The physical-chemical characteristics of the soil profile of a golf course are defined by its capacity to provide optimal conditions for the roots and the vegetative development of the turf. These characteristics should allow the optimal exchange of gases between soil-atmosphere and the retention of water and nutrients to ensure the nutritional needs of the grass plants and to provide optimal conditions in the rootzone. These optimal conditions in this rootzone - also referred to as rhizosphere- ensure the microorganisms to thrive and in order for them to establish a symbiotic or synergistic relation with the grass plants which then would result into a healthy development of both these microorganisms and the grass sod at the same time.
United States Golf Association (USGA)
The specifications as defined by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and in regard to the particle size distribution and geometry of sand particles for use in the construction of the greens of a golf course and the use of certain organic amendments, greatly determine the turf development described above.
A soil profile with a sandy texture, intended for the cultivation of sports turf, requires a water retention capacity (between 15 and 25% of its volume) and a saturated hydraulic conductivity of more than 150 mm/h. The cohesion and adhesion forces between the water molecules allow them to adhere to each other and to the soil pores, making the water available to the plant's root system. Water holding capacity and hydraulic conductivity are key in the movement of water within the soil profile, determining the buffering capacity between saturation, field capacity and permanent wilting point.
All these physical characteristics of the soil of a golf green are determined by another parameter, gravity. The USGA specifies a depth of 30 cm of sandy soil, which is the height of the water column that supports the adhesion forces of the water molecules in the pores in between the spoil particles.
Golf de Pals
Golf de Pals is an 18-hole course located in Pals (Girona), built in 1966 on the old dune system of the Pals beach, which has been established at the end of the 19th century with the planting of pine trees. The soil profile is characterised as completely sandy, with varying depths but always more than one metre of sand. This characteristic, together with the pressure exerted by the mass of trees that characterises the course and gives it an enormous charisma is well appreciated by golfers. However, it does represent an immense challenge in terms of meeting the water requirements of the grass.
AQBION FAIRWAY and AQBION TRIWETT
Irrigation and water management at Golf de Pals has been greatly improved by the use of AQBION FAIRWAY wetting agents on fairways and AQBION TRIWETT on greens.
At Golf de Pals, the surface layer of the soil profile is characterised by its hydrophobic conditions and high demand for water and nutrients. This is a result of the invasion of the tree root system and the accumulation of organic matter from the turf. Neutralising hydrophobic conditions, improving lipid solubility and increasing the permeability of the soil has allowed us to create soil conditions that have favoured the optimal development of the turf. At the same time, the use of surfactants with the capacity to retain water molecules in the soil profile has reduced water loss through much improved infiltrate of the available water. This results in a much more efficient use of irrigation water.
AQBION FAIRWAY is a premium surfactant suited for the re-wetting of large green spaces and golf fairways. The product acts by accelerating the dispersion and penetration of water into the soil. AQBION FAIRWAY greatly reduces as such the need of irrigation water. It is formulated using a mixture of different surfactants for use in green spaces with high mowing heights. The product is characterised by its competitive cost, the possibility of mixing it with other turf management products and its flexibility of dosage according to the needs and frequency of application according a monthly pattern.
The AQBION FAIRWAY has been applied through the irrigation system to limit labor costs, ensure an efficient application and to achieve outstanding results. The practice used has been a lower dosage applied in a higher frequency, applying 2L/ Ha for an irrigation with an interval of 2 to 3 weeks depending on the outside temperature.
The results were fantastic.