Did you Know Vol. 1

Did you know that the mowing equipment we use to cut greens is adjusted to thousandths of an inch?

Yes, the mowing equipment used on the greens is adjusted with a tool called an accugauge.  This tool measures the distance from the bedknife to the bottom of the rollers in thousandths of an inch.  For example the greens are currently cut at 115/1000".  In the past, to get the greens speeds fast for tournament play, the greens have been cut as low as 90/1000".

When the mechanics set the greens mowers up, they have many variables that apply to their adjustments.  They must maintain a 5 degree angle on the face of the bed knife for the mower to properly stand the leaf blade upright for cutting.  The must obtain the proper clearance between bedknife and reel at .002" to allow for heat expansion under operation.  And finally they must maintain a parallel relationship between the reel and the rollers to ensure an even cut across the width of the mower and to avoid uneven wear of the reel causing a cone shape.
With that being said it is imparitive that the mowers are checked daily for adjustment.  Quality of cut and proper height of cut can be compromised by loading and unloading the mower or even a small particle of sand can cause havoc on the cutting integrity.
Now, with the importance of proper adjustments made daily to the mowing equipment also affects the turf as well.  Turf when mowed with a sharp mower is much more healthy.  The plant has a better opportunity to heal and a better ability to sustain the damage caused by mowing.  As for a dull mower, it will leave the leaf blade shreaded.  The plant uses energy made from essential nutrients to repair the damage.  All grasses prefers the production of leaves over roots.  So in the case of dull mower damage the plant will expend it's energy trying to produce more top growth to ensure the efficient production of energy made from photosynthesis. "Shoots before Roots"

What does that mean?
The plant will then use more resources to make this process happen.  The plant will require more water, more fertilizer and more plant protectants to outgrow any stress that the plant is under.


So, back to the important role of our equipment manager.  The equipment manager is critical in the overall health of the golf course.  In turn the health of the golf course will dictate nutrient and water needs.  We rely on their precise and persistent adjustments made everyday to the mowing equipment.

Probably a little more than you needed to know about mowing equipment, but none the less, it is an integral part of our golf course maintenance.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Justin C. Ruiz, CGCS

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