Friday, March 21, 2014

Coco Mat Dragging Made Easy

As with many golf course superintendents we all have certain products and tools that we think are the greatest.  One of the best products on the market, in my humble opinion, is the CocoMat topdressing drag mat.  This mat does a superior job of brushing in topdressing sand but it has one major drawback...it weighs a ton.  I know the weight serves a purpose but it can make it almost impossible to use, or at the least, less desirable.

For several weeks we have been trying to come up with a way to use our CocoMat without running the risk of someone getting an hernia from lifting it.  I think we came up with a good alternative.

We have a Toro SandPro that we no longer use which will serve perfectly for this purpose.  We replaced the normal knobby tires with "slicks" so there would be no tread to damage the greens surface and removed the spring tine rakes that were on it.








Next we built a frame system out of 3" PVC pipe that we had at the golf course maintenance facility, to which the CocoMat was then secured to using 1/2" bolts and eyebolts.









The CocoMat frame was then secured to the SandPro by chains.  It took some time to adjust them and find the right point to place them to get the desired lift for transport and slack for dragging, but we got there.

Drag mat lifted up for transport

Plenty of clearance above the ground for transport

video
Here is a video of our mechanic, Steve Bloom, trying out the new drag mat.

Changing the tires out to "slicks" will allow us to turn on the greens surface without the fear of damaging it.  Putting the CocoMat on the SandPro will also allow us to quickly transport the mat from green to green and will virtually eliminate the possibility of an employee hurting themselves by lifting the CocoMat to either place it on the green for dragging or lifting it back into the cart when they are done with the green.  Being able to keep the mat on the green during dragging, and not have to take the mat off of the green, will help eliminate the berm of sand that accumulates around the surrounds of the greens when sand is drug from on the green to off the green.  This will help eliminate the "dam" that is sometimes seen on many putting greens which restricts surface water from exiting the front of the green.

This was truly a team effort and that is why I love the guys that work on the golf course maintenance staff at The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay.

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