The Advantages of Hand Watering – The RIGHT AMOUNT, in the RIGHT PLACE, at the RIGHT TIME!

Over the last 30 years or so we have become spoiled by sophisticated irrigation systems.  Systems today offer computer managed individual sprinkler control.  Some even have weather stations and soil moisture sensors to assist in the scheduling of the irrigation.  These are wonderful tools for golf course superintendents, park and athletic field managers as well as cemeteries to schedule the daily irrigation needs.  This can help insure system wide and even sprinkler specific management of the water on a daily basis.  Sprinklers in these applications generally apply water in radii of 17 – 24 meters depending on the site conditions and design.  Often times during the heat of the day the turf develops dry spots that are only a few square meters in area.  If not irrigated quickly the turf could reach its permanent wilting point and die.

Wet and Dry Areas In Close Proximity

Wet Areas Detract From Play

Today’s sophisticated irrigation systems also have mobile phone access capability to activate sprinklers remotely with the touch of a button from virtually anywhere so the sprinklers can be quickly activated when needed.  A 20m sprinklers radius applies approximately 90 liters per minute (24 gpm) of water over an area of 1,256m2.  In many instances multiple sprinklers are wired together so now the area and amount water applied can grow by a function of 2 or 3 times.  Unfortunately, we have been spoiled by the ease of our sophistication and often times misuse the tool.  Rather than hand watering the dry spot a few square meters in area we turn on a sprinkler or two.  Not only does this waste water, it also applies water in areas not in need causing unnecessary wet spots.  On a golf course these wet spots detract from the playability of the course as well as the turf quality.

“Coning” Sprinklers Long Term Is a Bad Idea

The answer to this dilemma is to go back to the days before sophisticated irrigation and hand water the dry spots.  One of the reasons turning on a sprinkler is normally the method taken to solve the problem is because access to water for hoses on the golf course or park is limited.  Quick couplers are typically only found at greens, tees and in some cases along the perimeters of grass lines on more elaborate systems.  As a result, access to water for hand watering requires “coning” a valve-in-head sprinkler to provide hose access.

When a sprinkler is coned the internal assembly must be removed and replaced with the adapter/hose.  This solves the problem but in the long term is not a good idea.  There are several reasons why coning sprinklers is a bad deal.

  • Requires extra work and time by the operator.
  • Creates additional wear and tear on the sprinkler and the actuator.  Sprinklers were not designed for this process on a regular basis.
  • Pulling of the hoses puts pressure on the sprinkler as the hose is pulled potentially damaging the sprinkler, swing joint and service tee. Typically quick couplers are installed with stabilizer arms to protect against this and sprinklers aren’t.
  • Pulling the hoses takes the sprinkler out of level so its’ performance is jeopardized. The sprinkler will be in need of leveling more often.
  • Anywhere a part circle sprinkler is removed for coning, when it is replaced it is almost impossible for the operator to put the sprinkler back in with the same arc adjustments as it was originally set causing other problems down the road.

The answer is to have your course setup to allow complete access by hose from quick couplers located adjacent to sprinklers in the fairways and roughs in addition to the typical greens and tees.   A good rule of thumbs is to have a quick coupler installed so they are spaced no more than 200’ (60m) apart. In that way a 100’ hose from each sprinkler could meet in the middle.  I know that sounds like a lot, but in actuality it really isn’t.

Below you will see a sample hole design with the quick couplers spaced as described with the QC’s spaced no more than 200’ (60m) apart.

400 Yard Par 4 Requires (22) Quick Coupling Valves for Complete Coverage

In the example the gray coverage circles are a 100’ in diameter showing the end of a 100’ hose.  In this example the quick couplers were spaced to the far left side of the hole to allow for coverage deep into the adjacent native grass.  If they were shifted more to the middle the quantity would have been less.   For a typical golf course the quick couplers required for complete hose access would be between 350 – 380 per course.  Quick couplers are far less expensive to install than sprinklers since there is no electronics, control or wire required.  Adding quick couplers will give you a biing bang for the money spent and they are easy to install.  All you need is a saddle, swing joint and q quick coupling valve.

