The Royal Lytham and St Anne’s Golf Club, which opened in 1886, has a new high-tech irrigation system for greens, approaches, fairways and tees designed by Wardle Consulting Engineers and installed by leading drainage and irrigation specialists M J Abbott. This has replaced a system put in during the ’60s. With increasing pressure being put on golf clubs by the Environment Agency, effective and efficient irrigation is vital
“Financial savings, environmental considerations and the benefits to turf grass health were the primary reasons for undertaking this project,” says Head Greenkeeper, Paul Smith. “Our system was more than 25 years old and the main infrastructure of pipes was struggling to cope with ever-increasing demands.”
M J Abbott laid more than 25 kilometres of underground pipe and cable to service 850 pop up sprinklers. A Rainbird Nimbus 2 central controller is the powerhouse of the operation and is linked to a weather station – MWS10 – which provides information on the evapotranspiration rates (ET) but does not download, so there is a manual change of programmes.
The system can calculate the ET and provide accurately the amount of water needed, so water resources are managed efficiently and not wasted.
“With three separate supplies of water – a small groundwater fed reservoir, a series of shallow boreholes and a mains supply which acts as a back-up, we used some quite complex equipment,” says Nigel Wyatt, contracts director at MJ Abbott.
Unlike many irrigation systems, the system on the fairways of the championship course does not have full-circle sprinklers.
“To save water we have put in a series of part-circle sprinklers on the fairways and on the outer edges, throwing inwards, so water is not put into the semi-rough and rough. “This is crucial as it saves considerably on water,” says Nigel. Wider fairways have a triple-row sprinkler system with full-circle sprinklers in the middle row and part-circle sprinklers on the fairway perimeters although the sprinklers can be set for full-circle operation to irrigate the rough if required.
M J Abbott: 01722 716361 firstname.lastname@example.org
Royal Lytham and St Anne’s www.royallytham.org
MJ Abbott www.mjabbott.co.uk