Monday, April 13, 2009

Rolling Fairways

Soft and spongy turf is the norm each spring which results from winter freeze/thaw cycles and saturated conditions. Closely mowed surfaces such as greens, approaches, and fairways require rolling before a first mow is performed. This is to ensure the precision cutting units (consisting of reels, groomers, and bedknives) on each machine provide the best possible cut without scalping or marking the turf.

Greens and approaches are rolled each spring with the Salsco sidewinder rollers which you have probably seen during the golf season. Until this year, we have rolled the fairways by simply driving the fairway mowers over the turf with the cutting units down and reels disengaged. This provides reasonably good results, but we have recently been thinking fairway rollers would do the best job.

These are the rollers purchased this spring to provide better results on our fairways.

The 3-gang rollers are easily pulled by our tractors and can be filled with water to provide a very smooth surface. Not only are the rollers great for early season, but they have several applications we plan to take advantage of including:
  • Smoothing and firming fairways/approaches to improve playability and ball roll during tournaments and other events.
  • Reducing disruption following aeration by flattening out tine holes and lifted turf.
  • Rolling newly planted sod - creates good soil to root contact and reduces air pockets that dry out emerging roots.
  • Improving seed to soil (or aeration core to soil) contact in new turf areas for better establishment.
  • Smoothing out "puffy" turf conditions on fairways seen during humid periods.

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