How often do you personally perform an irrigation audit at your golf course? I’ll bet it isn’t often enough. I know we don’t do it nearly as much as we should. When we do, I am always fascinated by the results. When we talk about an irrigation audit what we really mean is looking at each of the irrigation heads and understanding how they are preforming and how they could preform better. This means maximizing the water you have and getting it to the areas most in need, and not wasting water where it is not needed.
Irrigation heads, for the most part, all come with 90 degree, 180 degree, 270 degree and 360 degree turning capabilities. The image to the right is an example of poor irrigation practices. As we were touring this course recently we came upon this irrigation system at work, watering a tee box. The hole has a bit of a ‘shoot’ off the tee. As we sat and watched the sprinklers, we saw them turning in a 360 degree manner with a pretty good range of spray. Only 50% of the water was hitting the tee box with the remainder spraying into the trees and on the cart path. This can be easily modified and changed with a different head and/ or changing the range of spray.
Another course we were working with a couple of years ago had a Par 5 hole with an irrigation head at the very back of the tee box. The head was also a 360 degree head and less than 25% of the water actually hit the teeing area. The rest went to areas behind and to both sides of the teeing ground, none of which were in play golf areas. We immediately had that head change to a 90 degree one and the problem was solved.
When you go out for your next golf course tour, have a look on your cart paths to see if they are wet. If they are there is a good chance you are wasting water. As more and more pressure comes on golf course operators regarding water usage, now is the time to do your own irrigation audits.
We, Jeff and Tara Ciecko of CK Golf write two blogs, one is our 19th Hole Blog where we share personal experiences and the other an Industry Blog where we comment on general business and internet marketing best practices, sales strategies and give golf industry related opinions. We have owned CK Golf for 9+ years and provide business services to the golf and other industries. As of August 2016 our life and our business is ‘location independent’. Our 19th Hole Blog is about the places we visit and the things we do. If you have any questions or comments, or happen to be in the same location as us please reach out and contact us anytime.