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A Publication of the National Golf Foundation

Questions, Answers and Insights for Everyone Interested in the Business of Golf

NGF TOP 100 BUSINESSES IN GOLF

Toro

Category

Corporate Headquarters

Bloomington, Minnesota

Website

Key Employees

Richard Olson – Chairman of the Board, President and CEO
Bradley Hamilton – Group Vice President, Commercial and International and Irrigation
William Brown Jr. – Group Vice President, Residential, Landscape Contractor and Specialty Construction Business
Blake M. Grams – Vice President, Global Operations
Rick Rodier – Vice President, Construction Business
Darren Redetzke – Vice President, International
Renee Peterson – Vice President, Treasurer and CFO
Timothy P. Dordell – Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel

Profile

A leading worldwide provider of turf, landscape maintenance and construction equipment, Toro helps customers maintain golf courses, sports fields, public green spaces, commercial and residential properties, and agricultural fields. About one-third of the company’s $3.1 billion business is connected to the golf industry, making Toro the game’s largest player in the turf care category.

Toro’s equipment is ubiquitous at thousands of golf courses around the world – public, private, municipal and resort. Among them are St Andrews Links in Scotland (The Home of Golf) and the Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina (The American Home of Golf).

Toro is the industry leader in nearly every golf equipment category: from mowers for greens, fairway, rough, and surrounds, to sprayers, aerators, bunker rakes and greens rollers. Toro also leads the way in golf course irrigation systems.

Golf “is a very important part of our overall business, no question,” said Bill Brown, Vice President of Toro’s Residential and Contractor Business. “Most people think of the golf industry as being comprised of golf club and ball manufacturers. For the people that have chosen a career in the golf industry, they understand that it goes a lot further.”

Toro in 2019 celebrated its 100th year in the golf business.

From the beginning, the company sought to help superintendents, developing the industry’s first motorized fairway mower — the Toro Standard Golf Machine — in 1919. With five individual reel mowers mounted on a farm tractor, it covered significant ground and helped course crews to mow large fairway more quickly and efficiently, replacing the labor and time intensive use of horse-drawn equipment.

Toro has surpassed 100 years of innovation in the golf space. (Image courtesy: Toro)

 

Other historic golf course innovations include the first flexible frame fairway mower in 1921, the first roller-type greensmower in 1923, 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.

Those breakthroughs (and others chronicled in this series) epitomize how Toro, driven by a culture of understanding and solving customer problems with innovation, has been helping to revolutionize the industries in which it competes since the company was founded in 1914.

As a worldwide provider of innovative solutions for the outdoor environment, Toro also focuses on irrigation as well as snow and ice management, underground utility construction, rental and specialty construction, and outdoor lighting systems. The company continues to build on its past successes in its second century, with a commitment to fostering long-term customer relationships, delivering highly productive and financially efficient solutions, and supporting industry initiatives to grow the game.

Approximately one-third of Toro’s business is connected to the golf industry.

NGF Takeaways

Toro’s high-quality products and legacy of trusting relationships have helped make the company a leading global supplier of turf maintenance equipment and irrigation solutions in the golf industry. It’s why roughly half of all mowers found on the world’s golf courses have Toro branding.

Toro has an active charitable component within the golf industry, having donated $350,000 over the past seven years to support the Rounds 4 Research program, which helps increase funding for turfgrass research. Toro has also donated more than $2 million since 1987 to The Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG) to help support scientific research, education and scholarships for future turfgrass professionals.

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