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Heat and the challenges

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Heat and the challenges

Re-wind 14 months ago to May 12, 2016 and the stress we were under, wondering if there was enough water in Horseshoe lake to make it the rest of the season. Luckily mother nature blessed us with 120mm plus of rain that set us up for the season.  Now move forward to June 20, 2017, the first day it stopped raining since May long of 2016. I've always said it's easier to control what you put in.  Some might call us  "glorified farmers".

The last three and a half weeks, the irrigation system has been getting a workout for the first time since I started. Just like anything, when something sits for a long time bugs need to be worked out. Leaking heads, heads not turning and heads hitting areas they shouldn't, to name a few. The learning experience for Mike and myself has been extensive with understanding location of heads, spacing and the target areas for each. When you have 1124 irrigation heads, it can be a bit daunting. 

Recently we have discovered many heads hitting areas that they are not supposed; ie green surrounds hitting greens. Processes are in place to resolved this issue. The other issue is a little more technical.  Recently the discovery of heads turning on overnight when they are not scheduled to. At the end of each day, the irrigation computer is setup to run areas for a certain allotted time which is determined by many factors; micro-climate, wind, temperature, humidity, and the types of grass to name a few. Tees, surrounds, fairways and rough are, for the most part, watered nightly in time of high heat. Signals are sent from the central control (irrigation computer) to each satellite with the run time of each individual head.  

Putting surfaces, on the other hand, are not treated the same way. Hand-watering greens until we can not keep up is our philosophy, this provides a consistent, healthy stand of turf.  Therefore, greens only see scheduled irrigation when the entire putting surface needs water.

Yesterday morning Turf Care discovered 7 green had watered overnight when it was not scheduled to. Which is why it is extremely wet in the middle front and has been for a week and a half or so. This problem is also in the process of being resolved by turning off all greens heads at the control box until we get an answer from Rain Bird's head technician. 

Chris Prodahl
Golf Course Superintendent

Posted: 7/14/2017 1:05:30 PM by Chris Prodahl


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