Adding quick couplers to allow hose access to your entire course will save you money in:

  • Labor – Quicker than coning a sprinkler
  • Repairs – Less wear and tear on sprinklers and fittings
  • Water
  • Power

Additionally, you will eliminate your dry spots without adding to your wet spot problems, making your turf look better  and course play firmer and faster.

Start a quick coupler addition program so you can “the right amount of water in the right place at the right time” every time!!

The RIGHT AMOUNT, in the RIGHT PLACE, at the RIGHT TIME! – Raevo Golf Club, Moscow, Russia

Empire Hotel & Country Club – Irrigation Upgrade Turns Out the Lights On Waste

Empire Hotel & Country Club in Brunei completed the full upgrade of their irrigation system earlier this year.   The Empire is known as one of the most stunning hotels in Asia if not the world with its stunning location, architecture and service.  The Jack Nicklaus designed golf course is equally as magnificent as the hotel.

The Empire Hotel & Country Club – A Stunning 5-Star Experience

However, the irrigation system was 20 years old and in need of improvement for the property to maintain its’ high standards.  Due to the age of the system they were experiencing several problems such as:

  • Broken and leaking fittings
  • Antiquated sprinklers
  • Non-functional satellites
  • Inferior green sprinkler layout
  • No central control

Jon Scott, President of Nicklaus Design Agronomy Services at the time, recommended Aqua Turf International, Inc. (ATI) to Empire to provide irrigation consulting and design services.  Soon after the introduction ATI got busy working with management to design an irrigation system to meet their needs.  Located near the ocean and with some significant elevation change the irrigation challenges were great.  Also, Empire is a bit unique in that much of their play comes in the evenings under the lights so the players can avoid the sun and heat.  Unfortunately, there was no automation to the lights so often the lights would be left on much longer than needed.  This would waste power and decrease the life of the expensive bulbs which are also difficult to replace.  Staff time was also required for their manual operation.

James Schumacher, President of ATI and lead designer on the project, had previously designed and installed irrigation systems capable of controlling ball field lights in Huntsville, Alabama, USA before.  Now was the perfect time to not only design an efficient irrigation system in terms of water use but to use that experience to also design a system to save power and labor required for the lights.

Significant Lighting of the Golf Course Now Controlled By the Toro Lynx Decoder System

James Gordon, golf course superintendent, was highly involved in every step of the design and installation.  As a Country Club and Five-Star Hotel the expectations of the clientele are high.  James was instrumental in seeing that all the details were attended to and performed in the hotels and members best interests.

During the pre-design planning of the irrigation system a decoder style control system was selected for various reasons.  The decoder style system complicated the design somewhat compared to a conventional satellite system.  ATI worked closely with Toro to insure the proper control relays, decoders, wiring and other switching materials required were designed and installed correctly.  To our knowledge this is the first of its kind.  With over 190 individually controlled light poles on the course the lighting greatly increased the size of the control system which had to be taken into consideration.   Now the lights can be operated fully automatically saving time and expensive power costs.

There was more to the irrigation system than just lights.  Since the course was in play for members and guests during the entire installation it was important that the workmanship was done to a high standard with little disruption to play.  The system was installed by J & J, the local Toro distributor, by cutting the sod, installing the pipe and wire, compacting and then replacing the sod.  The photos show that after installation there was little disruption to the turf.  Other challenges included several active road crossings and protecting the beautiful trees and landscape

Limited Disruption of Play While Cutting the Sod, Installing the Pipe and Wire, Compacting Soil and Then Replacing the Sod.

