Make sure to sharpen your blades before the first mowing-  Dull blades cause "tearing" of the blade which causes the tips to have a brown discoloration.  In addition, it is not healthy for the plant.  Ensure that used blades are free of cracks, nicks or bends before using them. 

2 1/2-3" Mow height (1st mowing only)- This will remove the old tips and encourage new growth resulting in better vigor and appearance.  Height should be moved to 3-3 1/2" for subsequent mowing(s).

Change directions- This is important to releive compaction and to reduce stress from heavy traffic on turf in localized areas.

Too Mulch or Bag?- Decomposed mulched clippings go back into the soil as organic matter making for a better overall turf.  It is not true that mulching causes compaction.