Announcements included the selection of participants in the 2019 Melrose Leadership Academy, introduction of the all-new electric riding Greensmaster eTriFlex model, enhancements to the Toro® ProStripe® 560 walk-behind mower and striping unit, the Lynx® 7.0 Central Control system, the INFINITY® RAZOR™ kit to streamline irrigation system maintenance, and a partnership with the ANNIKA Foundation’s Share My Passion clinic.
As part of marking its 100th year of serving the golf and club industry in 2019, The Toro Company made a series of special announcements to coincide with the opening of the 2019 Golf Industry Show in San Diego on February 5:
- Toro announced that thirteen members of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) had been selected for the 2019 Melrose Leadership Academy, which includes a trip to the Golf Industry Show.
The Melrose Leadership Academy supports the professional development of GCSAA member superintendents. It is administered through the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG), the philanthropic organization of GCSAA. The program was established in 2012 by Ken Melrose, retired CEO and chairman of the board of The Toro Company, and is supported by a $1 million gift to the EIFG from the Kendrick B. Melrose Family Foundation.
Academy members are selected through an application process based on financial need, volunteerism and a drive to advance their careers. The new class will participate in networking and leadership activities, as well as attend a variety of education seminars.
The members of the 2019 Melrose Leadership Academy are:
- Dean R. Chase, Carnegie Abbey Club, Portsmouth, R.I.
- Benjamin P. Culclasure, Kilmarlic Golf Club, Powell’s Point, N.C.
- Jason Culver, Pine Acres Country Club, Bradford, Pa.
- Ryan R. Dykes, Camp Creek Golf Club, Panama City Beach, Fla.
- John D. Hardin, Oro Valley Country Club, Oro Valley, Ariz.
- Richard A. Lewis, Willowdale Golf Club, Scarborough, Maine
- Mitchell W. Miller, The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club, Sanibel, Fla.
- Manuel ‘Joe’ Oliveira, Green Valley Country Club, Portsmouth, R.I.
- Charles T. Passios, CGCS, TGC at Sacconnesset, East Falmouth, Mass.
- Patrick Skinner, Brown Acres Golf Course, Chattanooga, Tenn.
- Douglas A. Vogel, Preakness Valley Golf Course, Wayne, N.J.
- Toby S. Young, Val Halla Golf Course, Cumberland, Maine
- Timothy J. Zurybida, Alverthorpe Park Golf, Jenkintown, Pa.
- Toro also announced the launch of a new all-electric riding greensmower model, the Toro® Greensmaster® eTriFlex™ Series. The new eTriFlex carries no hydraulic fluid and utilizes all-electric components for traction, steering, lift and cutting units. The new “EnergySmart™” models deliver an operationally friendly design with noise reductions, operational cost savings, and other meaningful improvements to complement the ever-important enhancements in cutting performance.
The two new all-electric Greensmaster eTriFlex models, built upon the trusted Toro TriFlex® platform, include:
- The Greensmaster eTriFlex 3360, powered by a Kawasaki® engine/generator
- The Greensmaster eTriFlex 3370, powered by a lithium-ion Samsung® battery set.
Replacing all hydraulics with electrical components on the eTriFlex puts superintendents at ease by relieving worries of potential hydraulic leaks at the most inopportune times, while at the same time offering superior cutting performance with turning radius-dependent reel and traction speed control.
The lower noise levels of the eTriFlex facilitate earlier mowing starts/tee times without disturbing nearby residents to help the course to be in conformance with local noise regulations. The new engine/generator model, according to end users familiar with the new product, is much quieter than traditional engine powered models, while the lithium-ion powered model is virtually silent during operation.
Cutting performance has also been improved, especially on the perimeter cut, by monitoring each individual reel and traction wheel speed during turns. The individual reel and wheel speed control substantially improves both the aesthetics and playability of the green by greatly reducing the effect known as “Triplex-Ring”. This smart feature standardizes the clip rate of each individual reel to avoid turfgrass thinning on the inside reel during perimeter cutting, and reduces wheel turf scrubbing to greatly improve the appearance of the cleanup cut, which ultimately leads to an increase in operational productivity.
