The Alwoodley Golf Club
Visitor Newsletter
October, 2021

Dear Friend of Alwoodley

As you may have read in our previous visitor newsletter, Alwoodley is due to replace the majority of it’s irrigation system this coming winter which includes new mainline pipe networks and new tees, greens & surrounds watering sprinklers. The new system will be managed by a variable speed pump station and a computer software based central control system. The total pipe used will equate to approximately 14km!

As a golfer yourself, you may have heard irrigation systems being talked about before as they are a greenkeeper’s most important piece of machinery and from time to time, the system needs replacing. The current system at Alwoodley has lasted over 35 years which has proved excellent value however now is the time to upgrade. Below are some common Q&A’s surrounding irrigation systems:

Why does the system need replacing?

  • The current main pipeline was installed in 1983 – 37 years ago and the PVC pipe was glued in 6m sections. All those joints are now brittle and regularly break.
  • The amount of man hours required for hand watering is not productive or sustainable. In a 2 month period of 2020, 219 man hours were spent hand watering.
  • The performance and technology of our current sprinklers is outdated so the course is needing 33% more water than it requires.
  • The pipe network will continue to deteriorate with pipe leakage increasing and burst pipes more frequently occurring.
Above shows heavily eroded pipework on the current system and also the effects of not having irrigation correctly working on a green’s surrounds.

What if we don’t replace?

  • The upkeep in repair costs is forever growing and will continue too.
  • With weather patterns bringing more extreme weather each year, the current irrigation system has us gambling with the health or our golf course if it was to fail in such times – remember the hot summer of 2018?
  • The average age an irrigation systems lasts is approximately 22 years.
  • We’ll continue to use excessive amounts of water which doesn’t lead to a sustainable future.
  • We risk loosing the improvements we have made to the greens using the existing system.

All about the New System

  • Irrigation installation no longer requires big trenches to be dug across the course. In the modern day, only one hole is opened at anyone time and pipework is installed using a mole plough (see the below picture)
  • The system can be controlled by computer, tablet or mobile phone and all being well, will be ready for use by early Spring 2022.
  • Watering patterns can be planned in greater detail from a remote location.
  • The picture of the ball below essentially shows the before and after affect of the new system. Quality watering of the greens and surrounds allows for better turf conditions and ultimately improved lies for the golfer to play from.

Playing Alwoodley during the Project

We are still offering visitors the opportunity to play Alwoodley during the autumn and winter at the reduced price of £75 from the 25th October. There will be limited availability throughout the week and at weekends to the end of October and then from the 1st November we will have availability on Sunday mornings only. Generally, the course will be fully open however occasionally there maybe restrictions to holes. For the latest updates on the irrigation project, you can click here and to book, email or call 0113 268 1680.

Regards, Richard

Richard Weeks
Secretary Manager
Alwoodley Golf Club