Friday, July 26, 2013

Toro 5410 Rear roller brush belt service

Today was a non mowing day to let the course drain from last nights heavy downfall.
A good day to service the brushes belts on rear roller on the fairway units . I like to clean them up in mid season .For the courses that top dress fairways it may be a good idea to clean them up a few days after the sand settles in . It will save a lot of wear and tear on belts and idler pulleys .
Remove the cover and loosen the nut for the idler pulley belt tensioner.
Found this very handy magnetic tray . Great for holding parts and tools at any angle .

My older model (1600 hrs. + - ) had a couple of seized idler pulleys . A while back I had noticed them getting stiff and ordered a few for back stock . Some of them can be freed up with a good penetrating fluid .

Two of them were 
not salvageable .

Remove any debris in the cover. 
Next take a close look at the belt and pick out any sand particles embedded in the rubber . The pulleys I cleaned up with brake clean and also used a small pick to scrape the grooves out .
 Reassemble everything in reverse order .

I had a few belts with many cracks . I always keep an extra 5 belts on hand . I may use a couple between both machines during the season. With regular service you can get the sand and grass clippings out extending the life of the wearable items . As far as the brush kits on these models have been virtually trouble free for the hours of use on them . If you have had bad experiences with other styles brush kits in the past and are hesitant in buying a set ,don't be . They are # 1 and a joy to work on when needed .  

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Men's Mid Amateur at New Ashburn

One of the big events this season held at the New Ashburn Golf & Country Club .
The weather conditions in our area can be to the extreme in either direction in any given year . This year we had a very wet spring which provide some challenges in getting the course ready for the event . Just prior to the tournament the course was drying out very well and everything came together in the end . Having a seasoned Superintendent can make it look seamless . There is a lot of preparation going on before the tournament to provide the best playing conditions to show case one of the Ashburn courses. The staff at the New Course did a great job !!
This is just a modest list .I've seen a few boards well laid out when I pop in too drop a few miss directed parts . Brian (Superintendent ) has all jobs ready to go for the staff so everything gets done in an efficient and timely manner.

Getting to be dusk at the course . The staff have been in twice a day to mow . Nice lines on the fairways . 

All hands on deck , even the fairway divots are being taken care of.
Toro sidewinders doing the pre cut on fairways  and surrounds on greens.

A shot of #5 par 3 

The place is looking fantastic and ready for the final rounds . Greens are fast and true . # 13 I think looking from the back of the green .

There are three covered bridges on the course . This coming down from the back of #17 green .
One of the 3 - 5410 Toro fairway units


This morning a full field of 168 golfers will tee off with the hopes of becoming the MCT Insurance Mid Amateur Champion. The three day event will be hosted by Ashburn Golf Club at the new course in Windsor Junction just outside of Fall River. The Mid Amateur takes the province’s best golfers who are at least twenty five years old.
The Mid Amateur Championship was first played in 1993 and was won by Brightwood’s Dave “Ducky’ Webber. In twenty championships that have been played since 1993 there have been thirteen different winners, Gerry MacMillan of Paragon has the most winning four titles between 1995 and 2001. There are four others tied with two tournament wins each, including Webber, Rob Collins, Leon Carter, and last year’s winner Aaron Nickerson. 
Nickerson who plays at River Hills Golf Club won last year’s MCT Insurance Mid Amateur Championship by one stroke over Glenn Robinson of Ashburn at Berwick Height Golf Course in an event that was shortened to two rounds because of rain. Nickerson shot a 70-72 while Robinson was 70-73. Nickerson also won a title in 2008 at Clare Golf and Country Club.  Below is a list of some notables to watch for during the three day event.
Glenn Robinson (Ashburn)
Last year’s runner up has had a solid start to the season. The Lower Sackville native was in contention all week at the MCT Insurance Amateur Championship at Northumberland Links finishing in a tie for fifth overall. Robinson was also sixth in last year’s Amateur Championship and should be in contention come Sunday especially playing his home course.
Leon Carter (Dundee Resort and Country Club)
You can never underestimate experience. Carter has plenty winning four Amateur and two Mid Amateur Championships. Carter’s Mid Amateur Championships came back to back as he took top honours in 2010, and in 2011.  Watch for the River Bourgeois native to make it three titles come Sunday afternoon.
Trevor Chow (Ashburn)
Chow has won a Mid Amateur Championship in 2009 and has consistently been in the mix at various championships the past few years. Chow was the second round leader this year at the MCT Insurance Amateur Championship in Northumberland before falling off the pace in the third round and finishing ninth. With Chow having the home course advantage watch for him to make a move for his second title, and perhaps redemption from his disappointing finish at Northumberland.
Chris Evans (Ashburn)
Arguably one of the favourites entering this weekend the Timberlea resident has been playing some terrific golf this season. At the first NSGA event Evans and partner Sean Stuart lost in a playoff to Gerry and Chad MacMillan at the Four Ball Championships. Evans followed that up with a second overall finish at the MCT Insurance Amateur Championship meaning him and fellow Ashburn member Stuart had booked their trip to the National Championship. With back to back second place finishes Evans will surely be hungry to win and keep a very successful season on the right track. 
The top three players in the event will earn a trip to the Golf Canada National Championship with the requirement of one team member being at least forty years old. For full results and information on the tournament please CLICK HERE
We will be live tweeting the final round of the event to see results follow us on twitter at @NovaScotiaGolf or by CLICKING HERE


