The 11 Coolest Items I Saw at the Golf Industry Show

Superintendent Magazine/reporter scans the trade-show floor for innovative, creative and just plain interesting products.
By Christopher S. Gray Sr.

The Easiest-Way-to-Remove-Debris Bunker Rake

Keeping bunkers free of debris like pine needles, grass clippings and stones just got a little easier. The Shake'n Rake does exactly what its name says, shakes and sifts sand through a .25-inch mesh mounted on the scoop head. The variable speed drive operates from a trigger that shakes (not vibrates) at multiple operating speeds from a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. This motorized sifting results in faster and more efficient bunker cleaning.
Even with the battery and motor being attached to the rake, I was really amazed at how light the Shake'n Rake actually is; something that won't be lost on your staff when using it. The Shake'n Rake costs $299.00 and is available at Shakenrake.com

 Orlando, FL  February 14, 2011

The Equi-Tee Shake'n Rake impresses golf course owners and superintendents alike at the recent GCSAA convention. Seen at the new products entrance and then displayed and demonstrated at their booth, the Shake'n Rake had a stream of interested customers through out the day.  Amazed by its small size and quick sifting action, one superintendent was heard to comment that the Shake'n Rake was the "Best product at the show". 

February 16th, 2011 | Author: Peter McCormick  www.Turfnet.com

Shake ‘n Rake: motorized, auto-sifting hand rake and bunker sand screener

I was having a beer at the Aquatrols booth during their Happy Hour at the end of a long day on the show floor when out of a corner of my eye I spotted a new gadget.

Joseph Berto was busy demonstrating the Shake ‘n Rake auto-sifting bunker sand screener to five or six people gathered around his booth.  Pretty neat little machine.

Imagine a RedMax reciprocating bunker edger without the engine, with an up-and-down shaking action of a screened clam rake attached to the end.  A loose analogy, but you get the visual.

Available in both manual and lithium-ion battery powered configurations,
the Shake ‘n Rake sifts through a rake-full of dry or damp sand in seconds, removing pebbles and other contaminants (pine needles, pine cones and clippings) from low areas or along green sides where pebbles could get splashed up onto a green surface and cause mower damage.  It completely eliminates manual shaking and sifting, and can be used all day long by the operator – on one charge of the battery.

Berto was quick to note that the Shake ‘n Rake is intended for regular bunker maintenance and is not for complete bunker rebuilding or screening huge amounts of sand. “We have been selling a similar product for five years to the equine industry for cleaning horse stalls, and more recently it was purchased by BP Oil to remove tar balls from Gulf Coast beaches during the oil spill cleanup,” Berto said. “Someone using one of our units on the beach mentioned that it would be great for golf course bunkers, so here we are! We’ve had a great show.”

"It completely eliminates manual shaking and sifting, and can be used all day long by the operator – on one charge of the battery."

I  immediately asked him why he doesn’t double the width of the rake for improved efficiency.

“It’s all about weight,” Berto said. “When you have an attachment out on the end of a four foot handle, even a few ounces makes a tremendous difference to the operator over the course of a day. And with a larger rake you would need a larger motor and a larger, heavier battery… so it’s not a simple as making the rake larger. The last thing you want to do is overburden the operator.”

“Part of the economy of using this machine is that no training is required, no fuel is needed and no extra utility vehicles are needed during the screening process,” Berto said.

The motorized Shake ‘n Rake is priced at $299, including the lithium-ion battery and recharger. They come standard with 1/4″ screen size to capture small debris in dry sand or can be ordered with an optional 3/8″ screen for damp conditions.

“Just try one of these on your worst problem bunker,” Berto said. “Once you try it, you’ll find it’s indispensable.”

Check ‘em out at http://www.shakenrake.com.

By Larry Gilhuly, director, Northwest Region
December 2, 2010
Link Provided By: USGA Regional Report
The Shake 'n Rake in action.

Golf course maintenance is a never-ending task, with daily, weekly, monthly and annual programs needed to create desired playing conditions.  However, can you name a routine task that is never ending, does damage to mowers, makes mechanics unhappy, and can greatly impact playing conditions in several ways?  How about removing stones/rocks from bunkers? 

Time consuming and never ending is only half of this issue, but the only time that removal is effective is when the sand is dry.  What about the majority of the time when the sand is too moist and does not allow for effective cleaning?   

The problem with wet sand is that the bridging among sand particles is stronger than the particles simply falling to the ground through a screen.  In every type of manual or machine-powered unit, vibrating the sand does little to actually move the sand downward.  What is needed is an up-and-down shaking motion to be more effective.  Although humans can shake a rake or a small screen approximately three times per second, this is not enough to move wet sand through a screen.  However, when this rate is increased to 30 times per second, the task of moving sand through a ¼” screen when it is wet can be accomplished.   This was viewed at Chambers Bay, site of the 2015 US Open, where this former gravel/sand pit has the tremendous rock issue. 

