Course manager Andy Ewence said the existing control system was cumbersome and inflexible but the pipework and sprinklers still sound. Rather than spending around £500,000 on a new system he bought cheaper computer-controlled technology.
"We looked at retrofit alternatives and found all we really had to change was the controller," said. "The infrastructure is still the same: I have 800 to 1,000 sprinkler heads so it was crucial the wiring was compatible otherwise we’d have had to rewire all of the heads."
The club chose a Gemini-Trident Irrigation system from Bailoy Products, which uses decoder field hardware and software to better manage the course’s irrigation programme. Ewence said he eked out efficiency savings of up to 20 per cent and other benefits.
"I estimated we’d save 10 per cent a year, but I reckon it’s saved us £8,000 to £10,000 already in water bills. As of early September, that means the system has paid for itself – and we still have a couple of months of watering left in the year."
More accurate control of where water went, how much was applied and to which sprinklers maximised efficiency, he said. This was a big plus as every green was different – some wet, others dry and shady.
"We were spending £45,000 on water annually, so the savings are going to be significant," he said of the kit installed by MJ Abbott. "The club’s managing director and finance director are delighted."