Trevor Chow 
 Trevor Chow of Ashburn had a strong start finishing with four birdies and two bogeys en route to his opening round 70
Ashburn member fires a two under seventy at home course to take a two stroke lead into second round
It was eerily similar to the MCT Insurance Amateur Championship as Trevor Chow once again shot the opening low of an NSGA event, however this time it was the MCT Insurance Mid Amateur. Chow, who is an Ashburn member, fired an opening day seventy to lead the field by two strokes. "I felt very comfortable out there, on the front nine I played very well, on the back nine I had a couple lapses but avoided any bad holes" said Chow on his opening day of work.
Weather conditions were less than ideal as rain came almost immediately following the first pairings that were on the course. Chow said outside of some heavy downpours the rain was not a deterrent to his game "the course was really dry earlier this week so it made the greens soft and approachable, outside of fifteen or twenty minutes of heavy showers we escaped any kind of serious rain". When asked whether or not playing his home course was an added advantage for this tournament Chow said all Ashburn golfers have an advantage, "It's a course that has a lot of slope, as well as tricky greens. If you have an approach shot it's a definite advantage to have played it before, we all (Ashburn members) have an advantage this weekend".  
Fellow Ashburn members also fared well as Kevin MacKendrick shot an even par seventy two, Mike Innes and Jeff Hovell both shot a one over seventy three. Thomas Barnett of Yarmouth Links was also one over at seventy three. Innes said the course was in excellent shape despite the rain "I thought the course was very playable, the rough was shorter than normal, and I thought it was a good day for scoring". Innes echoed Chow's comments that Ashburn members will benefit from playing their home course "it helps for knowing where to place the ball relative to the pins and that makes for easier putts". When asked what it would mean to play in the one of the leader's groups come Sunday Innes said regardless of the outcome he just really enjoys competitive golf "I love it (competitive golf), I haven't been able to play as much after junior because of work and family commitments. Perhaps I am at the right course at the right time to make something happen" said Innes on the prospect of having a strong finish this weekend.
Other notables in the field include Aaron Nickerson, Leon Carter, Jason Thibodeau, Mike Hebb, Gary Smith and Jordan Oakey all of whom form a log jam after shooting an opening day of seventy four. 


