2013 John Deere 8000 E-Cut Hybrid Greens Reel Mower Golf Course 1333 Hours…

Step-By-Step Guide for Getting a Golf Course Lawn

A beautifully-striped lawn mowed tight like a golf course fairway. This describes the dream of most lawn care fanatics that want their home lawn to look like a golf course. We’ll outline the process you can follow to create the lawn you see above.

It’s taken several years of blood, sweat, and fertilizer to get the lawn to this point. Although it looks pretty good, we’re always looking for ways to improve this golf course lawn. This guide, combined with a consistent approach, will have your lawn looking like a golf course before you know it.

We aim to show you how to reduce the time to make your lawn look like a golf course from several years to just four months.

The lawn started as Tifway 419. It’s the cultivar most commonly installed by contractors in my area. Over the past few years, we’ve overseeded the lawn with Arden 15 Bermuda to get a darker color while reducing water and fertilization requirements. In the photo above, the lawn is mowed at 0.75”.

Top Dressing Your Lawn

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For your lawn to look like a golf course, it first has to be smooth like a golf course. Despite how flat your lawn may look to the naked eye, once you start mowing it lower, all the bumps, dips, and weird undulations will show themselves. To overcome this challenge, you’ll need to topdress your lawn.

Top dressing is applying a layer of sand to the turf to smooth out the uneven surface. There are several top dressing types, from primarily organic material to pure playground sand. We used a 70/30 blend of river sand and organic material on this lawn. This has the advantage of leveling the turf while adding organic material to the soil. The best material we’ve used for lawn leveling is the Soil³ leveling mix.

A pure organic mix will eventually break down, bringing you back close to where you started. While you should apply enough top dressing mix to reduce the low areas, be careful not to over-apply. The grass tips should still be exposed, allowing them to receive sunlight for faster recovery.

The process used for applying the top dressing was as follows:

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  • Scalp the turf to a height below 0.5.”
  • Remove as many of the grass clippings as possible
  • Aerate the turf
  • Apply a 14-7-14 starter fertilizer (the brand doesn’t really matter)
  • Apply top dressing mix
  • Use a shop broom to work the dressing mix into the turf.

Top dressing is back-breaking work. Be sure to enlist the help of friends and family so the process goes faster. Alternatively, you can find a company that provides this service in your area.

Check out this video if you’d like to see what goes into top dressing a lawn. We show how the process works using heavy equipment and the manual process. Both methods produce great results.

If you decide to use a service, expect to pay about 5 per square foot, depending on what they do. This lawn is approximately 12,000 square feet, so the initial lawn level and top dress cost 6500,425.00.

Approximately three weeks passed between top dressing and the lawn being completely green.

Core Aeration and Verticutting

Core aeration and verticutting are methods for opening the canopy and removing thatch. We typically aerate in late March or when the grass starts coming out of dormancy.

Core aeration punches 4-6” deep holes into the turf and removes plugs of soil. This allows fresh air and moisture to enter the soil, improving water and fertilizer uptake. It also strengthens grass roots. You can rent a core aerator or pay for a service to do it for you.

Verticutting thins out the turf by removing built-up thatch. It also promotes new growth since the grass is sliced into 2–3” long sections. Each of these sections begins new growth of its own. The result is a much thicker and healthier turf in the weeks following the process. We recommend doing both aeration and verticutting at least once per season. To speed up recovery, apply fertilizer after the procedure.

Depending on your lawn size, expect to pay 60–90 for core aeration and 100–150 for verticutting.

Choose the Right Lawn Mower

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After top dressing, the mower you use is the most crucial aspect of acquiring and maintaining golf course grass at home. Most lawns don’t look like a golf course because the owner is using the wrong type of mower to cut the grass.

A traditional rotary lawn mower is analogous to swinging a long knife to cut the grass. This hacking motion tends to tear the grass instead of cutting it cleanly. Traditional mowers are much more likely to scalp the turf as mowing heights become lower.

Any unevenness in the surface will cause the cutting disk to dip, creating ugly-looking semicircles in the lawn.

For the mowing heights we’re after (0.5”-1.25”), you’ll need to use a reel lawn mower. A reel mower (also called a cylinder mower) cuts the grass by trapping the grass between the reel edge and the bed knife. This process cuts the grass, similar to how scissors cut paper. They’re much friendlier to the turf since the grass isn’t injured as much during mowing.

Almost all reel lawn mowers can also install a front roller that neatly lays the grass flat during the cutting process. This is what creates those glorious stripes we’re after.

