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 75 Wind speed Wind currents affected canopy cooling rates similarly in both trials. In 2016, evapora - tive cooling effects on canopies lasted 10 to 15 minutes or less when wind speeds were 10 to 15 mph (16-24 kph). When wind speeds were around 5 to 10 mph, cooling effects lasted up to 15 minutes, but cooling effects were less drastic. In 2015, wind speeds did not exceed 10 mph, and when winds were 5 to 10 mph (8-16 kph), the cooling effects also lasted for 10 to 15 minutes. When winds were calm (<5 mph) in both years, the cooling effects lasted from 15 to 20 minutes. In 2015, duration of canopy temperature reduction was similar for syringed and non- syringed areas of a native (push-up) green and for a green built to USGA recommendations that was tested before syringing. These results indicate that cooling effects may not be based on whether the site is native soil or sand-based. Soil moisture Before syringing on a given day in the 2016 trial, the average soil moisture content of the native soil turf stands ranged from 19% to 20% and declined by 2% to 3% for non-syringed plots. When syringing was applied every hour through the afternoon, soil moisture content increased by 3% to 4%. Syringing frequently (every hour) may not only moisten the turf canopy, but also moisten the soil or root zone. Syringing can be effective in reducing can - opy temperatures during periods of high tem- perature stress, but the level and duration of canopy cooling effects varied with wind speed and soil moisture content. When wind speed was higher (10-15 mph), cooling effects of sy - ringing were more pronounced but did not last as long as they did when wind speed was lower (5-10 mph). Using a fan in conjunction with syringing can cool the turf canopy more than syringing alone, producing effects similar to those of wind movement. In addition, syring - ing should be applied multiple times through- out the hottest period of the day. Conclusions Our research suggests that syringing can be effective for canopy cooling of bentgrass put - ting greens if syringing begins in late morn- ing when the air temperature increases to 85 F and then is applied hourly in the afternoon. It is important, however, to note that hourly sy - ringing may lead to increases in canopy and soil moisture, and moist turf and soils are prone to disease infection. Many pathogens commonly detected in summer are most pro - gressive when temperatures are high and soil moisture is ample. Syringing on drier soils or days can be more effective than under moist or humid conditions. Before deciding to syringe, superintendents should check leaves for signs of wilting or consider measuring soil moisture content. With careful management, syringing can be a useful practice for cooling turf canopy to mitigate heat damage when temperatures are elevated to harmful levels. However, scientists have yet to determine whether the short-term cooling (15-20 minutes) of turf leaves resulting from syringing has any physiological benefits — such as promoting photosynthesis — that would promote turfgrass plant health. Funding This research was carried out with gen- erous support from the Tri-State Turf Re- search Foundation. Literature cited 1. Danneberger, K., and D. Gardner. 2004. Syringing can dramatically affect canopy temperature. Turfgrass Trends (in Golfdom ) (6):63-64. (http://archive.lib.msu. edu/tic/golfd/article/2004jun63.pdf) Accessed Feb. 22, 2018. 2. DiPaola, J.M. 1984. Syringing effects on the canopy temperatures of bentgrass greens. Agronomy Journal 76:951-953. doi: 10.2134/agronj1984.0002196200 7600060020x. 3. McPherson, D. 2010. Turf maintenance: A good cool - ing. Golf Course Industry March. (www.golfcoursein ging/) Accessed Feb. 22, 2018. 4. Peacock, C.H., B.W. Bennett, Jr., and A.H. Bruneau. 2002. Effects of syringing on summer stress perfor - mance of creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L). Pages 610-619. In: Eric Thain, ed. Science and Golf IV: Proceedings of the World Scientific Congress of Golf. Routledge, London. Bingru Huang ( is a Dis - tinguished Professor, Stephanie Rossi is a laboratory researcher, and Patrick Burgess, currently employed by Bayer Turf & Ornamentals, was a researcher in the Depart - ment of Plant Biology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J. The RESEARCH SAYS • Research in 2015 and 2016 found that syringing can reduce canopy temperatures, but wind speed and soil moisture content can affect the duration of the effects of syringing. • Cooling effects of syringing were greater when wind speeds were higher (10-15 mph) and less pronounced when wind speed was lower (5-10 mph). • Using a fan plus syringing produces better results than syringing alone, and syringing several times in the heat of the day is necessary. • Hourly syringing can result in excessive soil moisture, which can lead to disease infection; syringing on drier soils or less- humid days can be more effective.

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