What is in a typical greenkeeper's maintenance facility?
Greenkeeping budgets vary widely depending upon the course and requirements. Some have multi-million pound contracts with major distributors, while others get by with just a few mowers.
Here are some of the typical pieces of equipment you will find around the course, produced with the assistance of the USGA.
Lightweight fairway mowers appeared in the 1980s as course managers sought to minimise turf damage and compaction.
The key is to achieve consistent heights of cut, mowers may also feature roller and brush options to stop wet grass from clogging cutting units and to spread clippings evenly across the turf.
They usually feature either five or seven cutting units and will appear different to greens mowers as they typically have four wheels.
The quickest way to mow 18 greens is by using a ride-on greens mower. Triplex mowers have three cutting units and three wheels and can do an entire course in a morning, but since it is difficult to get all three cutting units at exactly the same height and quality of cut, putting quality and appearance can be affected.
Preferred to ride-on mowers because they produce the best quality of cut, and therefore a higher-quality putting green.
A downside is the time it takes to complete the entire course.
Greens mowers are designed to cut incredibly low, leaving just a couple of millimetres of grass sward remaining, and so calibration of mowers is a daily job.
Primary rough is usually mown using large rotary mowers, often just once a week in areas of the course that rarely come into play. Rotary mowers are more efficient at cutting large areas, where an even cut isn’t incredibly important.
Intermediate rough mowers
These can either be a triplex reel unit or a rotary four-wheeled unit and is designed to provide an intermediate level between the rough and the fairway.
Can be your standard everyday bunker rake, or can be ride-on machines to cover larger areas.
Blowers and sweepers
Can be used for clearing leaves or aeration cores off playing surfaces. These can be handheld, backpack blowers or push blowers and tractor-mounted blowers for larger areas.
Hole replacement tool
Hole cutters are necessary for cutting new hole locations, and these must be sharpened on a regular basis to keep them in top shape, and the hole in the best condition it can be.
These come in many forms and sizes. Modern walk-behind core aerators are efficient and come with a variety of attachments and settings to give course managers plenty of options when aerating. Tractor-mounted areas are used in larger areas of turf, such as fairways and roughs.
Units can either be belt-driven or the new spinning disc variety. Can be pushed by hand or towed behind a utility vehicle.
A wide array of hand tools is also required. These include leaf rakes, landscape rakes, bunker rakes, brooms, picks, axes, shovels, and other hand tools such as pruners, hand trimmers and garden implements.
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BIGGA represents the Nation's greenkeepers and works hard through education and training to raise standards in golf course management throughout the greenkeeping profession. To find out more about the work BIGGA do visit: www.bigga.org.uk
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British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association
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