As you play the course this spring, you may notice a strip of sod across #2 fairway, and wonder what happened. Here's the story: Our tractor-mounted fertilizer spreader has a hitch under the spout. I guess it's possible that you could use this hitch to tow a trailer of material to a site, then unhook it and begin using the spreader. However, I've never known of anyone to put this hitch to use.
Unfortunately, as you can see below, we have found this part of the spreader cuts an excellent gouge into the turf when the spreader is on the ground and the tractor moves forward. In a perfect world, the spreader would only be lowered to the ground for filling the hopper, and always be well off the ground as the tractor moves. This may sound pretty simple, however the operator has a lot to keep track of--the speed of the tractor, the engine RPMs, his spacing between passes, the need to engage the tractor's differential lock or four wheel drive, etc.
A bump of a lever can inadvertently lower the spreader, and voila, in a few seconds we have a pretty good dig mark. So, that answers the question of why we needed to sod a strip on #2 fairway. But here is the rest of the story.
While the accidental lowering of the spreader has happened only a couple of times over the years, it clearly creates a significant issue when it occurs. Instead of putting out fires like this, we would prefer to practice some fire prevention. To that end, our mechanic, Joseph, came up with a simple solution that will prevent us from having to deal with this headache in the future.
As you can see in the picture, Joseph attached an old mower roller and bracket to the back of the spreader. If it gets too low, it can now safely glide along without causing any damage. We always welcome innovative ideas that help the operation. Great job, Joseph--that's one less fire we'll ever need to put out!