After the Installation There Was Little Disruption to the Turf

Challenges Included Several Active Road Crossings and Protecting the Beautiful Trees and Landscape

The pipe and fittings were high quality HDPE with Leemco Ductile iron valves all supplied by CMF Global from the USA.  Toro Infinity sprinklers featuring SMART ACCESS were selected so the decoders could be easily serviced without digging.

Keeping the Monkeys Out, Not In

A weather station was installed to assist the superintendent in monitoring the weather and adjusting the daily ET and run times.  Not surprisingly monkeys can be seen everywhere on the course.  In this case the cage was used to keep the monkeys out and not in!

A new state of the art INTA fertigation system was installed into the existing FLOWTRONEX pump station.  Fortunately, the pump station had been replaced just a few years earlier and was of adequate capacity.



ATI provided site inspection and programming services to insure the system was laid out, installed and programmed to the specifications.

The improved irrigation on the greens provides much more uniform coverage of the water than before.  The central control system with individual sprinkler control gives James the tools to dial in the water so the course can be kept much drier than ever before.  The playability of the course has greatly improved not to mention the quality of the turf as seen in the photos below.  Also no time is wasted on continual repairs and the members and guests aren’t burdened with irrigation repair holes dug up all over the course.

Uniform Coverage of Properly Designed and Installed Greens Irrigation

Turf Quality and Playability Are At An All Time High

Irrigation System Is Now a Valuable Asset and No Longer a Liability

The investment in the irrigation system combined with the professional management provided by James and his staff has paid off in improved course conditions, increased play, lower operating costs and improved customer satisfaction.

If your course experiences similar problems or is not at the level of condition you desire a good start is to get a System Analysis from ATI performed as soon as possible.  You can then know what is required to give your staff the tools they need to do their job at a high level.

If you are considering a renovation don’t forget your lighting needs too which can help justify the renovation even more!  Contact Aqua Turf International if you are interested in an irrigation renovation so you can turn out the lights on your waste too!


Nikanti Golf Club –Reaping Benefits of Recent Irrigation Upgrade

Nikanti Golf Club in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, just outside of Bangkok, is reaping the benefits of their recent irrigation upgrade.  Even though the course hadn’t even been officially opened the inadequacies of the original installation showed up quickly.  The limitations included:

  • Undersized mainline and pump station resulting in excessive watering window.
  • Dead end mainline on some holes resulting in limited flow capacity and low pressure in many areas.
  • Excessive and irregular spacing with poor uniformity.
  • Poor sprinkler locations and nozzling with fairway sprinklers throwing well onto green surfaces.
  • Multiple sprinklers paired together (2 – 4) compounding the poor sprinkler spacing and low pressure.
  • Poor green sprinkler layout, locations and uniformity.  Sprinklers from off the greens throwing onto the greens, limited surround sprinklers around and behind many greens and poor green sprinkler locations causing overwatering of the approach and green surfaces.
  • Poor tee and fairway sprinkler layout and excessive spacing.

As a result, the course was suffering from:

  • Wet and dry spots
  • Excessive salt buildup
  • Algae on greens, approaches and fairways
  • Inability to apply adequate irrigation during peak demand
  • Excessive power and water use
  • Poor turf quality
  • Unsatisfactory playability

The golf course design at Nikanti Golf Club is not your typical flat course as many in the Bangkok area are.  The course features significant undulations in the fairways, roughs and even some greens with large runoffs from many of the elevated greens.  The irrigation system in conditions such as these requires an even higher degree of control to have the capability to adapt the application rate to meet the diverse conditions.  The original irrigation system was not designed to meet these challenges.


Significant Undulations In the Fairways, Roughs and Even Some Greens With Large Runoffs From Many of T\the Elevated Greens Create Many Irrigation Challenges

ATI was initially contacted by Hamish McKendrick (Agronomist) and Brad Revill (Golf Course Superintendent) to perform an Irrigation System Analysis and Long Range Plan.  The purpose of the analysis was to help independently identify the problems and make recommendations to the ownership to remedy the problems. Unfortunately, at the time the system was less than a year old and the course not yet open for play.  Accepting these limitations and significant additional costs was difficult to explain and for the ownership understand initially.

