Wildernesse Golf Club in Sevenoaks, Kent, has become the latest venue to benefit from significant water and cost savings since installing Toro's renowned Golf Decoder Controller (GDC) irrigation system.
Independent irrigation consultant Irritech Limited was commissioned to design the 18-hole course's new system after its old system reached the end of its useful life.
"Our previous system was over 30 years old," says course manager Mark Todd of the decision to upgrade the irrigation. "It was PVC so prone to leaks, pressure was poor and coverage very hit and miss. It was neither efficient nor reliable - the list is endless!"
Mark says Irritech was the driving force behind the specification of GDC. "Toro Irrigation has a proven track record, plus had Irritech's seal of approval," Mark adds. "It was particularly felt that the SitePro central control system would meet our needs - and it certainly has. I'm very glad Toro was chosen. The system is superb."
Commenting on the project, Irritech's Roger Davey says: "The club needed to ensure water could be effectively, efficiently and sustainably applied to the areas of fine turf across the greens, approaches and tees. Water resourcing was a huge issue as Wildernesse relied upon mains water, which was subject to restrictions and periodic hosepipe bans. Therefore the club and Irritech decided to ensure that future irrigation strategies included independent storage and sourcing of water."
Key to this was the drilling of a 65m-deep borehole and installation of a 660 cubic-metre storage tank, which holds enough water to irrigate the greens (when supplemented by borehole feed of 20 cubic-metres per day) for approximately 50 days. This not only protects the club from the affects of drought, but has also enabled it to become entirely self-sufficient in terms of water use on the course.
The rest of the irrigation system was fully upgraded to include a variable speed pumping station, high-performance polyethylene pipe, SitePro control system, Toro 835 Series sprinklers on the greens and approaches, and Toro 810G Series sprinklers on the tees.
Mark says that the system's even coverage has particularly impressed. First established in 1890, Wildernesse is distinguished by its heavily-wooded location and fine, tree-lined fairways - attractive as this setting is, the variable conditions across the course, with some parts in shade and some out in the open, were a challenge for the previous system.
As Mark continues: "Our tees are surrounded by woodland, with the forward tees more in the open and prone to drying out much quicker than the ones back in the shade, so its needs are variable. But now we can water where it's needed the quality of our tees has particularly improved."
Mark is also delighted with the system's weather station. "The weather station has also played its part in improving our efficiency. It allows me to make a more informed decision when, and when not to water."
For more information on Toro Irrigation Products, call distributor Lely UK on 01480 226848/226872 or email email@example.com.
Toro Irrigation Products are distributed throughout the UK and Ireland by Lely UK Limited, 1 Station Road, St Neots, PE19 1QH. Call 01480 226848/226872, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.toro.com/www.lely.com for further details.
Image caption: Lely's Trevor Chard, centre left, shakes hands with Wildernesse Golf Club's course manager Mark Todd, with club secretary Kevin Loosemore in the centre and members of the greenkeeping team looking on.