Automatic irrigation systems are designed to apply water quickly and efficiently over a large area, with each sprinkler typically covering an area ranging from 120-feet to 180-feet in diameter. Dry spots in the turf often develop that are much smaller than the coverage of the sprinkler, so from a conservation standpoint, it makes much more sense to hand water the small areas that are dry and keep water off the areas that are already sufficiently moist.
Some golfers may wonder why irrigation cannot be applied at night when nobody is on the course. In fact, nearly all golf courses are irrigated at night and the hand watering done during the day is just a supplement to the heavier irrigation applied at night.
During hot weather, golfers may sometimes see an employee applying a light mist of water by hand to the putting greens, a practice known as syringing. The light mist of water temporarily cools the surface of the green much like sweat evaporating from a golfer’s skin.