Brandon's Course Updates

June 3, 2022 —

For years, we’ve dreamed of having site-specific weather data as it relates to our weather conditions on property here at the club.

As of this spring (April 26), our dreams have come true!

We installed two POGO Weather Stations (powered by Stevens) on our property.  We’ve spent the last month and change monkeying with them to get them fully-operational.

You can see where each are located on the map below.

Instead of looking at various apps on our phones that vary across different platforms (and are mostly located and being collected in Valentine), we wanted custom weather information from the club.

So much of our understanding the weather here has been a combination of faulty local information and guesswork.

Problem solved!

These systems will be instrumental in understanding precipitation, wind speed/direction, temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure (among others, as we’re still getting our arms wrapped around it!).

As we know the weather can be very different within a few miles in the state of Nebraska… and that is no different for us.  In fact, it might even be more extreme here, because of our arid Sandhills climate and exposure to the elements.

That being said, we implemented our two weather stations this spring — one on the Pines and one on the Dunes — and they’re amazing.

Before I dive into the nerdy weather stuff, I want to issue a massive thank you to Roger, Rick, and the entire management team here at the club.  This is a game-changer — we agronomy team members thank you for helping us get this done!

So, you might be asking — what are these things exactly?

In short, they are a short, tripod looking thingy located out in the middle of the native grass with a sun-catcher for power, a bucket for water, and a “spinny thing” on top.  Ha!

Powered by an awesome little solar 40-watt multi-parameter weather system, it collects all of the goodies mentioned above (precipitation, wind speed/direction, temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure) — and we can access remote!

Plus, since they’re solar, we don’t have to worry about it shutting down to to lack of power.

POGO has teamed up with Hunter Irrigation (our irrigation partner) to make our property even more integrated.

Our goal is to better manage certain turf stresses when they are observed.

In an ideal scenario, once we get these systems fully-functional, we can manage our turf based on actual property weather data and through proper forecasting.  Our rep at POGO (his name is Carmen) is looking forward to getting us up and running.

As turf managers, we’re asking questions constantly.  How warm is it?  How hard is the wind blowing?  How humid is the air?  How much rain did each course receive?  Then about 50 others.

Understanding the correct data will help us make better decisions to answer other questions.  Should we overnight water?  When should we top-dress our greens?  Should we verti-cut, or let them grow?  Should we spray?  Should we aerify?

Data helps us immensely in making accurate decisions.

With Valentine 20 minutes up the road, having this information at our finger tips (mobile devices!) will be vital.

If you’ve visited us this spring, you may have already noticed the stations.  See the map above.  (The Dunes is between 12/13 tee box and Pines is between 7, 8, and 14).

We had two requirements when selecting locations for these stations:

  1. They need to have good cell service as all the data is collect in the cloud.  (As most of you know, our limitations here is part of the beauty out here).
  2. We wanted them to give us a good collection of data for each course.

We achieved both!

I could keep writing on these new stations, but we’ll know more as we start working with them and getting experience.  We hope some of the data starts making it into some member updates here and there.

In the end, we simply hope this addition allows us to be more efficient with our efforts to create the best playing conditions possible here at The Prairie Club.

We love our jobs.

For those who want to read more about these POGO systems, you can on their website:


Thanks for reading!

See you out there,


— Brandon Arens

Director of Agronomy