Our current reel lawn mower is a Toro Greensmaster 1600. It is a golf course lawn mower that cuts tee boxes and approaches. If you’re searching for the best reel mower out there, it’s tough to beat the Toro Greensmaster 1600. To find one at a good price, search Google for “Toro Greensmaster 1600” or “Toro GM1600”.

A pre-owned Greensmaster in good condition will cost between 450,500-3,500. A Toro Greensmaster priced in the 3,500 range will typically have lower hours (under 500) and will arrive freshly serviced. That way, you’re ready to go for an entire mowing season. Local auctions or one of the online marketplaces are good sources for finding these reel mowers for sale.

Another option is to find out which company your local golf course leases its reel mowers from. These places will often have off-lease reel mowers for sale at attractive prices. A bonus is that you start a relationship with the company that will likely service and/or repair your reel lawn mower. Regardless of where you get yours, a powered reel mower is a fantastic bit of kit that will produce the best possible cut.

If the price of a powered reel mower is intimidating, you can always go with a manual push reel mower. The Scotts push reel lawn mower produces an excellent cut. There are also good push reel mower options from Fiskars and Earthwise, but the Scotts push reel mower is the one we have the most direct experience with.

While the Scotts will work for most lawns, the Toro Greensmaster or Tru-Cut C25 / C27 are better options. The reel turns much faster, so you obtain a pristine cut even at lower heights. It’s also less work to operate a powered reel lawn mower than a manual push mower. If you decide to buy one, be sure to get a front roller since it’s required to create those beautiful stripes.


2013 John Deere 8000 E-Cut Hybrid Greens Reel Mower Golf Course 1333 Hours The unit starts and runs fine. The reels go up and down. We did not cut any grass, there is no grass anywhere by us. Please take a look at all the pictures.


Items will be shipped UPS, USPS, or Fedex Ground. We do not ship to P.O. Box

Buyer is responsible for “duty and tax” if shipped internationally

Additional insurance can be purchased at an extra cost. All sales include 100 insurance

Freight shipping will require a business address with loading dock or forklift

Delivery to a residential address will be an additional cost or terminal pickup

Choosing Mowers for Putting Greens on Golf Yards

For golf enthusiasts who can not get enough of the game, a backyard putting green is the ultimate upgrade to a home landscape. A completely manicured putting surface area easily located simply a couple of steps away is a golf lover’s dream. While the capability to practice your short game in the convenience of your home sounds appealing, the know-how and devices necessary to keep a smooth, quick putting surface needs to not be taken lightly. There is a lot more to just building a putting green, planting grass and purchasing a reel mower.

Today’s putting greens normally are kept at or below a 0.125-inch height of cut — i.e., one eighth of an inch. To much better appreciate how low that actually is, two quarters stacked on top of each other would be somewhat higher than 0.125 inch. This is quite different than the grass in your backyard that normally is mowed at a height in between two and 3 inches. Instead of the more familiar rotary-style mower, a specialized type of reel lawn mower is required to cut turf at low, putting green heights. A reel mower creates a scissor-like action where turfgrass leaves are clipped by the crossing of two cutting edges– the reel blades and bedknife. Rotary design lawn mowers, which slice turfgrass leaves with a single blade, can not successfully trim turf listed below a 1-inch height of cut.

The capability to cut turf at very low heights comes at a cost. While a new property, walk-behind rotary mower can be bought for 300, anticipate to pay upwards of 9,000 for the kind of walk-behind reel lawn mower used on a golf course. Used reel lawn mowers can be found at considerable discount rates, however they typically need expensive replacement parts like new bearings, a new bedknife or a brand-new reel cylinder.

A working reel lawn mower is not the only piece of equipment one must have to mow at putting green heights– accurate determines are important to establishing the cutting system for consistent results. Golf course mechanics consistently use dial calipers to insure the rollers of the cutting unit are true and decrease any variance in height of cut. In addition, dial indications typically are used to make sure mowing heights are precise to the thousandth of an inch. What might seem like a small distinction can really cause a visible decrease in putting quality. With such low heights of cut and little space for mistake, these measurements and subsequent fine-tuning need to take place prior to every mowing.

Then, there’s the issue of sharpening. Rather of needing to sharpen a single blade like that found on a rotary lawn mower, reel lawn mowers used on putting greens have anywhere from 11 to 15 blades that make up the reel cylinder plus a bedknife that need to be honed. This needs specialized mills to preserve specific cutting angles.