The unit tested is a lightweight, three pound rake with a lithium battery for power. The end of the rake shakes in an up-and-down motion at variably controlled speeds, allowing rocks to remain on the screen while sand filters through the screen.  It was used successfully on the bunker edges with wet sand, while also removing fescue seedstalks and fir/pine needles on other golf courses.  Once the stones have been removed, the rake very effectively smoothes the sand.   

While this unit currently is not available for golf courses (it can be viewed at www.shakenrake.com and will be at the 2011 GIS in Orlando), it has been used for several years to clean horse stalls, where slightly larger “objects” need to be cleaned from horse stalls.  Rocks in bunkers may not be equivalent to what horses leave behind, but tell that to a golfer the next time a stone affects their ball roll.  Better yet, tell it to the mechanic…I dare you! 

Source:  Larry Gilhuly, lgilhuly@usga.org.

The Golf Course Trades printed editions.

Bunker Cleaning Costs Out Of Control? Not Necessary, Says Motorized Sand Sifting Bunker Rake Maker.
White City, OR  December 10, 2010

Pristine bunkers are possible without breaking the budget with the Shake'n Rake contamination removal hand tool developed by Equi-Tee Manufacturing. Patented motorized design with unique up-and-down motion speeds debris separation, reducing time and labor costs. Rechargeable battery powered, an ideally sized basket screen quickly sifts the smallest debris, enabling superior bunker cleaning results.

White City, OR December 10, 2010
The unprecedented focus on labor cost control has prompted golf course and resort managers to search for a cost effective tool for bunker maintenance. Responding to that need, Equi-Tee Manufacturing now offers their specialized Shake'n Rake to the golf industry. Originally engineered for removing tarballs from sand on Gulf State beaches, it was found to be ideally suited for golf bunker sand sifting.
Cleaning bunkers by hand is a labor intensive and tedious process, especially when picking up small rocks and debris using the traditional hand tool selection of rakes, shovels, brooms, screens and bags. "It is very expensive to employ five men using hand tools, just to pick out bunker contamination," says Joseph Berto, president of Equi-Tee Manufacturing, the Oregon based company marketing this hand tool. "Unfortunately, reducing the cleaning effort results in unhappy patrons and ultimately costly sand replacement," he says. "By utilizing job specific light weight Equi-Tee Shake 'n Rakes, superintendents will immediately see an increase in worker efficiency and be able to use manpower more effectively. Bunkers are more consistent, golfers are happier, and costs associated with sand replenishment or removal is greatly reduced,” said Berto. “This is an innovative tool that quickly pays for itself.” The re-chargeable battery powered tines and screen on the 3 pound rake "shake" using a integral reciprocating motor at speeds controlled by a variable trigger, allowing rocks to remain on the screen while sand filters through.
Recently viewed at the site of the 2015 US Open, Chambers Bay, WA, where this former gravel/sand pit had an ongoing rock contamination issue, superintendent David Wienecke said "It is a wonderful idea and works great in damp sand. It also does the work of two or three tools since once the stones were removed it left a nice raked surface." It was used successfully on the bunker edges with wet sand, while also removing fescue seed stalks and fir/pine needles on other golf course areas.
Equi-Tee sand cleaning rakes are constructed with ultra-strong plastic and are mounted to a full length fiberglass handle with a comfortable ergonomic grip. Equi-Tee Rakes are patented (#7,222,900) and are sold worldwide. While the Shake'n Rake is new to the golf industry (it will be at the 2011 GIS in Orlando), it has been sold worldwide for several years to the agricultural industry (for sifting horse waste from stalls and cleaning outdoor pastures), and for resort lake or shoreline sand cleaning where debris or litter removal is required. Rocks in bunkers may not be equivalent to what horses leave behind, but tell that to a golfer the next time a stone affects their ball roll...

From Medford KDRV NEWS 12 August 10, 2010
By Ron Brown
White city inventor designs beach cleaning hand tool  used in the Gulf.

MEDFORD, Ore. - A Rogue Valley company may prove to have the best tool for cleaning up the tons of tarballs scattered on Southeastern U.S. beaches caused by the Gulf oil spill.
While British Petroleum's Gulf oil well is no longer leaking, there is still a great deal of cleanup to be done along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
Demand is growing for the Shake'n Fork, a self-sifting fork, originally intended for making the cleaning of horse stalls easier. The plastic fork was designed by White City-based Equi-Tee Manufacturing to separate road apples from straw and sawdust in horse stalls. Inventor Joseph Berto says it is perfect for cleaning beaches too. He says it will separate the tar balls and sludge from the sand.
"When the time came for BP to scale back their operation, they started to look at productivity. And they found that the contractors that were using our product were more productive. And they offered those contractors their 18 month contracts. So for the next 18 months, our products are gonna be used on the Gulf," said Joseph Berto, Sifting Fork Inventor.
Berto says it was almost impossible to get an audition to demonstrate his self-sifting fork, until one contractor saw a YouTube video and internet ad.
Now he expects the fork to gain worldwide acceptance for cleaning resort beaches of cigarette butts and other trash. For more information visit www.shakenfork.com.