A ‘Playlist’ For Putting Green Mowers

By Derf Soller, agronomist, Northwest Region
July 24, 2013

This “playlist” mounted on a greens mower tells the operator everything they need to know for mowing each day of the week including where to go, order of greens to be mowed, direction of mowing and cleanup pass instructions.

Think of it as the wristband of plays a quarterback wears during a football game. Today’s grounds maintenance crews are cross-trained and relied upon to perform numerous jobs on the golf course, not just one. Seldom do staff members mow the same areas with each and every assignment, so this little tip may ensure everyone is on the same page. Actually, the piece of equipment gets the assignment, and the operator just follows along. 

Golf course superintendent Aaron Porter at Fargo Country Club in Fargo, N.D. mounts a “playlist” to each mower (see photo). The playlist is a sheet of directions instructing where a mower should go, the order of greens to mow, and direction for mowing and cleanup passes. Aaron found a flat area on the greens mowers, used weatherproof labeling stickers, and sized the information he wanted to fit the area. For a crew member assigned to mowing greens, one must simply find their mower in the morning and follow the playlist. Every detail the operator needs to complete morning setup responsibilities is included. Staff members no longer write things on their arms or hands. There are no more little pieces of paper found around the golf course after detaching from equipment when adhesives wore out…and no more staff members driving around looking for someone because they weren’t sure where they’re supposed to go after they lostthe little piece of paper! 

This playlist is a neat, inexpensive idea that could be transferred to other operations of the golf course as well. Identify the tasks for a piece of equipment and then let the operator make it so. 

Source: Derf Soller  (dsoller@usga.org)

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