Thursday, August 9, 2012

If You Can Measure It... can manage it.  And today, thanks to some state of the art technology, we have many more ways to measure what's taking place on the golf course than in the past.

Like many people, we use weather radar to see when storms are approaching.  Years ago, we had to have a satellite dish and subscription service to get this timely information about the weather.  In contrast to that, today, anyone with a smart phone can quickly know when bad weather is about to hit the course.

Another piece of equipment we use daily is our on-site weather station. One of the important things this provides us is the evapotranspiration rate.  As the name implies, this is the combination of moisture lost due to evaporation and transpiration.   
The weather station is located behind #17 green.

While the weather station is recording what's happening above the surface, we also have sensors underground that provide some key information.  Currently, sensors are located on #9 tee, #9 fairway, and #1 green.  These measure soil temperature, moisture level and salinity at both a 2" and 8" depth.  They then transmit this information wirelessly to a repeater which sends it to the golf course maintenance building.  This information can be accessed from any place with an internet connection.

Temperature, moisture, and salinity from #1 green can be seen in this graph.
While we still make use of a good old soil probe on a regular basis, this high-tech equipment provides us with an enormous amount of information, allowing objective decision making with regard to proper timing and application of irrigation, plant protectants, and fertilization.

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