Hedgehog Wheels

CliveW

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I'd never heard of hedgehog wheels until I read about them on here. In all my years playing golf I've never seen them either.
 

2blue

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Compulsory at our place & I've switched early as hedgehogs roll so much easier than the skidding slicks that compress the ground & skid about destroying the grass. I've been using them for 6 or more years & would say IMO they are, without doubt, far better for the course
 
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Without a doubt, winter wheels make life a lot easier for the trolley operator. However, I think winter wheels cause more damage to the turf by digging in deeper and damaging the roots. Normal wheels skid but cause little damage to the roots, although they smear the mud around which effectively looks worse! I would like to see winter wheels of the hedgehog type banned. If the course is too wet to operate a trolley with normal wheels then a carry only policy should be enforced. The Powacaddy winter wheels seem to make more sense although any wheel which improves traction is surely more likely to damage the turf at a deeper level i.e. the roots than ordinary wheels. Ordinary wheels definitely make the course look much worse by smearing mud superficially but they do far less damage to the most important part - the roots. There are also conditions when the hedgehog wheels become encased in thick mud making them pointless.
 
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Leftie

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I'm a bit disappointed that Rulefan and LP didn't come back with any links to the evidence that they had seen that hedgehog wheels do less damage to the course than flat wheels.

There again, after a lot of searching, neither could I - apart from one "trial" which co-incidentally was sponsored, I believe, by Powercaddy :unsure:

I would concede however that they might do less damage in heavy frost conditions (when trolleys shouldn't be used anyway imo).
 

duncan mackie

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I'm a bit disappointed that Rulefan and LP didn't come back with any links to the evidence that they had seen that hedgehog wheels do less damage to the course than flat wheels.

There again, after a lot of searching, neither could I - apart from one "trial" which co-incidentally was sponsored, I believe, by Powercaddy :unsure:

I would concede however that they might do less damage in heavy frost conditions (when trolleys shouldn't be used anyway imo).
Your conclusion matches mine, having had them imposed for the last 2 years.

Without doubt the most effective step is to implement a 'small bag policy' regardless of trolley. All the damage starts with a heavy bag/trolley combination.
 

Liverpoolphil

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I'm a bit disappointed that Rulefan and LP didn't come back with any links to the evidence that they had seen that hedgehog wheels do less damage to the course than flat wheels.

There again, after a lot of searching, neither could I - apart from one "trial" which co-incidentally was sponsored, I believe, by Powercaddy :unsure:

I would concede however that they might do less damage in heavy frost conditions (when trolleys shouldn't be used anyway imo).
Sorry mate - all the information we got from our Golf Director and Head GK was in a meeting and email , I can see if I can grab it again from you and then email it to you if you want ? Believe they were two studies done
 
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I'm not aware of definitive studies - so l too would be interested to see any info/links that Rulefan or Phil can provide.

I only have my own observations to suggest that the Powakaddy winter wheels caused less damage than standard wheels. But then again the Powakaddy wheels are different to hedgehog wheels (Powakaddy wheels are about twice as wide as a standard wheel, and best described as "basket-like"). Used side by side with a trolley with standard wheels (which I deliberately did) they most definitely had less side slip - causing less "scarring". And when run over particularly soft patches, the Powakaddy wheels left barely a mark, whereas standard wheels sank and left ruts.

Like Duncan, I'd say that its weight that is critical. Our previous head greenkeeper once told me he instigated occasional trolly bans, not because he had an intrinsic problem with trollies, but because of the weight "If they're not carrying, folk don't take any of the junk out of their bags" (except he used a rather more colourful tern than "folk"). As with things like divots & pitchmarks, sometimes golfers are their own worst enemy.
 

Canary Kid

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I have stopped using mine when it’s muddy ... they really hold the mud and end up so encrusted that you can’t see the hedgehogs any more. That adds so much weight as well. So I only use them when the ground is wet, as opposed to muddy.
 

Old Skier

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I'm a bit disappointed that Rulefan and LP didn't come back with any links to the evidence that they had seen that hedgehog wheels do less damage to the course than flat wheels.

