Lake Nona
Golf & Country Club

Lake Nona Golf & Country Club partnered with Rain Bird to build a fully integrated irrigation system that met the exact needs of their platinum-level course.


Introduction

As the home course for nearly 30 professional golfers, Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando, Florida, faces tough pressure to maintain elite playing conditions.

The course was originally designed and outfitted with a Rain Bird irrigation system. In spring 2020, when it came time to replace the original system, the course director chose to stay with Rain Bird for the excellent service support and the superior product offering.

Project Goals

  • Provide elite playing conditions
  • Reduce operating costs
  • Improve water capacity, efficiency and effectiveness

Challenge 1: Reduce downtime caused by lightning strike impact

Central Florida calls itself the unofficial lightning capital of the world. While trees bear the brunt of most strikes, now and then lightning strikes an irrigation wire and damages individual sprinkler heads. Quickly identifying and replacing the impacted irrigation heads is critical to keep the course running optimally.

Solution: “Smart” irrigation system that shows exactly which heads were not operating

With the IC System™, it’s possible to immediately identify heads and surge devices that need to be replaced.

Rain Bird Solution: The IC System™

On the Lake Nona course, a ground resistance meter double-checked grounding readings in the area to make sure the resistance was within a calibrated range to work properly. When a lightning strike occurs, the IC System identifies if specific heads were impacted. With that information in hand, the team can replace the nearest IC surge devices as well as any impacted heads to ensure that the course is ready for the next lightning strike.

Features of the IC system include:

  • Advanced diagnostics that take seconds
  • Data on any issues the heads have experienced
  • Ability to instantly activate single or multiple heads from any mobile-connected device

Challenge 2: Improve control and precision without leaving the course

Like many other courses, Lake Nona faces unpredictable weather and uneven soil conditions. Prior to the upgrade, if adjustments needed to be made to increase or decrease the water applied to one part of the course, the crew would manually note the change and then drive back to the pump house and input the changes into the central control software. It was a time-consuming process.

Solution: Irrigation control settings that can be adjusted from a mobile device

A browser-based irrigation system solution makes it possible for the superintendent to access the functions they need from any location, at any time of day, on any mobile device. No extra hardware is needed, including satellites.

Rain Bird Solution: CirrusPRO

After installing CirrusPRO software with the IC System, Lake Nona’s crew no longer has to drive back to the office to make changes or set up irrigation, saving the team valuable time each day. And since everyone has their phone or tablet with them, the crew can make adjustments on the fly with only a few simple clicks.

Features of the CirrusPRO system include:

  • Seamless connectivity
  • Mapping diagnostics to pinpoint areas that need more attention

Challenge 3: Simplify troubleshooting and maintenance

It’s critical to make effective use of the grounds crew, especially when labor costs are on the rise. Sending the crew out to look for trouble spots was a poor use of time, but there wasn’t an easy way to anticipate needed fixes before they required expensive repairs.

Solution: “Smart” irrigation system that quickly runs diagnostics

Far simpler than satellites and decoders, the IC system monitors the health of the irrigation system and provides real-time two-way communication. When a problem occurs, the system detects it and pinpoints the location of the issue.

Rain Bird Solution: Integrated Control rotors and CirrusPRO software

Rain Bird 900 Series IC rotors, with an Integrated Control Module, were installed throughout the 18-hole course, eliminating the need for satellites, above-ground field hardware, or decoders. Paired with the CirrusPRO intelligent irrigation software, the new system has made it possible to instantly diagnose and fix problems on the course.

“One morning I woke up and saw that we had 200 gallons going out of the pump station and I immediately logged into CirrusPRO,” says Nick Dolimpio, Director of Golf Course Maintenance & Grounds at Lake Nona. He ran a full-system diagnostic, and it showed exactly which head wasn’t working: Head 6. “So that’s immediately the first place I went to,” he says. “And sure enough, lightning had struck that head and I didn’t have to search any further.”

Features of the irrigation system include:

  • Access your full central control functionality from anywhere at anytime
  • Access insights about the course in real time

Results

Updating the irrigation system on a course that has high standards is a delicate balance between giving members the elite playing conditions they demand and giving superintendents the central control and rotor advancements they need to keep the course running smoothly. The crew at Lake Nona feels like they found the best of both worlds.

Testimonial

“Our playing conditions have never been better. We recently hosted an LPGA tournament with 45 days notice. Our conditions were perfect and I owe that all to Rain Bird.”

-Nick Dolimpio
Director of Golf Course Maintenance & Grounds
Lake Nona


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