Last month my update centered on the Women's Open Championship
and, as scheduling would have it, this update is generated from
the Senior Open Championship. What a contrast in climates and
watering needs from Edina, Minnesota to Colorado Springs,
Colorado. The wildlife also has changed a bit with black bears
sighted during this morning's course setup. However, expanding on
last month's update on water management, this has been a
championship of hot temperatures, dry conditions, and very low
relative humidity. The combination of 90 degrees and higher
temperatures, very low relative humidity (10% to 20% midday),
more than 6,000 feet elevation, and light breezes have lead to
demanding watering management.
Some of the watering at this year's Senior Open has been done
during the night with sprinklers, but the use of sprinklers has
been very conservative coming into the practice rounds and on
through the championship. Hand watering has been the anchor on
all surfaces and the sole means of watering putting surfaces.
While pushing towards the dry end of the continuum is always the
objective with golf turf management, there is a big difference
between hot temperatures and low humidity as compared to hot and
muggy (high humidity). As with other past championships, the USGA
TruFirm device has been used at this year's Senior Open to aid
the decision making process and guide water management. However,
firmness data is secondary to visual observations and site
specific knowledge about the course and local environment. When
the turf wilts under foot traffic water must be applied
regardless of firmness data.
The bottom line message continues to be that quality golf turf
management hinges on water management. The task of water
management involves weaving multiple factors with site specific
knowledge about the golf course and weather patterns being key
components. Hand watering/syringing also is vital to maintaining
quality golf turf no matter how good the irrigation system many
be. Keep on keeping it dry.
Call or e-mail anytime - we're always available.
Source: Bob Brame,