There again, after a lot of searching, neither could I - apart from one "trial" which co-incidentally was sponsored, I believe, by Powercaddy :unsure:

I would concede however that they might do less damage in heavy frost conditions (when trolleys shouldn't be used anyway imo).
Hedghogs are banned on a few courses in Devon and Cornwall and most people have gone to the winter wheels that are produced by PowerCaddy and the newer design by MotorCaddy.
 

mikevet

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Our club won't allow hedgehog wheels, as the ground is pretty heavy and soft in winter. If the hedgehog wheels did what they were intended to do , and just took the trolley weight on the tips of the 'spikes', then there wouldn't be any damage. When it's soft they sink in and churn a trail of holes everywhere they go.
 

Dando

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I use the powakaddy winter wheels. They’re wider and have a nice cut out pattern to them rather than the traditional knobbly winter wheels
I leave mine on all year round as I cant be bothered to change them
 

HomerJSimpson

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Happy to go with the advice of our head green keeper. He decided three winters ago that hedgehogs wheels make no significant difference to the condition of the course in winter and so the club lifted the requirement to use them. They have become firmer on when the do allow trolley's onto the course and we are having to carry more in winter (when it's really wet). I don't know of any definitive research (must be something out there somewhere surely) but I'll follow the guidance of my club and any other I visit
 

Imurg

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I'd have thought that the manufacturers of winter wheels such as Hedgehogs would have commissioned a study into whether their products do less damage as assumed. Not particularly hard to do.
The apparent lack of one leads me to assume that they did a study and it came out against them.
 

JohnnyDee

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Rather than start a new thread I will hijack / resurrect this one.

For the first time ever our course has brought in a policy of mandatory use of Winter wheels that began on Monday of this week.
There is no stipulation of which type, thus allowing us to use the offerings of our trolley manufacturers. Therefore open lattice, hedgehog or glider styles are all equally acceptable.

I get the feeling that there seems to be a growing push towards this general approach across the country. My question therefore is would I be right in thinking this, or does your own course not legislate one way or the other?
 
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2blue

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These tracks are from ordinary summer smooth wheels. I took my trolley with hedge-hog wheels across the same area 4 times. Those tracks are not visible. The difference is immense. I just dont get the idea that hedge-hogs don't work.
 

HomerJSimpson

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These tracks are from ordinary summer smooth wheels. I took my trolley with hedge-hog wheels across the same area 4 times. Those tracks are not visible. The difference is immense. I just dont get the idea that hedge-hogs don't work.
I totally see what you're saying but I read somewhere (think it was a link on here) that greenkeepers or agronomists have done research and concluded hedgehog wheels and ordinary wheels don't make a lot of difference. Seeing pictures like that its's hard to agree. My course has now roped off large parts of approaches to all the holes so trolleys and buggies now have to go a long way round via the really thick rough. Adds a bit of time but should protect areas from 50 yards and in over the winter
 
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Email this week from the club stipulating winter wheels only on trolleys from 1st November. Have the Powakaddy ones on my trolley, and the Motocaddy hedgehogs on the wife's, have used them for a few years now, they certainly seem to chew up less grass in the wetter areas of the course.

I haven't been able to find any research or studies on the use of the wheels, but my understanding/ experience is that normal trolley wheels have much less traction on the wet ground, consequently, they tend to slip and slide a lot more, chewing up the ground and leaving skid marks. In my own experience of using normal trolley wheels on wet ground in the past, this is definitely true. I would think for the most part (only from my own observation), certainly seen it on our course, but a lot of trolleys skidding on the same patch of ground makes for a much bigger mess.

With regards to the hedgehogs, yes they do make small indents, but they don't tend to skid and tear up the ground. I think because of that the indents repair quicker than the chewed up ground, possibly with less root damage to the grass as it is compressed in smaller parts rather than chewed away with the skidding. I may be totally wrong in that thinking, but it certainly seems logical, and definitely creates less mess in the wetter areas.
 
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