Friday, July 22, 2011

Watering During My Round

We often hear comments during the summer, "why are they watering the course while I am playing".  MCG takes water conservation very seriously and in order to maintain grass at the low heights we do on our golf courses our Superintendents must manage the amount of water very carefully.  In the heat of the summer, the majority of watering is done by hand and not our irrigation systems.  This allows us to be very specific about the amount of water that is used and for us to be very specific on where we apply it.

For example, the extreme heat of yesterday, today, and tomorrow requires our teams to be very specific with the amount and placement of water.  Bent grass shuts down when soil temperatures reach 98 degrees and yesterday we were seeing ground temperature readings of 108 in certain areas.  The staff puts a light syringe on the turf which cools the temperature to about 95.  They also have to make sure they are putting just the right amount down so they do not add water to the soil which already has enough moisture.  Adding to much water can cause the grass to suffocate and die. When it gets to hot in too many areas (what they refer to as, "the course getting away from us") that is when we have to resort to turning on the sprinklers.  The cycle will generally be one or two turns of the head again with the same purpose of just cooling the surface. 

So the next time you see a maintenance person pulling up to the green right as you are getting ready to hit the ball from the fairway or a sprinkler head turns on as you are approaching your next shot, remember they are doing their best to keep the course alive and they are trying to be in 3 places at the same time.  We work with and train our teams to be as respectful as they can while golfers are playing.  I can also tell you they would rather not be lugging big hoses in the extreme heat. 

Stay cool, drink plenty of water, and enjoy your round!

1 comment:

Marc said...

the staff at Northwest always do a great job.