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.

February 7, 2020

Tee Setup Vehicle

Trash is placed in one Rubbermaid 33-gallon container and plastic bottles and aluminum cans for recycling are placed in the other, on each 2017 Club Car Carryall 500 Turf Vehicles, by the two tee setup persons at the 36-hole Giants Ridge Golf & Ski Resort in Biwabik, Minnesota. The 1-inch square tubing is used for the framework. A 1 1/4-inch square tubing “hitch” is welded to the vehicles’ framework underneath the bed, a 1-inch square tubing “male” is inserted into the 1 1/4-inch “female” and held in place with a lynch pin making for easy installation and removal. A 12-inch by 12-inch steel plate, 1/8-inch thick, is welded to the bottom of the framework where the bottom of the containers are positioned and held in place with a bungee cord. The tee setup person moves the tee markers, blows away any debris, moves golf cart traffic control, edges the yardage plaques, and empties and separates the recycling from the trash. Approximately 100 large black trash bags are recycled during a typical golf season. Each framework costs about $20 and it took about eight hours to build all four. Legends Course superintendent Joe Marafiot, Quarry Course superintendent Jeff Simondet, former director of agronomy Luke Hoerig and mechanic Todd Lemmons developed this great idea.

Greens Snow Removal

Critical snow removal timing on greens is done quickly and efficiently by modifying a Toro Trans Pro 100 trailer, pulled by a Ski-Doo Skandic SWT Snowmobile, to transport 2001 Honda HS928 Snow Blowers. No modification to the snowmobile or trailer hitches was required. The trailer’s wheels and tires were removed. A special bracket was built where a piece of 2-inch square tubing was fitted to a recycled snowmobile ski and welded to 1 ½-inch angle iron that had two ½-inch holes drilled into it and a notch cut into it so it could be bolted to the wheel hub. The snowblowers are driven up on the trailer ramp, then turned sideways so both will fit. A 6-foot high elk fence surrounds the greens; the snow is carefully blown away from the bases of the fences. Snow removal is usually done during NCAA March Madness to protect against snow mold and possible ice. The trailer is used during the summer to transport walk-behind greens mowers. Director of agronomy Michael J. Valiant, CGCS, and equipment manager Robert “Skip” Rose at Glenwild Golf Club and Spa in Park City, Utah, have a lot of “equipment mods” up their sleeves.

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