7 tips for mowing a golf course

A popular job for college students during the summer is working with the maintenance crew at a golf course. A very physical job that of course includes a lot of cutting. Primary mowing is done with a manual mower. Tee boxes and greens are cut in this way. The greens are specifically cut every morning starting at six in the morning. It is a tedious and precise process, but if done correctly it can produce beautiful results for those who play that day. This is a seven step process to aid in the green cutting process.

1. Choose where to park the trailer and cart Specialized manual mowers are transported on a trailer attached to a maintenance cart. Choosing where to park is a critical first step so that you can properly unload the mower and be able to easily load the mower onto the trailer when you’re done. Also keep in mind not to block any path and try to avoid parking on grass that appears worn due to constant traffic.

2. Unload the mower and prepare to cut Make sure to gently unload the mower and not damage the blades. These mowers cost over $ 10,000 according to my golf course superintendent. Damaging the blades would be a very costly mistake. There are removable wheels that you must remove from the mower. Its sole purpose is to transport the mower. I’ve seen people try to mow with them still on and get exactly nowhere. And much less all the criticism you will receive from your co-workers. Once the mower is unloaded and the wheels are removed, the mower can be started. It involves turning on a switch near the mower and pulling the starter cord. Next, the blades and the drum of the roller on which the mower runs should be turned on.

This is done by turning two separate levers located near the base of the mower. Lawnmowers have a clutch system in them where you have to keep a handle depressed for the mower to move. This handle also has a safety lever. You should push the safety lever forward and feel the handle come back easily engaging the mower. Once the mower is activated, it can be moved into position. Keep in mind that the mower blades must be kept away from the lawn by pushing down on the handle to raise the blades from the lawn avoiding cutting something that should not be cut. A good tip is to avoid turning the blades until you are in position to cut, but everyone has their preferences.

3. Choose a pattern Golf greens are cut front to back, side to side, left to right, and right to left. Left-to-right and right-to-left cuts are angled cuts. Visualize a square where you start in the lower right corner and move to the upper left corner. That is known as a right-to-left cut and vice versa for a left-to-right cut. Often times, the superintendent will tell everyone what the address is for that morning. It is always the opposite of the previous cut. If the greens were cut from side to side yesterday, the next day they will be cut from front to back.

Four. Finalizing the cutting position Once the cutting direction is chosen, one can be positioned correctly to start cutting. The best way I have found to start cutting is to start at the edge of the green or in the corner, depending on the cut. For example, if a front-to-back cut is necessary, starting at the edge of the green and creating a straight line is the easiest way to do it. If you’re cutting at an angle, your best option is usually to start at a corner of a green and work across. Every golf course is different to determine what the cutting direction really is. On my golf course we are instructed to find the 150 yard pole and create a straight line from the pole to the green. With this straight line set up, all y cuts can be based on that imaginary line.

5. The cut itself- After determining the cutting position, cutting can begin. The first line is critical to getting it right, as all other lines will build on the first. It’s a back and forth process that ultimately comes down to effectively turning the mower. This can be done in a number of ways. Most people choose to hold the mower with one hand and let the mower rotate around it, thus turning the mower for the next line of cut. I choose to keep both hands on the mower, which is a slower process but one that I feel more comfortable with. It’s all about preference, but the key is to keep the clutch engaged and the mower moving. If one were to let go of the clutch, the mower stalls and that’s not fun as one would most likely walk straight into the mower.

Cutting straight lines is not an easy task. It requires concentration throughout the entire process. Some people choose to look ahead as if they are driving and choose a point in front of them that they focus on while walking completely in a straight line. Another method is to look at the previous cut line and focus the edge of the mower on that line while maintaining a slight overlap. Overlap is another key to getting a great cut. If you lose a splinter of grass between cuts, it sticks out like a sore thumb and you have to go back and cut that line again. Stacking and walking straight with the mower are two of the most important things to consider when pruning.

6. Checking the Bucket for Weed Buildup There is a bucket attached to the front of the mower that collects the cut grass. It is essential to keep an eye on this bucket while cutting. Often one will have to stop at least once while cutting a green to empty this bucket. If it gets too full, it will start to pour grass on the blades, dulling them. Keeping a sharp blade is key to achieving a cut so close that it requires cutting a green.

7. The cleaning pass The last step in cutting a green is to make a cleanup pass after all possible roundtrips have been completed. The clean-up pass requires following the edge of the collar around the green with the pruner. The collar is the strip of grass usually about two feet wide that borders the green. It’s key to keep an eye on the edge of your mower and make sure you don’t cut into the collar itself, which will result in unsightly grassy areas. Two cleaning passes must be performed.

The first follows the edge of the collar and then a second in which you follow the outer edge of your first cut but in the opposite direction from where you made the first cut. For example, if one were to make the initial cut in a clockwise direction, the second cut should be down in a counter-clockwise direction. Cleaning cuts get grass that was lost around the edges due to having to pick up the mower early so as not to cut the neck and to be able to properly turn the mower for the next pass. It is the final step in cutting a green. Once you have completed this step, you can take a step back and enjoy your hands-on work.

Mowing a golf course may sound easy, but in fact it involves many steps, not one to be forgotten. It is rewarding when completed, as you can admire its straight lines for the rest of the day. It is also an excellent form of exercise. On my golf course we walk an average of 5 miles every morning to mow the grass alone!

Website design By BotEap.com

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *