Of all the equipment in your fleet, the biggest single piece of machinery you operate is your irrigation system. Shouldn’t you expect it to deliver the same level of precision you get from your mowers? Precision irrigation is no different from dialing in the ideal height of cut and keeping reels sharpened to perfection — and the more precise tools you have, the easier it is to achieve.

The practice of precision irrigation is the next big thing to hit the golf industry. It has obvious environmental benefits, like conserving water by only delivering the precise amount needed. It contributes to overall turf health by eliminating the possibility of overwatering or under-watering, pointing to gains in playability and player satisfaction. And it helps reduce waste and optimize operational budgets by limiting the amount of chemicals and fertilizers that are washed away due to overwatering.

Here’s how precision irrigation can be a win-win-win for any course willing to adopt the new strategy:

Good for the Planet
Over the past few decades, the golf industry has faced pressure to become better global citizens by reducing the use of chemicals and conserving precious resources like water. Precision irrigation brings the opportunity to work toward a better tomorrow. If every golf course across the globe used the exact right amount of resources through precision irrigation, a substantial amount of water could be saved.

Additionally, utilizing less water means that fewer fertilizers and chemicals are being washed away on a daily basis. This allows those products to continue to do their job between applications, contributing to the overall health of the turfgrass. It also enables superintendents to reduce the amount they need to use.

Good for the Budget
Implementing a precision irrigation strategy is good for an operation’s bottom line for a few reasons. Chemical applications are expensive, and prices can fluctuate greatly from month to month. By scheduling irrigation efforts to the nearest second (as opposed to the industry standard of the nearest minute), superintendents can minimize fertilizer and chemical runoff, essentially making their dollars go further. And when they’re able to use fewer chemicals, operations can budget appropriately in spite of fluctuating chemical costs.

Equally as important, water costs have been consistently on the rise for the past several decades. According to Circle of Blue, a non-partisan collective of research scientists, journalists, communicators, policy analysts and activists, the price of water increased 41% in 30 major U.S. cities between 2010 and 2015. As resource availability continues to be uncertain in the mid to long term, superintendents can expect the costs associated with water to continue to rise. A key way superintendents can look to stabilize their costs in the future is to install a precision irrigation control system.

Good for the Game
When turfgrass receives exactly what it needs — the right amount of water, sunlight, fertilizers and other applications — it is healthier, stronger and more aesthetically pleasing. So why would we want to deliver more water to the turfgrass when we know it will thrive best with a specific amount?

When turfgrass is healthier, superintendents have more options to implement practices to enhance the playability of the course. That includes cutting to any desired length and rolling greens without having to worry about any collateral damage or stress inflicted on the turfgrass. And when playability is the focus of a course, it can help generate more revenue for the operation while also helping increase interest in the game of golf.

Looking Forward
When it comes to golf course management, precision technology is already becoming commonplace. For example, application equipment is now tapping into GPS-guided technology to achieve a more precise spray, and to eliminate overspray. This technology came about for the same reasons precision irrigation will be an important practice in the future: because it delivers exactly what the turfgrass needs to thrive.

Using this smart technology really is a win-win-win, when you consider the benefits for the turfgrass, the operation’s bottom line, and the environment. For more information about Toro’s precision irrigation technology, contact your local distributor or visit toro.com.