Wondering what the equipment needed to maintain a golf course is?
Keeping a golf course looking immaculate year-round is no easy task. There are a number of essential tools and pieces of equipment needed to keep a green looking and performing at its best.
Here is a list of the basic golf course maintenance equipment needed to maintain a golf course throughout the year:
If there’s one piece of equipment golf course managers and superintendents can’t do without, it’s a mower. Or more accurately, several different types of mowers.
Some of the most common – and important – mowers include:
Riding Greens Mower – These mowers are typically used to mow greens in a quicker, more economical fashion. However, with recent innovations such as floating cutting heads, these “flex” type of triplex mowers can achieve the same quality of cut as a walk behind mower. Additionally, these triplex (or three cutting unit) mowers can be used to mow tees and approaches.
Walking Greens Mower – A walking greens mower can achieve the highest quality of cut on a putting green. For a typical 18-hole golf course, you might see around 6-8 of these mowers in the equipment storage area. Advantages of using a walk mower instead of a riding mower include: better quality of cut, less weight, smaller mowing stripes, and a more accurate “clean up cut”.
Fairway Mower – A fairway mower, or self-contained reel mower, is a large piece of equipment designed to mow large areas in an efficient manner. These mowers typically have 5 cutting units and are designed to handle various terrains. In some turfgrass species, a fairway mower can also be used to mow roughs when set at a higher height of cut.
Trim Mower – Trim mowers are designed to mow around obstacles on the golf course such as bunkers, trees, greens complexes, and water features. Some trim mowers have the option of shifting cutting units which can move from side to side to allow the operator to safely mow steeper slopes.
Backpack blowers, also known as leaf blowers, make quick work of removing leaves, grass cuttings, and other debris from a large area.
There simply isn’t a more efficient way to keep a large course free of debris than using a blower. It’s just a matter of how many blowers you need depending on the size of your course and how much debris falls.
Keeping the sand in bunkers smooth and in place can be just as challenging as keeping the greens maintained.
Some courses use machinery to do this, some use hand rakes, and some use a combination of both.
The machine operated bunker rakes are small vehicles with three wheels and a large rake on the back smoothing out the sand as you drive.
Alternatively, groundskeepers can use hand rakes for small bunkers as a quick and easy alternative.
Aerating a golf course is an important step in the process of “turf management” to keep the green looking good, and more importantly performing well.
The aeration process helps relieve compaction as a result of all the foot traffic. It allows air and moisture into the turf, creating a smooth and firm putting green and healthier turf.
Used in combination with mowers, Greens rollers improve the quality of the green and putting surfaces. They do this by rolling over the green, which helps to create a smoother surface.
This simple process enhances the turf quality and increases the speed at which a golf ball travels.
Rollers also help to reduce dry spots as it allows more moisture to penetrate the turf. In addition to this, it also helps with seedbed preparation and reduces weeds, moss, and algae.
Sprayers are needed on a golf course to apply liquid fertilizers, plant growth regulators, and other plant protectants or pesticides. With today’s evolving technology, the precision to apply products thru a sprayer has never been better. A high quality sprayer is most important on a golf course to save both money and the environment.
Chainsaws Tree Cutting Equipment
The green and fairways might be the main focus of a golf course. However, there are also a lot of strategically placed trees to shape the course.
Trees and shrubbery require maintenance. Both to keep the course looking immaculate, and to deal with any damage or problems that may arise over time. Specialist tree cutting tools are a requirement for this, such as chainsaws and loppers.
Most of the machinery mentioned so far is too heavy to move by hand. Utility vehicles capable of carrying, towing, or moving machinery might not be essential, but it’s likely to save a lot of time and money in the long run.
There are a lot of small jobs around a golf course that require small hand tools.
Some of the most important basic hand tools include:
- Metal detector
- Hedge trimmers
- Measuring device
- Moisture meter
This covers the majority of the tools and machinery some of the best golf courses in the world use to keep their courses well maintained and improve the playing condition of their greens.
Of course, having the right tools is only part of the solution. You also need skilled staff trained in using the tools to the best of their performance. As well as an adequate number of groundskeepers for the size of the grounds.