Regardless of the various challenges with having a backyard putting green, there are success stories. The secrets to success are an experienced caretaker and properly maintained mowing equipment.

Toro Trim and Surround Mowers

Toro’s Trim and Surround category of Groundsmaster and Reelmaster mowers provide exceptional maneuverability for handing, high quality aftercut appearance, and trouble-free performance and reliability. With a wide variety of cutting widths available, in addition to Toro’s proprietary Sidewinder series for the GM3500 and RM3100, Toro’s Trim and Surround mowers are sure to meet your turf-maintenance demands. information on Toro Trim and Surround Mowers

Turf Pride Finish Mowers

With a full line of turf maintenance products, from core collectors, custom utility trailers, aerators, various parts, to finishing mowers, Turf Pride is driven by a desire to be the best in the industry. Turf Pride recognizes that good is not good enough and the best are always replaced by something better. Some of the sharpest minds in their respective fields are all a part of the success of Turf Pride. All have one goal in mind to not only assist turf managers accomplish their tasks, but to excel and master their trade. Simply put, Turf Pride is helping to Master All Tasks and Master with Pride. information on Turf Pride Finish Mowers

Harper Turf Equipment

Harper Turf Equipment manufactures a wide base of turf and landscape products, built in the USA with the durability and usability customers should expect. From slope mowers, clean and quiet turf vacs, debris blowers, to verti-cutters, Harper Turf has solutions for many of your turf and landscaping needs. information on Harper Turf Equipment

Ventrac Equipment

Ventrac tractors and attachments are engineered and manufactured in Orrville, Ohio, and sold around the world through a network of highly trained and authorized dealers. Built for performance and with quality to last, Ventrac equipment is ideal for sports turf management, collegiate campuses, residential and commercial property maintenance, public green spaces, and agricultural uses. As a respected, well-known global brand in the professional grounds care industry, Ventrac engages customers with authentic experiences and trusted products. information on Ventrac Equipment

Certified Pre-Owned Service

Reel mower for golf course

Fairway reel mowers provide productivity, efficiency and simplicity. The 100-inch width of cut mower provide the best productivity possible. In The line-up, the latest Toro mowers are designed to be over 20% lighter and much more compact than traditional reel mowers.


The Reelmaster 3575-D (7 inch reel) reel mowers provide productivity, efficiency, and simplicity. The 100 inch width of cut and lighter cut makes it perfect for sports fields. These mowers were designed to be over 20% lighter and much more compact than traditional Toro reel mowers. You get the performance you come to expect from Toro in a size that is not only highly maneuverable, but is also engineered to decrease turf compaction.

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Powered by a 24.8 HP (18.5 kW) Kubota diesel engine. The Reelmaster 3575-D provides plenty of power to climb hills, even while operating groomers and rear roller brushes, yet it uses less fuel per acre than a traditional fairway mower.

The Reelmaster 3575-D has a quiet, low noise design with only 84 dB(A) at the operator’s ear 73 dB(A) at a 25-foot drive by.

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The innovative Series/Parallel 3-wheel drive system provides power to at least two wheels at all times. The result is impressive traction in hilly and wet conditions, and minimal wheel slip so it’s gentle on the turf.

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The three wheel design is highly maneuverable which maximizes productivity. Smooth, turf-friendly tires significantly decrease potential for turf tear in tight turns. The 100 inch (2.5 m) cutting width and up to 7 mph (11.3 km/hr) mowing speed make the 3575-D fast and effective.

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The Reelmaster 3575-D utilize a common platform with other popular Toro mowers, which reduces operator training time and increases productivity.

With a weight that is 20 percent lighter than a comparably equipped Toro 4-wheel drive reel machine, the Reelmaster 3575-D provides the ideal combination of turf friendliness and productive performance.

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Dual Precision Adjustment (DPA) cutting units – featuring Toro’s EdgeSeries reels combine to deliver a consistent, high quality cut and superior after cut appearance, while reducing maintenance with improved reel edge retention.

24.8 HP (18.5 kw) Kubota 3-cylinder, liquid-cooled diesel engine

10 mph (0. 16.1 km/h) forward transport; 0. 3.5 mph (0. 5.6 km/h) reverse.

Dual Precision Adjustment (DPA) Cutting Units

8-Blade recommended range 0.5” – 1.0” (13 mm-25 mm). 11-Blade (18”) recommended range 0.25” – 0.75” (6 mm – 19 mm)

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The optional real roller brushes promote consistent grass dispersal to help your turf look immaculate. Multiple points of contact and faster rotation provide improved clipping dispersion in wet, sticky conditions.

