Why Do Clubs Only Choose Internal Greens Drainage on a few Greens?

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I was recently at a golf industry event catching up with a valued client from Long Island,NY , John Carlone, from The Meadowbrook Club in Jericho,NY.
It has been nearly 5 years now since we completed the last few greens at this Dick Wilson designed venue opened in 1955. Of course John is one of the biggest supporters of our internal subsurface greens drainage process, being one of the “early adopters” so to speak, over a decade ago when we were known in the market place as the TDI process. Since that time we have changed the greens division of TDIGolf to reflect its own division inside TDIGolf to XGD Systems.

Back on topic, my conversation with John centered around this question: Why don’t clubs complete all their greens with XGD instead of a select few? Obviously a barrier is money, right. OK, fair enough then when a club chooses to spray a fungicide or pesticide do they only choose the one or two greens where the disease is showing the most?      Of course not, they blanket the coverage across all their greens/collars/approaches to ensure the disease doesn’t spread to the rest of their clubs greens.
John Carlone’s point is to maintain a consistent stand of greens turfgrass, you absolutely need consistent subsurface soil moisture to achieve this.
Irrigation practices, fertilizer leaching, fungicide applications will all react differently when applied to a pushup green, a pushup green with XGD Systems, or a sand green. This makes it very tough to manage from a consistency standpoint. Also, while I am on this topic, this is the same reason I strongly discourage anyone
 from installing our internal greens drainage on a portion of any individual green site. This scenario is not unlike trying to manage two different greens on the same putting surface. I always follow up with clients who have chosen this route and they are never happy with the inconsistent results they inevitably receive.

In summary, let me finish with the #1 goal of every club from an agronomic standpoint: putting green consistency. My old friend John Carlone left us with that actual parting shot in our conversation, “how can any turfgrass manager achieve truly consistent playing surfaces if the soil moisture levels vary from green to green?”  Well said John, well said.

Later, Poor Old Dirt & Grass Farmer

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