Golf course superintendent must develop management programs that address nutrient and pest management needs while understanding the effect of a changing climate and microclimates might have on the need for irrigation and the fate of applied materials.
Projections of a changing climate suggest that rainfall events will become less frequent, but more intense. As a result, a greater volume of the precipitation is expected to run off instead of infiltrating into the soil and replenishing groundwater. Consequently, the need for supplemental irrigation may increase, and superintendents will need to take greater care in the applying fertilizer and pesticides to reduce the risk of runoff. Structural BMPs are also valuable in managing increased runoff. For more information on available climate data for New York, see the Northeast Regional Climate Center (http://www.nrcc.cornell.edu/).
Golf courses are diverse landscapes with a variety of microclimates that require site-specific management to maintain uniform playing conditions. Microclimates are created by landforms as well as by vegetation and water bodies. In each case, the golf course superintendent must adapt management programs that address nutrient and pest management needs while understanding the effect these microclimates might have on the fate of applied materials.