As we move slowly into spring this year, my hope is that everyone is enduring the changes to their lives imposed by the Coronavirus contagion. Lots of changes this year at Nemadji Golf Course as well, one of the most important of which has been our acquisition of much needed new equipment for golf course maintenance. As of the writing of this document, we have taken delivery on three greensmowers, two tee mowers, two fairway mowers, a greens aerifier, and a heavy duty utility vehicle. These acquisitions will relieve a great deal of strain on the entire staff-especially Brad Little who is the equipment mechanic at Nemadji Golf Course. Brad has been here for over 12 years and the job he has done for the facility in keeping equipment in service has been outstanding. That being said, there comes a time when repair costs and downtime with excessively old and tired equipment just becomes a losing proposition. Another key consideration as well is staff safety as the older equipment has posed, in the past, different hazards to operators such as fires and loss of vehicle control due to linkage failures. In one such instance a fairway rig ended up in a lake. While this may make for a good story, nobody should ever be allowed to operate any unit that poses a danger to themselves or others. With these new equipment acquisitions, we should be able to discontinue the use of units well beyond their useful lifespans while focusing our restoration efforts on equipment that still has something left to contribute. Two such units are a pair of 22 year old walker John Deeere greensmowers. Pictured below is a photo taken with a flip phone-yes they still work-of one such unit being sharpened with spin grinder for probably the first time since it left the factory all those years ago.
John Deere 220 Walker March 2020
We hope to experiment with using these units on some of the smaller forward tees on the golf course that are really too small to be effectively mowed with a larger triplex. We have also been busy sharpening reels and bedknives as well as performing repairs on a pair of the older fairway mowers that still have some utility. All of this work (and numereous other projects) are necessary as the new equipment, while a huge help to be sure, is by no means a complete replacement of what was here. 36 holes of golf requires a lot of maintenance and Nemadji is no exception. The new equipment is, hopefully, the first step on the way to future additional upgrades in many areas. I do know that golf course dog Boomer is pretty excited to be back on a utility vehicle again.
2020 Cushman XD with Boomer 3-19-2020
From a personal standpoint, being a part of this process has been a lot of fun in that I have had to, in effect, recall some of the equipment maintenance skills such as grinding with older equipment that have remained dormant in me for the past 25 years. Funny how easily those skills come back and teaching those skills to others such as Brad has been very rewarding. One of the best parts, to me, of being a superintendent is the training aspect of the position and I look forward to both passing on what I know as well as learning a great deal myself while we move forward in doing the best we can to make Nemadji a great place to be for our customers.