Managing Moisture | Baltimore County Golf

Managing Moisture

Author
Matt Minnich

Tools We Use to Manage Moisture on the Golf Course
Author: Matt Minnich

We all know how much work it takes to keep our lawns green, but have you ever wondered what it takes to keep hundreds of acres on the golf course healthy? One of the major components is moisture management. Learn about the tools our staff use to manage this large task.

ET Tracking

Some of the golf courses in our system have weather stations that track ET (Evapotranspiration).  ET is a measure of how much moisture is lost due to transpiration and evaporation throughout the day.  At Rocky Point, we use NOAA maps to forecast ET rates.    We use these daily rates to help determine the amount of water that should be added back to the soil profile on a day-to-day basis.  This helps us to sustain the turf between rain events without overwatering.

https://digital.weather.gov/ (Look for the Daily FRET map from the dropdown menu).

 

Moisture Metersa moisture meter on the course

Moisture meters allow us to instantly read how much water content is in soil at a given area.  We utilize these meters on greens, tees and fairways on a regular basis.  You will often see us out with these tools during play throughout the day.  We are able to provide water to the turf where it is needed, and just as important, keep water off turf where it is not needed.  Being able to hand water isolated areas allows us to conserve water and provide more consistent conditioning of turf.

Irrigation software customization

Our courses have irrigation system software that allows us to customize the amount of water we apply to different playing surfaces and individual sprinkler heads.  An example would be #6 fairway at Rocky Point.  The right side of the fairway tends to dry quickly because of adequate sunlight and airflow, while the left side of the fairway holds moisture longer because of the tree line increasing shade and obstructing airflow.  In our software, we can adjust individual sprinkler heads to provide more water to the right side of the fairway, and much less to the left. This customization provides more consistent playing conditions, and conserves water in the process.

Rest assured that on those hot summer days, our Superintendents and turgrass staff will be working hard to keep the courses in great condition for our customers.

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