Fairway Watering

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D-S

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My course installed fairway watering 30 years ago, due to the fact that we have little topsoil over rock which is great for drainage in winter but meant that it burnt up in summer very quickly. It was seen as a unnecessary extravagance for the first 15 years or so but in recent times has been worth it’s weight in gold. We have upgraded our boreholes to cope with the need for more irrigation in recent years. I was wondering if other courses are considering installing fairway irrigation due to the seemingly drier hotter conditions or if they have it already?
 

Liverpoolphil

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My course installed fairway watering 30 years ago, due to the fact that we have little topsoil over rock which is great for drainage in winter but meant that it burnt up in summer very quickly. It was seen as a unnecessary extravagance for the first 15 years or so but in recent times has been worth it’s weight in gold. We have upgraded our boreholes to cope with the need for more irrigation in recent years. I was wondering if other courses are considering installing fairway irrigation due to the seemingly drier hotter conditions or if they have it already?
We installed it about 18 months ago - we had some members moaning about spending such a high amount ( same people who moaned about it being bare then we had that drought a couple years back )

Our course now has lush green fairways and it’s superb - the madness is we have some still saying it’s too green , we have put too much water down and we have ruined the character of the course ?!?! Basically they are moaning that they can’t run it miles

The company we used have just finished topping off the bare areas around the back of greens etc and it’s going to be superb
 

IanM

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We got a bowser after the summer of 2018. Makes a big difference and the fairways are still green and stripey...although this is Wales so, not as dry as South East. Mind you, we've had very little rain in past month or so
 
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We have fairway and tee watering (as well as greens) and we have a well and extraction licence. But we are running close to having to reduce our watering as we near our extraction limit and we must keep some extraction capacity for a dry September/October.
 

srixon 1

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Played with a guy today (25 handicap) and he was hitting it about 200 yards off the tee with a peak height of about 20 feet. 100 yards of that was run because of the burned out fairways. He said that because I was a good player I had an unfair advantage as I was able to get the club under the ball on the hard fairways. When I said that you need to hit the ball first, and then the ground, he looked at me like I was talking a language that he didn’t understand 😂. We don’t have fairway watering but could do with it this summer. We have some crazy amount of cracks on the fairways that are going to take a long time to recover.
 

RRidges

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Fairway watering is compulsory for golf courses in Missouri. Fairways would die otherwise. Temps in the high 80s to high 90s expected this week.
 

sunshine

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Yes. But the water level of the lake which feeds the irrigation is really low so the green keepers have started to cut back in case of a dry September. I hit a 300 yard drive last week, highly unusual as the fairways are normally lush green carpets. Still looking green compared to some other courses I’ve seen.

System is being upgraded this winter, the members who voted against it must feel a little silly now.
 
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D-S

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Is it right to water fairways?
Greens and tees I can accept, but with only so much water I feel it's an act that only serves to darken golf's image.
Water comes from a borehole 300 feet down from an underground river on its way to the estuary so no impact on reserves.

If watering golf fairways is unacceptable then its the end of golf in France, Spain, Portugal etc. etc. .....oh and the US of A.
 

need_my_wedge

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We installed it about 18 months ago - we had some members moaning about spending such a high amount ( same people who moaned about it being bare then we had that drought a couple years back )

Our course now has lush green fairways and it’s superb - the madness is we have some still saying it’s too green , we have put too much water down and we have ruined the character of the course ?!?! Basically they are moaning that they can’t run it miles

The company we used have just finished topping off the bare areas around the back of greens etc and it’s going to be superb
I agree with Phil, the course is in great nick at the moment. The areas where there is no irrigation are burnt bare and play like concrete roads, the whole course would be like that without it. As he says, we’ve just completed some extension work, which will cover some additional areas around greens and tees, and fill in gaps left during the original installation. Some I agree with, some I think could have been left as they are. That’s only because I don’t mind seeing a few brown patches around the course. Either way, it will still improve what is already proving an excellent investment.
 

sunshine

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Is it right to water fairways?
Greens and tees I can accept, but with only so much water I feel it's an act that only serves to darken golf's image.
Depends how sustainable it is. Modern courses are designed to drain into lakes where the water is then recycled for irrigation. Obviously not 100% effective but some have to be very efficient, especially in drier climates like Spain.

My course (100 years old) is irrigated by a lake that is filled over winter, when there is an excess of water. We only use stored water over summer.
 
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We don't do droughts in the North East. If anyone at the club wanted to waste money on an irrigation system for the fairways they'd be strung up. Mother nature takes care of our needs.
 

pauljames87

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We have fairway sprinklers that the green keepers turn on by hand

They are fed from the lake where all the rain water is collected etc

Very effective

Still got some pretty green fairways compared to elsewhere
 

jim8flog

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We have when the it was first installed over 30 years ago however we are only allowed to extract a given quantity of water from our bore hole so it's use is very limited.
Each sprinkler can be individually controlled. This year is the first I have seen it used in ages for the fairway but we are limiting it to the approaches.
 
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As a member of a Links track I don't want to see any hint of green on our fairways during the summer months, burnt to a crisp and the more fiery the better.

Unfortunately its rather too wet most of the year up here to get these perfect conditions.
 

Imurg

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We use the vast majority of our water on the greens, approaches and tees...
Being on chalk it flows through so watering the fairways would be a waste of time....any Sun would start to bake them minutes after watering.
Still got some greenish areas but a lot is burnt to a crisp. And to say they're running hot is the understatement of the decade...
Sadly, when the rain does finally arrive, it will li,Ely come down in torrents, running straight down the hills and barely sinking into the ground...
Need a week of constant light rain..
 

Doon frae Troon

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Lush is never a word that should describe anywhere on a golf course.
Overwatering causes more problems than a drought.

In a drought the course grasses struggle but the fine grasses survive because that is what is in their structure.
 

Bunkermagnet

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Water comes from a borehole 300 feet down from an underground river on its way to the estuary so no impact on reserves.

If watering golf fairways is unacceptable then its the end of golf in France, Spain, Portugal etc. etc. .....oh and the US of A.
The extraction of water will effect somewhere and many, thats just the way it is.
As for your talk of Spain etc, it wasn't that long ago the talk of desertisation creep from Africa will cause major issues for golf courses in Spain and Portugal for sure. Water isn't an endless comodity and there will be courses that go due to lack of water.
 
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