Bowling green polisher
The polisher was first introduced into South Africa as a gift to Bowls SA from Henselite (Australia) after World Bowls held in Adelaide Australia in 1996.
An adaptation of the machine was produced locally in Grahamstown and has now been upgraded and improved by The Protea Roller Company.
The Polisher allows the creation of a healthy, fast and smooth green through “flattening” the vertical leaves and compressing the mat. Depending on the rigidity or softness of the grass the leaves will remain flattened for a minimum of 3 to 4 hours for rigid grasses and considerably longer for softer grasses, after which time they become vertical again.
The important thing to note here is that the green keeper mows at 4 to 5mm, preferably 5mm, then rolls the green to achieve a green that runs as if it had been mowed at 2mm. The advantage here is that the longer leaves, once vertical, will achieve a higher photosynthesis rate than those mowed at 2mm, allowing the green to be healthier.
(Note from Dr. Charles Louw: with Paspalum grass the grass is mowed at 5.00mm and the Roller used producing a green running at 13.5 over 27 m for four days.)
It is also important to note that longer leaves will flatten out more easily than leaves mowed to 3mm and tests have shown that the bowl runs further after using the Polisher on a green that has been mowed at 5mm than on one mowed at 3mm. Furthermore those using the Polisher have found that the best results are achieved when rolling in the same direction as you intend to play.
The machine will also level out any slight bumps in the surface – making the surface very smooth.
A further advantage of the Polisher lies in the size of the machine and the consequent weight distribution and therefore very little compaction of the green. The weight distribution is such that with an operator seated on the machine the compaction is approximately 0.7 to 0.8 KG per square cm compared to the standard bowling green mower which has a compaction of 2.0kg per square cm.
An advantage to the Green Keeper of the Polisher is that he does not have to mow the green during lunch time or early in the morning during tournaments as the roller will iron the grass as if it had been mowed on the day. This reduces the frequency of mowing thus reducing mowing costs and labour costs.
The Polisher does the work of a dew roller thus enabling the dew to be broken and the green ironed at the same time.
Maintenance of the Polisher: as the Polisher is hydraulically driven the maintenance that needs to be undertaken on the machine is very simple.
The Polisher has a speed of 10km/h and when timed can iron a green in 12 to 15 minutes so that 3 greens can be ironed within the lunch break on competition days.
It is imperative that it is understood that the greens MUST not be mowed short when using the Polisher. The whole concept of the Polisher is that the grass is longer, therefore healthier, while maintaining and even improving the speed of the green.