Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Green Edges

 You may have noticed that some of the green edges have been recently scalped off.  This was not by accident.  When mowing the cleanup lap (the circle around the outside edge of the green) it is very difficult to get the edge in precisely the same spot time after time.  Say; for example, the cleanup is mowed a mere 1/8 of an inch off the edge of the collar- doesn't sound too bad, right?  Multiply 1/8 inch by 3 cleanups per week times 20 weeks = 7.5 inches!  For this reason we have a measuring tool which we use to keep the green and collar consistent over time.

Why did we get so far off?  One of our best cleanup mowers did not return to the maintenance staff this year.  We are left with only two men who truly do a perfect cleanup every time.  It is a skill that requires a very steady hand and is difficult to master even with years of experience.  Add to this employee vacations and we got off track.  Also, this spring we had several large projects which diverted the skills of our talented and experienced staff members.  Modifications made to #17 and Lower #2 took experienced workers weeks to complete.

The edge of 12 green.  We will reduce the mowing height of this turf down slowly over time until we are back to regular greens mowing height.
The tool we use to measure the width of the collar.  We use the outside edge of the collar as a reference point because we have a distinct edge when two different species meet (Kentucky Bluegrass & Creeping Bentgrass.)  We paint small green dots around the edge of the green to keep the mowers where they need to be.