For golf enthusiasts who can not get enough of the game, a backyard putting green is the ultimate upgrade to a home landscape. A completely manicured putting surface area easily located simply a couple of steps away is a golf lover’s dream. While the capability to practice your short game in the convenience of your home sounds appealing, the know-how and devices necessary to keep a smooth, quick putting surface needs to not be taken lightly. There is a lot more to just building a putting green, planting grass and purchasing a reel mower.
Today’s putting greens normally are kept at or below a 0.125-inch height of cut– i.e., one eighth of an inch. To much better appreciate how low that actually is, two quarters stacked on top of each other would be somewhat higher than 0.125 inch. This is quite different than the grass in your backyard that normally is mowed at a height in between two and 3 inches. Instead of the more familiar rotary-style mower, a specialized type of reel lawn mower is required to cut turf at low, putting green heights. A reel mower creates a scissor-like action where turfgrass leaves are clipped by the crossing of two cutting edges– the reel blades and bedknife. Rotary design lawn mowers, which slice turfgrass leaves with a single blade, can not successfully trim turf listed below a 1-inch height of cut.
The capability to cut turf at very low heights comes at a cost. While a new property, walk-behind rotary mower can be bought for $300, anticipate to pay upwards of $9,000 for the kind of walk-behind reel lawn mower used on a golf course. Used reel lawn mowers can be found at considerable discount rates, however they typically need expensive replacement parts like new bearings, a new bedknife or a brand-new reel cylinder.
A working reel lawn mower is not the only piece of equipment one must have to mow at putting green heights– accurate determines are important to establishing the cutting system for consistent results. Golf course mechanics consistently use dial calipers to insure the rollers of the cutting unit are true and decrease any variance in height of cut. In addition, dial indications typically are used to make sure mowing heights are precise to the thousandth of an inch. What might seem like a small distinction can really cause a visible decrease in putting quality. With such low heights of cut and little space for mistake, these measurements and subsequent fine-tuning need to take place prior to every mowing.
Then, there’s the issue of sharpening. Rather of needing to sharpen a single blade like that found on a rotary lawn mower, reel lawn mowers used on putting greens have anywhere from 11 to 15 blades that make up the reel cylinder plus a bedknife that need to be honed. This needs specialized mills to preserve specific cutting angles.
Regardless of the various challenges with having a backyard putting green, there are success stories. The secrets to success are an experienced caretaker and properly maintained mowing equipment.
Last updated on September 16th, 2019