However, after reviewing the findings of the system analysis submitted by ATI and seeing the poor conditions the ownership wisely committed to implement most of the ATI recommendations. J & J, the local Toro distributor, was contracted to implement the upgrade designed by ATI.

ATI prepared an irrigation renovation plan to include the following:

  • Installation of a new Watertronics 681 m3/hr at 8.27 bar (3,000 gpm @ 120 psi) with capacity for a possible future expansion. A significant increase from the original 375 m3/hr at 8.27 bar (1,650 gpm @ 120 psi pump station.
  • Supplemental mainline and increasedmainline size in selected areas to increase flow and reduce pressure loss. The additional main provided looping of the previous dead ends as well.
  • Conversion to individual sprinkler control by adding additional decoders. To accomplish the individual control supplemental decoder communication wire was required due to limitations in the capacity of the original wire installed.
  • Installation of complete new green and surround irrigation.

Fortunately, the contractor and golf course working together allowed these significant renovations to be installed with limited disruption to play.

One year after completion of the renovation the results are obvious when you drive into the property not to mention the tremendously improved playing conditions.  The benefits in the investment in the irrigation system include:

  • Healthier turf
  • More consistent and not excessive soil moisture.
  • Greatly improved playability
  • Reduced water useand electrical consumption
  • More uniform greens moisture and no algae on greens, approaches or fairways
  • Reduced salt buildup in the fairways and roughs

Improved Turf and Playing Conditions

The new system has given Brad Revill the tools he needed to dial in the course conditions.  Brad and his staff can now implement much more controlled and precise water applications. They only irrigate what is needed and not until it is needed. This improved water management is accomplished through a combination of the following management practices:

  • Constant visual observation and awareness
  • Soil moisture sensing
  • A disciplined irrigation scheduling regimen
  • Hand watering as needed for small areas

The improved water management was the result of the disciplined management provided by Brad Revill, the golf course superintendent.  Golf courses in Asia in general and Thailand in particular suffer greatly from significant overwatering.  The reason for this general overwatering can vary from course to course, but are a result to some degree of the following factors:

  • Fear of brown grass
  • A lack of understanding of playability and golfer happiness
  • Fear of computers combined with a language barrier to operate the software
  • Apathy

In order to overcome the urge to overwater the staff at Nikanti required a change in their mindset.  Brad laid down strict guidelines to not irrigate anything until necessary which required “training them up or kicking some ass,” according to Brad.  He instructed the staff not to panic when they saw a dry spot.  Before, if one fairway had one dry spot, then ALL the fairways would be irrigated and not just the area(s) in need.  Brown spots are a good sign, not a bad sign.They show that we are where we want to be and then implement the appropriate action to only that area in need and only the amount needed.  Keeping the course on the edge of dryness rather than excessively wet requires:

  • An understanding of soil moisture levels and their effects on turf
  • Keen attention to the status of the soil moisture and turf condition
  • Discipline to only apply water where it is needed, at the right time and at the right amount
  • Knowledge of the irrigation system to determine the best method of action to replace address dry areas, whether by hose, by a single sprinkler or a group of sprinklers. Start with the smallest option and work your way up.

At Nikanti, the soil moisture sensing begins in the morning with the Spectrum TDR moisture sensing probe to gather the data for the greens.  When they hand water the greens in the mornings from a quick coupler and hose, the minimum soil moisture level is dependent on weather conditions, but generally ranges from around 15% to 17%. A decision is made on this daily.  At midday, a Pogo moisture sensing probe is used to further measure the soil moisture.  If the reading is 10 – 15% or less the dry areas are hand watered again and evening irrigation scheduled.   When they schedule the irrigation at night using the Pogo Cloud GPS mapping they only turn on the sprinklers that directly influence the dry areas.  The Pogo offers the benefit of easily tracking and recording the data in the computer.  The Spectrum TDR is used in the morning since the time required is less than with the Pogo.  The two instruments take measurement at different depths which is helpful with the Spectrum measuring at a deeper level.  As a result the readings are slightly different but both are beneficial.  The use of the soil moisture sensing removes the subjective nature of the process which makes the task much easier for the staff to understand.


