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Why Grind?

Posted on July 06, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Take a close look at what really happens when grass meets the mower. What impact blade sharpness has on grass health and operating costs.

Surgically sharp mowers give turf a clean cut, and a clean cut dramatically reduces damage, disease, loss of water and nutrients.

Dull or poorly sharpened mowers tear and shred grass blades rather than cut them. This ragging leaves the tips vulnerable to disease from spores such as Curvularia or other leaf spot diseases.

Fresh ground mowers give the cleanest cut to microscopic tolerances, and this not only improves turf health and disease resistance, but it gives spectacular results.

Your sharpening system should be an integral part of your in–season programme, the same as your sprayer, aerator, top dresser and mowing fleet.

 

Mike Koopman, Equipment Manager, The Old Collier Golf Club, Naples, FL. said “I have been spin grinding for 18 years. We don’t back lap at all, but we do make sure the machines are cleaned, checked and adjusted every time they are used. If it cuts paper then we use it the next day. If not, we grind it.

We have the Bernhard Express Dual reel grinder and Anglemaster bed knife grinder. You can set them up, grind them and you are in and out in 3 minutes.

Backlapping is a thing of the past – something I did before I had spin grinders. It’s a night and day difference.”


Dennis Blackwell, the Equipment Manager at Marindale Country Club in Maine agrees, “Grinding is all in the angles. It’s so easy to set up, and only takes a few minutes. With grinding, I know the reels are nice and sharp and ready to go.”


Gregg Swanson – 35 years in the international golf industry and Golf Course Superintendent at Sentosa Golf Course, Singapore agrees that the most important key to success, improved health and controlling costs for the turf grass industry is the quality of the cut of the grass. “A clean cut minimizes infection sites that reduce the health and quality of the playing surface. In today’s economic times, the sharpening system makes all the difference to the playing conditions for our guests. Weak turf requires the increased use of pesticides, water, maintenance practices and nutrients that create a soft playing surface, reducing product quality and increasing operational costs. The quality of Bernhard machines combined with the training we received, and staff support during the tournaments have been second to none.”

“I had the distinct honour to prepare tournament conditions for several Barclays Singapore Opens. The Open is one of the premier events worldwide, attracting the best players from around the world. The main reason the quality of the turf was so excellent and played so well for the events and was visually appealing was a direct effort of the Bernhard sharpening equipment and the phenomenal support of the Bernhard team.”


Andy Caddell, Equipment Manager at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club, NC said, “We have close to 400 reels here, and eight golf courses. From the middle of April until October our grinders are running all day long, every day. Typically, we start late March topdressing every two weeks so we are mowing in sand 50 % of the time during the summer. Our greens mowers will generally grind once or twice a week, sometimes more depending on the conditions.

We have three sets of grinders at the main shop and another set at each of my 3 satellite shops.”

The simple truth is this. When your greens and fairways are in peak condition, they require less water. The turf is healthier naturally, so reducing the need for chemical fertilisers, fungicides and pesticides, and when you have your cutting system tuned to perfection, you use less fuel.


Head Greenkeeper, of the Wilmslow (a beacon site for R&A’s environmental sustainability programme), UK, Steve Oultram believes that “grinders make it easier to attain sustainability, especially while trying to establish a healthy bent and fescue sward.” “By applying a good quality cut and maintaining the chemical balance of the soil, turf grass does not suffer massive highs and lows, but remains quite steady in its health and appearance.”

 

Grinders complement sustainability by producing surgically sharp cutting units to reduce potential tearing and bruising of the grass leaf which can result in discoloration, stress and disease.

It is responsible maintenance, and sensible economics.