In an area of outstanding natural beauty in Berkshire in the UK with stunning panoramic views of the Thames Valley and Ridgeway, Goring and Streatley Golf Club is an 18-hole, par 71 course designed by golf course architect Harry Colt.

Challenges of the site were evident

Goring & Streatley Hole 7

Photo Credit: Goring & Streatley Golf Club

The irrigation system was 49 years old, was leaking and had failing electrics. In 2016, the six-man course team spent two and half months working on irrigation problems alone to keep the course playable. During long spells of drought, the ground would bake hard, causing a hydrophobic effect, leaving poor conditions in wet weather. The challenges of the site were evident from the initial survey, with its changing topography, multiple services including national electrical distribution lines and Thames Water pump stations, through to the chalk and flint ground conditions throughout the course.

The irrigation consultant designed the system upgrade to include a water storage lake and borehole abstraction, taking into account the huge static changes (circa 70 metres across the site) and the need to conserve water and be more energy efficient. Ground investigations allowed the contractor to identify and allocate the most suitable and specialist plant required and to plan with the client, a coordinated programme from the outset which ensured contract targets would be met.

Significant difference

Goring & Streatly Hole 15

Photo Credit: Goring and Streatley Golf Club

Goring and Streatley Golf Club made a significant investment of over £700,000 to upgrade to a Rain Bird IC System™ Stratus™ II Central Control System with Windows 10 functionality and mapping. The core irrigation infrastructure has been completely replaced, with all new pipework and a total of 739 rotors across greens, tees, approaches and fairways. Rain Bird Golf 700 & 900 series rotors have been installed on greens, aprons, surrounds, fairways and tees with 5004, 8005 pop ups also used on selected teeing grounds.

Having a fully functioning Rain Bird system will make a significant difference in terms of time saved. Irrigation on the fairway for the first time will have an agronomic impact, enabling use of different products and wetting agents to keep specific areas receptive to moisture right through the season.

“The most vital feature defining a great golf course is its irrigation system. The major investment we’ve made helps secure the club’s future and brings to life our mission to become the club of choice in BB&O (Berks, Bucks and Oxon Golf).”

– Martin Hucklesby, General Manager at Goring and Streatley Golf Club