The Importance of Golf Course Irrigation

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    For anyone who plays golf leisurely or for serious competition, it is widely known that one of the keys to a great golf course & great round of golf is proper golf course irrigation.

    Golf course irrigation is important for the golfer because it can affect play on the fairway & on the greens. If the ponds are filled with organic matter (leaves, river water, sticks/branches) it affects water quality & can affect a golfer’s shot, either in the long game in the fairway or the putting game on the greens. A typical 18-hole championship golf course pumps 2,000 gallons of water per minute.

    The basic components of a golf irrigation system include:

    • water source (man made lake or pond)
    • pump station
    • water distribution pumps & valves
    • control valves (fuels the automatic irrigation systems, which are either satellite based or stand-alone, releases water into valves)
    • control lines (funnels delivery of water into sprinklers)
    • sprinkler heads – (types of heads – pop-ups, fixed spray, bubblers, strip & rotary. Golf courses use rotary & pop-up, giving a 360 degree turn)
    • fertigation (chemical injected into irrigation system & must be spread uniformly across entire irrigation system.

    The best time to irrigate a golf course is early morning. Reasons include:

    • bad distribution of winds later in the day
    • water is lost due to evaporation
    • inconvenience to golfers who have to play during the afternoon
    • higher algae levels
    • leaves & soil have higher chances of infection

    The most important element of golf course irrigation is operation of the system. Many times, golf courses are over-irrigated & while there isn’t a perfect irrigation system, many operators (especially at PGA Tour courses) feel pressure to have lush, fast greens at all times. Irrigation should take place on a need basis by checking soil moisture levels, cloud cover, rain in the next 10 days, & water status.

    Control Dynamics, Inc., located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, specializes in golf course irrigation and pump irrigation systems. With a wide variety of pumping products and engineering capabilities, Control Dynamics travels nationwide to provide customers with the best solutions to keep their golf courses in green, manicured perfection.