When Irrigation Becomes Irritation

Saturday afternoon Dave and I came in to check greens for moisture content.  Between Dave, Chris and myself, 2 of the 3 of us are here every afternoon checking them whenever we have dry days.  We have two TDR moisture meters that measure volumetric water content of the soil profile. You may have seen us out there with these devices, they look like purple Pogo sticks.  We walk around the greens and probe different areas, ensuring that we have adequate moisture across the board.  In the mornings, one of us probes all of the greens and adds water to areas that need to be brought up to make it through the day.  It also gives us baseline numbers to compare against when we check them in the afternoon.  If the sun is out and the humidity is low, we can see a 10 to 15% loss of moisture from just 6:30 in the morning to 2 in the afternoon.  With that being said, Dave and I saw enough of a loss of moisture on Saturday afternoon to warrant watering the greens with the overhead irrigation Saturday night.  I set up the irrigation from my computer at my desk and verified everything was downloaded to the irrigation boxes on the golf course.  When we came in on Sunday morning and Dave started to check greens, we quickly realized that the irrigation did not run at all Saturday night.  A power surge or a quick power loss caused the system to crash and not water.  The numbers we were getting on the moisture meters were low enough across the greens that I manually ran the heads from each satellite ahead of play while Dave checked them with the meter behind me to make sure we had brought the moisture levels up to where they needed to be.