Rothley Park Golf Club in Leicestershire has completed the installation of a new Hunter irrigation system, designed and project engineered by Irriplan. The new system, which makes use of Hunter’s well-established Pilot control system to allow individual control of irrigation heads, was installed by contractor Irrigation Control.
“We have known for some time that our old irrigation system needed replacing,” says club general manager Danny Spillane. “We have been working with golf architect Tom Mackenzie of Mackenzie and Ebert on a number of improvements to the course, so we made contact with Tom and asked him who he recommended within the irrigation business. He pointed us to Giles Wardle and Irriplan, and Giles has basically served as our consultant on irrigation matters ever since.”
The club was initially contemplating the construction of an irrigation reservoir – it sources its irrigation water by abstracting from a nearby brook – but then decided that replacing the existing irrigation system was more important.
Irriplan designed the system, and the project went out to tender in early 2016. Irrigation Control, based in Warrington, won the tender and was awarded the contract to install a new system covering greens, tees, approaches and walk off. “We are a clay-based course, so really fairway irrigation is not needed here,” says Spillane. “We funded the project partly from internal resources, and partly by creating a bond scheme for members.”
The club selected the Hunter Pilot control system and Hunter’s G885D Totally Top Serviceable Decoder-in-Head rotors. The installation was completed in March this year, and the system has now been fully operational for a month. “It’s too early to judge the impact on our water use, but more consistent use of irrigation has already led to more consistent surfaces,” says Spillane. “We are using moisture sensors to judge more accurately when to apply water, and we can now get much better control of irrigation. If we have a green that is half in shade, half in full sun, we can set the system to give the shady areas less water and those that are drier more. Previously we did not have that level of control. We believe it will help us provide much better conditions for our members and guests, and we are grateful to Giles and Irriplan for their help.”