The Importance of an Irrigation System Audit

By Carlos De Linares Saez

It has been my intention for some time to write an article about my experience on the importance of hiring a specialized, professional irrigation audit firm before deciding to make any type of investment related to irrigation of our golf course. In reality, this conclusion can be applied to any area of the golf club when it comes to making an infrastructure of a certain magnitude and in facing our members and clients.

It so happens that frequently and due to our multidimensional profile that we have as managers, where we understand a little bit of everything, that on some occasions, we do not know how to transmit correctly to the owner or to the Board the importance of hiring specialized professionals. The error occurs in believing that the cost of a good evaluation or a professional will not compensate for the final result.

The saying “paying cheap will be more expensive at the end” is a fact here. On how many occasions has a job or a project been done where a member of our Board or owner had a friend, who knew something on the subject and afterward, the result was not as expected (in the best of cases), and in other cases, unfortunately relatively frequently, the outcome resulted in significant deviations from the final budget and an inconvenience to our members and users?

I know that this last thought is nothing political, but unfortunately, it is a reality.

In our case, our club, after 25 years since its opening, has decided to undertake an investment in the complete renovation of the irrigation system with sustainability and efficiency criteria that are so necessary today. To justify this need for the investment, we have assessed in hiring a company specializing in the irrigation audit for golf courses since other companies proposed “key in hand” projects, where they posed the necessity for a complete change, which included general and secondary pipes, pumping, etc…For an inversion of such type and for clubs that count on limited resources (such as our case and the majority of national clubs), and where every euro invested has to be accounted for and tied to a priority – it is essential, as the errors in a project of such nature magnify and can create a risk in the viability of our club, thus affecting our reputation as professionals, and as a consequence, our professional career.

In conclusion, the audit that was budgeted for less than 0.4% of the final project cost, has not only detected improvements at a low cost for the current irrigation, but also a possibility to keep general pipes (150,000eur) and to be able to keep our current pumping system (€100,000). Thanks to this small investment in the professional audit, the savings for the club have resulted in over €250,000.

Make your own conclusions…

Carlos Linares on the benefits of hiring a specialist irrigation audit firm before spending big bucks !

As a summary, before spending big bucks, invest in hiring good professionals, communication is a must especially with your board and members, In doing this process our club saved over €250,000 and all from an investment of 0.4% of the overall budget in good professional consutants and to finish, enjoy the process!

Carlos de Linares Sáez, (Diploma on Club Managment by CMAE, MBA from Ramon Llul university, Master in Golf Management from UEM and Sport & Business graduate) has been involved in the golf industry for more than 10 years in management positions as an assistant and manager in well known Spanish golf courses as RACE and la Herreria. He is currently managing The Norba Golf Club (Caceres, Spain).