In the past several years, there’s been a big
jump in the number of courses that are using
moisture sensors linked to individual irrigation
heads. They’re wireless, so they can communicate with master irrigation systems and send
alerts when areas need water.
“With a lot of older systems . . . it could be
raining and the system would still be running,”
Cordes said. “With newer technology, a weather
detection device will shut it off if it’s raining, so
you won’t get unneeded watering.”
Cordes said many systems that are 20 to 25
years old are being replaced these days. Most
systems older than that already have been
replaced or upgraded, he said. But there are
also systems that are only five to 10 years old
that may need some component replacements.
Much of this depends on the type of water that
flows through the pipes and how the system is
GPS allows courses to track players’ traffic
patterns and access points. By improving the
efficiency of traffic flow, Straka said, course
owners can save money. If they can take an area
out of play, they can limit or cease irrigation and
“If you have 10 to 20 acres that you have data
for that people aren’t playing in . . . you can take
them out of production,” Straka said. “That’s a
big environmental impact.”
Water storage is another area where projects
At his Stevens Park Golf Course in Dallas,
Colligan couldn’t find a good place to build an
irrigation lake. To do so would have required
moving a sewer line and installing a liner for
the lake. Instead, he designed a water tank that
holds 400,000 gallons.
One of the benefits will be a minimal loss of
water from evaporation, and that equates to savings.
“It’s a long-term deal to recoup the costs,”
New research and developments in grass
types also affects the amount of water needed.
Many grasses are being engineered to be more
“That’s a really important aspect, because as
water becomes limited, what’s going to be driving new turf grass production is how drought
resistant can we get those grasses,” Straka said.
Required environmental standards and
improved management practices, including
erosion control and abatement, have affected
projects during the past decade as well.
“They’re more costly and require more time,”
Increased regulation of chemicals has
changed how turf removal and sterilization is
done. Instead of fumigation, time-consuming
mechanical methods are being used.
Some newer processes, such as heat or steam
treatments or chemicals that are less harmful to
the environment, are being developed.
Technology and time in design and construction
Today, most architects and contractors are
MEDIA is designed to eliminate
algae problems in ponds by
increasing oxygen output more
significantly than conventional