Thursday, September 30, 2010

Winds of change

As mentioned earlier this week the Board has approved the purchase of a fan that will be installed at the rear of the 17th West green.  Avondale GC in Sydney have used the fans over the past two summers with great success on greens that have little or no air movement around them.  This is certainly the case for the 17th West green where I have observed on many occasions the flag hanging limp from no air movement compared to the 13th and 16th green flags that are fluttering away.  This lack of air movement also results in increased ambient, surface and soil temperatures which have been consistently recorded at 17th West in comparison to other greens.  The temperature measurements at the 17th (and the Bent practice green) are regularly 3 – 6 degrees warmer than other greens.  I have recorded a soil temperature at 17 West of 36 degrees which when compared to the text book telling you that Bentgrass roots start dying at 25 degrees illustrates just how tough an environment it is in.

Side view

Fans aren’t a new phenomenon on golf courses and have been used in Australia before and particularly in the USA.  Colonial CC in Fort Worth Texas who host a PGA Tour event have up to 12 fans situated at each green and Augusta National have them at every green also.  Up until now almost all fans have been of the pedestal / blade type but they are noisy and don’t move the air as required. The fan we have specified has been engineered and purpose built to suit the requirements of a golf green and is designed and made in Australia. 

The air movement has been designed to “flow” across the surface and provide the cooling effect rather than become turbulent and mix the air.  It should have no noticeable effect on the playing of the game and will most likely be positioned adjacent to one of the Palm trees at the rear of the green mounted on a pole at a height of 1.2 metres to make it level with the turf surface.  The fan is expected to run 24/7 from November through March.   Three phase power is required and this will be trenched from the pump shed in the coming weeks.  It is anticipated to have the fan installed by November 1st.        

Front on view of fan

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