Soil Moisture Sensing With Pogo


Hand Watering of Greens When Needed

The improved irrigation on the greens provides much more uniform coverage of the water than before.  Eliminating water from fairway and other sprinklers throwing onto the greens makes the management of the green soil moisture much easier to control.  This coupled with the improved water management has eliminated the algae on the greens.  Additionally, the approaches to the green are much drier than before so the playability of the course has greatly improved.

New Green 9 Green Sprinklers

Uniform Coverage of Well Designed and Installed Greens Sprinklers

The weather station is used to track the weather and evapotranspiration rate (ET).  The correct amount of water required is then scheduled for the other areas of the course.  In the dry season the maximum they would apply at peak would be 7 – 9 mm.  A full irrigation cycle can now be applied in dry season from 7:30 pm to 4:00 am to the entire course as a result of the increase pump and mainline capacity.  Before the renovation it wasn’t possible to adequately irrigate the entire course in a single evening during peak demand.


Daily Field Adjustments of Individual Sprinkler Run Times

The upgraded individual sprinkler control now allows the staff to adjust the sprinkler run times up or down on a daily basis as needed for each sprinkler based on their visual observation during the day.  The graphic as-built map added to the computer when it was programmed by ATI is a significant benefit to the operation of the system. After identifying wet and dry spots the use of the graphic as-built map with the IPad makes the task revising the program much quicker and simpler to accomplish.  .

Most of the recommendations from the ATI System Analysis and Long Range Plan were implemented during the initial irrigation renovation.  However, a couple of other improvements are still on the list to be accomplished as soon as the funding becomes available.  The rough areas around the tees are planted with a combination of landscape and native grasses.  This is a great idea to help conserve water, reduce maintenance and provide an attractive contrast to the turf.  Unfortunately, during the initial irrigation installation these areas were irrigated with the same sprinklers as the turf.  Water is now wasted in these areas and the unnecessary water promotes weed growth causing additional and unnecessary work for the staff.  Nikanti plans to upgrade the irrigation in these areas to tee top only irrigation as soon as possible.

Tee Top

The Addition of Tee Top Only Irrigation In the Future Will Further Improve Water Efficiency and Reduce Unnecessary Growth and Weeds

Also, many of the bunkers at Nikanti have steep grass down bunker faces so they dry much quicker than the surrounding turf.  They require constant supplement hand watering to keep them in good condition.  As soon as possible Nikanti intends to start adding supplemental sub-surface drip irrigation to the bunker faces in need.  This can be added by the staff one at a time as time and money becomes available.

The investment in the irrigation system combined with the professional water management provided by Brad and his staff has paid off in improved course conditions, increased play, lower operating costs and improved customer satisfaction.

Uniform Turf 2

Uniform Turf and Improved Playability

If your course experiences similar problems or is not at the level of condition you desire a good start is to get a system analysis from ATI performed as soon as possible.  You can then know what is required to give your staff the tools they need to do their job at a high level.

Unfortunately the poor spacing and location of the sprinklers in the fairways and roughs cannot be easily overcome.  Fortunately for Nikanti some of the other mistakes could be repaired but improving poor sprinkler layout requires nearly starting over.  The best answer for golf course, like most important tasks, is to do it right the first time.

AQUA TURF INTERNATIONAL, INC. – International Irrigation and Water Solutions




Thai Country Club Upgrades Irrigation Control System

Thai Country Club in Chacheongsao, Thailand, just outside Bangkok, is in the process of upgrading their Rain Bird irrigation control system to improve the system efficiency as well as course playability.

