Putting Green Mowers: How to Make Adjustments to Your Mower for a Putting Green

What You'll Need

Putting green mowers are different from any type of lawn mower you’ve used in your yard. They’re specialized machines, either the reel or push type, or a power model. The need is to cut the grass very close indeed, as well as cutting it evenly. Putting green movers must be capable of very small adjustments, with sharp blades to cut close.

Step 1: What Length?

The ideal length for grass on a putting green in 3/16 inch. That’s very short, and it’s only going to work when the mat of grass is tight and firm, so the ball can roll across it easily. It can take a while to achieve that type of growth, so before that the grass level needs to be higher to compensate for the fact that the grass isn’t too thick.

Step 2: Mower

There are many different brands of putting green mower on the market. Some people prefer the reel type, feeling it gives more control, while pros opt for the motorized mower, which will do the job more quickly. The blades do require sharpening, or backlapping, a couple of times each year. While you can do some of the sharpening at home, to achieve the best cut you should have most of it done professionally. The blades have to be as sharp as a razor. You can’t achieve a putting green cut with the sharpness of blades typical of home lawn mowers.

Similarly, if you purchase a powered mower you need to find a good place to have it serviced and maintained unless you’re extremely competent with engines.

Step 3: Height Adjustment

The height adjustment will vary with the brand of mower. With some it relies on bolts on either side of the front rollers. This is only part of the process, as screws on the side of the machine also need to be altered. These need to be lined up with the notches in the height adjustment that can allow for adjustments of 1/8 inch at a time. As your green matures, this means the putting green mowers can cut more closely.

When making your adjustments, go gradually, rather than trying to make a single large adjustment. That way, after trying it out, you can go for a shorter cut if necessary. If you go too short, there’s little you can do. Keep the manual close at hand to guide you.

Step 4: Catch Bin

If the height is correctly adjusted you’ll discover that the catch bin on your mower might fill up fast. If this is the case, empty it regularly. If you don’t it can add extra weight to the front of your putting green mower, causing it to cut deeper and unevenly.

Step 5: Maintenance

Without regular maintenance you’re not going to achieve the kind of consistent close cut you need for a putting green. The blades have to be at a fine sharpness every time you use the mower, which will be regularly, especially in spring and fall.