ wish lists. Opportunities abound for architects willing to help courses reduce labor and offer fresh products.
Greg Martin epitomizes the opportunistic spirit. The Illinois-based Martin worked with 19 regulatory agencies to concoct a plan to provide flood control by redesigning a suburban Chicago golf course owned by The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. Working with one regulatory agency can be numbing, so imagine the patience Martin needed to help create The Preserve of Oak Meadows, which reopened last year.
Martin has proudly discussed the project hundreds of times the last five years, including in Houston.
By pursuing work where others might have run, Martin inspired colleagues to explore how golf courses can help surrounding communities solve complex issues. “This was so much fun,” Martin said. “It was so complicated and so interesting that I learned something new every week.”
Thinking different, developing the sense of humor to handle bureaucracy and finding golf-related work in a forest preservation. A creative comedic opportunist, indeed.
Guy Cipriano is GCI’s senior editor.