Walk? Ride? Or both?
Courtesy of Justin Mandon

Walk? Ride? Or both?

A glimpse at how the wildly contoured greens at Pasatiempo Golf Club are mowed.

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September 24, 2020

Rain is common in Santa Cruz, California from late October until early April and Pasatiempo Golf Club receives most of its 40 inches of annual precipitation during that stretch. Let superintendent Justin Mandon explain how the soggy season affects mowing decisions on cleverly contoured Alister MacKenzie-designed greens.
 
“We have a full Toro fleet and we either walk-mow or use a triplex depending on the time of year,” he says. “It’s important for us to walk mow during certain times of the year. It’s not unusual for us to get three inches of rain and go walk mow the next day. We do a combination of triplex mowing and walk-mowing on the greens throughout the rest of the season.”
 
Mandon’s team mows four acres of Poa annua greens using Toro Greenmaster Flex 1021 walking and Toro Greensmaster 3400 TriFlex units. The surfaces have been thoughtfully restored over the past two decades to resemble what MacKenzie’s team initially sculpted.
 
“They have extreme contours,” Mandon says. “When you have contours like that, you have to make sure you are choosing the right greens mowers to get the right cut. If you don’t have a greens mower set up right or it’s not the right model or type of greens mower for these type of contours, you’re not going to get the cut and accuracy that you are looking for. Whether it’s the Flex walking mower or the Flex triplexes that we use out here, that type of technology is extremely important to us to be able to maintain these greens without causing damage at the level and expectation that golfers expect.”