Golf de Bossey Solves Challenges with New Toro® Irrigation System

Renovation project saves water, raises level of play for the course

Sprinkler system leaks, complicated setup and soggy areas are no longer an issue for Golf de Bossey in Bossey, France. Located just 10 km (6.2 miles) from Geneva, Switzerland, the 18-hole course has undergone a complete irrigation system renovation. New Toro® sprinklers are now helping the course water uniformly, conserve resources and improve the level of play.

After more than 30 years of use, Golf de Bossey’s previous irrigation system had become antiquated. On the fairways, the full-circle sprinklers were arranged in a single row causing the areas around the edge to be dry most of the time, while the center was overwatered.

On the greens, the sprinklers were properly triangulated, but they applied the same amount of water on both the surrounds and the green surface — an unnecessary waste. It was also nearly impossible to water the edges of the fairways.

“We had gone as far as we could with the bonded PVC system,” recalls Stéphane Turin, director of Golf de Bossey. “The sprinklers were getting old and the system was no longer able to meet current requirements.”

In addition, course satellites installed in 1982 had become worn. Repeated repairs, leaks and complicated programming continued to create challenges. It was clear the course needed to change the system to meet player expectations and improve the playing area.

The course committee launched a complete sprinkler system renovation project, hired K-Consult as consultants, and started with an analysis of potential water savings. From the beginning, the firm knew the new system would need to account for different requirements, since the playing areas all have different soil types and plant cover.

“On the one hand, we have greens covered with bentgrasses (kept between 3 and 4 mm), which are made up of sand and organic material in accordance with the USGA recommendations. On the other, we have green surrounds of topsoil up to the roughs,” continues Turin.

To meet these varying requirements, the course chose to install Toro sprinklers back-to-back. “The sprinklers, which can be set from 30° to 360°, have been positioned side-by-side and two-by-two on the edges of the greens,” explains Alain Aupècle, the course greenskeeper. “One is dedicated to watering the green, and the other the surround. And given that the course sprinklers are now individually operated and not grouped in twos or threes, the quantity of water can be adjusted using a centralized system.”

The greenskeeper can now choose between two specific systems, one for watering the greens/tees and one for the fairways/roughs. Greens are watered using individual sprinklers, either the green or surrounds (back-to-back).

For tees, there are two options: watering the tee-zone using a block-system valve, or using individual sprinklers to water the roughs and tees in the event of significant water stress. “In summer, if the roughs concerned begin to really cook, the second network is activated,” adds Aupècle. “The system also allows the course to water certain “in game” roughs to maintain a densely planted area in the summer and create a touch of challenge in the technical approach areas.”

As part of the new system, sprinklers were positioned between 20 m and 22 m (66 ft and 72 ft) apart, creating a scheduling coefficient (SC) of just 1.1 for each of the 1,200 individual sprinklers. This is a significant achievement, considering perfect uniformity would be 1.0 (the lower the SC, the better the surface coverage). The number of lines was increased from two to three on certain fairways, depending on their width, to create an optimal distribution coefficient as well.

All of these changes are designed to help Golf de Bossey deliver an outstanding playing experience, while conserving precious water resources. In the next five years, the greenskeeper hopes to cut current water consumption by 20 percent.

The irrigation system is not the only improvement players will notice at Golf de Bossey. Once the sprinklers had been installed, the course committee decided to take advantage of the heavy equipment that was on site to do some landscaping.

Crews converted 4 km (2.5 miles) of concrete pathways and created a completely remodeled and enlarged approach zone to allow for mastery of every possible golf stroke. The tees at the 10th hole have been modified, and the traffic areas around the green at the 18th were improved. At a total project cost of €2.3M for the irrigation system and landscaping, it’s an investment that will take Golf de Bossey well into the future, providing the course conditions players expect.

“We are thrilled that Golf de Bossey leveraged Toro for its irrigation renovation. Saving water and delivering superior play to golfers are goals we share. This project is a great example of efficient water management and beautification enhancement,” says Marco Cappelli, golf irrigation marketing manager at The Toro Company.

“Working with our distributor Solvert, K-Consult and Golf de Bossey was truly a partnership focused on delivering the best possible results in terms of playability and sustainability. Their choice of our sprinklers and its unique features, combined with Toro® Lynx® is truly best in class”, says Andreas Feichtinger, golf irrigation manager for Europe. “Working with a team of such dedicated professionals was an incredibly rich personal experience.”

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