TRAVELS WITH TERRY

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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.

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October 5, 2021

Cleanup Lap Mower Guide Bar

A very consistent cleanup mower leading-edge along with keeping the 30-inch collar width consistent also is being achieved when they are being mowed three to four days per week. The 1/8-inch thick flat steel bracket is approximately 18 inches long by 1 inch wide, bolted in place. 5/8-inch nuts are welded to both upturned ends of the bracket. The 5/8-inch diameter threaded rod can be positioned on either side when mowing clockwise or counter-clockwise, which are alternated during each mowing. The end of the threaded rod has a 1/2-inch thick by 5-inch long mud flap made of recycled rubber and bolted in place, for guiding the mower operator to the outer edge of the collars. Most of the materials were in stock, while the threaded rod cost less than $20. It took less than two hours to build. Lucas Lownes, superintendent at the Aspetuck Valley Country Club in Weston, Connecticut, got this idea when he worked as an assistant at Muirfield Village Golf Club and modified the idea to fit his needs. Lester George is the renovation architect.

Durable, Decorative Walkups

The former crushed gravel, used on the walkups from the cart paths to the tees and greens, easily tracked onto the playing surfaces, which required four to six hours per day to keep the desired look, for cleanup, raking and to reduce the cost and labor of grinding the reels and bedknives from gravel damage. Kafka Granite Polymer “Autumn Blend Color” was installed after each area was prepped to a 2-inch depth, compacted, material installation and either wheel-packed with a utility vehicle or rolled with a larger asphalt roller. The crushed granite material is shipped in bulk, where one ton will do approximately 150 square feet at a 2-inch compacted depth at about $2.13/square foot. It took just a few hours to install 1,000 square feet after site preparation. “The switch to this material provides a more finished look to our walkups, there is no more cleanup and messy appearance and it still retains the natural look that we desired,” said Ryan Knapp, superintendent at the Stock Farm Club in Hamilton, Montana. Assistant superintedent Nick Harreld spearheaded the installation of the material. Knapp and Harreld are very pleased with their handiwork. Tom Fazio and Ron Smith are the architects.

Terry Buchen, CGCS, MG, is president of Golf Agronomy International. He’s a 51-year, life member of the GCSAA. He can be reached at 757-561-7777 or terrybuchen@earthlink.net.