Golf Links

Discover how the historic course in Scotland — considered “golf’s greatest test” — is driving the future of the game and golf course irrigation in one big shot.


The east coast of Scotland has a long and storied history with golf. The game was invented here, on rolling green hills that drop into the sea. For golfers who tee up at Carnoustie Golf Links, located on a scenic bluff in Angus, they get to not only be part of the area’s 400-year history with golf, but also experience a course that’s defining how the game will be played in the future.

Carnoustie Golf Links is considered one of the best conditioned golf courses in the world — it has hosted The Open eight times since 1926 — and has earned the title of Best Golf Course in the World (in 2019). So when it came time to renovate the courses, there was a lot of pressure on the management to make sure the greenkeeping team maintained what made the course excellent while modernizing and optimizing the irrigation system to function sustainably.

Based on the course’s history of innovation and commitment to water conservation, Stott’s team selected Rain Bird to advance the way they manage water on the grounds. Each of Carnoustie’s three courses will be fully renovated and upgraded to the most advanced irrigation technology on the market: the Rain Bird® CirrusPRO™ central control system. Combined with Rain Bird IC System™, this system will give the greenkeeping team access to real-time, two-way communications between the control system and other components, offering Kevin and his team the ultimate in field control.

Trusted by golf course managers around the world, Rain Bird is singularly focused on irrigation and the management and movement of water. Course superintendents like Kevin Stott count on Rain Bird to provide the technologically advanced irrigation systems they need to perfect their playing surfaces and create elite course conditions.

“After running our existing irrigation for a number of years, we knew that it had become outdated and was not delivering the output that was required to maintain the golf courses at Carnoustie to their absolute best. When the team initially looked at this project, there was a strong desire to not only modernize the system, but also to make it more efficient and accurate, in order that it would improve Carnoustie’s sustainability credentials and contribute to our carbon net zero ambitions.

That being the case, a complete overhaul of the system was required, installing new water tanks, pump house and a brand new water source.

We worked with Adrian Mortram, Rain Bird and MJ Abbott to design a system bespoke to Carnoustie, delivering a system that could be managed remotely with accuracy and precision. Working with Rain Bird has allowed us to create an irrigation system that delivers exactly what we need in respect to water usage that will enhance the course and aid the Greenkeeping team to further improve the condition of the courses.

The new system provides us with the latest in irrigation technology, giving us much greater insights and data capture capabilities, meaning that we can make measured and informed decisions.”


Renovation work began in late 2022 and work on The Carnoustie Championship Course was wrapped up in March 2023. Stay tuned to The Drop for a full reveal on how the new irrigation system is working out and what new Links Superintendent Kevin Stott and his team have to say about their experience with Rain Bird.


“The new system provides us with the latest in irrigation technology.”

-Kevin Stott
Links Superintendent
Carnoustie Golf Links

Rain Bird Solutions

Continue Reading

  • Conway Farms Golf Club

    Chicago’s Conway Farms is a modern classic designed by Tom Fazio three decades ago. But, as with many courses of that era, time had taken its toll on bunkers and green complexes, and infrastructure like the original golf course irrigation system had aged. Here’s how they gave it all a new life.

  • Druids Glen Golf Course

    Nestled in 360 acres of countryside between the Wicklow Mountains and the Irish Sea near Dublin lies a golfing sanctuary called Druids Glen. The course’s aesthetics needed significant updates, and as a result, golf course maintenance and upkeep became a top priority. Thankfully, Rain Bird had a solution.