Unfortunately we don’t have 36 solutions… The director of the La Wantzenau golf course, near Strasbourg, admits frankly: it is impossible to do without watering to take care of his manicured green trees, and the arrival of a heat wave does not change much.
The course spans an area of 72 hectares, not all of which is irrigated, of course. We irrigate only certain areas of play and departure, waterways and greens, which represent between 17 and 20 hectaresLaurent Trescarte, director of this 18-hole course that welcomes around 1,350 licensees, explains, just a few kilometers north of the Alsatian capital.
In a normal year, we will use about 80,000 cubic meters of waterIt represents the average annual consumption of about 1,450 people. And if the current episode of the heat wave requires some adjustments, there is no arcade revolution in sight.
Anyway, we never water during the day, only at night, from 9 pm to 6 am, sector by sector in the cycleidentifies Dominic Kontzmann, “The Green Ranger”.
We often tell here when it is windy more than when it is hot, the wind dries the soil morecontinues the course director.
With the heat wave, it will not change much, it is better not to increase watering: moisture in addition to heat, it promotes diseases herb.
‘We know we’ll have to adapt’
Water is pumped from the Alsace aquifer and a computerized system distributes it as needed through 25 kilometers of pipes buried under the stream, to 580 sprinklers.
Our irrigation management program dates back nearly fifteen years and has enabled us to save about 30% of water compared to the previous system. Modern software is more effective but it is a very huge investment, about 1.5 million euros, and everything has to be changed, including tubes and sprinklersDominic Kuntman notes.
A system that saves another 10 to 20% more water.
I totally understand that from an outside point of view, people say to themselves: Golf is a big user of waterLaurent Triscarti continues.
But the water we use is pumped from groundwater, no longer taken from drinking water systems, as it was on some golf courses 20 or 30 years ago. We know that we will have to adapt and reduce our water intake and participate in this collective effort that everyone has to do in their field.
He also notes that the French Golf Federation has concluded agreements with the Ministry of the Environment, and the governors can, from a certain threshold, ban irrigation, which has not happened before in the lower Rhine.
Perhaps, as in some Anglo-Saxon countries, we will try to explain to our golfers that they cannot systematically play on green grass. When necessary, they will have to play on the yellow grasswhich will be less moisture, at the discretion of the manager.
From a game point of view, it’s not necessarily annoying, but there is a whole learning effort that we have to make.
Play despite the heat
Meanwhile, to weather the heat wave, Dominic Kontzmann and the seven colleagues responsible for maintaining the cycle start their day as early as possible, at 6 a.m., and skip their lunch break to finish at around 2 p.m.
If it gets too hot, we do the basics and stop. I can’t see my buddies with a brush on their back at 40°Cnotes the owner of the vegetable.
As for the players,
Fairly old customersAccording to Laurent Trescartes,
People are generally cautious Many come to play early in the morning or at the end of the afternoon.
Kristen and Matthew Keeler, two regular retirees, know all the tricks they have to play though free:
We come early, take more water, anti-UV umbrella, wear light instead of dark…
But this weekend it’s competition, and their departure is set at midday, under the hot afternoon sun…
Maybe I’ll go scuba diving after hole number 9 to calm downKristen Keeler jokes.