Machinery Maintenance

Mowing consumes the most amount of time in day-to-day maintenance of a golf course. Because very few mowers can overlap from one area of the course to another, separate mowers are required for each area of the golf course. Of all the mowers, arguably the most important are greens mowers because they prepare the putting sur- face, the most important playing area of the golf course that, not surprisingly, is also the most intensively managed with lowest height of cut (HOC).
Putting Greens Mowers: Mowers for putting greens come in basically two varieties — walk-behind mowers or triplex mowers (riding mowers with three cutting units and three wheels). Walk mowing greens is preferred because it produces the best quality
of cut and highest degree of putting green conditioning. Unfortunately, walk mowing requires considerable time and resources to complete. Riding triplex mowers are larger and much more efficient but, since it is extremely difficult set three cutting units to yield the exact same quality of cut, putting quality and appearance of the green can be affected.
All greens mowers, as well as the majority of mowers on the golf course, are reel mowers. Homeowners are likely more familiar with rotary mowers used for lawns and many sports fields. Rotary mowers, or typical lawn mow- ers, have one steel blade (sharpened on both ends) mounted horizontally underneath the mower deck, and as the blade rapidly turns it creates a vacuum effect to stand up the grass blades and cut them with the horizon- tally rotating blade. Rotary mowers create an impact cut similar to a scythe or axe. As a result, even the sharpest blade results in some tearing of the leaf blade, which increases significantly as the blade dulls.
A putting green reel mower has between nine and 15 blades on a single reel that spins vertically and uses a scissoring action against a fixed bedknife to cut the grass. The reel mower snips the grass, cutting each blade like a pair of scissors to a precise HOC. When mowers are maintained and set properly, this
Green Section Record Vol. 51 (21) October 18, 2013

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