Beautiful Day at Peacock Gap
Rainfall is a welcome sight for many. Golf course operators would prefer it to fall between the hours of 8 pm and 6 am while Superintendents will take it whenever they can. Golfers would just assume 75 and sunny will do at all times. Anyway you dice it, 2016 and 2017 have brought much needed rain to drought stricken California. Whether you have a soft spot for a rainy day or only tee it up if the conditions are just right there are many advantages to a wet winter.
Not all water is created equally. Water from the sky and that from irrigation pipes contain different levels of particulate matter. Peacock Gap uses a potable water supply from Marin Municipal, so it's actually safe to drink unlike neighboring clubs that have access to "Reclaimed Water." Reclaimed water is high in salts and creates a difficult growing condition for turf grass. Clubs that use reclaimed water like Rooster Run, and Stonetree, must apply PH balancing chemicals to offset the salinity within the soil. On top of closely monitoring PH levels within your soil, Superintendents on reclaimed water systems must also periodically "flush" the soil. A practice that involves a heavy dose of irrigation in order to break through salt layers that accumulate over time and can cause adverse effects to growing conditions.
Here comes Rain Water to save the day! Rain water is neutral on the PH scale and slightly "Acidic" in it's makeup. In areas of human-related pollution, the rain can increase in acidity. You'll notice a huge boost to turf health at Peacock Gap after this winter precipitation subsides. Rain water flushes the "growth inhibiting" chemicals from the soil profile, allowing the grass to absorb more of the nutrients, resulting in happy turf. With every storm, instead of sobbing over a lost day on the course, rest assured that the turf will be that much better during the prime months. Happy golfing in 2017!
Author: Rod Ghilarducci, PGA
Rod joined Peacock Gap as the Head Golf Professional in 2013 and has been a member of the PGA since 2012. Email him directly:firstname.lastname@example.org