The Secret to an Ideal Playing Surface
Maintaining the Perfect Moisture Balance – The POGO Effect
Water management is one of the biggest challenges faced by any golf course maintenance department. The health and playability of Highland Pacific’s greens is our number one priority, but there is a delicate balance between maintaining healthy grass and maintaining an ideal playing surface.
The challenge was summed up by the Highland Pacific Maintenance Team: “If our greens received tons of water the grass would be lush and healthy, but as playing surfaces they would be soft, slow, and extremely inconsistent. Our goal is to provide firm surfaces that make it easy to have consistency in green speeds from hole-to-hole and predictability in ball bounce from shot-to-shot.”
This means that a proper maintenance schedule requires a counterintuitive process during the peak of summer – you have to take your foot off the irrigation pedal to find a happy balance between healthy grass and ideal playing surfaces without letting it slip too far and turning greens into yellows!
Thankfully we have some tools to help us do this, one of which is called Steve! In the photo below, Steve is working with the POGO, our moisture meter. This device tells Steve, through an app on a tablet, what percentage of the soil is made up of water. Steve will be looking for a number in the 20-30% range, as historical evidence tells us that that should be enough water to keep the plant hydrated through the heat of the summer day. To get a sense of what Steve is looking at on the screen – click here. Of course, the image doesn’t tell the whole story – the reading includes much more information and, just like when you’re playing, there is an art to reading a green for moisture!
We hope you’ve been enjoying the quality of our greens this year, as we have been working hard along with Steve, and our POGO, to keep our greens healthy and smooth so everyone can enjoy themselves out there!
To experience the difference our maintenance department’s attention to detail makes, visit our online booking page to book a time. Great conditions and an experience like no other is what we are known for!
Keep it down the middle,
Josh Edgar – Assistant Superintendent