Gang Up—The Answer For Wet Weather Mowing May 19, 2017 By Larry Gilhuly, agronomist, West Region

A mechanical bunker rake equipped with several rotary mowers is capable of mowing extremely wet areas that could not be mown with standard mowing equipment. 

From October 2016 through April 2017, numerous locations in the Pacific Northwest experienced record-setting rainfall. From southern Oregon to British Columbia, rainfall amounts from 50 to 90 inches made golf courses extremely difficult to play and, in many cases, impossible to mow. Rough areas proved particularly challenging; at many golf courses it simply was not possible to mow roughs with standard mowing equipment. Superintendents were left with the choice of mowing excessively wet rough areas with push mowers or waiting until the rains stopped to use larger equipment.

The article “Adding Value – It Comes in All Sizes” describes one solution for this problem – equipping a mechanical bunker rake with three rotary mowers to create a lightweight rough mower that is capable of mowing extremely wet areas. This technique has gained popularity in the Pacific Northwest, with several golf courses using similar machine combinations to achieve positive results. In every case, superintendents report that combining a mechanical bunker rake with rotary mowers allows them to mow almost any wet area without causing damage.

The next time your facility is challenged with wet, unmowable rough areas, consider trying this simple idea. At very little cost you too can "gang up" on wet roughs.


West Region Agronomists:

Patrick J. Gross, regional director –

Larry W. Gilhuly, agronomist –

Brian S. Whitlark, agronomist –

Blake Meentemeyer, agronomist –

Information on the USGA’s Course Consulting Service 

Contact the Green Section Staff

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