The weather this spring has been great for golf. We have not had many rain days. Irrigation systems have been working at full capacity. The picture on the left shows me hand watering the back of 13 green at the East course. The reason we hand water is because some areas of the greens dry out before others. Most greens have dry areas or hot spots. This is due to inconsistent soil conditions, not even irrigation distribution, undulations in the green, exposed spots or shade areas etc. Irrigation systems usually delivery the same amount of water over the entire green with some variation. Because of this we either add too much water to get the dry spots or the opposite. It is much better to adequately water the majority of the green and hand water any dry spots. This will conserve water and avoid areas of the green being too wet. We do not want the greens to be consistently wet. This promotes poa annua, promotes disease, the greens will be susceptible to ball marks, foot printing and compaction, and will generally be slower. Thus the term firm and fast.
Dry conditions this early is a big concern. Large water users like golf courses must have a Permit to Take Water which is regulated by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. Water conditions are highly monitored throughout the area and when drought conditions occur and water tables and or creek levels decrease water restrictions will take place. It is important to note a few facts regarding golf courses and water. Golf courses only use water when and where necessary. If it rains we do not use water. All the water we use goes right back into the ground. Golf courses have implemented water conservation strategies of the last few years in order to help protect this valuable resource.
No matter how much we water with the irrigation system. Nothing is better than natural rainfall.
Let’s hope we get some rain – at least at night!
Until next time…