The process was implemented after following the recommendation provided in an Irrigation System Analysis performed by Aqua Turf International (ATI). The course was suffering from wet fairways, approaches and surrounds. Some of these problems were attributed to poor drainage, but many of which were actually irrigation related.

Ron Carlyle, the turf consultant and agronomist for the course recommend the System Analysis be performed. After a few months of reviewing the Analysis the General Manager, John Blanch, realized the need and acquired the approvals needed to commence the planning, design and implantation of an irrigation control system renovation and water management training. The goal is to provide the staff with a system that is more efficient and offers more control capability. Additionally, upon completion of the upgrade the staff will be fully trained in the proper water management techniques so they can maximize the new investment in the control system.

The existing satellites had multiple sprinklers (2 – 4) operating simultaneously from a single station as shown in the photo below. This offered little control flexibility, especially since the sprinklers were widely spaced at 25 meters and above. Additionally, the high flow of the widely spaced sprinklers causes excess flow and water velocity in the lateral piping. The result was overwatered turf and unnecessary pipe and fitting failures.

The first step was for ATI to evaluate the satellites, communication wire and software to determine what would be required to convert to individual sprinkler control. There is a limit to the number of satellite channels per wire group. The new individual control nearly doubled the amount of channels required. Fortunately, by rearranging some of the satellites and adding only a small 1,000 meters of additional communication wire the individual control could be achieved without adding any additional satellites. Most of the existing satellites were only utilizing 24 – 32 of the 72 station potential station capacity of each satellite. ATI developed a new individual wiring plan to replace the old wiring plan. Fortunately, ATI had prepared a GPS as-built drawing several years earlier which was used as the basis for the re-design. After the new wiring plan was completed, new 8-station modules were purchased to expand each satellite to the capacity required. By this time the additional 1,000 meters of communication wire had been installed and it was time to get to work rewiring the satellites.

The re-wiring of the satellites is being performed in-house by the maintenance staff to control cost and is being supervised by James Schumacher of ATI. Each existing station is activated to determine which sprinklers are currently controlled by that station. They are then labeled with the correct number on the new wiring plan and then reconnected. To insure that the system is never down during the process, ATI reprograms the computer for the satellites completed that day. One to three holes can be completed each day.

In addition to the work on the satellites additional programming will be performed by ATI so the new individual station capability will be maximized. The Rain Bird Stratus software required an enhancement to allow for the expansion of a third communication wire path. Also a computer map enhancement is being added to allow for improved water management of the software by the staff. Once the project is finished the updated as-built drawing will be imported into the Rain Bird Stratus by ATI. This will allow access from the staff’s smart phones and tablets so each sprinkler run time can be adjusted daily to the correct amount. To further improve the system efficiency and playability two Rain Bird Rain Cans have been added to the system to provide automatic shut down of the system if a rain event occurs before or during a programmed irrigation cycle.

The staff will receive complete and ongoing water management and system training from ATI so they can optimize the investment the club has made in improved irrigation technology. The end result will be a golf course that is drier and more playable, healthier turf and reduced operating expenses.

Thai Country Club are moving forward as one of the leaders in improved water management in Thailand and example for others to follow.

Contact ATI if you are interested in improving your irrigation system and course playability.

Sentosa Golf Club Serapong and Tanjong Courses Central Computer Map

Sentosa Golf Club has recently updated their Toro Lynx central control system map, combining the recently renovated Tanjong course with the well established Serapong. The Serapong Course is renowned for hosting the Singapore Open on the European Tour as well as the HSBC Women’s’ Open on the LPGA tour. We all remember Paula Creamers’ dramatic 75’ winning eagle putt there in 2014. This year the LPGA relocated to the Tanjong course in grand style with an equally interesting but different challenge to that of the Serapong.

