TAVISTOCK GOLF CLUB
HEAD GREENKEEPER'S BLOG
Winter Rainfall Figures
After the dismal 2015/16 winter, we decided to collect daily rainfall readings to give us a little more undertanding as to what was happening on the course. Readings begin in November as this is roughly the cut of point where evapotranspiration (ET) rates hit zero. ET is the loss of water back to the atmosphere from the soil and the plant leaf. In greenkeeping terms, when ET rates are zero this means "once its wet, it stays wet", and a surface will only dry by a draw down of moisture through the soil profile, be that by natural or man made drainage. As we move into spring we are starting to see ET rates rise again with warmer soil temperatures and increased photosynthesis.
Nov 113mm 14 days wet
Dec 66mm 15 days wet
Jan 107mm 18 days wet
Feb 131mm 20 days wet
Mar 150mm 25 days wet
Totals 567mm 92 days wet from 151
Longest spell of rain was 13 consecutive days from Feb 25th to March 9th where we had 92mm.
Single heaviest spell was 131mm from Jan 27th to Feb 4th
Single heaviest day Feb 1st with 32mm.
Longest dry spell was 15 consecutive days Nov 23rd to Dec 7th.
Crucially in the daily statistics are a repeating pattern of drying days between wet spells throughout Nov, Dec, Jan. This gave chance for the moisture to be drawn down away from the surface before the next rainfall, largely aided by the drainage work completed in 2015. This gave us an extended golfing season through the Christmas/New Year period and it wasn't until the more persistent wet days of February and March that we started to see a more noticeable impact on the course.
There are many measurements, statistics and reasons why a course performs how it does in winter, and rainfall is just a small part of a big picture, but something we can all comprehend and hopefully make for interesting reading...fingers crossed for some warm sunshine soon 🌞