We’ve been applying straight sand to the lower parts of the 16th and 18th fairways as a step toward bringing the surfaces here in line with the other fairways on the course. The soils here are much more fertile and hold a lot more moisture due to them being relatively low lying. As a result, the sward is dominated by undesirable grass species and we hope, over time, to exchange the species present to mainly Fescues by changing the growing conditions and overseeding with Fescue.
The cutting units on the mowers require constant attention in the relatively harsh environment of a links course. Sand can get into bearings and reduce life but worst of all is the blunting of the cutting blades. Properly set and sharpened blades are fundamental to providing top quality playing surfaces and many hours are spent working on units to keep them in order. To give an idea of time, it takes 20-30 minutes to remove, sharpen, set, grease and replace a single cutting unit. We currently have 26 cutting units in use on all the different machines so maintenance adds up to more than a full day of work for one of the greenkeepers.