During the summer months irrigation and watering the course is everything to maintaing the golf course. Many days you are gambling when watering parts of the golf course and some areas may be too wet and take two more steps and it may be too dry. As you know the irrigation system here is from 1973 and although some areas have been improved the system is still the basic design from the 70’s. This is why we may be wetter in certain areas than others. There are three factors involved with this issue. The first is that all the irrigation heads are paired up so you have to run multiple heads at a time and this causes wet areas on the course because each one may need different amounts of water. We do manually turn on individual heads all through the day and spend about 250-300 hours per month to do so but those are mostly the 220 heads that don’t run electrically. The second factor is the coverage throughout the course which may have been good for the course in 1973 but not now in 2015. The final factor involved with watering the course is gambling against mother nature. The unfortunate part about it is she always wins!! Last weekend it was supposed to rain and we had up to a 90% chance so I turned everything off expecting rain. When we end up not getting rain it puts us way behind on watering the course so we have to spend the majority of the day catching up. If I would have kept the boxes on we may have received to much rain and then its on to the other spectrum which wasn’t worth the gamble of having standing water everywhere.
As for the greens on the course, they drain very well except for a few. Many times during the summer you may notice I keep them softer when it is hotter outside. The reason for this is because the roots during the summer aren’t near as deep as in the spring and fall. At some points in the summer our Poa roots can be less than an inch deep which causes a problem when its very hot out. Allowing the soil to dry beyond a point where the roots can access moisture can cause severe injury and possible turf loss. This is one of the main reasons you see me constantly checking soil moisture levels throughout the day because I have parameters that I need to keep the greens at during the summer. I hope this answers most of the questions I have been receiving about watering the golf course over the past few weeks. If anyone has any other questions or comments please feel free to ask.