Leon Carter watches his tee off shot during the second round of the MCT Insurance Mid Amateur at Ashburn Golf Club 
Ashburn clogs up the leader board with the leader board's top five of six coming from the host club
Things are certainly tight at the MCT Insurance Mid Amateur following a hot day number two. With temperatures soaring to thirty five degrees it was Jeff Hovell's seventy four that allowed him to leap frog Trevor Chow and head into tomorrow's final round as the tournament leader. Chow, Mike Hebb, and Vivek Swamy all sit one shot back of Hovell as there is a log jam of golfers within striking range of the lead.
Hovell who is a member of Ashburn fired a one over seventy three during the first round. "I struck the ball well and my putting was really strong" said Hovell on his second performance. Hovell managed to score well despite the heat which took its toll on players in the field "I like the heat, it doesn't bother me, and I'd much rather play with it being warmer rather than cold" said the Fall River resident. When asked what it would mean to win or have a strong finish at his home course Hovell said it would be very special especially close to home "it's always nice being in contention, and to do it here (Ashburn) close to friends and family would make it even better". Hovell will enter tomorrow's round in an all Ashburn pairing with partners Trevor Chow, and Mike Hebb who will tee off at 2:10 pm.
Hebb who shot an opening day seventy four continued his strong play posting another two over seventy four to sit with Chow and Swamy. "You had to keep the course in front of you during the round, if you got behind the pins in most cases you had a difficult downhill putt so it was important to stay below the hole". Hebb who has battled hip surgery and a torn bicep muscle admitted he has not played as many rounds as he would have liked "I don't play as much competitive golf as I used to, I still play in corporate tournaments for work, but it certainly helps being an Ashburn member".
It has been a good tournament for Ashburn golfers who now maintain five of the top six, and seven of the top twelve spots on the leader board. "The course was certainly a little bit more challenging today, the greens were drying up, and there were some tough pin locations" said Chow on the course conditions for the second round. "I need to get off to a good start, I need to hit more fairways for greens, and set myself up for a good round" said Chow on what he needed to do to give himself the best chance at winning.
Other notables in the field include Leon Carter who sits alone in fifth spot two shots back of Hovell, Andrew MacPherson of Oakfield, and Glenn Robinson also of Ashburn who both sit three shots back. Greg Black of Oakfield Golf and Country Club, and Paul Coulson of Truro Golf Club sit four back well within striking distance.  
The first tee off time will be at 7 am and we will be provided live updates via our twitter account on the three leader's groups. To track the updates follow us on twitter @NovaScotiaGolf  


Trevor Chow accepts his award from MCT Insurance's Colin Brien during the awards presentation  
Ashburn member Trevor Chow won his second Mid Amateur title with a three stroke victory over Glenn Robinson and Mike Hebb
Trevor Chow couldn't have scripted it any better, a provincial tournament win on his home course and in the process becoming a part of Mid Amateur history. Chow fired an even par seventy two to win his second Mid Amateur title by three strokes over Ashburn rivals Glenn Robinson, and Mike Hebb. Chow's win marks the second time he has won a Mid Amateur title as the Hammonds Plains resident and native of Baddeck took top honours in 2009.  
"Going out today I knew it was going to be a shootout, there were a lot of guys within striking distance so I just focused on trying to play as well as I could" said Chow of his expectations heading into the round. Chow wasn't necessarily that strong out of the gates, three putting for bogey on number one before three putting on number two for par. "After three putting on the first two holes I was thinking here we go again because my putting had been off yesterday, I ended up sinking a thirty five footer on number five for birdie. Then I followed that up with another strong putt on number six and from there I was relaxed, and being relaxed is a key in golf" said Chow on his turning point of the round. 
Chow said heading into the back nine he had a good idea he was the tournament leader and decided to focus on playing it safe "I really tried to make sure I was on the fairways, and not going specifically for pins just putting the ball in an area on the green I wouldn't get in trouble". The win was especially satisfying for Chow considering he had finished with two sub par rounds at the Amateur Championship in Northumberland to finish ninth after leading the first two rounds of the event. "I think its huge redemption, it's a huge relief and overall an incredible experience to win here at home" said Chow on winning at home while answering any doubts about his ability to finish off a strong tournament start.
Chow will join forces with club mate Glenn Robinson, and Oakfield native Greg Black, to represent Nova Scotia at the Canadian National Mid Amateur Championship in Spruce Grove, Alberta September 3-6. This will be the first time Chow has played as a member of team Nova Scotia at the Canadian Mid-Amateur Championship, despite winning in 2009 as his son was born the weekend of the event. "My best year competitively was in 2008, and 2009, but since then I haven't played as well as I would have liked so winning and getting to go to a Nationals I think I can compete and have a shot at is very exciting" said Chow on the trip awaiting him in September. When asked what his expectations were heading to Alberta, Chow said on a personal note to finish within the top thirty, and he thinks the team has the ability to "represent the province very well".
Sitting three shots back of Chow were Glenn Robinson and Mike Hebb. Robinson entered the day at +6 and Hebb was in a tie with Chow at +4. Both golfers played well but could not match Chow's strong round. "It feels great, I had a solid first nine holes, missed a few here and there, but to go to Nationals with guys I get to play with on a regular basis it's certainly going to be a fun trip" said Robinson on his accomplishment. Hebb who had a wonderful tournament after coming back from hip surgery and a torn bicep finished second overall.
Despite him qualifying to represent Nova Scotia he was unable to attend meaning Greg Black and Jeff Hovell (Ashburn) had to play in a playoff for the last team spot. Black would win on the first hole after Hovell had a wayward tee shot, however both golfers will attend the Nationals with Hovell serving as an alternate. 
Other high finishes included Leon Carter of Dundee, and Andrew MacPherson of Oakfield who both finished at +10 for the tournament. Three players tied for eighth with Steven Spicer, Vivek Swamy, and Darren MacPherson all finishing at +11.
The NSGA would like to thank MCT Insurance for their continued support, and also thank all the volunteers and staff at Ashburn Golf Club for making the MCT Insurance Mid Amateur Championship a great success!
For full results and information please CLICK HERE  





