New Era

I am very pleased to share with you all that the final phase of the irrigation system is completed and it was a huge success. It almost does not feel real to me yet, a modern irrigation system is one of the most important tools in a superintendent’s tool box but ironically it is a tool we bury underground and it is seldom seen by members. I can remember the first few meetings when we discussed the need
to update the system, the room was in agreement that it needed to be done but they could not commit to the full investment and it was agreed to do it in phases.

Phase 1 was a new well, pump and new mainline connection to the existing system. In the past we were irrigating with treated drinking water that was expensive and high in sodium and bicarbonates.

In Phase 2 we brought water across the street to the 5th fairway. This hole did not previously have any irrigation and would go dormant and turn brown around the first or second week of July. This phase was done in house with the help of our course construction contractor On Course Golf and we introduced the Rain Bird Stratus II Central controller.

In Phase 3, we irrigated the 6th and 7th holes. Previously we had only one irrigation head on each of the putting greens, 6 and 7, these greens required much hand watering to sustain them. The new system greatly decreases the need for us to hand water these greens. This phase was done in house in the same fashion as 5, it was after doing these two holes that we made the decision to hire an irrigation
installer. We learned that the four of us could dig holes, lay pipe, install heads, wire and trouble shoot with the best of them, but somebody still needs to bury, compact and put all the sod back. We were successful in our process but it is something I’m sure we do not want to tackle again.

Phase 4 introduced Art De Atienza and his company Golf Irrigation Services. In this phase we irrigated holes 2, 3 and 4. I was very impressed with Art and his crew, the quality and attention to detail solidified our decision to hire his firm. It took me a while to adjust to the concept of other people working on the golf course especially the irrigation system, but after constantly being yelled at by the irrigation expert to “put down that shovel” I quickly changed my role to oversight and quality control.

Phase 5 encompassed holes 1, 8 and 9, completing the irrigation system. Finishing the system has been a great accomplishment for us, but I must admit it is a little bitter sweet, I enjoy every aspect from design to installation and this would historically be the time that I start budgeting and working to create the next phase of irrigation. Now that the system is completed and we have 100% water coverage, I can really start pushing the property. In the future, you will see more green and approach expansion similar to what you see now on the 6th green and putting green, and some different mow lines and contours. The new system is going to immediately make Nehoiden better and bring us to the next level. Thank you for all of your support, we could not have accomplished this without your patience.