The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

Score One for the Tall Groundskeepers !

The 2018 Beacon Catalog made its debut just one short month ago and, unfortunately, we were remiss in making our customers aware of one very important change to a very popular product.

The innovative SweetSpot Tamp System is only a few years old and has exceeded both our customer’s and our own expectations. But there was one comment that would rise up every so often. The feedback came from taller groundskeepers telling us the handle was too short. The newest version of the SweetSpot Tamp Handle now features an additional 5-1/2″ of length. The longer handle is the only change to this revolutionary tool. While most won’t notice too much difference, our taller tamping groundskeepers will appreciate the efforts to save their back. Their patience has paid off.

Now, our original oversight on handle length could be explained away by the fact that everyone involved in the design, development and testing stage of the original SweetSpot Tamp Handle were between the height of 5’6″ and 6′. We began receiving calls from some of our taller tamping customers asking about a longer handle. We listened to and observed our taller tampers in action and decided to revisit the handle length.

We enlisted the help of Milwaukee Brewers Head Groundskeeper Michael Boettcher, who’s staff had a handful of very tall tampers willing and able to perform some testing for us. They were provided a prototype handle that was much longer. We asked them to have all of their tallest tampers use the tool and mark where it was the most comfortable for them to handle it during use. The “sweet spot” (pun intended) on the handles for the taller tampers was just a few inches above the top of the old handle.

For taller groundskeepers, those few inches resulted in less bending over and more comfort for their back during tamping. So, a big shout out to Mike and his crew at Miller Park for helping us to improve the operating comfort for our tall tampers.

The new taller handles have replaced the shorter original SweetSpot Tamp Handles used with the SweetSpot Tamp System and they are available now from Beacon Athletics. With the Super Bowl over, tamping season is in full swing!

Paul Zwaska

Paul Zwaska

A former head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, Paul graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1984 with a Bachelor’s in Soil Science with a specialty in Turf & Grounds Management. Paul took over as head groundskeeper for the Orioles’ final season at old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and then was heavily involved throughout the design and construction phases of Oriole Park at Camden Yards which debuted on April 4, 1992. Paul has led Technical Sales Support at Beacon Athletics since the summer of 2000. In 2012, Paul authored and oversaw the launch of “Groundskeeper University”, the first online ballfield maintenance training venue. Over the years, Paul has donated thousands of hours working with West Madison Little League, which also plays a critical role in the research and development for many of Beacon’s innovative field maintenance tools.

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