Southwind Country Club
Garden City, Kansas

James S. and Susan W. Aber

Southwind Country Club includes a golf course and suburban development south of Garden City, southwestern Kansas. The golf course is situated in rolling sandhills terrain, which requires substantial irrigation to maintain the green turf. Kite aerial photography was conducted by the authors in late May 2002, as part of an effort to evaluate turf conditions and to document the effects of irrigation. At that time, the region was suffering a severe drought. Both color digital and color-infrared film photographs were acquired. Additional KAP was done one year later in late May 2003, following a snowy winter and wet spring. All images © by the authors.

General views

Northward overview of Southwind Country Club with Garden City on the distant horizon. Administrative office and club house are visible on left side of scene. Golf links are numbered for easy identification. Image date 5/03.
The club house appears in the upper left portion of this view over links 1, 2 and 3. Kite flyers are operating beside hole 2. Image date 5/02.
Club house (lower right) and swimming pool (lower center) are sites of much activity at Southwind Country Club. Image date 5/03.
Northern portion of the golf course (links 1-5) surrounded by suburban housing. Image date 5/03.
Closeup view of northern portion of the golf course including links 1, 2, 3 and 4, along with flanking suburban housing. Image date 5/02.
View northward over the eastern side of the golf course and adjacent housing development. Image date 5/03.
Eastern portion of the golf course (links 6 & 7) and adjacent suburban housing. Image date 5/02.
View toward the southeast over the central portion of the golf course. Image date 5/03.
Southeastern portion of the golf course showing links 7, 10, 11, 12 and 13. Kite flyers are standing in the tee area of 13. Substantial suburban houses flank the course. Note the strong contrast between irrigated grass and native sand-sage prairie. Image date 5/02.
Eastward view over holes 8, 10, 14, and the practice area. The maintenance building is located near scene center. Image date 5/02.
Southernmost portion of golf course with sand-hills prairie landscape in the background (to south). Image date 5/03.

Color-infrared photos

Color-infrared film is exposed to green, red and near-infrared radiation. These spectral bands are shifted to appear respectively as blue, green and red in the photographs. Active vegetation is strongly reflective for near-infrared, and so appears bright pink and red in these pictures. Such photographs are useful for analysis of vegetation and soil conditions. Color-infrared film has no speed rating, and conventional light meters do not sense near-infrared radiation. Camera light settings are set manually based on a variety of factors, including the amount of active vegetation and height of sun, which vary with time of day, season, latitude, and other environmental conditions.

To acquire these color-infrared photographs, we utilized our heavy rig with Canon EOS RebelX camera--see titanium rig. These pictures were taken with shutter speed 1/250 and f-11. We used a large rokkaku to lift the rig in a gentle breeze from the southwest. In the following views, normal color appears on the left, and color-infrared is shown to the right.

View toward the north showing links 10, 14, 18, and the practice area. The club house appears in the center distance. On the color-infrared version (right), irrigated turf shows as bright pink and red; ponds are black. Image date 5/02.
View over links 15 and 17; kite flyers are near the tee portion of 15. The color-infrared version (right) shows that some irrigation water has enhanced the sand-sage prairie beside the fairways. Image date 5/02.
Vertical view of test plot for turf experiments on the 14th fairway. The targets are each 5-feet square and outline the test area of 100 by 100 feet. Patchy turf conditions are clearly evident on the color-infrared photo (right). Image date 5/02.

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Last update June 2003.