Globetrotting consulting agronomist Terry Buchen visits many golf courses annually with his digital camera in hand. He shares helpful ideas relating to maintenance equipment from the golf course superintendents he visits — as well as a few ideas of his own — with timely photos and captions that explore the changing world of golf course management.


Water Cooler Filler-Upper


The labor time of course travel, filling and servicing of 12 golf course water coolers was cut in half, from four hours to two hours, by mounting two Grainger 55-gallon polyethylene sanitized drums ($120.60/each), two Grainger 2-inch PVC drum faucets ($17.23/each) on top of two Grainger drum racks ($134.53 each) held in place with one Husky/Home Depot 15-foot by 1-inch ratchet strap ($4.75) placed in a John Deere UTV. The coolers are filled out on the course instead of being transported back and forth to the maintenance building/clubhouse. A third sanitized bin contains ice acquired at the clubhouse. Clean and sanitized spare water coolers are changed out on a regular basis. This vehicle also performs occasional checks of the clubhouse pathways, a 62-slip marina, Har-Tru tennis court preparations and restroom cleanup, where all of the supplies can be stored inside the UTV bed. Tyler Bloom, superintendent, Colin Kratz, seasonal staff member (in photo), and assistant superintendents Adam Narivanchik and Andrew Thornton, who conceived this idea, implemented the system at Sparrows Point (Md.) Country Club.


Tidy Greens & Tees

Whipping poles are a thing of the past as this Stihl Handheld Blower ($79.99 to $109.99) quickly and easily removes grass clippings, dew and leaves prior to and after mowing the tees and greens. All of the greens and tees triplex mowers are equipped with them using an L-shaped bracket acquired from Home Depot ($10 at most) mounted with a nut and bolt through a 3/8-inch or ½-inch diameter hole. The tee mowers have a divot bottle attached with a soil/seed mix for filling in divots on the tees. The tee mowers also have 1½-inch diameter PVC “T’s” that are used for the proper tee marker alignment. The greens mowers have ball mark repair tools on the mower’s keychain and a “Gash-B-Gone” to fill old ball marks with greens sand. Tyler Bloom, superintendent at Sparrows Point Country Club in Baltimore, has devised another great idea.

Terry Buchen, CGCS, MG, is president of Golf Agronomy International. He’s a 41-year, life member of the GCSAA. He can be reached at 757-561-7777 or