The golf course was constructed by TEHC International PTE Ltd. and the irrigation system installed by Advanced Tech Irrigation Golf PTE Ltd., both from Singapore. ATI provided the irrigation system design and consulting at the new Tanjong course as well as the recent update to the irrigation system at Serapong. All the work was supervised under the keen eye and assistance of Andy Johnston, GM and Rodney Mckeown, Golf Course Superintendent.

The updated maps offer Rodney the ability to monitor and manage the irrigation system on both courses from his large screen monitor in his office as well as via either smart phone or smart tablet apps. The large 48” monitor offers plenty of area to view both courses and zoom in for greater detail. In addion to the golf course features all the other in ground construction features such as sub-air and drainage were also included in the mapping and can be accessed on the big screen. Additionally, each satellite is equipped with a matching color map of each hole to assist during operation and trouble shooting at the satellite.

Sentosa Golf Club is truly maximizing their investment in high quality irrigation technology.

Contact ATI if you are interested in enhancing and maximizing your irrigation control system as well.

Sentosa Golf Club Tanjong Course Commences Construction

Sentosa Golf Club, designed by Andy Johnston and Swanson Golf Design, has recently commenced a total renovation of the Tanjong Course. The Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club had previously been renovated in 2006 and underwent an irrigation upgrade in 2015. The Serapong Course is renowned for hosting the Singapore Open on the European Tour as well as the HSBC Women’s’ Open on the LPGA tour. We all remember Paula Creamers’ dramatic 75’ winning eagle putt there in 2014. We are sure the Tanjong will provide an equally exciting and interesting but different challenge to that of the Serapong.

The project is on a fast track with re-opening scheduled for November 1st. Work has commenced on the driving range which also will function as the turf nursery for the rest of the fairways and roughs. The installation is on a fast track since the driving range must be completed and opened for the Singapore Open the week of January 28th!! The temporary water supply for the driving range grow-in will come from an interconnection to the Serapong irrigation system until the new pump station and mainline can be installed.

Sentosa Golf Club, designed by Andy Johnston and Swanson Golf Design, has recently commenced a total renovation of the Tanjong Course.

Sentosa Golf Club, renovation of the Tanjong Course.

The golf course is being constructed by TEHC International PTE Ltd. and the irrigation system installed by Advanced Tech Irrigation Golf PTE Ltd., both from Singapore. ATI and TEHC were both involved in the Serapong irrigation renovations last year.

ATI provided the irrigation system design and is currently providing the system layout, inspection, as-built development and central computer programming with the keen help of Andy Johnston, GM at Sentosa, Rodney Mckeown GC Superintendent and CK Tan from TEHC International. The system includes wall to wall sprinkler coverage at 22m triangular spacing with individual sprinkler control to insure the utmost in water management.

The system features a Toro Lynx central control system with VPe satellites featuring with individual control of each Toro Infinity sprinkler. The system utilizes PVC mainline and fairway laterals and HDPE pipe for the green loops. The 511m3 per hour pump station is manufactured by Flowtronex. All the mainline and lateral valves are manufactured by Leemco.

TEHC has prepared installation samples of all the valve assemblies to be installed on the project. The samples were very beneficial for ATI inspection prior to installation, employee training and to help insure their material procurement is correct.

The system layout is being performed by ATI in coordination with TEHC International via the ATI survey method. TEHC is using their new Trimble G10 centimeter grade GPS mapping instrument. TEHC is instrumental in providing timely and highly accurate surveys of the grass and tree lines, course features and other important base information required to redesign the sprinkler layout based on the actual field conditions. ATI then re-designs the sprinkler layout in the computer. The new sprinkler layout is then laid out by TEHC using the same survey equipment.  Any revisions made during the inspection of the layout can be immediately surveyed and updated using the Trimble G10.   This method allows ATI to analyze several sprinkler layout options before selecting the optimum layout. This capability typically results in less sprinklers required to cover the same area because the triangular sprinkler grid can be finely aligned to the turf perimeters. Not only does this process improve the quality of the layout it helps provide an immediate real-time accurate as-built record of the installation. Additionally the stakes at each irrigation sprinkler are no longer required getting in the way of other trades such as grading and drainage installations prior to the irrigation installation. Learn more about the benefits and procedures involved with the survey staking at the ATI Blog

ATI is very proud to be part of the professional team at Sentosa Golf Club – Tanjong Course renovation 2016!.

