Toro Celebrates 100 Years Serving the Golf Industry

Centennial milestone made possible through customer relationships, innovation and distribution network

The Toro Company has reached the 100-year mark in serving the golf
industry. In 1919, Toro developed the industry’s first motorized fairway mower,
the Toro Standard Golf Machine, for The Minikahda Club, in Minneapolis,
Minnesota. By mounting five individual reel mowers onto the front of a farm
tractor, Toro helped courses increase productivity by replacing the labor and
time intensive use of horse-drawn equipment.

Toro credits their longevity in the industry to four key factors –
listening closely to its customers, developing innovative products based on
feedback and available technology, long-standing customer relationships, and
establishing close cooperative ties with an outstanding distribution network to
deliver great local service and support.

This formula has led to revolutionary product launches and an ever
expanding breadth of product offerings over the last
century.  Well-known brands such as Greensmaster®, Reelmaster®,
Groundsmaster®, Workman®, ProCore®, MultiPro®, SandPro® and others have become
synonymous with quality, durability and value.  

A few historic examples of innovations for the golf course
industry include the first flexible frame fairway mower in 1921, the first golf
utility vehicle — the Toro Knockabout — in 1930, new valve-in-head sprinklers
in 1964, the versatile Toro Sand Pro series in 1972, the first
contour-following Flex Head greensmowers in 1986,  and the first
lithium-ion powered greensmower — the Greensmaster eFlex — in 2012.

Toro’s people are also largely responsible for the longevity of
the company. Topping the long list of influential Toro employees over the past
century is the company’s first president and co-founder, John Samuel Clapper,
who personally held several patents for golf course equipment, including the
first electric-powered (corded) greensmower in 1928. Also on that list is Dr.
James “Doc” Watson, who joined Toro in 1952, and is revered as a pioneer in
agronomics, a teacher to customers and Toro employees alike, and a legend in
the golf industry.  Another industry pioneer who worked with Toro is
John Singleton, who joined the company in 1967 and was instrumental in
establishing Toro’s position as a leader in golf course irrigation.

“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. “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.”

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. To learn more, visit

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