but not suitable for greens!
mower for putting greens
I need special equipment to maintain a real Bentgrass (or
Bermuda) putting green?"
This is one of the most often asked questions
that we get at putting-greens.com. The answer to that question
is yes ... you need a professional reel type mower to cut the
green. Reel mowers cut with a spinning cylinder of blades which
"pinches" the grass against a bedknife. This bedknife ride low
in the front of the mower. Cutting with a scissor type action,
the height of cut can be lowered to extreme tight tolerances. A
regular rotary mower cannot accomplish this type of cut. For
greens construction you do not need any specialized equipment.
Most modest sized greens can be built in a weekend with hand
tools, although some assistance from plows, backhoes, etc. will
make things easier for you to move earth where required.
"Can I use the old fashioned reel mower I
found in my grandfather's tool shed/garage?"
Although the old-fashioned push reel mowers
(and new ones .. which you can still find at home centers
today) offer the same cutting action and will give you a finer
cut, they are not sufficient for cutting a putting green. These
reel mowers are still coveted today for their ability to cut
lawns sharply with 8-12 blades per reel, but they lack the
weight, rollers, groomers, height adjustability, balance and
clippings baskets of modern day professional greensmowers.
Note: You may be able to retrofit one of these as a second
mower for cutting collars around your putting green.
don't want to spend a lot of money for a mower ... what are my
You will need to purchase a greensmower .. but
you don't have to spend a fortune. If money is no obstacle, you
can plunk down $5K-$6K for a brand walk-behind unit from one of
the big three companies: Toro, John Deere and Jacobsen.
These three companies sell the majority of greensmowers to the
golf course industry. You can also find good brand new
equipment from alternative manufacturers such as Hudson Star,
McClane, Locke, Cal Trimmer and Qualcast starting in the $1,000
range. All offer quality equipment in a lower price range. We
at putting-greens.com are an authorized distributor for Hudson
Star mowers. Please contact us if you would like more
information about these fine quality mowers.
Used gear is readily available in most areas and all over
the internet. In the category of "used walk behind
greensmowers", there are several options:
- Contact local golf courses to see if there are any older
walk-behinds that they will sell you cheaply (this is worth
the effort if you find a deal ... maybe even FREE!)
- Contact local Equipment Dealers who specialize in used
golf course equipment resale. Many sell traded in gear to
lower level golf courses.
- We occassionaly have used mowers available. Check our
current list of used mowers for sale (see below).
- Check out the used equipment posted on our free
classified web board: web
- Contact us for a list of used equipment from trusted used
equipment dealers. We are building a network of regional
distributors and may have one in your area.
- Search Ebay (always risky but full of
Golf courses routinely turn over equipment every few years,
replacing older units with newer models. A well-maintained
greensmower can last for decades and can be updated/maintained
with parts from aftermarket suppliers such as Precision (800
345-1960) and R&R Products (800 528-3446).
"What is the difference between a push mower
and a powered unit?"
Most professional greensmowers are powered with
gas engines. (Note: The Hudson Star Signature Cut mower is
powered by battery for quiet power-assisted mowing). Powered
mowers spin the reel for cutting and in most cases ... drive
the mower forward. This is controlled by the operator and
requires a little skill/experience to get the technique for
properly cutting a golf green with a walk-behind mower. Push
mowers (McClane, Hudson Star Classic Cut, Qualcast), on the
other hand, do not provide any power to either the reel or to
the forward motion of the mower. You must "push" the mower
forward, which turns the roller drum and then transfers some
energy to the spin the reel. The harder you push .. the faster
the roll and the faster the reel spin. For small greens (under
2K SF, beginners, and for those who are unsure about this type
of project and do not want to invest a lot of money up front ..
push mowers represent a good option. For larger greens ... or
for those who want to cut the green less frequently .. they
will appreciate the assistance provided by power mowers which
will easily cut through a weeks worth of growth. Note: Push
units can always be resold if you want to upgrade later.
greensmowers require any special maintenance?"
Pro mowers do require special maintenance
(mostly sharpening and adjusting). If you plan on purchasing a
used mower, find out where you can get it serviced. Making
friends with the local golf course mechanic is a GREAT IDEA!
You can learn a lot about the business from them and their
experience and you might be able to get them to adjust your
mower for a few bucks. There are several techniques that
require special knowledge and equipment. Most importantly ..
you have to sharpen the mower. A razor sharp mower, properly
adjusted, will give you the best chance of achieving
golf-course like qualities in maintaining your putting green.
You can do some home-sharpening (backlapping) but will require
professional help at least once or twice a year if you want to
see great results.
there anywhere that I can learn about these mowers and read
Power Mower Review - Jacobsen PGM
Mower Review - Hudson Star
Powermate Mower Review - Locke - Cal
Trimmer, - Qualcast
don't have reviews of all mowers, but here are some links to
past reviews of various mowers. You can also look on our
webboard and find lots of reviews/discussions about various
makes/models of greensmowers. There you can ask a question and
usually get good advice from experienced users.