1. Installing a stopgap fix to gain time to find a more robust solution
The prior irrigation system served the golf course well for many years, but according to Morris, it was getting close to obsolete. “The coverage was two or three rows and it covered fairways and roughs in between the native areas we call the Wilderness,” Morris says. “We had both agronomic and architectural reasons to upgrade. We were looking not just at the financials but also at course conditioning, so we focused on getting the latest technology and capabilities.”
The club began to think about replacement as early as 2005, and in 2010 they hired Paul Granger as their golf course irrigation consultant. “He’s a great irrigation expert who understands classic architecture. He told us, ‘I design systems for dead architects.’ It was clear he understood our golf course and the needs of the club,” Morris says.
Priority one, when Granger came on board more than a decade ago, was building a 300,000-gallon vault at the top of the hill that stored irrigation water and used gravity-driven, natural water pressure to reduce wear and tear on the infrastructure of the legacy system. “Doing that was an extra up-front expense, but it allowed the old system to run for 10 more years,” he says. “That stop-gap measure allowed time for the club to plan and put away capital for the eventual replacement of the system.”