Golf Course Superintendent Colin Caulfield shares with us an overview irrigation upgrade at Caboolture Golf Club.

Caboolture Golf Clubs previous irrigation setup consisted of the Rainmaster EDMI system that operated on MS-Dos, with 7 satellites in the field, each with 20 stations available. The system was designed to supplement our average yearly rainfall of around 900mm. This was installed around 30 years ago.

A block designed system for greens, tees, surrounds and fairways. Fairways were single row fitted with Rain Spray impact sprinklers, Hunter I20 F/C rotors in tees and I30 F/C rotors for greens and surrounds.

A 100 x 65-200 Davey single end suction pump operated at 100psi, at 26 litres per second through either 100 mm or 80mm class 9 PVC, on first 13 holes and 110mm Pn 12.5 poly at 13 litres per second on the remaining 5 holes.

Constant breakdowns of components in satellites, mainline breakages along with failing impact rotors saw the condition of the turf surfaces deteriorate to a point we had to seriously consider a new system if playing conditions were to improve.

I approached Project Irrigation to design, supply and install a complete new irrigation system in September 2017.

I had been in discussion regarding a new system with Mr Peter White for 18 months. Peters extensive knowledge and guidance was invaluable and totally unbiased in his recommendations on which brand to choose. He helped clarify any questions I had when undertaking such a large project and even sat in on the presentations to clarify any points the board may have had after the fact. My personal preference was to install a Rain Bird system based on the fact I was satisfied with the results I had achieved from using their components at other courses.

The Board of Directors were satisfied that Rain Bird had the technology and back up serviceability of their product along with their installation guidelines so approved the choice of Rain Bird. 

Preliminary meetings were held with the bank and pre-approval granted to fund the project. A Special General Meeting was called to discuss plans and costings for stage 1 of the project. In the end, the motion was carried to fund the complete project at the cost of 1.1 million dollars.

13th dam (31 megalitres) and 17th dam (19 megalitres) were surveyed and the decision was made for us on where to construct the new pump shed.

The new system is the state-of-the-art Rain Bird IC, with Stratus II as the operating program.

A Davey Monsoon IQ mounted control panel complete with variable speed drives (one for each pump) and a DOL for the jockey pump.

The heart of the new system is a new Davey pump set consisting of 3 x 22kW 1MIQV-3VM65-4 vertical multistage each with a duty of 16.5 L/sec @900kPa and 1 x M/1VM16-8 V1 3/4 L/sec @900kkPa with a 7.5 kW motor.

A 200mm stainless steel suction and discharge manifold with check valves and isolation valves for each pump.
An in-line Filterworkz 200mm filtration system with automatic backwash.
250mm suction line and 250mm foot valve with float.
250mm PN12.5 poly pipe for delivery pipe work.

25 x 25mm Rain Bird PEB valves for tees and small turf area irrigation

132 x 40mm Rain Bird PEB valves for fairway irrigation, now double row, with a single line the length of the carries.

6000m of Rain Bird Maxi cable
40 surge devices
10mm copper grounding rods
179 Rain Bird 751-IC part circles, back to back in greens and surrounds
460 Rain Bird 700B F/C rotors for fairways
170 Rain Bird 5004 rotors in tees
PN 12.5 pipe work with electro fusion and mechanical fittings to join pipe work.

Construction started on 14 May 2018 and was completed by Christmas 2018, with minimal disruption to the course and installation process. All Range Electrical were contracted for the power installation and supply to pump set.

We were the first Golf Club in Queensland to have the Davey IQ OS installed at the time.  The construction of the new pump shed finished, and power source was connected via two aerial wires that cross Waraba Creek, which runs through the course, with supply coming from the clubhouse.

The Rain Bird IC and Davey pump set can be remotely accessed wherever there is WIFI availability. I was sitting in LAX airport and received a message to isolate pump set due to high rainfall we received over that last 24 hours, I opened the site and this action was completed in just a couple of minutes.

Our 5th and 13th greens suffered from extensive dry patch due to poor coverage with some run times up to an hour to alleviate the problem. A 10minute watering schedule is all that is required to keep the dry patch at bay.

With only 3 fulltime staff to maintain 53 hectares of area, Rain Bird programmes have made my life so much easier. We have the ability to change programmed water scheduling days, run times, water budget percentage and, ET watering schedules through the remote MI Series function. The new Rain Bird Alert PC sends notifications to your email if any issues arise. The GSP Services have certainly helped me out over the last 18 months to troubleshoot any issues that I have had.

Overall, the membership was very understanding what effects the installation process would have on the daily course setup, knowing it was for their benefit in the long run. Project Irrigation had a schedule in place that allowed us to work together, inform members and guests of any changes and keep things running as smooth as possible.

While we have a way to go in improving the fairway conditioning, the quality of greens, tees and surrounds, coupled with our recent massive tree management and fairway nutrition programs, our new system has helped improve the playing surfaces immensely. The positive comments from members, guests and social players are still flowing.

The four companies involved in the project, Rain Bird, Davey Water Products, All Range Electrical and Project Irrigation were a pleasure to deal with and only a phone call away.