Thursday, July 18, 2013

Toro 3500D Sidewinder steel line replaced

I have had these lines since winter . The hydraulic oil and filter was due to be changed out today . This was a good day to tackle the bent up lines from last years roll over . I wound up replacing the center smaller steel line only . The bigger one was still in pretty good shape .
Not an easy task . I found it best to remove anything that may get in the way . All deck motors and decks came of very easily .
I'm replacing the smaller line today . It runs along the backside of the front right tire behind the splash guard to the center section between the decks .The original line was bent from the roll over  and was binding when the decks where sliding back and forth . I managed to do a temporary repair last season to get us by .This would be the perfect time to tackle this job . The course looks good and everything else is cutting great . Inform the Superintendent before tear down so he knows why it's tied up in the shop . Our sidewinder is pretty busy and rarely sits idle for to long .
Draining the hydraulic fluid and changing filter . I mark the filter for the next service interval . I'm at 1650 hrs. So filter gets changed at 1850 and at 2050 will be time to change out hydraulic fluid and filter .

There are a few lines going to be remove just to be able to get the small one in place . Here is a picture of them behind the splash guard. The bottom line I had to pad because the deck was bumping into it once in a while . The other lines remove where the 2 bigger ones in the pic . They are intertwined pretty good so I figured I'd just remove them .
Remove the support plate in front of  front lift arms . It gave me better access to the lines .
With the decks removed I could easily move around to get the hard line nuts off .  
2 bolts that holds this bracket in place have to come out .

After getting the new line in place you may want to get this alignment bracket back in place before tightening up the steel line nuts . It will help keep hold the lines in the correct position .Check hoses and reattach in same location removed from .

All the lines have lined up perfectly . Double check the clearance on the bar that slides under the lines .You don't want it touching . It will wear a hole in it pretty quickly . Before going any further fill the hydraulic reservoir to the mark on the dip stick . I find to get a good prime on start up , loosen the new filter till the hydraulic fluid flows out well then retighten . This way the pump will have oil right at start up . Do not start yet . Let it sit an settle the bubbles out off the hydraulic fluid . While your waiting reinstall the decks and motors . Now start it up and let idle for a good 15 minutes . Work all the controls and check for leaks .  

Chris ( the operator )was waiting in the wings to take it right out . It is important to tell the operator about the repairs and for him to keep an eye and ear out for anything unusual and report it right away to the mechanic .
Motor oil and filter was also due . Chris thinks it works even better now .

