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Golf course gets new greens mower

Kenmare Country Club groundskeeper Curt Helmers will no longer have to struggle with hours of maintenance when he’s mowing the greens.

8/02/16 (Tue)

Specialized mower . . . Kenmare Country Club President Shane Harris tries out the new Toro Greenmaster 3120 Friday on the golf course. The $25,000 mower is designed to mow only the greens with special blades about an inch high, and it uses slick tires that don’t disturb the turf.

By Marvin Baker

Kenmare Country Club groundskeeper Curt Helmers will no longer have to struggle with hours of maintenance when he’s mowing the greens.

A brand new Toro Greenmaster 3120 arrived last week much to the delight of Helmers and the board of directors.

Helmers told the board he was doing constant maintenance on the existing mower, a 20-year-old Toro greens mower.

“He told us we had to do something now,” country club President Shane Harris said. “We thought about used ones but there was no time to do research.”

Instead, they found what Harris called a “good deal” from MTI Distributing, a company specializing in golf course equipment headquartered in Brooklyn Park, Minn.

The mower carried a $25,000 price tag but Harris said the country club financed the machine through MTI and a payment won’t have to be made until May 2017.

With that in mind, a fundraiser has begun to help pay for the mower, according to Harris. He said golfer Gary Hager donated the first $1,000 to get the ball rolling and is heading up the fundraiser.

Harris said any donations are welcome and he is hoping to have a sizeable amount built up by May of next year which could cut interest on the loan considerably.

The existing greens mower, also a Toro, was purchased used and is now 20 years old.

And rather than Helmers having to do maintenance on that machine each time he takes it out of the garage, it will be kept, at least for the time being, as a back up, just in case it’s needed.

He said the Mohall Country Club has taken on a similar project with the intent to trade its greens mower in every five years. Kenmare may consider the same.

Harris said the biggest difference in the new mower is in its precision cut.

As many as 17 sharp, circular blades on each side of the mower cut the turf as short as one inch without actually disturbing the turf. Hydraulic lifters lock the mower in at the desired height.

“There’s a big difference in the greens,” he said. “It gives golfers better accuracy.”

Harris said there are two things to keep in mind when considering a donation for the new mower.

First, he said Helmers was spending a lot of his working time pulling maintenance which wasn’t helping him or the country club.

“Curt’s doing an excellent job and we want to keep him satisfied,” Harris said. “All that maintenance gets old fast.”

Secondly, it’s important for Kenmare to continue to have a top-notch golf course.

“We’ve got to have a nice course to attract people to come and play here,” Harris said... Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!