Friday, July 22, 2016

Home Owner Irrigation Valves

As you all already know, we have had a bit of a heat wave lately.  In addition, it does not take a turfgrass scientist to understand that with the heat, the turf on the golf course just as the turf in your yard requires more water.  Many of you may know that many homes on the golf course are tied to the golf course irrigation system.  This is where our teamwork comes into play.  Historically, we have allowed a home owner watering window from 6:00 AM to noon.  This is in an effort to supply everyone, including the golf course itself, with the water we need while not over taxing our pumps. 

However, the past two nights our pump station experienced "system faults." This occurs when the pumping system is attempting to operate above it's capacity.  When this fault occurs, the pumps automatically shut down, cutting off water to everyone, including the golf course.  These two faults occurred because multiple homes on the golf course had their valves manually turned on attempting to water outside the scheduled window for home owners.  When operating in manual mode our computer system cannot account for the water use.  Therefore, the combined load of the golf course watering and unaccounted home owner watering was enough to take the pump station passed it's limit.

In order to ensure that our home owners and golf course get the water required during the summer months, we have changed the home owner watering window to 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. This water window will ensure that everyone has enough time and pressure to grow healthy turf during the mid-summer heat!

Thank you.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Like the vents on your ski pants...

Yesterday, we began our first "venting" treatment of the year.  I could use the words aerification or aeration, but those nasty words (at least in the opinion of some golfers) do not do justice to what this process does for the putting green and its playability.  First of all, the tines are flat and small, creating narrow, 3/4 inch long slot which allows water and air to move more freely through the soil profile (hence the "a" word).  In addition, because we are not creating a hole that will take time to grow in, no organic matter is removed, and the effect on ball roll is minimal.  Therefore, turf managers are using words like "venting" or "slicing" that to most golfers do not carry negative connotations in order to more accurately describe the agronomic process.

After sand topdressing and venting, we brush the green to work the sand into the newly created "vents" and plant canopy.   We generally do this process once a month during the peak summer season to help the greens tolerate the mid-summer stresses by improving water and air flow.  One should note that this has little effect on thatch and organic matter in the soil profile, so it will never replace traditional aerification and vertical cutting (we will get to those topics later in the season).

Later in the week, now that we have thousands of little open "vents" in greens, we will take advantage of the improved water infiltration conditions and apply our monthly greens soil treatment.  But we will save the "what's in the spray tank?' question for tomorrow...

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Independence Day!

I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful 4th of July holiday!

Looks like visitors both young and old will be enjoying the golf course today...