All I could think about was water. Everytime Ron Paul would speak about returning the US to the Gold Standard of backing our currency instead of using the full faith and credit of the US, all I could think about was water. Seems odd but if you think about how haphazardly we flood the US economy with printed money expecting some to be wasted, you might see how many golf courses use water. Not precisely and filled with waste.
All the rage about moisture meters has certainly changed the way many golf superintendents irrigate the golf course and in some small way improved efficiency, but we have a long way to go. This season was a perfect example. Hot and dry for much of the country yet many struggled with problems that could only be brought about by improper irrigation practices. Certain disease and cultural damages can be ascribed to drying things down to far or over-watering. I would go as far as to say that if you were a good water manager this year, it was an easy year.
Should you wonder if water is as good as gold, ask the people who pay for it. During my visit to Las Vegas for the GIS last year I learned many golf courses in the desert pay upwards of $1 million per year for water. Of course this is because they have recognized that it is a limited resource. It follows then that the golf superintendents I met during my travels are all very thoughtful, precise and reflective about their watering strategies. They spoke to me about AMOUNTS not MINUTES of water.
The future of water use for golf courses is perilous at best. In a recent meeting held at Cornell University about Best Management Practices (BMP) for water quality it was made clear by government and scientists that water will be monetized in the future in a way it has not been in the past. Parts of the country that have the water will want to do business with parts that dont. And the first step in business is knowing your product, where, how much, how good, who uses, etc In this case its water and it is good as gold.