Use of Ortho-infrared Imaging To Evaluate Irrigation Practices By David Phipps, Superintendent at Stone Creek Golf Club

We have been concerned for the heath of some of our large fir trees around the course and the county decided to employ some of the technology that they have used for evaluating their forest land. They hired a company called Eagle Digital which flew over the golf course and took a number of orthographic images.

These photos were taken August 2nd. They are able to use different filters which will enhance areas of interest. Here are two, one which is the golf course as seen with our eyes and the other is an enhanced infrared which highlights areas of lush growth. This one is my favorite in that it highlights the tress that are healthy showing the darker red. But what stands out is the turfgrass. What impresses me is the fairways. It is showing a uniform light pink all over. This is telling me that our irrigation system is functioning correctly and most of all we are not over watering and over fertilizing. Compare the color to the homeowners lawns along the bottom of the photo. I think the color speaks for itself.

I think this technology will be very useful in evaluating the effectiveness of our irrigation system as well as the health of our turf and trees. As a tool we can have the same picture taken next year at the same time and compare it to evaluate the effectiveness of our plant health programs. The best part of this is that it only cost $500. Click this link to see more images. Ortho Sideshow

We will also be able to use this photo to overlay our irrigation map and have our heads located within the photo.