As I tour around introducing myself to a few people I get the chance to see some pretty amazing stuff. In my previous role I’d often wondered how effective a wetting agent program could be. Well a trip to Hayling Golf Club to see Greig Easton showed me just how effective it could is. He’s been trialling a few products on the fairways of this great Links Course.
Even after the incredibly wet and late start to spring growth this year, in just a few weeks of prolonged dry weather and hot temperatures the impacts of drought stress have really started to take effect.
The summer months on such an incredibly free draining site such can lead to very weak fairways, and rely on an over seeding programme that can be disruptive (and expensive).
The process of overseeding is a challenging one and whilst the ambition is to improve the surface often the weather can turn against you and you run the risk of seeding lines opening back up the following summer, leaving them in a worse state than previously.
A wetting agent program on fairways has real potential to hold on to moisture and enable any rainfall or irrigation to be distributed in a really effective manner.
By using a product such as Qualibra you can maintain fairway firmness, to get the bounce and carry associated with the links-style course, but also retain the moisture deeper in the root zone that will help with turf health and survival through dry periods. Year on year the compound effect of this kind of programme could really pay off.
In some circumstances on some golf courses there is a clear economic case for a wetting agent program on fairways, however for others it is simply another tool to raise the standards.