Grinders profile: Foley Company

By Alistair March 17, 2021 07:12 Updated

Despite the current difficulties affecting the golf industry globally, Foley Company is still forging ahead in the UK. It is impressing greenkeepers across the spectrum with the speed and versatility of the Foley range of spin and relief grinders and bed-knife grinders.

More and more are switching to Foley grinders including Open Championship venues St Andrews, Royal Liverpool and Carnoustie and other prestigious clubs such as La Grande Mare, Gerrards Cross and The Wisley.

Turf professionals have invested in the benefits that Foley grinders offer and other clubs benefit through their local dealership such as Farols, Double A Trading Co and Gibson Garden Machinery all investing in the latest Foley grinders. The most popular models in 2020 were the 633 and 653 cylinder grinders with their Accu-Touch 3 Control and the 673, 661 bed-knife grinders.

Lani Togi, St Andrews workshop manager, said: “When it comes to saving time, the Foleys are a lot quicker than anything we’ve used before. Previous grinders have been quite labour intensive, whereas we don’t have that issue now. The team really like using them, and if they’re happy using them, it makes it so much easier because they do a good job and we get the best results.”

Craig Gilholm, Royal Liverpool’s course manager, said: “When Ian came and introduced us to the Foley, we were already familiar with other grinders. So, discovering how great the Foley is, is a reflection on Ian.

“It was my confidence in him who I have known since 1998, my trust in his ability and the back-up service for the machines he sells, that really sold it to me. For us, our grinder is the most important tool in the shed and reliability is all. That is why, when we change our bottom blade grinder, we will again be looking to Foley.”

Rick Hamilton, La Grande Mare course manager, said: “The main reason I choose to have Foley grinders is the principles of relief grinding. They are such excellent relief grinders, and although other manufacturers have good machines, but they don’t relief grind at the same level, and for me, that’s what it is all about.

“Foley has always kept to the principles of that, and it’s something I believe is essential in maintaining a good quality reel and delivering and retaining the sharpest cut ; you have to relief grind.”

Oliver Longden, after sales manager for golf and turf at Farol Golf and Turf Machinery, said: “We had a look around at what else was available, but there was nothing comparable for what we need to do. The training function was another big plus for us. We sometimes get new technicians who haven’t used the machine before. It’s an exceptionally good feature because it shows them a step-by-step set-up and how to work it, so anyone can jump on it straight away and get going.”

Jamie Starnes, owner and engineer at Starnes Engineering, said: “I was looking for something that was fully automated that would speed up the whole process, and something that could be set up quickly and easily that you can walk away from when possible to do other things and make use of the time. When I’ve used other grinders to relief grind, I’ve had to stand there and manually push and pull the machine through each individual blade whereas once the Foley is set up, you can leave it.”

A common factor behind investing in these machines was the desire for a quick high-quality automatic grind.

  1. The 633 and 653 are industry leading in their versatility and can complete quick touch-up spin grinds or return the reel to manufacturers specifications through relief grinding.
  2. The operation is fast and straightforward with the Accu-Reel Selector, and cylinder height stop automatically locating the reel for spin and relief grinding in one set-up.
  3. Pre-set relief angles are easily identified on the relief angle adjuster, which makes it effortless to grind the correct angles and achieve proper clearances for each reel type.

Using the optional Accu-Touch 3 Control makes this even easier. You tell the machine what you’re working on and it does the rest using pre-programmed spin speeds, relief torque and in-feeds. With or without the Accu-Touch 3, once the grinder has started, operators are free to continue with other tasks while grinding is completed.

By Alistair March 17, 2021 07:12 Updated

Follow us on social media

Latest greenkeeping vacancies

Join Our Mailing List

Advertise with Greenkeeping

To advertise in the magazine or online, contact:

or email

View our latest issues