Souters Sports, one of the UK's leading specialist sportsturf contractors, has breathed new life into the world's oldest golf course following the installation of a new irrigation system.
History books prove that golf was played on Musselburgh Links as early as 2 March 1672 and there is further evidence that Mary, Queen of Scots reputedly played there in 1567. It was also an original Open Championship venue, hosting the event on six occasions between 1874 and 1889.
Although the previous irrigation system may not have dated back to the times of Mary, Queen of Scots, the watering system for the greens and tees was seriously outdated and old lead pipes supplied the water system. The signs were not good and in order to preserve this historic golf course, East Lothian Council decided that urgent action was needed.
"There were many leaks in the system and watering the course was extremely difficult which disrupted playing time - the council decided that it was time for an upgrade.
"We had heard that Souters Sports were the best at this type of work and they were contacted to initiate a plan and costing for a new irrigation system," said Mark McGrath, Amenity Officer for East Lothian Council.
Firmly established as a leading player in the UK irrigation market, Souters Sports has unsurpassed expertise and experience in designing and installing irrigation systems. From manual hose point systems, drip systems and travelling sprinkler systems to fully automated, complex computer-controlled sprinkler systems, Souters Sports deliver a solution to fulfil every requirement.
Flexible in their approach to the design of irrigation systems, the Souters Sports irrigation team work with every client in order to provide a complete design and build service. This entails an initial meeting where the team use their specialist knowledge to advise the best course of action.
"I met with Robert Smith and James Fitzpatrick from Souters Sports for an initial site meeting and along with my greenkeepers, the location of water points run of pipes was agreed.
"Once the plans were put in place, the work quickly begun and I had the pleasure of working with James, who is so professional in his approach to the job. There has been very little disruption to the course during the installation with James keeping me constantly updated on progress and any issues he encountered resolved.
"The quality and standard of work that James brought to the job, in my opinion, is second to none and his whole professionalism and dedication to the job has to be commended."
With all of the irrigation work Souters Sports carry out, great care is taken to minimise the impact of the installation and to ensure that reinstatements are carried out to the highest standards. As water is a precious commodity, Souters Sports' systems incorporate the latest technology for water efficiency and system control, such as variable speed drive pump systems, automatic weather stations and radio remote control systems.
Whilst the quality of Souters Sports work is of the highest quality, the company also provide excellent customer service, which according to Mark, is not always the case in his experience.
"In the line of work I am responsible for, I have contact with many contractors who are mostly interested in getting the job done quickly and as a result customer service always suffers. This I found to my pleasant surprise was not the case with Souters Sports and in particular James and his team.
"I would be more than happy to recommend Souters in the future for any other works associated to this type of work. If the aftercare is as good as the installation then I foresee only good things for the Old Links course for the future."