Close to the North Sea, Balgownie was constructed in 1888, remodelled by James Braid and revised recently by Donald Steel and Martin Hawtree. Classic, exacting links run out through dunes along the shoreline giving players spectacular ocean views.
Course Manager Robert Patterson has been at Royal Aberdeen for twenty years, using Rain Bird irrigation systems for sixteen. He manages system set up, programme changes and updates and two deputies are responsible for running irrigation programmes to water courses.
He explains the decision to upgrade to Rain Bird’s latest NIMBUS II V8 Control Software and add Rain Watch™.
“I wanted our irrigation system to be more efficient, use less water and electricity and a detailed tutorial on the Control Software helped me properly understand what we could gain. Installed in 2017, it’s worked perfectly since and improved our efficiency considerably. We don’t waste water or power irrigating when there’s rain as the system automatically reacts, saving both water and power. The system maps are greatly improved and I can switch any individual head on or off easily. What was also important was having good back up. Rain Bird Europe is excellent and GSP helps with any problems; there’s a team that installed our upgrade and I’m in regular contact, making sure I back up changes.”
Robert used to programme irrigation by time (minutes) but has since changed to precipitation (millimetres) which has also brought further efficiencies.
“Initially we didn’t have rotor and head spacing patterns loaded but we’ve now updated all that on Version 8. Having used the system on minutes for a number of years, I found out I wasn’t irrigating enough during a cycle. With relevant information, our watering cycles are much improved. We adjust the percentage depending on how much we want to apply. 5mm is 100% so we run at around 40% which provides 2mm water. If there’s doubt about rainfall we set programmes anyway, knowing if it rains the system will re-adjust or switch off completely. We’re using less water and reduced the need to irrigate daily, replacing lost moisture only where it is needed. The turf gets just what it needs and no more. V8 and Rain Watch certainly make your system more efficient and automatically reduce over watering. “
Rain Bird’s latest irrigation and control system technologies combine computer-aided design with GPS geo-referenced images and state-of-the-art ET-based scheduling and are designed to be easy to install and use. For more information contact Alastair Higgs, Golf Sales Specialist – Rain Bird Europe, email@example.com.
Visit www.rainbird.eu/golf and follow the UK team on Twitter @rainbirdgolfuk