Monday, June 6, 2011

Where are all the stripes?

This picture was taken in the spring of 2007 and I must admit the all the stripes you see are pretty cool.  For as long as I can remember I put a huge emphasis on burning in the stripes.  I was very hard on my staff to perform their mowing in such a perfect way so that all the stripes lined up perfectly.  Often I would see guys mow areas more than once only because they wanted to please me by having perfect stripes.  My staff might be the best on the planet, but we are only human and my emphasis on lining up the stripes was becoming obsessive.  One day I just said myself, "This is a waste of time, we need to be looking at ways to save time and money."  I wanted to increase productivity from the staff and the best way to do that was to find ways to do things faster.  Mowing with an emphasis on stripes takes time.  One needs to lift the cutting units at the end of each pass and then drop the cutting units at the beginning of each pass.  This not only wastes time but is stressful on the machine by adding unnecessary wear and tear.  To increase productivity we decided to just stop mowing stripes on fairways.  Immediately I was impressed as to how much time we saved.  So we then took it a step further and stopped mowing stripes on tees.  Now we actually try and avoid mowing stripes by mowing against the direction of the last cut so as to wash out the stripe effect. This has greatly improved our productivity, reduced wear and tear on the machines, and most importantly reduced my stress level.  No longer am I obsessed with stripes.   Actually, I like the "no stripe" look so much better.  Eliminating the stripes also eliminated the "man made" look so the place looks more natural. 

This picture shows todays mowing style which is much more efficient for us than striping.  Using this method saves about 6 man hours each time we mow fairways.  Thats almost equal to having another person on the staff that day.  The bottom picture shows the "no stripe" look on #3 tee

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