Toro equipment helps make SA Open a success at Randpark Club

Randpark Club recently hosted a successful SA Open tournament from January 9-12. Testimony to the playability of the two courses was the very low winning score of -21, as well as Brandon Stone’s compliment to the greenkeeping team for the “best” fairways he has played on in a while. Smith Power-supplied Toro machines played a significant role in keeping the turf in the best condition.    

Stephen Mangold and Roger Innes
Stephen Mangold and Roger Innes

Boasting what is deemed to be two of the best manicured courses in South Africa, as well as a separate mashie course, Randpark is one of the golf clubs in Johannesburg that has three courses. The two 18-hole manicured courses, Bushwillow and Firethorn offer golfers world-class playability.

Randpark Praised

Testimony to this world-class playability is the recent successful hosting of the SA Open. Won by Brendan Grace, the tournament recorded a very low winning score of -21. However, the major talking point for the greenkeeping team and the golf course management at large was Brandon Stone’s comments regarding the fairways at the facility.

Amazing Picture of the Randpark Golf Course
Amazing Picture of the Randpark Golf Course

Speaking to the media in a pre-tournament interview, Stone said the fairways at Randpark Golf Course were the best he had seen anywhere in recent years. “They are so perfect that you even feel guilty about taking a divot,” the 26-year-old was quoted by News24.

For Roger Innes, Head Course Superintendent at Randpark, this is a significant compliment to him and his staff. “It’s always a feather in the cap to hear a top golfer saying such remarks about our course,” says Innes.

Rodger Innes with one of his staff members at Randpark Golf Course
Rodger Innes with one of his staff members at Randpark Golf Course

While he attributes lady luck to the conditions during the tournament, saying everything just fell in place, especially the rain that fell at just the right time, Innes has paid tribute to Smith Power Equipment for the support during the tournament. For the past 25 years, Smith Power Equipment, the local supplier of Toro equipment, has always been the preferred supplier to Randpark Club.

During the recent SA Open – the third one to be hosted by Randpark – Smith Power went beyond being just an equipment supplier to the club by lending some crucial equipment to help keep conditions at Randpark world-class.

While we played our part in keeping the course at its peak, we are grateful to Smith Power and Stephen Mangold (Smith Power’s national sales manager for Toro) for their support during this tournament,” says Innes. “The way we manage our fairways wouldn’t have been possible with our existing equipment to manage two courses at the same time. Smith Power has been our supplier of choice for a reason – their support has always been beyond expectations.

Cutting the fairway with Toro Reelmasters form Smith Power Equipment
Cutting the fairway with Toro Reelmasters form Smith Power Equipment

Great support from Smith Turf

Smith Power loaned two walk-behind greens mowers, the GM1000 models, a 5510-D fairway mower, and a 3100-D semi-rough mower to Randpark. The machines were deployed to keep the greens and fairways in top condition prior and during the tournament.

To keep the fairways in top condition, the Reelmaster 5510-D was on hand. The 35,5 hp (26,5 kw) Reelmaster 5510-D fairways mower comes standard with the larger 17,8 cm diameter cutting units for heavy mowing conditions where extra capacity is needed. The light weight design of the 5510-D allows for reduction of weight without giving up performance and durability.

The GM1021 offers multiple innovations – including an industry-first telescoping handle – to deliver unparalleled cut quality and consistent playability on each and every green.

Finishing Cut
Finishing Cut

Commenting on Smith Power’s support, Innes recalls one hectic Saturday during the run-up to the tournament when the greens were dry with no dew whatsoever. The older machines struggled and they had to deploy the two GM 1021 units Smith Power had supplied as standby machines. “I just want to thank Smith Power for their great support. If it wasn’t for the extra machines they lent us, we wouldn’t have been able to keep standards this high,” says Innes.

Topdressing does the trick for SA Open

Brandon Stone was quoted as saying the greens were “exceptional too”. To keep the greens standards high, in 2018 Randpark invested in a Workman HDX with Pro Pass Top Dresser supplied by Smith Power. The machine has since made a huge difference. “We have deployed the new HDX for top dressing of the greens. It has since made such a massive difference at the club,” explains Innes.

Topdressing entails spreading a thin even layer of fine sand over the playing surface. “Topdressing is one of the single most important procedures we can do to improve playing conditions, but also improve long-term turfgrass health,” explains Innes.

Topdressing of greens is one of the most important procedures that every good golf course should do. For us, it offers several benefits, including smoothing the putting surface, reducing/diluting thatch build-up, firming up the surface and offering overall improved grass health,” adds Innes.

Workman HDX with Pro Pass Top Dresser 200
Workman HDX with Pro Pass Top Dresser 200

The Workman HDX with a Pro Pass Top Dresser, which has replaced an older version of the same machine (spec for spec) is offering new capabilities in that regard. It can top-dress all the greens in just two hours, compared to double the time achieved by the older machine. “The machine is usually deployed once a week. However, during the run-up to the tournament, we use it twice a week. Its precision does make life easier compared with what we used to have,” explains Innes.

Conventionally, topdressing of greens at golf courses involves spreading a thin even layer of fine sand over the playing surface and then either dragging it in with a brush or watering it in with overhead irrigation sprinklers. “The Workman HDX is a utility vehicle that undertakes three main tasks; top dressing, spraying and fertilizing spreading,” explains Stephen Mangold, Toro National Sales Manager at Smith Power Equipment.

It’s a versatile utility vehicle that allows you to swap the implements around depending on the task you want to undertake. It’s also easy to swap the three implements around; it takes about 15 minutes,” says Mangold.

This article was featured on Crown’s website [click here].

This article was featured in Tee and Sandwedges – MARCH 2020.

This article was featured in Construction World – April 2020.

Contact Stephan Mangold on email: stephen@smithpower.co.za or 082 882 6935 or 011 284 2000.

For more information please contact Smith Power Equipment on 011 284 2000.