Brian Vinchesi

Looking at Water Differently

Looking at Water Differently

November 12, 2015

Since the early 1990’s lower quarter distribution uniformity (DULQ) has been used to evaluate the performance of sprinklers. Data obtained from irrigation audit cup tests is used to calculate DULQ. Although it has been used for improving irrigation scheduling since the mid 1980’s, DULQ is not without its detractors. Read More

Need an Irrigation Renovation?

Need an Irrigation Renovation?

October 19, 2015

Irrigation renovations are a hot topic. It’s funny how a little brown turf gets the membership and the board’s attention. Many superintendents are explaining why a single-row system results in wet, soft middles and dry, hard edges. Read More

When it all goes wrong

When it all goes wrong

September 21, 2015

It seems there is always one product failure or another in our industry. A new piece of maintenance equipment comes on the market, you buy it and then you find — despite exhaustive testing (the manufacturer’s words, not mine) — there are several flaws in the parts, features or operation. Irrigation is no different and probably even worse than maintenance equipment. Read More

An important investment

An important investment

August 21, 2015

The equipment it takes to maintain an 18-hole golf course is both varied and substantial. Depending on the course, that equipment’s worth varies from $1 million to $2.5 million in replacement costs. Not only is the equipment expensive to purchase, but it also is expensive to maintain. Read More

Knee-jerk reactions

Knee-jerk reactions

July 7, 2015

The California drought continues to make headlines as the regulators sort through what will be the final water-use restrictions for the state as a whole and for each water district in particular. What we have seen so far, as usual with regulation, it’s not based on science, but based on emotion. No big surprise. Read More

Jump into action

Jump into action

July 6, 2015

Don’t sit on water issues. Instead, get in front of the wave of questions and speculations about how water is being managed on your course and keep yourself – and your career – from sinking. Read More

Irrigating without water

Irrigating without water

June 17, 2015

The California drought has hit historic proportions and no end is in sight. The lack of water has forced the governor into issuing an executive order aimed at slashing water use by 25 percent. Although no one is immune to the mandatory reductions, irrigation and turf are hit hard. Eliminating turfgrass is the best solution for some, with hundreds of millions of dollars going toward that effort. Read More

Yes, no or maybe?

Yes, no or maybe?

May 18, 2015

With new course construction, there is usually a clubhouse built at some point. The irrigation is pretty straight forward as it is installed by whoever ends up doing the clubhouse landscaping – in most cases an outside contractor. The big decision is whether it has its own water source and/or control system or does it come from the golf course. It’s usually the same, but this doesn’t always holds true for large projects. Read More

Water under the bridge?

Water under the bridge?

April 16, 2015

At GIS in San Antonio, I was surprised and disappointed to find the battle between high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe versus polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe for irrigation systems (presented alphabetically so there is no bias) is still strong. So many people I talked to believed this issue was “water under the bridge.” Read More

Worth its weight in gold and then some

Worth its weight in gold and then some

March 17, 2015

How many hours have you and your staff spent looking for an isolation valve, wire splice or pipe? How frustrated have you been looking at an as-built that shows you where an irrigation system component is, but it’s not there? You are not alone. The value of a good irrigation system “as-built” cannot be underestimated. As-builts are worth their weight in gold, but of course, they don’t weigh much! Read More

Sprinkler spacings: Do they matter?

Sprinkler spacings: Do they matter?

February 19, 2015

A few months back, I explored whether more sprinklers actually use less, not more, water. I used the example of 65-foot spacing versus 80-foot spacing. A golf course architect acquaintance took issue in how I’d characterized the water savings and implied I made it sound like large spacings were bad and only small spacings were acceptable. His point was that small spacings with lots of sprinklers may be efficient, but efficiencies can be obtained with larger spacings for substantially less cost. As much as I do not want to inflate his ego, he had a point. Read More

CSI: Irrigation

CSI: Irrigation

January 15, 2015

Do you keep track of how many pipe and fitting breaks you have on your irrigation system on an annual basis? Do you separate mainline breaks from lateral line breaks? Or is a break a break? If you don’t, you might consider starting. Knowing how many breaks your irrigation infrastructure is having and where they are occurring will help you figure out how to prevent them. Read More