Friday, September 11, 2009

Irrigation - can't live without 'em, but somtimes you wish you could.

Irrigation is the heart and circulatory system of a golf course, at least this is true for most areas of the U.S. Scotland and Ireland, the birth place of golf, have the correct conditions in regards to rain, temperature, soil types, and turf types, that many courses can manage without added irrigation systems.

Irrigation systems are a must here on the Central Coast to maintain quality playing conditions. These systems, however, are not fool proof and require contant tweaking and maintenance to ensure even coverage or in some cases regular operation.

A couple of weeks ago staff found that the irrigation on a few holes was not watering properly. Unfortunately this was pointed out by our greens as they began to stress and wilt due to lack of water or uneven distribution. The problem was determined to exist at our 12th hole. This photo shows an extension of pipe staff added to help blow out some debris that was clogging up our irrgation lines and not allowing water to flow to other areas of the course as well as plugging the irrigation heads surrounding the 12th green. What kind of debris you ask?

These rocks were found inside of our irrigation lines in the 12th hole. "Yes, that is a quarter sitting on the rock in the middle of the photo!" The 12th hole is the lowest point of the golf course and evidently this "sediment" had found it's way there over time. We are unsure how these rocks entered the line, but it could have been during the repair of a 10" mainline near our pump station on the 8th hole last winter or a smaller repair involving our booster pump on the 17th hole a couple of months ago. However they got there does not matter, we just need to get them out. We have installed a gate valve in the line below the 12th green to allow staff to flush out the line and rocks periodically. This will also allow us to drain the system when we need to repair areas of the system in the future.

"Start each hole aware that there may be subtle, mysterious or even hidden elements waiting to sabotage your game."

-Robert Trent Jones Jr., golf course architect

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