One of the things employees must do prior to cutting the green is to check for objects, such as stones and ball markers, which could damage the mower's reel. Even something as small as a twig or seed from a tree may spell trouble, as they can lodge in the grooved roller of the greensmower causing a scuff or line across the green. Of course, operators must also be mindful of how the mower's cutting; and, as with all motorized equipment, be certain that it's not leaking any fluids on the green.
While most of our greensmowers are equipped with lights, and employees often wear headlamps, it can still feel like a roll of the dice when we start in the dark, as it is very difficult to see and be aware of any of these issues on a green without full daylight to help.
In addition to the difficulty with greensmowing, other tasks, such as cup cutting can be challenging as well. An area of the green which appears to be a reasonable hole location in the dark may have an entirely different appearance once the Sun rises. Because of this, we often times will go out the day prior, and dot the hole locations we're going to be changing first the next day.
Even with the shift to Standard Time it's not exactly bright out when we arrive now, however it's definitely a big improvement over those dark October mornings!