Fixing Cart Paths

This post is about one of our great nemesis: our cart paths.

It seems like we just can’t ever save enough money to put in continuous cart paths.  There are many factors that come into play, but typically there is always a project or piece of equipment that ends up being more important in the budget.  The cart paths never make the cut.  Some day.  In a family owned business, you just take one day at a time.

Having few cart paths which are mostly located near the greens and tees has its ups and down.  Golfers enjoy being able to drive around wherever their ball lands, but when we have bad weather in the form of mega rain or lack of rain, golfer’s carts can cause a lot of damage to our turf.

In an effort to make due with what we have, we ordered some crushed asphalt to add to our cart paths.  I found my dad one day getting ready to spread some crushed asphalt on to the cart paths.

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He fell in love with this crushed asphalt a few years ago because it compacts so well.

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I’d say that our skid loader is probably the most used machine at the golf course.  It was purchased from Star Equipment in downtown Des Moines.  The owner of Star Equipment, Max, is good friends with my dad.  Max was also good friends of my grandpa’s.  Basically, he has been a good family friend for many years.  He and my dad have a lot of fun together playing around with big equipment.

IMG_4138I’d say that my dad is always happiest when he is running a piece of equipment.

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He has gotten himself into many predicaments with large pieces of machinery, but he considers himself to be an expert skid loader operator.  When I was a kid, he let me sit on his lap to help him.  I think the fascination of large equipment comes to him very naturally given that his own father, Dale, invented farm equipment.  Dad put several loads of the crushed asphalt into the work vehicle and I hopped on for a ride to catch him dumping the load of asphalt onto a cart path.  Here is my dad telling me that I’m not dressed warm enough.  The nice part about parents is that you never really feel your age.  I zipped up my coat at his encouragement.

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The dump box comes in very handy in many projects around the golf course.  He dumped the rock out into a big pile.

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Some day, I’ll have to tell you the story on how we got this Cushman.  It’s quite a story.  We use it all. of. the. time.  In fact, I think I have actually witnessed the drawing of straws with our outside staff on who got to use it.

IMG_4166When dad was done, he drove the skid loader back to the cart path to smooth all the crushed asphalt out.  I didn’t stick around to get a picture of him spreading it out.  This project took place when it was 31 degrees outside.  Not only am I a fair weather golfer, but I am also a fair weather photographer.

How about you?  Do you like to operate large pieces of equipment?

Post by Allison

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