ALBANY COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Maintaining a golf course during the summer is more than just hooking up a hose and spraying water. As temperatures continue into the 90s and much of the Capital Region enters a heatwave without significant rainfall, these courses need all the water they can get to stay in tip-top condition.
“We try to use the water where it is going to be best available to the plant. Early morning watering is what we have been doing right now,” says Mark Prosser, the golf course superintendent at Albany Country Club in Voorheesville. “We hand water spots so we don’t have to hit the spots that don’t need it as much so we can go as far as possible.”
Most courses have their own irrigation system to water the greens and fairways which can dry up quickly. Preventative agents are utilized so the water lasts as long as possible. Despite the constant need for hydration, the name of the game according to Prosser is conservation.
“That’s why we’re very cognizant of how much water we put down. And we try to implement as much hand watering as possible,” Prosser explains. “When we have those higher temperatures at night that encourages more disease out on the golf course and we want to stay away from that despite the fact that we have our preventative applications down.”
Golf courses like Wolferts Roost Country Club in Albany utilize tools like moisture meters to determine whether the soil is too dry or over-saturated with water, which on a hot day, could be a challenge according to David Morrow, the golf course superintendent.
“On any given day, we determine how much water we have to apply depending on that number either more or less. That depends on humidity, cloud cover… Too much water is a disease, too little water is death. There is a very fine edge of the blade to stand on,” says Morrow.
Morrow says his team consists of four people constantly monitoring and caring for the grounds and that hydration is important not just for the course but the workers maintaining it.