Irrigating Difficult Bunker Banks August 22, 2018 | Point Judith Country Club | Narragansett, R.I. By USGA Green Section

Adding wetting agent canisters to the irrigation lines used to water bunker banks has improved turf conditions and saved staff time at Point Judith.  


Point Judith Country Club is a Donald Ross golf course that features steep grass bunker banks. The bunker banks are composed of a blend of chewings fescue and Kentucky bluegrass and irrigated with designated green surround sprinklers. The drought-prone south-facing slopes were challenging to maintain in summer and required additional hand watering and frequent wetting agent applications to minimize turf damage. Superintendent Brett R. Johnson, CGCS, wanted a way to keep the bunker banks in better condition while reducing the labor needed to maintain them.



To improve turf conditions on the bunker banks, Johnson and his team installed canisters that hold wetting agent tablets onto the irrigation lines that provide water to the difficult-to-maintain bunker banks. The canister and tablet system is similar to the one used on hoses to deliver wetting agents while hand watering. The canister is installed face up and just past the electric valve, with a small valve box that provides easy access. The wetting agent tablets typically last several weeks as the wetting agent is only applied when the bunker irrigation runs.



Frequent wetting agent applications have improved water infiltration in the bunker banks, reducing the need to hand water those areas. Johnson has seen a significant reduction in the staff time required to maintain the bunker banks and more importantly, turf conditions have improved in these difficult areas during the summer season. The wetting agent canisters are easy to install and have been an ideal solution for hard-to-manage bunker banks. 


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