Sprayers are key items of golf course maintenance equipment. Preventative and pre-emergent pesticide and fertilization spraying is essential for maintaining strong, healthy, and great looking greens all year round.
Sprayers make covering large greens quick, efficient, and easy. There is simply no other way to ensure you’re treating an entire course with the necessary products.
Superintendents use a variety of sprayers. From small backpack sprayers to get into those hard to reach places, to large mechanical and sophisticated sprayers that cover miles in a short time period.
Why Use a Sprayer?
Sprayers are designed to spray a multitude of products onto turfgrass. Maintaining a golf course typically requires spraying essential nutrients and pesticides throughout the year.
With most 18-hole golf courses measuring around 7,000 yards, there’s a lot of ground for maintenance teams to cover.
Those 7,000 yards is just the distance a golfer expects the ball to travel. If you take into account every inch of the fairways, greens, etc. there are a lot more than 7,000 yards for superintendents to cover.
For this reason, mechanical drive along sprayers are an essential piece of golf course maintenance equipment. Without one, superintendents and their teams can’t spray an entire course within a reasonable time frame.
Most superintendents also have some handheld sprayers. There will always be times when you need to spray a small area that has weeds, or is damaged in some way. In these situations, it’s more economical to use a small handheld or backpack sprayer.
The bottom line is that there are some considerable savings to be made by investing in the right sprayer for the task at hand. Both in labor costs and by being able to maintain a course to a higher standard.
The most common chemicals and applications sprayers are used for include:
There are a number of different pesticides used to target specific diseases, weeds, and insects.
Fertilizers are typically used to promote turf health without unwanted growth.
Wetting agents and plant growth are used to promote turf health and growth.
Types of Sprayers
As with most turf maintenance equipment, there are various types of sprayers. Generally speaking, much like most equipment they range in size for the most part.
This gives superintendents the flexibility of picking a sprayer that is most suitable for the size of the area they need to cover.
Although more commonly used for yard care than maintaining a golf course, handheld sprayers have their place in the equipment lockup.
Sometimes you will want to treat a small patch of turf that needs repairing or some special care. Or, you’ll have spots that larger sprayers just can’t reach.
Either way, a small sprayer where you carry or wear the tank on your back is the smallest example.
Spray tanks are available in various shapes and sizes as independent units. You can either tow these with a lawn tractor or some other small vehicle or attach them to a trailer.
It’s the entry point to being able to drive and cover a large area quickly. Capacity-wise, they tend to be in the 25-50 gallon range. So, it’s hard to find a tow-behind sprayer that will cover a course without returning for refilling several times.
Mechanical sprayers are the best types of sprayers for maintaining a golf course to a high standard.
They are incredibly sophisticated on the high-end. Mechanical sprayers are fast and capable of being calibrated to spray the exact amount of fluid needed.
If you don’t have the budget for a new sprayer, we recommend checking out our used equipment page. We often have used sprayers for sale, if you don’t see what you’re looking for please reach out to us.
Safety Precautions When Using Sprayers
As with all machinery, there are some safety precautions to be aware of. Sprayers also spray potentially harmful chemicals, so it’s important to be aware of all the hazards/risks involved:
Always Handle Chemicals Safely
We’re sure you will have some safety guidelines in place where you work about how to handle chemicals safely.
Sprayers are most commonly used to spray pesticides and fertilizers. Both of which can cause serious bodily harm through inhalation, ingestion, or by being touched.
Always wear the correct protective equipment when handling chemicals and operating a sprayer. Make sure you’re also aware of how to safely load and unload chemicals in and out of your sprayer.
Properly Maintain Your Sprayer
Another part of ensuring you’re controlling your exposure to chemicals when using a sprayer is by keeping it well maintained.
A leaking hose, or worse, one or more mechanical parts malfunctioning on a sprayer can cause some serious problems. You can end up damaging a patch of turf beyond repair, exposing yourself to harmful chemicals, and end up with a costly repair bill.
All of which can usually be avoided by properly maintaining your equipment. If you’re buying equipment from us, we’re more than happy to explain what maintenance is required to keep it in top condition.
Learn About Your Equipment
It’s easy to hop onto most ridealong lawn care equipment and start using it. However, it’s advisable to seek training to get the most out of your equipment. Especially if you want to end up with a healthy, immaculate course you can be proud of.
This is particularly true with sprayers. Not just in regards to making sure you minimize your risk of chemical exposure. You also need to know how much product to spray, the best time of day/year, and more.
There are also various nozzles, spray patterns, and calibrations to consider. Spraying looks easy, and it is when you’re well-trained, but the end result of your turf depends on how well-trained you are.