Significant irrigation reduction at Saddle Creek Resort course


Significant irrigation reduction at Saddle Creek Resort course
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Saddle Creek Resort has reduced irrigation at its golf course by 40 per cent, saving 400,000 gallons of water every day since June.

Led by superintendent Pat Smyth, Saddle Creek’s maintenance team has made a number of adjustments to its turf care practices to ensure the course conditions remain of a high standard.

Changes at the course in California’s Calaveras County include the concentration of irrigation efforts on tees, fairways and greens.

The watering of the rough has been conducted a significantly reduced rate, and many 360-degree sprinkler heads are being limited to making 180-degree turns. Hand watering and syringing of the fairways is also taking place.

The 6,826-yard course was designed by Carter Morrish and Tad Buchanan and opened in 1996.

“We need to do what’s right for California,” said Rick Morgan, general manager. “At the same time, we’re giving our guests a glimpse of how golf courses may routinely look a bit more ‘brown’ in the very near future.”

The changes have been welcomed by players at the course, with smooth putting surfaces and firm landing areas helping players hit longer drives than ever before.

“We can’t say enough about what a phenomenal job Pat and his team has done to implement the new programme,” added Morgan. “Our head golf professional Tyler Brown has also been integral to the process as the point person communicating the rationale for these changes to our golfers.”