Good Morning,

This past week I started working on the off season reel sharpening process.  Some equipment is a rotary mower, such as your home lawn mower.  There are also quite a few reel type mowers at the golf course.  This type of mower completes the process by a reel rotating and ever so slightly contacting a bedknife.  The cutting of the turfgrass is a result of this process.  

These reels are kept in adjustment on a daily basis.  It is imperative to keep the adjustment correct to create a clean cut of turfgrass.  When the reel falls out of adjustment there is more of a tearing effect when mowing.  This causes stress to the turf and can result in more disease and higher stress levels.
Each winter I sharpen the reels and/or sharpen/replace the bedknives  This week’s update is going to walk you through the steps in the sharpening process.

The reel is removed from the machine.  Next the bedknife is removed from the reel.  The reel is checked for any mechanical issues or necessary repairs.  The reel has to be uniform when it is mounted and leveled on the sharpening machine.

The grinding stone is guided across each reel individually.  Our machine is extremely outdated but it is still effective for our needs.  Over and over and over again until a new edge is established on the reel and the correct bevel is on each blade.  Below is a photo of this process:

 Reel Sharpen.jpg
Next the bedknife is mounted and leveled on a separate sharpening machine.  This grinding stone creates a sharp edge on the bedknife.  This process doesn’t take as long as the reel sharpening but it is just as important.  Below is a photo of this process:

 Bedknife Sharpen.jpg

Lastly, the bedknife is attached back onto the frame.  The reel and bedknife are adjusted until there is slight contact that is uniform all the way across the bedknife.  The reel will cut a piece of paper all the way across when it is properly adjusted.  The height of cut is checked and now the reel is ready for the new golf season.

If the reels are not kept in close adjustment, on a daily basis, there will be visible imperfections in the turf following a mowing.  Proper adjustment and sharp reels allow for a more attractive and healthy cut of turf.

I have also spent time working on the 2022/23 budget and Capital Improvement Plan.  Turf equipment is in very high demand and the wait period for out of stock equipment is well into 2023.  That is just a crazy thought to try and process for me.

I would like to thank Councilman George Moriarity and Mayor Kevin Robinson for their contribution to the City of Spencer during their tenures.  You both have been a pleasure to work with each day.  I look forward to the next phase as Mayor Steve Bomgaars and Councilman Brian Balk start their terms.

Please let me know if there are questions or more information needed on any topics related to the golf course.  I will see the golf board and city council at the respective meetings on Monday evening. 

Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

101 W 5th Street

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301



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