Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club
Maricopa, AZ
United States

Site Profile

Landscape Application:
Golf Course
200 acres (80 hectares) with 95 acres (38 hectares) of irrigated turf
Temperature Range:
15° - 120°F (-9° - 49°C)
1,086' (331 m)
System Upgrades Provide Noticeable Turf Quality Improvement for High-End Course in Harsh Desert Climate

Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club is a sand-belt style golf course that serves as a U.S. Open qualifying course. Situated in the desert valley just south of Phoenix, Arizona, it originally opened in 2002 as a private club before the Ak-Chin community bought it in 2010 and converted it into a public facility. The golf course sits on 320 acres (130 hectares) of land and hosts an 18-hole course with a driving range that collectively uses 95 acres (38 hectares) of irrigated turf.

The Challenge

When Southern Dunes was first built in 2002, the course used Hunter Golf’s VSX Control System and G-870 Series Rotors, which have served the course well for over two decades. Given the area’s extreme climate and the growing need for a more modern irrigation system, however, Ak-Chin decided to update its course with the help of Hunter’s latest products. With a unique location in a natural wind tunnel and peak seasonal temperatures that reach 120°F (49°C) in the summer, the course needed a control system that simplified daily system maintenance as well as a durable rotor that could maintain high distribution uniformity despite the strong winds.

The Solution

After testing the industry’s newest rotor options on their greens and checking out the latest control systems used at nearby courses, the golf club staff finally found the perfect solution for their needs: Hunter’s Pilot® Control Network and TTS-800 Series Golf Rotors. Featuring PressurePort™ Technology, the rotors optimize the pressure at each nozzle, creating the optimal water droplet size for maximum distribution uniformity in even the harshest conditions. 

According to Superintendent Wes Haner, Hunter Golf products save the course time, resources, and costs in a multitude of ways. Given the frequent labor turnover in the current economic climate, he’s found that Hunter’s easy-to-use rotors simplify the process of training new employees, contrary to the lengthy training processes required with other rotor brands. Another significant time saver is intuitive Pilot Command Center Software. The flexible program makes it easier than ever to make on-the-fly adjustments to the system during rainfall and extreme temperatures.

Following the results of their trials, the maintenance team decided to move forward with the installation of 44 new Pilot Field Controllers, powered by Pilot Command Center Software. Over time, the course also plans to replace its current rotors with reliable, water-saving TTS-800 Series Golf Rotors.

Along with unrivaled product performance, Haner reported that the support he received from the Hunter sales and service team is what sealed the deal. Whether it meant responding quickly to an urgent call over the weekend or stopping by for a casual visit, the Hunter team proved they were committed to the course’s success by always being available when needed.

The Result

Equipped with Hunter’s top-performing irrigation solutions, the Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Course now has the revolutionary control system they need for long-lasting operation for years to come.

“In our climate, the TTS-800 heads work better than any other rotors we’ve had,” said Haner. “We’ve tested many different rotors and, when you get the wind blowing here, there’s nothing that fights through it better than a Hunter rotor.”

With the help of Hunter’s TTS-800 Series Golf Rotors and Pilot Command Center Software, the course has experienced a noticeable difference in not only the quality of the turf but also in the uniform coverage it gets on the greens. Thanks to the combination of Hunter’s innovative golf irrigation solutions and first-rate service and support, the staff at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes will be swinging easy for years to come.