The engine-powered eTriFlex with battery assist technology is up to 20% more fuel efficient – resulting in lower emissions and fuel savings. The industry-first lithium-ion based battery powered unitalso has ample power and is virtually silent during operation.
“Our all-electric riding greensmowers incorporate some very important new features that will revolutionize the future of greensmowing as we know it,” said Helmut Ullrich, senior product marketing manager at Toro. “The result is a much quieter, easier-to-operate, labor saving machine that delivers a best-in-class level of cut quality, consistency and playability.”
The Greensmaster eTriFlex also includes several meaningful features for added operational peace-of-mind, such as an automatic slowdown in turns at high transport speeds, auto-brake functionality when the operator dismounts the mower, a foot-operated parking brake as well as an optional mowing slowdown setting to help protect the integrity of the collar.
Finally, operators have more control and access to advanced diagnostic information than ever before thanks to the onboard InfoCenter™. This easy-to-use control panel can adjust mowing and reel speeds, calibrate lift, steering and traction and engage the “slow-in-turn” feature to reduce damage on the fringe area of the green in turn-arounds.
The Greensmaster eTriFlex 3360 engine-powered model will be available this summer. The lithium-ion eTriFlex battery powered model is slated to launch in late 2019. All Greensmaster eTriFlex models are compatible with existing TriFlex cutting units and accessories to make the most of your current investments.
- Toro announced a number of key enhancements to the Toro® ProStripe® 560 walk-behind mower and striping unit. Key enhancements include a commercial-grade Kawasaki® four-cycle engine, the incorporation of a trim side for trimming around edges, and a larger capacity 0.45 gallon (1.7 liter) fuel tank for longer mowing sessions. The ProStripe 560 is ideal for achieving a premium, striped finish in prominent areas.
Productivity is maximized with additional enhancements to the ProStripe 560, such as the high-capacity 21-gallon (80 liter) bagger, which optimizes airflow and collection capability. Other features include a ribbed, two-piece roller, which significantly improves maneuverability and minimizes turf marking when compared to single-piece roller configurations, and a groomer brush attachment that can be mounted to the front of the unit to promote healthier turf and a cleaner cut by reducing lateral blade growth and loosening surface debris.
Designed with superintendents and operators in mind, the ProStripe 560 provides high-definition striping performance with excellent tracking thanks to the aerospace-influenced blade design, which maximizes collection capabilities while optimizing aftercut appearance.
Additionally, the integrated MatchCut functionality is beneficial when needing to mow at a consistent height using multiple machines across the same area. The MatchCut feature allows for easy adjustment between seven cutting heights, ranging from 0.5 inches to 2.6 inches in 0.29-inch increments and allows fine-tuning of the cutting height as well. Venues can chose the ideal height of cut for each application and adjust the three-speed transmission on the fly to accommodate a wide range of turf conditions and the personal mowing preferences of each operator.
“We’ve taken the trusted, proven ProStripe unit and added a number of features focused on productivity and control to make this machine a must-have for any operation that requires a pristine, expertly striped appearance,” said Jeff Drake, Toro marketing manager. “Whether it’s around the clubhouse, private properties, hotels or on a highly manicured soccer field, the ProStripe 560 leaves turf looking its absolute best.”
In terms of comfort and user-friendliness, each new ProStripe model is equipped with a full-width ergonomic handlebar, bail arm and easy-to-use Blade Brake Clutch (BBC) control. The new units also feature enhancements in the overall balance of the machine making it extremely simple to maneuver.
An integrated sail liner effectively manages dust and other debris, drafting it away from the operator and each unit comes equipped with a wash port to simplify cleaning of the deck and blades.
