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When it comes to your golf course, the difference between a great playing green and a... let's say... not so great green... is how well the surface can be managed to make the turf grow at its best. Few turf species enjoy being mowed every day, and even fewer like to grow only a few millimetres tall! This means that although the turf is not growing as it would prefer, it is being manipulated and managed in order to make it grow the best for your golf greens surface. The green-keeping team spend hours every week mowing, verti-draining, top-dressing, fertilising and manicuring the greens, as well as trying to combat the attacks for pathogens and predators.
Water makes plants grow. Not enough water is fine if you're a cactus, and too much is fine if you're a sedge, but most turf species grown in the UK prefer somewhere in the middle. We need to irrigate the surface of the green (and your approaches, surrounds, tees, and even fairways sometimes) to ensure the turf grass is growing stress-free. Generally we aim to apply between 3 and 4 millimetres per night in the middle of a dry summer; this equates to what we can expect the turf would have lost through evaporation & transpiration during the day.
This might sound simple enough, but the trick is to apply the right amount of water across the surface of the green as evenly as possible, to ensure the entire surface of your greens are uniform. If parts of the green are too dry they will be hard and the turf grass will not grow well (generally known as dry-patch; a clear indication of poorly-applied irrigation water). If parts are too moist they will be too soft and the turf grass will again be stressed. We need to ensure that the entire area of each green is receiving water as uniformly as possible.
At Full Circle Irrigation Ltd. we take extra steps to ensure the sprinklers we use are designed for the purpose; the nozzles in each sprinkler need to be chosen and the pressure at which each sprinkler operates will determine how uniform the application of the water is. Gone are the days of dropping a sprinkler on a stand in the middle of the green, turning the tap on and leaving it for a wee while. This is why good greens-sprinklers are not cheap.
Of course this is made more challenging when you consider that most greens are not square, or even circular. For this reason each of the 4 or 5 sprinklers on a green might have their own specific set of nozzles and their own pressure regulator.
We don't expect you or your golf course staff to be experts in this. That's what we are here to do. Golf course irrigation is a specialist subject. If you would like to discuss any of the above in more detail, please contact us.