Over all the job went well but is fairly time consuming . A good 2 hrs. +

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Summers here . Time for the smooth rollers

In times of summer heat stress we are switching are whillie front roller to the smooth ones on
the Toro Flex 2100 to help out in the drier part of the summer . When adjusting these I go with the being equal to the gauge . The whillie rollers I have to adjust them almost .015 difference , For example Whillie rollers Actual HOC of .120" I have to adjust accu gauge to .135 ". With smooth rollers actual  .120 = .120 on gauge . These numbers are for our course and work for us . They may be different in other areas ( climate) or types of greens .

The change over is quick and easy . 

Toro 5410 groomer replacement

Finally received all the parts to replace my newer groomers to the older style . All replaced by my dealer ( Veseys ) and Toro under warranty. Do to some of our mowing challenges The newer style where twisting into the shafts and then snapping apart . Today I spent the day replacing the groomers and this is the way I did them .
Started by removing everything on the belt side .Keep track  of any belt alignment shims . I removed the brush belt cover /belt then backing plate for belt pulleys , that way you don't have to change the settings on brush to rear roller .
Reel motor side next . Reel motor off then the nuts have to be removed to get the Allan head bolts out . After removing the groomer adjustment bolt and Allan head bolts you can remove the plate then pull the groomer shaft out .  Rene was asking a few questions while I was taping . I left it in because it is very common for us Golf course mechanics to get interrupted while working . It's part of the job to trouble shoot and help out when you can or direct staff to someone that can answer their questions .

The final step on the belt side. Over all not to bad a job . I used blue Loctite on everything on assembly . 30 to 45 minutes pre reel . You will often see me using 3/8 ths. drive ratchets and sockets, I have a pretty good feel with this size . If I wear to use 1/2 drive I'd be snapping things off left right and center .  
 I managed to replace all the groomers with the old style today and front face 2 fairway units and backlap in .
 Done grooming for another season . It's really making a huge difference for our course to stand the grass up . Major improvement . 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Toro 5410 Reel Master cutting great .

Yes a Toro 5410 Reelmaster can cut reely well. You have to be tenacious but it can happen . Not 100% the mowers fault . We had some turf conditions that needed attention . The groomers and adjuster upgrades helped improve conditions 100 % . We use to get the 5 - 2" line pattern in the cut . If we get into wet or extra long mowing conditions (puffy or healthy turf )the stripes will come back but will disappear again with extra mowing . I have followed the machines while mowing in puffy turf conditions and you can see the turf springing up after the roller rolls over it . So in the area of the 2 " line the rear roller is about a 2 " difference and I truly believe that instead of getting rolled down again it is spring up high enough to get double cut ( just a little ) The mower in the video is our older 2008 model and it has been a long time figuring out and adjusting to get the cut right . But now that I know ( for this course ) what is causing it and by aggressively grooming we are see a great quality of cut . We just have to mow more often or spray for jumps in growth .

Mowing on 14 fairway at the Old Course . Heavy fog . Tournament Day . Everything's looking pretty good .

    #17 @ Old Course looking down from the back of 16 green .

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Suns back from vacation

Good to see the sun for the past few days . Lot's of humid weather good chance for disease if your not up on your preventative spraying .Lot's of catch up mowing to do and the pro force blower will be doing double duty on the clippings . Course is drying up fast and greens are firming up again . HOC are going to take a little drop for the Danny Gallivan Tournament next week . Hopefully the weather will co-operate . Monday will be time for me to double check reels for any touch up grinds or front facing bedknives as needed and make sure tire pressures and hydraulic hoses are double checked .  Also have to re-tine the pro core with some different looking large tines. Should be interesting to see the results. The tine looks like it's going to open things up a little bigger and go a little deeper ,almost like a slice and tine combo .  Sidewinder is due for a hydro change and a few hard steel lines replaced, damage caused from the roll over last season . It will have to wait till after the tournament and rough gets caught up . Our 4300 D are quite capable to mow the sidewinders areas if needed .

We should have near perfect playing conditions . Weather permitting .

Old Ashburn 10 green from 11 tee
 Old Ashburn 11 tee area fairway across the irrigation pond
Old Ashburn 7 tee Club house in the background .

Hmmm . Looks like 16 fairway heading to the tee Row of tree on right separate it from 12 fairway .