A Singaporean Peacock Anxiously awaiting the re-opening of the Tanjong Course

A Singaporean Peacock Anxiously awaiting the re-opening of the Tanjong Course

Nikanti Golf Club, in Nakhon Pathom just outside of Bangkok has commenced a comprehensive upgrade to the original irrigation system.

Nikanti Irrigation System Upgrade Installation Commences

Nikanti Golf Club, in Nakhon Pathom just outside of Bangkok has commenced a comprehensive upgrade to the original irrigation system. The original system was not designed to a high standard. As a result the system was not performing to a level that allowed the maintenance staff to prepare the course to the high standards required by the ownership. The current irrigation renovations include:

  • Complete new Toro greens in and out part circle sprinklers as well as surrounds sprinklers along the turf perimeter located along the sides and rear of the green throwing back to the green.
  • Additional decoders to allow for individual sprinkler control of all sprinklers on the course.
  • Supplemental mainlines to provide complete looping and to significantly reduce the total irrigation watering time and reduce pressure loss.
  • New pump station with significantly higher flow capacity to greatly reduce the total irrigation watering time as well.

The installation is being performed by J & J Thailand under the supervision Somchai Chokchalermwong – J & J Irrigation Manager, James Schumacher – President of ATI, Hamish McKendrick – Agronomy Consultant and Brad Revell – Golf Course Superintendent. The piping around the greens is being installed with great care as to not interfere with play or the golf experience. This allows for play to continue on the course while the work is ongoing.

Nikanti Golf Club, in Nakhon Pathom just outside of Bangkok has commenced a comprehensive upgrade to the original irrigation system.

Kuhn Nueng– Nikanti Irrigation Technician, James Schumacher – President of ATI , Somchai hokchalermwong – J & J Irrigation Manager, (L to R)

Completed Piping and Sod Installation

Completed Piping and Sod Installation


James Schumacher, President of ATI prepared the irrigation consulting and design for the project. He is also providing the all-important sprinkler layout around the greens, inspecting the work of the contractor and programming the new system into the computer.


James Schumacher, President of ATI supervising the all-important sprinkler layout around the greens. inspecting the work of the contractor and programming the new system into the computer.

James Schumacher, President of ATI supervising the all-important sprinkler layout around the greens.

The initial greens irrigation sprinkler locations and coverage were very poor. The new sprinkler spacing will provide complete and even coverage of the greens and surrounds enhancing the golf experience. If the sprinkler locations and spacing are not correct they can have an extremely negative effect on the turf and playability of the course. This normally causes overwatering of the approaches and surrounds. The result is that the ball cannot bounce roll onto the green making approach shots and chipping difficult and unenjoyably. ATI provides the complete layout of the green and surround sprinklers as well as inspection of the work. The work is being installed to a high level with little damage to the turf.

Revised Green Only Part Circle Irrigation

Revised Green Only Part Circle Irrigation

The increased pump station and mainline capacity will reduce the total irrigation time so irrigation can be completed well before play and maintenance commence in the morning. This will greatly improve the golfers experience since they can play when the course is drier. The shorter total irrigation time and drier conditions will also reduce compaction of the soil from the mowing equipment and carts in the morning.

The system features a Toro Lynx GDC off – fairway decoder control system with individual control of each sprinkler. The new 681m3 per hour pump station is manufactured by Watertronics. The pump station is sized to service a possible future (6) hole addition. One of the features of Nikanti is that the course is routed in 3 groups of 6-holes rather than the traditional 2 sides of 9-holes.

The work is scheduled to be completed by the end of March 2016.