Weather Planning for Professional Greenkeepers

Weather is obviously a most important factor for the management of golf courses (Source: March 2002 Annual report Rye Golf Club).

Higher Standards require resourcing. Greenkeepers should be pro-active in demanding information that helps decision making.
(Source Greenkeeper International Jan 2002).

The successful running of a golf club requires expertise from management, especially Greenkeepers, to enable the course to be prepared and looked after, including seeding, fertilising, watering, alterations etc. This is of enormous importance especially where attention to detail, preparation and maintenance, is essential to the enjoyment of the final product, and when costs have to be very closely looked at.

However, whereas Risk Management is now an accepted, and in some cases a statutory, requirement for corporate management, only recently have professionals outside the business environment become aware of the need to access the best available information to enable effective decisions to be made.

And it is also only recently that modern technology has enabled information to be delivered direct to the people responsible for these crucial decisions at an affordable price.

Anyone who has to make plans that involve capital outlay must do so on the basis of the most up-to-date information available, and knowing when, or when not, to contract machinery or start spraying and seeding programmes is essential not only for the management of the course, but also to using money effectively and responsibly.

Although there is a great deal of free information now available particularly on the internet, it is mostly of a general nature i.e. 5 day forecasts, and in many cases is model output, which has not had input from a forecaster, and is not necessarily from a reliable source. Almost certainly it will not be in the correct format to enable quick decision-making.

As a result of the programmes established to assist the presentation of information to the corporate sector, Weather Index Ltd has developed software that enables the rapid assimilation and transmission of site-specific - i.e. at the exact latitude and longitude of the club - forecasts over a multitude of platforms. This means that previously prohibitively expensive forecasts can be provided at prices that are very affordable to a wider market.
Particularly for Greenkeepers, but also for golf course management, it is envisaged that the following package will be delivered daily, by automatic email:

Daily. 7 day detailed forecast at the clubs latitude and longitude. This will include expected 24 hour rainfall, divided into day-time, and night-time amounts, sunshine hours, wind speed and direction, max and min temperatures, humidity
Weekly. 30 day (monthly) forecast - national
Weekly. 30 day (monthly) forecast - regional
Monthly. 90 day (seasonal) forecast
A number of Greenkeeping indices to enable instant planning for course management. (e.g. Top Dressing; Herbicide spraying.)
Frost warnings (Sept - May).

This information will enable Greenkeepers and management to plan their course related programmes using the most up-to-date weather information available, and as a by-product, offers a useful service to club members.

Weather Index Ltd.
6th Floor
Bucklersbury House
83 Cannon Street
London EC4N 8ST
Tel: 020 7635 3232
Fax: 020 7635 3239