Grass choice is key if water becomes scarce, warns top agronomist

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire October 26, 2011 10:46

Grass choice is key if water becomes scarce, warns top agronomist

A golf course agronomist who specialises in working in arid climates has said that the choice of grass is critical for a golf club to survive in drought conditions.

Earlier this year areas of East Anglia were declared officially ‘drought-stricken’, meaning that several clubs risked tight legislation on their irrigation systems. Furthermore, golf course all over eastern England suffered due to the lack of rainfall.

As a result of this, the one of the keynote speakers at the Golf Club Managers’ Association conference, Daryl Sellar, who will be coming from Australia to talk, will be looking at water management of golf courses where water is scarce.

Simon Doyle, an agronomist with Troon Golf, which looks after several courses in the Middle East as well in hot and dry parts of the USA, has stated that the choice of grass is critical for the water management process.

“The choice of grass is imperative when working in areas of extreme climate,” he said. “A grass that will stand up to the heat and survive and prosper in less than hospitable conditions is important for sustainable high quality golf course conditions.

“We choose grass types that are not only suitable for the climate but for the water quality also, for example paspalum maybe a better option if salts are very high. It is also important to understand the soil structure and chemistry to make sure the integrity is there to sustain the choice of grass.

Doyle also called for golf clubs to ensure their irrigation systems are working efficiently.

“The irrigation systems need to be functioning correctly to optimise the quality … correct hydraulics and sprinkler locations are all key,” he added.

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire October 26, 2011 10:46
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