|Personal rain totals 2016|
There are only a couple of greens that have perimeter coverage or heads that water just the rough. Irrigation technology has changed tremendously over the years. I worked at a course that had a single manual connection in the center of the green called "center cup". You would put in this massive cannon of a sprinkler and it would cover the entire green and some surrounds, a massive area. We then progressed to 4 smaller automatic heads in the corners. The problem with these systems is the majority of coverage is on the green and the surrounds suffer. To solve this you add more heads that are part circle going out only and maybe even have the green heads go in only. This is referred to as "in and outs". We have done this on a few spots but mostly have 4 sprinklers in the corners. Our plan was to change the drive or guts of the sprinklers to fully adjustable 0-360 degrees. We have gone to a deep watering cycle on greens and usually only water them once every 5-7 days. This has been awesome for the greens and helping to convert them to Bentgrass from Poa Annua. Problem is the surrounds were not getting enough water. We adjusted a few of the heads to water only the rough and watered them every day then switched them back to full circle for greens. It was labor intensive, confusing, ripe for missing one and other potential issues but it worked so well in a drought year we kept expanding it to more and more heads. The pictures below show how brown the surrounds on the right of one green would get and then how well the first phase worked in the front right surround. Pictures are looking toward the tee.
|before in 2015|
|One head in program being used|
|Poa is off color and being taken over by bentgrass|
|Deep watering = deep roots = healthy turf|
The goals for 2017 are the same. Have the best possible conditions we are able to with the tools, budget and manpower we have available to us. I would also like to continue my efforts to use less inputs whether that is fertilizer, chemicals, fuel or water. Total perfection is never part of the equation. Mink Meadows was designed in a time where rough and tumble were the norm. Completely manicured and lush green were the opposite of desirable. We have morphed into a combination of the two and will continue to find our most sustainable niche. I want to thank-you all once again for living with a few imperfections as we strive to be as friendly to the environment as we can. The two go hand in hand.
Happy New Year!!