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Groomers provide improved quality of cut by lifting turf and reducing grain. Toro’s unique groomer design allows for Bi-directional and neutral grooming positions. Changing turf conditions are no problem with the ability to quickly change from a groomer cartridge to a grooming brush when condition warrant. Groomers also help to knock off dew, disperse grass clippings and integrate clippings into the grass canopy. Optional Broomer provides a full width Brooming effect to enhance grooming results. The Universal Groomer also offers a Quick Set design which does not require tools to lower or raise the blades or brushes.

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The comb helps the grass stand up for more precise cutting. The scrapers help keep the rollers clean to minimize the clumping of grass around trim and surround areas. The HD bedknife is harder and the lip is taller than the standard bedknife providing longer life. The HD bedknife is recommended for ½” (1.3 cm) heights of cut or higher.

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Collect the clippings with the optional grass basket.


The Reelmaster 5010 is the industry’s first and only reel mower with a true hybrid drive system. The Reelmaster 5010 utilizes a Kubota 24.8 HP diesel engine in concert with an in-line motor generator and a self-recharging 48-volt battery pack to provide seamless power to the vehicle and cutting units. The combination of these two power sources comprises Toro’s patented hybrid power delivery system called PowerMatch PowerMatch enables the Reelmaster 5010 to match the power generated to the power required for all cutting conditions. The result is the availability of over 40 horsepower, but only when cutting conditions require it, which saves on average 20% fuel usage, improving operating costs, and the vehicle’s carbon footprint.

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With over 40 available horsepower, the PowerMatch system can handle verticutting, scalping, and steep hills. Power is used so efficiently through the PowerMatch system that the Reelmaster 5010 can perform at least on-par, and in many cases better than much higher horsepower machines. Three years of vigorous field and real-world testing have proven the Reelmaster 5010 has the power to perform in the most rigorous conditions, and the efficiency to keep it up year after year.

Superior Rollers For All Golf Course Reel, Rotary, Greens Rolling Machines

BIGGA BTME UK Trade Show in Harrogate. Booth 554, Golfco Rollers on display at Howard Marshall Engineering’s booth

GCSAA 2023 Conference and Trade Show- Visit our booth 1573

Golfco will be celebrating our 30th year at the GCSAA Trade Show. Stop by our booth help us celebrate!

Each of the four body sections spin independently. Great for minimizing skid marks and inside lean to reduce stress on turf. Available in both smooth and grooved designs. Four bearing kits needed to rebuild four sectional rollers. Standard rebuild kit part number: OHCOMPN4

3″ dia. Grooved three body sectional roller

Outboard bodies on a four sectional roller. All bodies spin independently to reduce and prevent scalping on undulations. Part # D2719A2C42

Golfco Competition grooved multi body rollers on a John Deere 9009A rough mower at a private club in Sammamish, WA. Independently spinning roller bodies on the same shaft helps the mower make tight turns with agility and minimal turf stress. Grooved front and back rollers are ideal for reducing shadowing lines in the rough while providing adequate weight dissipation. Thanks to Pacific Golf and Turf for upgrading this demo 9009A mower with Competition Rollers. We can provide unique roller options to upgrade your turf after-cut appearance and improve your satisfaction with any mower. Request Competition Rollers on your next mower purchase.

Golfco Competition Roller full roller assembly video.

Rebuild Instructions on the last page of the price list.

Golfco Competition Rollers options for Greens Mowers.

Golfco Competition Roller options for Fairway Mowers.

Golfco Competition Roller options for Rough Mowers

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Golfco Grooved Rollers. Our grooved rollers are ideal for your machines. Designed to promote a more consistent cut appearance that is also much kinder on turf.

Photograph thanks to Howard Marshall Engineering: UK and Europe Distributor.

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Woodall, Dave, Equipment Manager. 2018. Photograph. The Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course, ID.

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Young, Corey, Inventory Manager Logistics. 2019. Photograph. OJ Compagnie Sherrington, Quebec. Canada.

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Golfco Rebuild Kits. Please call us if you have any questions. (425) 213-3721

One Standard Bearing Kit fits all Competition Rollers!

Please note: All 2″ grooved rollers shipped after 9/26/19 require bearing and seal overhaul kit: OHCOMPH

Rebuild Instructions on the last page of the price list.

Call us if rebuilding takes more than 10 minutes per roller.

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