When you have over forty years experience at a club it means you've usually encountered most scenarios, and in many cases more than once. That's certainly the case for Mike Greenwood, head greenkeeper for 42 years at Ormskirk Golf Club in Lancashire, who has recently overseen the installation of a second irrigation system, 30 years on from the first.
This time opting for, with the advice of the club's management committee and local installer LS Systems, a Toro GDC 2-wire system with Infinity sprinklers, Mike says that the reasons for needing a new irrigation system don't change but the options available certainly do.
"As it was then to now our criteria for a new system focused on uniform coverage, adequate water pressure and cost-effectiveness. LS Systems guided us through the research and selection process, which was a lot more extensive than it used to be! When they introduced us to Toro and its range of options it was evident they could provide us with what we were looking for."
Accurate, efficient and cost-effective, Toro's GDC has proved itself the system of choice for golf clubs the world over since its launch. Using innovative technology, a 2-wire path communicates to buried control units and eliminates the costs associated with traditional valve wire bundles.
"The system covers 21 greens and all the tees," says Mike. "The control box is very easy to use and the sprinkler heads are much stronger now than they used to be. Trouble with vandals is rare here, but it is reassuring to see that the sprinklers are well protected, whether from accidental damage or otherwise. We haven't been using the system for long but I can confirm it is meeting our objectives to provide a more thorough and uniform coverage and the water pressure is a lot better than the last system. I would say that water use is optimised, too. Overall, we are very pleased with the investment."
It's a good time for the system to be up and running as Mike and his greenkeeping team of four prepare the 18-hole course for the Lancashire PGA Championship in September, which follows hot on the heels of the Lancashire Amateur Championship in May. Demonstrating just how well the course is playing it is the first time a club has been honoured with hosting both championships in the same year with the Lancashire Amateur Championship seeing the club record broken in the final round: "It was a particularly proud moment," concludes Mike.
Toro Irrigation products are distributed throughout mainland UK by Lely Turfcare