Golf Course Architecture - Issue 62: October 2020

79 Photo: Surtec I found a similar situation in east Spain, where dry and wet patches were present all around the course. The sprinkler nozzles were not adequate (they were the ones the dealer sold to them because they had them in stock), thus leading to terrible uniformity. With less than 10,000 euros, the problem was solved. In Colombia, a recently installed system was not performing as expected. The problem was an error in pump suction lift calculation (it was a prefabricated pump station). The pumps were not working properly, the sprinklers did not have enough pressure to operate, and consequently, a number of turf areas died. The solution did not require much more than a new suction pipe and a pre-filter. Helping course irrigation staff by providing them with specific technical knowledge has worked very well many times. Many hours are spent daily with the dry spots, leakages, moisture sensors and so on. This leaves no time for self-formation; and opportunities for continuous learning in irrigation are very rare and almost non-existent. Consequently, parameters are wrongly configured in the software or in the pump station, or sprinklers are not configured properly. An irrigation audit can simplify the solution for ‘apparently’ big problems. It will determine if a new project is, or is not, necessary; and how critical that investment is for every club’s specific context and scenario. If the decision is that a brand new project is the solution, the audit will a) help save money by determining which irrigation items need to be replaced and which could be kept; and b) provide the valuable data of the return on investment. No doubt about it: in golf course irrigation, the audit is the first step for success . GCA Pablo Muñoz Vega, founder partner at Surtec Golf Agronomy, is a certified golf irrigation designer and auditor Surtec performs a uniformity test at Buenavista Golf in Tenerife, allowing the club to calculate precipitation rates and provide them with accurate irrigation runtimes “An irrigation audit can simplify the solution for ‘apparently’ big problems”