- Toro introduced the innovative Lynx® 7.0 Central Control system to provide superintendents with a number of features, including improved monitoring functionality and a host of enhanced diagnostic capabilities. With an emphasis on continuous improvement, this update represents Toro’s 14th iteration of the operating system since Lynx Central Control’s initial release in 2010.
In terms of added functionality, Lynx 7.0 now offers seamless compatibility with Lynx Smart Modules, and can automatically identify individual smart modules after the initial installation process, ultimately saving the superintendent considerable time. The new system also offers runtime controls to the second and measures inputs to 1/100th of an inch, delivering unprecedented precision when it comes to controlling irrigation systems. All new Toro hardware platforms support run times to the second, whereas comparable systems can only offer runtime controls to the nearest minute.
Lynx 7.0 also features key enhancements in terms of diagnostics. The upgraded operating system can retrieve voltage and amperage data, which is crucial to understanding the overall health of the irrigation system. Deciphering diagnostic information is also streamlined when using the new express mode. This simple and efficient process means that superintendents are able to interpret information to forecast and predict potential system issues earlier.
“This new control system is by far the most robust and user-friendly system available for golf course irrigation today,” said Paul Standerfer, product manager, golf central controls for Toro. “These updates were made based on feedback from Toro end-users who work with these systems every day, and we’re confident that the latest version of Lynx Central Control will simplify their daily processes.”
Some of the new features based on end-user feedback include interval day control to easily designate active and non-active days, enhanced map functionality, and intuitive controls for an extremely user-friendly interface. As with previous updates, Lynx 7.0 is easily upgradeable, allowing for the incorporation of new versions and functionality, and works seamlessly with Lynx Smart Modules that can automatically identify the Lynx Central Control version being used.
Lynx 7.0 will be available this spring.
- Toro announced the launch of the innovative INFINITY® RAZOR™ kit to streamline maintenance efforts and prolong the intervals between servicing sprinklers on commercial irrigation systems.
The new kit was designed with feedback from end users to increase labor savings, enhance gameplay, improve course aesthetics, and help eliminate trip hazards. By bringing the sprinkler head flush with the playing surface, RAZOR inserts help optimize irrigation efforts, potentially contributing to water savings.
The innovative RAZOR kit allows superintendents to incrementally raise sprinkler heads sitting below the soil’s surface due to natural shifting over time. Such shifting is a normal occurrence on golf courses after only a couple of years, and the installation of the RAZOR kits reduce the frequency of needing to excavate and re-level the system. The RAZOR kits come with three incremental inserts, allowing golf course superintendents and technicians to select the right insert(s) to fit the needs of each individual sprinkler head. The RAZOR kit includes:
- RAZOR One, a 1.5-inch screw, raising the sprinkler head approximately 0.5 inches from its factory configuration of 1 inch.
- RAZOR Two, a 2-inch screw, raising the sprinkler head approximately 1 inch from factory configurations.
- RAZOR Three, a 2.5-inch screw, raising the sprinkler head approximately 1.5 inches from factory configurations.
“This relatively simple technology is revolutionizing the way golf course superintendents manage the settling of sprinkler heads across their courses,” said Jim Wright, senior product manager at Toro. “This quick 10-minute installation offers the same outstanding results as digging up and repositioning sprinklers each year.”
Installation of the RAZOR kit is simple. Technicians only need to remove the cover of the INFINITY sprinkler, install the RAZOR kit, and replace the cover. No digging is necessary to install the kits, and installation can be completed in a matter of minutes. Toro RAZOR kits are compatible with all INFINITY sprinkler models, and can also be removed and reused on other units.
- Toro announced that it will become an Official Partner of the “Share My Passion” Clinic series in 2019 being organized by The ANNIKA Foundation, golf Hall-of-Famer Annika Sorenstam’s charitable organization.
