All you need to know about golf machinery

All you need to know about golf machinery

An average size 18-hole golf courses can be anything from 6,800 yards or just under four miles long, so a broad range of Golf machinery & fine turf mowers are required to maintain this area. This blog will break this golf machinery down into 5 sections and explain what is required for each section, so you know what to purchase when looking at new or used golf machinery.  


1/ Greens  

2/ Tees and approaches  

3/ Fairways  

4/ Rough and semi rough  

5/ Hazards  


1/ Greens are cut at different heights depending on the time of year and the weather, from 3 to 6 mm, using what’s known a as greens triple. A greens triple consists of 3 floating cutting heads with 10 or 11 blade cylinders, and you can also fit a front mounted brush which stands the grass up giving a more uniform and drier cut. The units themselves can be fitted with a host of extras including roller brushes or groomers, depending on your playing surface and what you are trying to achieve. Most units on the market cause very little ground pressure on the surface, so usually only around 10 psi. Most golf courses now cut greens by hand using 22-inch walk behind mowers, which takes much longer than ride on golf machinery but speeds up the green due to the weight of the units, you can also find quality pieces of used golf machinery and fine turf mowers if you’re looking for something more affordable 



2/ Tees and approaches are usually cut between 10 to 14 mm, dependent on the time of year and weather. Similarly, a ride on triple is used, but this time with 7 or 9 blade cylinders fitted. Less cylinder blades are fitted as the cut does not need to be as short or uniform as for greens.  


3/Fairways are cut with a larger ride on unit ranging from 72 to 126 inches wide, with 5 cutting heads which will cut between 10 to 12 mm. You can tailor the cutting heads to suit your needs with optional scraper wires and roller brushes, if you’re in the market for a piece of used golf machinery it’s important to consider your fairway needs and if the machine meets them.  


4/Rough and semi rough is usually cut with a wide area rotary mower and not cylinders, as the height of grass is anything from 40 mm upwards. A rotary mower uses one high-speed blade underneath which chops the grass on impact, whereas a cylinder mower has a cylinder with blades that rotate, trapping and cutting the grass against a fixed bottom blade.  


5/ Hazards. Most parkland and Links golf courses today have hazards or bunkers, which are holes filled with sand that need regular raking. This can be done but is very time consuming, or for golf courses with lots of bunkers it can be economical to use a ride on bunker rake. These are usually small 3-wheel buggies with rakes attached to the underneath, however the bunkers need to be of a fair size for the ride on option due to manoeuvrability.  


Tractors and Utility Vehicles  


Most 18-hole golf courses will have a larger 62 HP tractor in their golf machinery tool kit, and a smaller compact tractor around the 30 to 40 HP range, both of which are either geared or hydro. A geared tractor is normally used for fixed speed work such as verti draining or spraying, whereas a hydro model is used when more manageability is needed such as front-end loader work. Both tractor types can be fitted with standard turf tyres, or galaxy turf tyres for work on greens or finer turf areas. Both models can be specked up with a host of extras to suit the type of work to be carried out.  

Golf utility vehicles falls into this category, which is basically a buggy, which can be used as a run around or can also be used to fit sprayers or top dressers on for carrying out various tasks. 

Finally, we move on to turf management golf machinery. This contains the golf machinery that is required to carry out course maintenance throughout the year, which breaks down into four main categories.  


1/ Aeration  

2/ Scarification  

3/ Rolling  

4/ Top Dressing  


The main aim of aeration is to penetrate the soil profile to create micro pore spaces. Aeration can be carried out with pedestrian or tractor mounted machines, depending on the depth you need to achieve. In general tractor mounted aerators will go deeper and can be wider, so the ground can be covered more quickly. There are two forms of aeration, slitter tine aerators for liner aeration and solid tine aerators known as verti drains for vertical punching action.  


Scarification can be carried out with tractor mounted or pedestrian machines, depending on the depth and size of areas you need to scarify. This is done to remove organic matter such as thatch or moss from around the base of the grass plant and any lateral growth, which encourages new grass to grow in the spaces created.  



Rolling is carried out on the finest grass surface, for example the putting green. Alternating mowing and rolling improves turfgrass wear tolerance and produces greater green speed, as well as giving a better trueness for ball roll.  


Finally top dressing, which can be tractor mounted or using pedestrian spreaders available for golf courses. Most dressers used today are spinning top dressers, which are used to improve drainage and increase the quality of the soil. This allows for better grasses to grow as well as improving smoothness, increasing firmness and can also dilute thatch build up.