Rocky River Golf Club is a busy public golf facility. Superintendent Joel White and the management team realized that their program of walk mowing creeping bentgrass putting greens was not sustainable. The process was time consuming and drew scarce labor resources away from the rest of the golf course. It was also clear that creeping bentgrass could not provide the year-round putting quality that the facility wanted for its customers.
Working with a USGA Agronomist, Superintendent Joel White developed a plan to convert the putting greens at Rocky River from bentgrass to an ultradwarf bermudagrass. He also decided to trade his walk-behind greens mowers for triplex mowers. This would reduce the labor hours required to mow the putting greens and allow the staff to spend more time improving the rest of the golf course.
Making the change to mowing putting greens with a triplex was easy to do and has been a tremendous success for Rocky River. Two employees with triplexes can mow the putting greens in less than two hours. Walk mowing the putting greens required four employees and took two and a half hours. Changing to triplexes resulted in an immediate savings of 40 labor hours per week. That time is now spent on other tasks that used to be put off or not done.
Putting surface quality has remained excellent with the triplex mowers because the bedknives and reels are identical to those on the walk-behind mowers. Meanwhile, the staff has more time to improve other areas of the course and golfers noticed the extra attention to detail and improved playing quality.
The transition to mowing putting greens with triplexes was seamless. White says that the change is the single best improvement he has ever made to the maintenance program.