Atlanta Athletic Club saves water and electricity with new irrigation system

Atlanta Athletic Club saves water and electricity with new irrigation system
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Atlanta Athletic Club has deployed a new irrigation system on its Highlands Course to help reduce water and electricity use.

Located around 25 miles north of Atlanta in John’s Creek, Atlanta Athletic Club has previously hosted events such as the U.S. Open, PGA Championship, Ryder Cup and U.S. Amateur Championship.

In 2016, the Highlands Course underwent a renovation project led by golf course architect Rees Jones – part of which saw the club upgrade the irrigation from the Rain Bird block irrigation system to Rain Bird’s single-head-controlled Integrated Control System.

The course’s former block irrigation system typically ran three to four sprinklers at one time. This made it difficult to apply water to specific areas of turf as the club’s staff would like.

Thanks to the new system and its single-head control, water can be applied exactly where it is needed, meaning water and electricity can be saved as watering is now far more focused.

As well as improving watering efficiency, the new system also requires 90 per cent less wire and 50 per cent fewer splices than most golf course irrigation systems.

Furthermore, as the irrigation system pipe on the Highlands course was only a decade old, the club was able to continue using it and only replaced the sprinkler heads.

“By renovating the course in this way, we were able to get a state-of-the-art system for a lot less money,” said Lukus Harvey, director of agronomy at Atlanta Athletic Club. “Now, we can feel secure knowing that we’ll be able to depend on our new Rain Bird irrigation system for the next 25 years.”

Thanks to the new system, the course’s superintendents will be able to benefit from advanced diagnostics, evapotranspiration scheduling and customised course programming.

Other benefits include multiple mapping options, and a greater ability to locate and operate individual rotors.

“The Integrated Control System and new irrigation heads will make the course firm and fast for the players while helping the Atlanta Athletic Club conserve water and spend less time on irrigation system maintenance,” said Matthew Corentin, advanced technologies sales manager for Rain Bird’s Golf Division.