Paul Andrews, Irrigation Technician at Wisley Golf Club, has been in the greenkeeping industry for 16 years. Wisley Golf Club is a private members club in Surrey, the River Wey runs through part of the course with the soil type ranging from river sands through to clay.
Paul purchased three FieldScout TDR300 Soil Moisture meters and one FieldScout SC900 Soil Compaction meter from EnviroMonitors for improved water monitoring of The Wisley’s courses and has been using them since Spring 2012.
Paul advises the TDR300’s were purchased for Wisley to “better manage the water content in the soil and manage our water resource more effectively. We wanted to move away from the ‘feel’ method and have a more measured approach with set parameters to work within”. The readings Paul and his team take are used so they only water when the soil conditions require, helping save labour and time.
Paul has now developed a routine where “during the season the TDR is taken out every day by myself, and I assess greens and tees to see how they are performing”. The next stage is to “train the first assistant greenkeepers responsible for each nine holes how to use them so that when they are out checking areas for watering they can check first before watering to ensure the areas actually need it. They will then inform myself or the head greenkeeper so we can ensure whether hand watering will suffice or if there is extra watering needed in the irrigation program for those areas”.
“The SC900 was purchased so we can check on trafficked areas to ensure we are getting the best results from the decompaction machine” comments Paul. The compaction meter will be used to assess areas before and after aeration to ensure maximum efficiency in these areas through the season. Combining the compaction and soil moisture processes means Paul and his team “can ensure areas that are compacted are not over watered and have sufficient aeration done to them through the season”.
As the recording software is included with both units “we are able to keep the data on computer and produce reports about how areas are doing” mentions Paul, “it also allows us to show results to the members and help justify why we need to carry out aeration work at certain times of the year”. The whole team at Wisley can see “the benefits to using this as it will allow us to better manage our course and resources” confirms Paul.
Paul finds that the best aspects of the units are that they give fast accurate measurements, are easy to use and are a strong and robust product.
Wisley Golf Club www.thewisley.com