Golf Course Management

FEB 2018

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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02.18 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 87 CUTTING EDGE Teresa Carson UAVs and water use of warm- season grasses With water scarcity on the rise, water- use efficiency continues to be a priority for superintendents. Drone technology is improving ways to quantitatively measure water use. If turfgrass water use can be monitored, it can be managed and conserved. This project seeks to determine water use of a warm-season turfgrass species under golf course conditions. A multispectral camera mounted on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is being used to capture spectral reflectance data related to leaf water content. These data are being calibrated with the eddy-covariance method of determining evapotranspiration (ET). An advantage of the eddy-covariance system is that it provides a continuous spatial average of ET throughout the fairway. It also provides a continuous (10 times/second) temporal average of ET. These ET data will be analyzed and related to weather, soil, turfgrass and other environmental influences, to determine key factors that control fairway ET and critical water stress points. The first year of this project included finding a suitable site (The Golf Club at Cuscowilla, Eatonton, Ga.) and performing preliminary studies with the eddy-covariance instrumentation and drone system. The objective of this project is to develop an applied method to accurately, relatively inexpensively and efficiently measure water status using a UAV, and thereby ultimately improve water-use efficiency. — Monique Leclerc, Ph.D. (mleclerc@;Gengsheng Zhang; Navjot Singh; Hafsah Nahrawi; Roshani Pahari; and Clint Waltz, Ph.D., University of GeorgiaGriffin Turfgrass colorants: A look inside Turfgrass colorant applications have be- come increasingly common on putting greens throughout the United States. Colo - rants are used throughout the year during ac- tive growth, fall and spring shoulder seasons, and dormancy, and are routinely applied as a component of fungicide applications. There is much discussion about the impact of colo - rants on plant health in regard to their effects on sunlight transmission, photosynthesis and transpiration. A variety of colorants are avail - able, and they contain varying amounts of pigment and resin/binder, depending on the reasons for their use (winter overseeding re - placement, fungicide tank-mixtures, tracker dye, etc.). The goals of this project are to in - vestigate the effects of colorants on turfgrass health by: (1) determining the thickness and coverage at which 10 commonly used colo - rants dry on leaves; (2) obtaining high-reso- lution digital images of the colorants using a scanning electron microscope (SEM); (3) de - termining the presence and concentration of chemical elements present in colorants using energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS); and (4) measuring and comparing transmission of photosynthetically active radiation (400- 700 nm) and ultraviolet radiation (<400 nm) through colorants by using a Stellarnet spec - troradiometer. Preliminary results indicate unique differences among paints, pigments and dyes with regard to chemical makeup and the thickness and uniformity with which they dry on leaves. Differences in relative trans - mission of PAR and UV radiation have also been observed among the colorants evaluated. — Manuel Chavarria, Ph.D., Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; Casey Reynolds, Ph.D., Turfgrass Producers International, Lombard, Ill.; and Ben Wherley, Ph.D. (, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas Teresa Carson ( is GCM's science editor. These research projects were funded by a grant to GCSAA from the Environmental Institute for Golf. Photo by Casey Reynolds Photo by Gengsheng Zhang

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