Erwan LeCocq is part of the team around Course Manager Jordan Tschimperle and the technical expert who oversees the application, as well as the test series with the POGO Pro System.
2018 was an exceptional year for us in a variety of aspects, with 50% off our rainfall coming during our non-growing period, and the total of precipitation lower than a 1/3 of our average rainfall. Last, but not least, with snow until mid-April, nearly instantly followed by an extremely hot and dry summer, the turfgrass had very little time to adjust and a harder time to survive.
In this situation we faced many challenges such as ensuring consistent surfaces, optimal aesthetics and quality greens conditions with limited water usage, while also trying to prevent LDS (Localised dry spot).
To reach these goals, we decided to use the POGO Pro moisture sensor system to monitor certain aspects of our Greens, (in this case temperature and moisture) in combination with the use of the TourTurf® Respond Extreme L.L. wetting agent.
Our first objective with the POGO was to maintain the greens at a consistent moisture between 10-13% on the OPENcourse and between 12-18% on the LINKScourse. Due to the extremely hot temperature (over 35 degrees Celsius), the evaporation was around 10% per day. To ensure optimal green health we then needed to target 20 to 23% moisture on the OPEN and 22-28% on the LINKS after the hand watering.
The second objective with the POGO is to identify the dry patch before the first visuals signs (wilting, brown area, unconsistent playing conditions) appears.
By using the POGO on a daily basis, we then track the evolution of the LDS. We are looking for three criteria; is the dry patch getting bigger, dryer, or better?
The POGO is a great tool for the diagnosis, but our goals wouldn’t have been achieved without the use of TourTurf® Respond Extreme L.L.
Our choice for using the TourTurf® Respond Extreme L.L. was motivated by its moisture holding capacity at a deeper level. One Major benefit is that the moisture is not just retained but the combination with the penetrant helps to ensure that the moisture doesn’t get held up on the surface but penetrates the entire root zone.
The TourTurf® Respond Extreme L.L. has helped us to more efficiently manage our greenkeeping team. With a limited amount of staff it would have been impossible to hand water all 45-holes (50 Greens) every day. The long-lasting holding capacity gave us the ability to focus on less greens per day while knowing that the other greens were still holding enough moisture from the previous day. Reducing the workload and stress for both greenkeepers and managers.
On the other hand we weren’t just dealing with limited manpower, we were also facing a very alarming situation as our water storage was becoming very limited, and every drop of water had to be used as efficiently as possible. The long-lasting holding capability of the product was a huge key to limiting our water consumption.
In the 24 hours following the application we also noticed a very fast and uniform rewetting of the surfaces (especially dry patch) and a consistent increase in moisture content. The TT Respond Extreme L.L. has shown to have many advantages, especially in its uniform coverage, ease of use, and great precision.
The combination of the POGO pro and the TT Respond Extreme L.L. was a major component for better management of our greens and our water usage during the 2018 drought period.