The ANNIKA Foundation’s “Share My Passion” Clinics introduce young girls ages 6-12 to the great game of golf while also giving them a behind the scenes tour of a professional event. These events include a healthy lunch, instructional stations by LPGA professionals, and a golf clinic taught by Sorenstam.
“We are proud to partner with the ANNIKA Foundation to encourage and engage young girls in the game of golf,” said Judson McNeil, president of The Toro Foundation. “The impact of the “Share My Passion” Clinics on the participants is multi-faceted with healthy eating habits and exposure to how a professional tournament is managed from the turf to the pro shop.”
In partnership with Toro, girls between the ages of six and 12 who live in the state are invited to write an open letter to Sorenstam telling her why they love golf, and why other girls should learn how to play. Annika and her team will invite authors of the 40 most-compelling notes to attend a clinic headlined by the 10-time major champion and winner of 72 LPGA events.
The official schedule for the 2019 “Share My Passion” Clinic series, to be released in February, will include stops at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C., the U.S. Open in Pebble Beach, Calif., and the Insperity Invitational in The Woodlands, Texas.
“I am excited that we are able to add even more events to this year’s ‘Share My Passion’ series,” said Sorenstam, who in 2001 became the only woman to date to break 60 in an LPGA tournament. “It is because of supporters like Toro that we are able to continue inspiring girls through golf at every age and skill level.”
Toro will join The DICKS Sporting Goods Foundation in supporting the series along with Fortune 500 companies such as Rolex, 3M, and Mastercard who support other ANNIKA Foundation initiatives.
More Information about the “Share My Passion” Clinic Series can be found at https://www.annikafoundation.org/share-my-passion-clinic
- Toro announced that it will once again support the Round 4 Research program of The Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG), the philanthropic arm of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), with a $50,000 grant in 2019. With this contribution, Torohas donated $350,000 to the program over the past seven years.
Rounds 4 Research is designed to address a critical shortage in turfgrass research funding by auctioning donated rounds of golf online. The program allows GCSAA chapters and turfgrass foundations to participate as fundraising partners and direct the proceeds from auctioned rounds to specific projects that will have the most significant impact in their local areas. Since its launch in 2012, Rounds 4 Research has raised more than $1 million.
The 2019 auction will be held April 29-May 5 and is available to preview at www.biddingforgood.com/rounds4research. The program is administered by the EIFG and presented in partnership with Toro.
“We’ve passed a major milestone of raising $1 million through Rounds 4 Research, and Toro’s continued support was a vital factor in reaching that point,” said Rhett Evans, GCSAA chief executive officer. “GCSAA, and the entire golf industry, are fortunate to have a friend like Toro, and we thank them for being a partner in Rounds 4 Research.”
“Rounds for Research not only supports important local research, but it also gets people playing golf, a win-win for the industry,” said Judson McNeil, president of The Toro Foundation. “We are proud of Toro’s longstanding partnership with the Environmental Institute for Golf, and the impact the organization has on turf professionals.”
Toro is a longtime partner of the EIFG, donating more than $2 million since 1987 to help support scientific research, education and scholarships for future turfgrass professionals. As the exclusive presenting partner of Rounds 4 Research, Toro is a Victory Club member of the EIFG cumulative giving program and a GCSAA Platinum Partner.
The Toro Company was founded on July 10, 1914, and for the first five years focused primarily on providing engines for the Bull Tractor Company and other tractor and truck companies, and developing the first Toro-designed piece of farm equipment, the power cultivator, before shifting focus to mowing products.
“Without a doubt, we owe much of our success to the Toro employees who have helped shape the golf industry with countless innovations,” said Rick Rodier, vice president and general manager of Toro’s Commercial Business in marking the start of the company’s 100 years supporting the golf and club industries. “But we wouldn’t be here today without the Toro customers across the globe who put their faith and trust in our products every day. As we celebrate a century in the golf industry, we simply want to say thank you to our customers and channel partners for continuing to put your trust in Toro people and products.”