Founded in 1780 Royal Aberdeen is the sixth oldest golf club in the world and one of Scotland’s greatest championship courses.  Classic, exacting links run out through dunes along the shoreline giving players spectacular ocean views. Royal Aberdeen’s policy is to keep pace with the modern game and so subtle and regular changes keep the course interesting and challenging.

Course Manager Robert Patterson has been at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club for twenty years, using Rain Bird irrigation systems for the last sixteen. As the primary user, he manages the overall system set up, programme changes, updates or problems that occur. His two deputies are responsible for running the irrigation programmes to water courses.

He explains what led to the decision to upgrade to Rain Bird’s Central Control Version 8 Software and add Rain Watch™.

“Looking to the future, I wanted our irrigation system to be more efficient and to use less water and electricity to run it. Having a detailed tutorial on the Control Software helped me properly understand what we could gain. It was an easy decision and it made good sense to add Rain Watch™ at the same time.  Installed in May 2017, it’s worked perfectly since and it’s improved our efficiency considerably.  We don’t waste water or power irrigating when there’s a shower of rain during a cycle. If it rains, the system automatically reacts, saving both water and power. The system maps are greatly improved too. I can now see which individual head is operating and can switch any head on or off easily with the click of a button.”

“What was also important to us was having good back up. Rain Bird Europe is excellent and GSP is a great tool that helps with any problems; there’s a team that installed our upgrade remotely and I can be in regular contact with them, making sure I back up any changes and I can discuss any issues I need to.”

“Initially we didn’t have all our rotor and head spacing patterns loaded to the system but we’ve now updated all that information on Version 8. Having used the system on minutes for a number of years, I found out I wasn’t irrigating enough during a cycle. With the relevant information in the system our watering cycles are much improved. We adjust the percentage depending on how much we want to apply. 5mm is 100% so we generally run at around the 40% mark which provides 2mm water.  We can easily replace moisture loss each day and much more accurately than we could previously.  Also if there’s doubt about rainfall we set the programmes anyway, knowing that if it rains, the system will re-adjust itself or switch off completely. We’re using less water as our programmes are more accurate and we’ve reduced the need to irrigate daily by replacing lost moisture only where it is needed. This is better for the turf as it gets just what it needs and no more. V8 and Rain Watch certainly make your system more efficient, your turf will get the water it needs and you will automatically reduce over watering. “

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