The historic Royal Cromer links has become the first course in the UK to upgrade to the new Toro Lynx irrigation control system.
The windswept links on the North Norfolk coastline struggled to maintain coverage and keep playing surfaces up to par as its previous 35-year-old irrigation system was reaching the end of its useful life.
Numerous man hours were also being wasted at Royal Cromer as the greenkeeping team hand-watered and nursed the ailing system, while water was lost through leaks and inefficient application.
But the club has solved this problem by the installation of a new Toro irrigation system, featuring Lynx control system software coupled with Toro’s Golf Decoder Controller hardware.
The Toro system was specified by irrigation consultant Adrian Mortram from Robin Hume Associates and was installed by contractor MJ Abbott.
Course manager Mark Heveran says that the club – whose members part-funded the installation through individual loans – is thrilled with the system. “There’s nothing out there that compares to Lynx,” he said. “It’s so accurate and unlike anything I’ve ever used before. I can now water down to the millimetre or minute, so that I know exactly how much I’m applying. We won’t know until later in the year, but we reckon we’ll save on water by a third.
“It’s also really simple to use – there’s no faffing. With just a few clicks at the computer I can create a watering programme and leave it to run. If I want to finish watering at 1am, the system works out when the water needs to start instead of me having to calculate this and come back to make adjustments if conditions change. Similarly, if I set it to water at 3mm and then there’s 3mm of rain, it automatically stops – with our old system I’d have had to return to change it manually. It now takes just over an hour to water the whole course instead of four or five. The remote operation by mobile or laptop is also brilliant, as are our digital remote controls.”