How it works: Demystifying the range ball picker

October 13, 2019
Range ball picker

Golfers have almost a primal need to try to hit a ball picker in motion. It’s juvenile, sure, but about as automatic as Tiger closing with a 54-hole lead. Why? For the same reason boys and girls make fun of each other: because we have a huge crush on it.

That beguiling machine, rattling along over the terrain, still somehow pulling in all those striped orbs. Really, who
can resist trying to get its attention? Here’s how it works.

1. MOUNTING BRACKET

This bracket secures the picker to the front of the motorized cart (not pictured above) that propels it. The picker can be easily detached when the cart is needed for other jobs.

2. WHEEL

The hefty front tire, rim, axle and bearings combo helps the picker contour both to flat and rolling terrain, improving its fielding percentage.

3. ADVANCED TURNING SYSTEM

When the cart turns, the picker’s weight shifts with it. The plump rubber tire, coupled with the rims at each end of the  drum, makes turning sharper and easier. In addition, a swivel caster fork gives the tire a 360-degree turning radius for maximum maneuverability, including helping the cart operator reverse out of tight spots.

4. PILLOW BLOCK BEARINGS

These greased bearings secure the drum-section axle to the green frame, allowing the drum to spin when the picker is in motion.

5. PLASTIC PICKER BASKETS

The baskets hold 300 balls each; they are made of polyethylene rather than traditional wire, for lighter weight and greater strength, durability and impact resistance.

6. COMPOSITE DISCS

The discs come in two options: standard black or an upgraded white version designed to minimize impact on soft-cover balls. They comprise a three-foot wide drum section. The drums are held together by tie rods and a center axle, which allow the drum to spin on the bearings located at its ends. In operation, once the drum spins, the balls are pinched between two discs and ejected into the picker baskets.

7. GANG

The gang is the drum section and the frame it attaches to.

8. POST ASSEMBLIES

These solid steel posts connect the two rear gangs to the main, triangular drawbar.

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