Royal Adelaide Golf Club

One of Australia’s top ten ranked courses, The Royal Adelaide Golf Club is situated on the coastal sand belt between Adelaide’s CBD and the beaches of Gulf St Vincent. This private links style course which hosted the Australian Open in the late 1990’s, was designed by Dr Alistair McKenzie and follows the natural sand dune terrain of the area.

The existing irrigation system had reached its use-by date and had undergone many upgrades and modifications over a twenty five year life.

The brief for a new irrigation system had an emphasis on water efficiency and was to take maximum advantage of a recently developed stormwater harvesting system, wetland complex and aquifer storage and recovery system within the course.

HydroPlan was commissioned in early 2009 to design an automatic system, to be installed in two stages. The club was in the process of a major redevelopment of the 17th hole and irrigation was installed on the new layout along with modifications to the 16th hole during winter 2009.

The balance of the system was installed during the winter and spring of 2010.

Features of the system include a new 500 kL tank and doubling the above ground storage to approximately 1 ML which is managed with an intricate system of motorised valves. This allows Superintendent Nathan Bennett the flexibility to store stormwater separately to bore water, and change water supplies automatically mid cycle to avoid irrigating greens with the more saline bore water. The existing variable frequency pump station was completely rebuilt with increased capacity.

Toro valve-in-head sprinklers are individually controlled by a network of VP series satellites and SitePro software using a combination of radio and hardwire communications.

Fairway sprinklers are arranged in multiple rows with a combination of full and part circle versions ensuring that irrigation is mostly contained within the fairway alignments, avoiding wasteful overspray onto the rough.

Most irrigation for the greens had been upgraded during recent years so they were integrated into the new pipework and control system.

All new sprinkler positions were precisely located by HydroPlan using state of the art GPS survey equipment, which was also employed to accurately plot as-constructed drawings. All pipework is electro-fusion welded MDPE poly, with some PVC laterals on tees and clubhouse surrounds.

HydroPlan was also commissioned to manage the tender and installation process on the club’s behalf.  As-constructed drawings were updated on a weekly basis, providing the club with highly accurate records of infrastructure locations.

The Royal Adelaide Golf Club have taken firm action to minimise overall water consumption and dramatically reduce the reliance on ground water reserves by irrigating with harvested storm-water that previously ended up in the nearby gulf.

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