Golf Balls Kicking Forward & Discs Wobbling?
Most people think that the Picker drums wear like tires on a car - but it's quite different!
The wear on a picker which has the biggest impact on a picker's effectiveness relates to the LENGTH of the picker drum, not so much the "tread" (or diameter) of the tire/disc.
Sand and dirt get between the spacers on the discs, shown below. The rod sticking out of the standing disc is called the "spacer" (circled in orange); it is designed to nest in a pocket on the adjacent disc (circled in orange). As sand and dirt collect between the spacers & the pocket - it acts like sand paper and begins to wear down the length of the spacer.
The spacer's length, in combination with the flexibility of the material, is designed to fit a golf ball between the discs. When the spacers wear too short, golf balls can no longer fit between the discs - and this causes the golf balls to kick forward!
Why Do Picker Discs Wobble?
Once the discs begin to shrink, the axle and the tie rods become LONGER than the length of the assembled drum. The tie rods hold the disc drum assembly together (shown with blue circle below). The axle allows the discs to rotate as the picker runs (orange circle below). When the tie rods & axle are longer than the assembled drum, the drum develops a wobble because the drum unit is no longer secured in place. The extra wobble causes tremendous wear on the discs - the "sandpaper effect" (mentioned above) is now amplified - and is also causing unwanted wear on the exterior surface of the disc (which makes them prone to becoming brittle and cracking).
How Do I Prevent Wobble & Shrinking?
Thrasher Golf's Innovator® Pickers come standard with features to prevent wobble & shrinking. First you can snug the tie rods with a quick 1 or 2 turns of the nylock nut at the end of the Tie Rod (shown below), this will keep each disc nested properly (and reduce the shrinkage). And, then we recommend you adjust the axle brackets so that they are snug & secured against both sides of the drum, to keep them upright and prevent wobble. Since these features are adjustable, they will help you to keep your picker operating at optimal conditions, even as it ages and the discs shrink.
What if I don't have a Thrasher Golf Picker?
We have good news! During one month per year (usually during the summer/fall) Thrasher Golf has a sale on Picker Drums. Thrasher Golf can custom make drums to fit any picker that uses a 12" disc. (Some of you may think you have an 11" disc because they are so old...but at one time they were 12").
Not sure what type of picker you have? Not to worry! Just count the number of discs on your drums and give us a call; we can help you troubleshoot and get you set up with the right golf ball picker replacement drum. Or you can use our Picker Drum Replacement Identification Tool.
What makes Thrasher Golf's Picker Drums better than others?
All of our picker replacement drums come with a 1-Year Limited Warranty. The disc drums are light in color and made with a U-V protected material to resist sun damage - like cracking and chipping. Additionally, our picker discs are wider and use more material per square inch than others on the market - which makes them stronger than other discs on the market. So, when the "sandpaper effect" begins to shrink your drum - it will not shrink as fast as others. Give us a try - we sell more than 500 after-market picker drums to customers that don't have our picker every year...and they are no longer having to replace their drums ANNUALLY!
Thrasher Golf - (800) 571-6143 or www.ThrasherGolf.com