Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Portable fans

Greens 2, 3, 11 to the south and greens 5,6,8 and 9 to the north are tucked into areas of the course that do not receive adequate air movement during this time of year.  Air blowing at speeds of less than 4-5 mph over a green surface reduces the plants ability to ward off heat stress.  Air movement across the surface forces the plants to open up their stomates on the leaf surface allowing water to evaporate out of the plant.  The photosynthetic process and respiration function work somewhat normally even during high heat periods as long as there is strong enough air movement.  The lack of air movement keeps the stomates closed which helps to build up temperature within a plant that can lead to cell damage from internal heat build up.  In a way, a plant works like a human system that becomes heat stressed.  Heat builds up internally which can damage cells and or our organs.  

We've purchased a 48" fan that we will rotate around our greens on the south side and will utilize the electric from the old water fountain at 11 green/12 tee.

We are modifying a driving range fan that we will be putting on a trailer and using a generator  for the north greens, especially 5,6, and 8.  There will be some noise from the generator that I hope you can manage through while putting but I think the noise will not be as bad for you if our green conditions stay good.   

The fans will also work to dry the surface during high humidity periods which leads to disease development and less than ideal putting conditions.

Our hope in the future is to install electricity along #6 that could potentially feed permanent fans along holes 5,6 and 8.  The fans utilized on many courses today can run in the ballpark of $ 6,500 a hole, not including the electrical installation.  We would have to run new service from the field bar for holes 11 and 3 and potentially service from the pumphouse for #2 and maybe #12 if we feel it necessary.

I've seen the benefits of fans over the years at fellow superintendent's courses throughout the country.  I was recently reading a posting on a web board by a superintendent that installed two new fans on his course on his two weakest greens that have now become two of his best greens.  Air movement is an important component of healthy greens and hopefully we can improve in this area. 

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