When Chad Mark saw the prototype for the new Toro Greensmaster® 1000 Series greens mower, he recognized what it could do. “I knew the user platform was as good as I’ve seen in 15 years,” recalled the superintendent at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. “It’s a very easy-to-use mower. Our crew enjoys using it. It’s simple but it’s effective. And the biggest thing for me is it’s a nice way for me to have a fixed-head mower with some of the flex capabilities in conditions where we want to firm things up.”
The new Greensmaster 1000 Series is now being put to work at golf courses across the U.S., so we asked a few superintendents like Mark to share their first impressions. Here’s what they had to say.
Synchronizing Operator and Machine
Designed to create consistent playability from green to green, this new line of fixed-head walk-behind greens mowers enables each operator and mower to work in perfect harmony. Advanced greens mower technology eliminates variability in the mowing process by synchronizing the machine with the operator.
One of the key features in this equation is the industry-first telescoping loop handle that adjusts to create the most comfortable ergonomic position for each operator.
“We have operators of different heights and they use the telescoping handle feature every time they go out,” Mark explained. “It’s just automatic now. They set the mower at the height that’s appropriate for them, and they’re certainly more comfortable mowing with it than with the mowers of the past that don’t have an easy option to change the height of the handle.”
Performance in Turns
Another key feature of the Greensmaster 1000 Series is the unique bail control, which allows the operator to slow down or come to a complete stop without disengaging traction to line up for the next mowing pass. Scott Lambert, superintendent at Atlanta Country Club in Marietta, Ga., has seen the benefit of this design.
“I think it’s really helped some of our more inexperienced operators become a little bit more comfortable mowing greens,” he observed. “In the past, they would disengage the mower and turn, and then engage it again. The new functions sped them up a bit, so I think that’s really good.”
“I believe the adjustable handlebar, the clutch and the more condensed length of the machine help make turns easier near bunkers and steep falloffs,” Mark agreed.
Cody Horstman, superintendent at Pinnacle Peak Country Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., has also noticed a difference since adding wider Greensmaster 1026 models last fall. “Going from a 22 inch mower to a 26 inch mower, we became roughly 20 percent more efficient,” he said. “We’re using the same number of people, yet we’re getting the job done in less time.”
In addition, the new Greensmaster 1000 Series design places all operational controls including reel engagement, throttle and traction right where the operator needs them. “I like how the operator bail and the throttle are tied together so that you can control the speed with just the lever as well,” Horstman said.
Unmatched Quality of Cut
With the constant demand for perfection on the golf course, quality of cut is essential. The Greensmaster 1000 Series is equipped with easy-to-change-out DPA cutting units with EdgeSeries™ reels for a superior quality of cut.
“One of my main reasons for buying it is how the engine is balanced over the reel perfectly,” Horstman said. “You get a consistent down-pressure on the knife, creating a much more consistent cut versus some of the competition.”
In addition, operators can choose between two different clip rates, and the mowers are easy to customize with an optional groomer that can interlace with the roller. Handle isolation mounts also help eliminate variations caused by the operator’s stride on the consistency of cut while reducing operator fatigue.
“The overall quality of cut is outstanding,” Mark added. “I think our guys make fewer mistakes. Our lines are better, so the aesthetics of the mower patterns look better because they’re not fighting a mower that’s either too small or too big for them.”
Andrew Dooley, superintendent at Berkshire Country Club in Reading, Pa., has seen similar results. “From what we’ve seen so far, the quality of cut is very good,” he said. “We’re very happy with it. It’s holding its edge well.”
Ease of Maintenance
The Greensmaster 1000 Series is designed to simplify maintenance. With the new gear drive transmission, no daily greasing is required. The optional backlapping kit makes it possible to backlap multiple machines at once. Plus, modular components like the engine, transmission and drum can be removed for maintenance, and the cutting unit can be changed out in minutes.
“Another selling point for us was that it’s very simple to maintain and sharpen the reel,” Dooley said. “My technician said he thinks it’s a great idea and it seems like it’s going to be easy to maintain.”
Overall, the superintendents we talked to were positive about their experience with the Greensmaster 1000 Series so far. “I like the mower a lot, I believe in it, and that’s why we took a leap of faith and changed course from what we were using in the past,” Mark said. “Nothing has disappointed me.”
Lambert’s crew started using the new mowers over the winter, so they had a chance to break them in, get comfortable with them and get a few things worked out before golf season. “I like them,” he said. “The crew likes them. They picked up on using them after a couple of days, so there wasn’t a long learning curve. Overall, I’m pretty pleased.”