“Open” Door Policy by Paul MacCormack, GM & Superintendent
We have been asked a few times lately about the dryness of the golf course.
“Don’t you have irrigation?”…“Why are the fairways so hard?” These are just a couple of the common questions that we get during dry spells like we have experienced over the past month. Even with irrigation, keeping the turf happy when it is so long between rain events is a struggle.
That said, I thought it might be helpful to give a bit more background on our irrigation practices and how they relate to our current weather.
#8 Fairway this morning…developing a nice patina
Fairway irrigation is not the same at all golf courses. On the Island it can range from nonexistent to very elaborate. Our system falls somewhere in the middle. Ours is a single row system runs through the center of each fairway and throws water in a 90’ diameter circle. Throw in constant wind and fairways that are consistently wider than 90’ and you don’t get full coverage very often.
We also practice a firm and fast philosophy when it comes to water management. Golf is a game played on a surface. Our job is to manage that surface, and playability is our main focus. The game of golf is infinitely more enjoyable and interesting when it is played on firm, dry surfaces. So to that aim, we allow the turf to dry out as much as possible. We stop short of letting it fry completely, but the dry spots you see in the fairways, approaches, and greens are just fine with us.
Overwatering not only makes for soft playing conditions, it is not healthy for the turf system. Increased disease, thatch development, and insect issues are all a result of applying too much water (not to mention deeper ball marks and cart restrictions) Here at Fox we we will always err on the dry side of the ledger in order to promote healthy turf and firm conditions.
So as you watch the 2016 Edition of the British Open, take note of the firm, dry conditions they are playing on. The British links courses are the very essence of the game, and it is simply the way that golf is meant to be played.