Winters are a welcomed change of pace for the shop here at Stow Acres Country Club. We put quite a bit of time into preparing and planning for the upcoming season, to produce a progressively higher quality product for the customer.
Every winter we service approximately 50 reels from the greens, tee, and fairway mowers. Each reel is evaluated, broken down, rebuilt, sharpened, and has a new bedknife fitted to it. This process ensures that we start out the season in the best possible position as far as quality of cut and reel reliability are concerned. Sharpening the reels is an intensive process that grinds the blades down to a precision level of .0005″. For some perspective, that’s 10 times smaller than the width of a human hair. It’s incredibly important that the reel be straight, as it’s the passing motion between the reel and bedknife that cuts the grass at a consistent height. Any minute difference in the distance between the reel and bedknife can lead to an unclean cut, torn, or completely uncut leaf blade. The less clean a cut is made on the blade, the more that plant is prone to disease and environmental stresses. For the golfer, uncut or unevenly cut grass (particularly on a green) equates to unpredictable ball roll, and a generally unsightly appearance. This being said, quality of cut is of extreme importance here at Stow Acres Country Club, it’s a win-win for the golfers and staff alike. Here is a short video of the grinding process (audio is included, so we advise turning your speakers to a low setting at first):
We spend a considerable portion of the winter season researching methods, tools, and equipment. One project in particular we’ve been working on is a landscaping trailer that will carry rotary mowers, trimmers, blowers, and various hand tools. In the past, it would take multiple carts/trailers to accomplish the same task, sometimes with many trips back and forth to the maintenance barn for another tool. Our expectation is an increased quality in the hand manicured areas such as bunker surrounds, tee complexes, pond edges, etc.
From a shop perspective, the 2011 season is going to be characterized by quality of cut and improved efficiency. Coming into our 4th season as a core management team, our ship has never sailed any smoother.
-Justin Parker, Equipment Manager