In order to do a job and do it correctly, you’ve got to have the right tools. A couple of years ago, I picked up playing golf. Until I started playing the game myself, I never understood why people carried around so many different clubs. The twisted beauty of golf is that you will inevitably get yourself into a sticky situation and ideally, you’ll have a club perfectly designed to get you out of it. All you must do is know how to use it. *Spoken as if that isn’t the hardest part of the game* While tinkering out in the yard this summer, I couldn’t help but draw some parallels between all the tools needed to care for one’s lawn and the golf clubs I violently swing every Saturday morning. If you are going to string together a solid season of lawn maintenance, here is your golf bag of lawn tools.
1.) Riding Lawn Mower
Golf Club Equivalent – Driver
This one is an easy comparison to make. The riding lawn mower can do some heavy lifting and is often necessary to have on those long par 5s. My yard isn’t big enough to warrant one of these bad boys so it would pretty much stay in storage if I had one. This guy can put you out way ahead of the game but if it breaks down on you, you could be in some deep shit. Always have a contingency plan.
2.) Push Mower
Golf Club Equivalent – 5-iron
If you’re not swinging the big stick, chances are you’re whacking a 5-iron off the tee on those longer holes. This club is a must have in any repertoire. It’ll be the workhorse off the tee or close some big gaps when you need to. You simply can’t keep up with a lawn if you don’t have this mower to tame it.
3.) Pruning Shears
Golf Club Equivalent – 6-iron
These things keep the thicker brush and smaller tree limbs in check. It’s nothing to go out and spend 45 minutes to an hour trimming the bigger stuff on the edge of your property with these right after I’m done mowing. Similarly, this is my favorite club to pull out when I’m just off the fairway on my second shot. It just feels comfortable cleaning up and approaching the green on a long hole with this.
4.) Leaf Blower
Golf Club Equivalent – 7-iron
A good leaf blower can save you some serious time. It will clear a mess of yard in a fraction of the time than a less sophisticated method (we will get to that) and can double as a tool to quickly and easily sweep your driveway. I love the leaf blower, and I love the 7 iron. You can smoke these off the fairway all day and it just feels good. It’s got solid distance but also is my go-to club in a bump and run situation when I’m just too scared of a touch shot right off the green. Multipurpose for both the lawn and the driveway. Sometimes the 7 is just too much though, and you need something a bit lighter.
5.) Leaf Rake
Golf Club Equivalent – 8-iron
Everyone needs a rake. The fact is, even if you have a solid leaf blower, you are going to have to have a rake and you’re going to have to know how to use it. There are going to be times where the rake just does a better job, and makes your lawn look much cleaner than those leaf blowers would. I take caution swinging 7s off the tee for most par 3s for fear of smoking it off the back of the green in the event I get a good swing at it or skull the piss out of it. That’s where the 8 comes in. It is a necessity, and a safe alternative to the 7. When the blower won’t do, break out the rake.
6.) Garden Rake
Golf Club Equivalent – 9-iron
These next two may cause some debate but just bear with me. Personally, I hardly take this out of the bag. Now that is probably why I have a terrible handicap, but my play style seems to put me in situations where a 9-iron is just too much club on my approach shots on the shorter holes. Garden rakes are aggressive. You’re not going to use these heavy ass rakes to finesse your lawn. You’re using these to spread loam or fix the giant ruts in your gravel driveway from the plow guy. I just simply don’t like the garden rake – but it can be handy those couple of times a year you need one.
Golf Club Equivalent – 52-degree wedge (Gap/Pitching depending)
If I am using a shovel it’s because I am doing some damage control (filling in a hole from a small boulder I just removed from my lawn or unloading some loam to attempt to reseed a section) The shovel can certainly fill in holes, but it can also dig them. That’s the gap wedge. It can save a hole on those awkward distance shots or go the opposite direction and put you in trouble when used incorrectly.
Golf Club Equivalent – 56-degree wedge (Sand)
The hose and sprinkler are clearly the 56-degree wedge of your golf bag of lawn equipment. The wonderful sand-wedge. Undoubtedly you are going to run into a few dry climates. On the course, that’s the bunker you found yourself in right next to the green. In terms of lawn talk, mother nature is not always going to come through for you with a little bit of rain. That’s when you break out the hose and water the lawn. You’ve got to fight to keep your lawn hydrated much like you need that sand wedge for those times you find yourself on the beach.
9.) Weed-Whacker/String Trimmer
Golf Club Equivalent – Putter
The weed whacker is the putter and I will not be convinced otherwise. The fact of the matter is, no lawn is complete without some sort of trimming. Similarly, regardless of the par score, or how long the hole is, you’re always going to be using your putter. Every lawn needs to be touched up with a trimmer after you’ve made a pass with the mower. You’re never going to be able to get every blade of grass up against the foundation of your house, and this thing keeps the brush on the edge of your lawn at bay with ease. A nice trimmer adds the perfect finishing touch to a well-manicured lawn. Or in my case where my lawn is more dirt than grass, the trimmer is just putting some whipped cream on dog shit.