Can you believe it’s already August? The season has flown by, before we know it snow will be covering the course. That’s why now is the time to make sure your course irrigation is in tip-top shape. Irrigation is the backbone of a great course. Poor irrigation schedules and systems lead to dead and flooded courses. 

So, how are your sprinklers preforming? Well, if you haven’t conducted a water audit, you probably don’t know. Conducting a water audit will save you money in the long run, especially if you catch the problem early!

Initial Thoughts

Being new to the golf world, I took an opportunity to work with the golf team last week conducting a water audit for a course in Columbus, Ohio. My initial comprehension of a water audit was in three steps:

  1. Lay cups out randomly around sprinkler heads
  2. Turn sprinklers on
  3. Eye ball water cups to see if they all look even

Well, i was right AND I was mostly wrong. Essentially, I got the gist, but the process is actually way more precise. This particular course was running with a very outdated irrigation system, on a competitors system (not Rain Bird), and the results showed! I could run through all the numbers but basically the water was not being distributed evenly on the course.

“So what?,” you might ask. Well, a system that doesn’t run evenly will cause, and has caused on this course, damp spots on the greens, dead grass, slow recovery, flooding and massive water waste. That water waste is costing you more money to run your course and the water damage is costing you more money in repairs and angry golfers. So what’s the solution? Simple, have Wolf Creek conduct a water audit so we can recommend the best way for you to increase course play and decrease irrigation costs.

Quick Audit Walk Through

Malfunctioning head causing water spots on green.

Chances are you won’t be conducting a water audit on your own, but it is good to know the steps so you can make sure your course irrigation is being properly logged. So many elements go into making a good irrigation system. Just a few elements that can effect the efficiency of your irrigation are: wind, greenery, slopes, sand, nozzle angle, times and duration of watering, system design and so much more.

It is important to take into consideration all those elements when conducting or observing an irrigation audit. Even the design of an irrigation system can hinder a course. For example, this course did not have a head-to-head design so turf is not being watered evenly. Not all cups will be filled the same on every part of a course, those slight differences in environment can drastically change the throw of a rotor. That is why it is so important to craft your irrigation system and schedule to the needs of your course.

Below is a picture slideshow of the different steps of an irrigation audit.

For any questions or to have your system checked, contact your local Wolf Creek Company Golf Representative.

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