Newslines Summer 2017

Irrigation Solutions 10 . news lines . summer 2017 A game of numbers It’s all in the numbers for The Buckinghamshire Golf Club, which has recently undergone a £3 million course redesign. The course has been lengthened to 7200 Championship yards, 112 bunkers have been redesigned to 64 and the 25-year-old irrigation system has been replaced with a new Toro Lynx controller with 1275 Flex 35 and T5 sprinklers, ensuring that not an inch of the 226 acre venue goes without a good watering. Course manager Andy Ewence says the course needed some alterations to ensure its position as one of the finest inland courses in the British Isles: “We wanted to update some aspects of the course. Lengthening it adds a new challenge for our members and better suits the tournaments we host. We’ve reduced 112 bunkers to 64, relocated the remaining 64 and lined every one with bunker Blinder. We’ve added lake edges to two feature holes and concrete pathways for ease of movement around the course.” It was while making these changes that Andy and the team decided to replace the irrigation system. Andy explains: “The irrigation system was 25 years old and as a result the PVC piping was turning brittle, it was very unreliable and the computer system was antiquated. And all of these factors were visibly displaying on the course. We had dry patches and grass that was turning yellow.” Andy says the owners encouraged him to seek out “the best”, a decision Andy turned to irrigation specialists Lakes and Greens to help him make. “We were after the highest specification,” says Andy. “Wall-to- wall sprinklers, a mapping system and Grundfos pumps that work with the controllers were key. “We are familiar with the Toro brand as we are on a five-year leasing package for all our turf machinery. But Toro irrigation was chosen for its own merit and it was the Lynx control system in particular that sold it to me. I’ve been using the system since April 2017 and in my opinion it is the best system I could have chosen, it’s so easy to work with. But the real proof is in the grass, it looks amazing: green and lush and the members have really noticed a difference.” It definitely helps having over a thousand sprinklers working their magic! Lynx let loose at Rhinos’ home In 2013, Headingley Carnegie Stadium, the West Yorkshire home of Leeds Rhinos rugby club and Yorkshire County Cricket Club, was the first sports stadium in the UK to opt for Toro’s advanced irrigation system, Lynx. Four years on the sports venue has a new head groundsman, Ryan Golding. Here we talk to him about the system, which placed the stadium at the forefront of sports pitch irrigation. “Lynx was chosen by my predecessor Jason Booth as part of a £1 million pitch rebuild,” he says. “He saw the reasoning behind having a high spec system for many reasons, but predominantly for its real-time intuitive control and water sustainability.” It was hoped Lynx would enable the club to access detailed and comprehensive information on all aspects of the pitch and its irrigation programmes, to monitor water, energy and other inputs and based on the findings introduce a more sustainable way to manage the pitch. Ryan confirms that as hoped, the system has put the pitch management team in control. The computer-based software is coupled to wireless soil sensors beneath the surface enabling effective planning and real-time adjustments to benefit plant health, playing surface conditions and to sync with other turf management regimes. “The efficient head-to-head sprinklers, soil sensing equipment, weather station system and integrated pump stations have had a big impact on how much water we use and on the club’s bottom line. Water off the mains is not cheap and it’s sensible not only for the environment, but also our budget to use the resource effectively. We’re making big savings and it’s improving grass- growing conditions, too. “There are plans to put in place water holding tanks underneath the stands to harvest water from the stand roofs. The surface area there will collect a good amount of water to reuse,” Ryan tells us. “I will test the nutritional value of the water every four weeks and from the results will be able to decide whether to use the water to irrigate the pitch or use it in the washrooms and showers. “The bottom line is Lynx gives us the power to make these kind of big-impact, long-lasting decisions, which is fantastic.” at work