Golf Course Management

APR 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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04.18 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 73 no significant cooling effects, regardless of the volume applied or the timing of the application. Twenty years later, scientists at Ohio State Uni - versity (1) reported that syringing had little ef- fect on canopy cooling beyond 10 minutes after application when practiced on a non-wilted creeping bentgrass turf maintained at fairway height. Canopy cooling was also most effective when air temperatures were above 88 F (31 C). Another, more recent study found that syring - ing bentgrass greens between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. resulted in a canopy-temperature re - duction of 7.2 F (-13 C) immediately after the application, but the cooling effect disappeared within 15 to 30 minutes after syringing (4). How effective is syringing? Summarizing published research, the true effectiveness of syringing tends to vary between "non-effective" to "moderately effective" for cooling, and temperatures and durations are variable. Moreover, many factors likely contrib - ute to the variable results, including air and soil temperatures, wind speed and direction, rela - tive humidity, soil type and status (for example, compaction), and physiological conditions of plant tissues. An article published in 2010 (3) quoted a superintendent as saying, "I feel sy - ringing greens is one of the most critical jobs done on a golf course and shouldn't be left to untrained hands." Timing and frequency appear to be the pri - mary factors that determine the cooling effec- tiveness of turfgrass syringing. In many cases, syringing is performed based on an arbitrary time of day, which implies that the tempera - ture may or may not rise to a detrimental level, or, in some cases, may have already exceeded a level detrimental to turf before the syringing was done. When syringing is performed at the improper time of day or applied too often, ex - cess water may likely increase disease incidence because of prolonged leaf and thatch wetness. How often, how long and at what temperature? We conducted research trials on creeping bentgrass putting greens in 2015 and 2016 with an aim to determine the air temperatures at which syringing should be initiated, how long cooling effects may last, and how often syring - ing should take place. The trials were conducted on bentgrass put - ting greens at Hominy Hill Golf Course in 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 80 82 84 86 88 90 92 94 96 98 Temperature (F) Time after syringing (minutes) Not syringed Syringed Canopy temperatures of turf syringed at air temperature of 85 F vs. turf with no syringing Figure 1. Comparison of canopy temperature of non- syringed turf with turf syringed when air temperature increased to 85 F.

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