Golf courses will not survive without an effective irrigation system. However, most avid golfers do not know the workings of the irrigation system; it is a mystery to them. Without it, the gold course will be devoid of greens. So what is an irrigation system? In simple words, it is the system that keeps the turf alive. Golf course irrigation heads are a specialized system that uses the water from the source and transports water along the pipes. The on and off switching of the water is controlled by computers, and this system allows the water to be dispersed through a sprinkler.
Water is critical for the grass on the golf turf. The primary purpose of golf course irrigation heads is to keep the grass alive. This also affects the level of play as the irrigation system helps in keeping the right amount of moisture in the soil. This system also comes with adequate drainage and aeration; a sophisticated system ensures how and when the water needs to be sprayed. This sophisticated system comes with a rain gauge that can decide when sprinkler heads go off.
How does it Work?
There are a few components that work behind the irrigation system, and the source of potable water is the first. Golf courses have a borehole or a stream or even an irrigation lake as their source of water. The second component is the delivery method – pumps and pipework. The central pipework takes the water from the source to the golf course after the pumps push the water, and the valves and sprinklers disperse it around the course. Modern irrigation systems are all computerized which optimizes the water supply and calculates the run pattern after looking at the hydraulics.
When is the Water Required?
Modern Golf course irrigation heads have variable pumps to push the water around, and they can detect when there is low pressure. A jockey pump that is connected to the valves and maintains the pressure of water kicks in after the software recognizes the issue. This system is quite complex and, therefore, needs a compound calculation. Therefore, extensive golf courses often appoint an irrigation engineer. These sprinklers are spread throughout the course so that less power will be required to pump the water.
Why is Irrigation Essential?
Evaporation. This is the fundamental reason why golf courses need irrigation. In the golf turf, water from the grass and topsoil evaporates. There is another process called transpiration that takes place inside the plant, converts the water into gas, and releases it through the pores. Both the process requires energy, resulting in the loss of water for the grass and plants. This combination of two processes is called evapotranspiration, and this can be measured, and irrigation engineers use this to calculate how much water is lost. Therefore, to save the turf, an agronomic decision is made to maintain the moisture content.
Grass needs water to survive; however, rainfall is irregular. Even with efficient forecasting, it is difficult to tell when and how much rain we will get. An irrigation system is an integral part of the golf course – without which the golf course is doomed.