SubAir Systems contributing to Ryder Cup

Systems installed following Gleneagles renovations in 2011.

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September 25, 2014

The SubAir Systems subsurface aeration and moisture control solutions systems have been helping improve the quality of the greens at Gleneagles since their installation in 2011 by helping battle the diverse climate and weather conditions in Scotland. Gleneagles will host the 2014 Ryder Cup and SubAir will be showcased in its entirety. The underground SubAir System provides aeration, soil moisture control and drainage solutions, allowing consistent surfaces and player conditions across the entire course.

Gleneagles has installed one SubAir System at each green, which includes wireless sensors that report soil moisture, soil salinity and soil temperature. The wireless sensors send that data back to the SubAir control panel and it identifies if the soil is within the optimum range for all major soil factors. If the soil is not within the optimum range, the completely automated SubAir System will make adjustments to change the soil temperature and moisture. For instance, if a green’s temperature is rising, the SubAir System will sense the change and automatically blow cooler air to lower the temperature and maintain the optimal level. The greenskeepers log into the SubAir online reporting system in real time to see all telemetry and sensor data from the SubAir sensors to see the system’s current operations and historical data.

Consistency of the greens is key for the success of the Ryder Cup. According to Kevin Crowe, SubAir’s agronomist and vice president, the SubAir Systems will give Gleneagles “the ability to achieve more consistent putting surfaces.” Because each green is unique, every SubAir System is programmed individually so that all of the greens surfaces are consistent throughout Gleneagles, allowing each green to maintain their individual optimal soil ranges no matter the altitude or other soil factors of each green. Ryder Cup players will face a consistent putting and playing surface throughout the tournament.

“The SubAir System is being used as an essential management tool, giving us a backup if we experience bad weather,” says Scott Fenwick, Gleneagles’ estate manager. “We can maintain the moisture levels in our greens, quickly drawing moisture levels down even after significant rainfall, enabling play to continue.”