Galveston Country Club
Founded in 1898, the historic Galveston Country Club is the oldest chartered country club in Texas. Today, the club has more than 1,400 members and offers an array of athletic and social activities. The par-72 golf course plays over 6,500 yards (5,940 m) from the back tees. It also features a barrage of water hazards, providing fun challenges for players of all levels.
The club is almost completely surrounded by the vast Gulf of Mexico. The saltwater was corroding irrigation equipment, causing a huge recurring problem for staff. Although the course’s water supply feeds from a freshwater well, the salt kept creeping in. As a result, the course’s rotor turrets were hardening and breaking. Riser seals were leaking within weeks of installation. Superintendent Jeff Smelser needed an irrigation solution that could stand up to these conditions.
“Hunter rotors have survived hurricanes with us,” said Smelser. “They continue to impress regardless of the heavy salt content in our water supply.”
After the initial success with Hunter rotors, club staff sought help from Hunter once again. This time, they needed to upgrade their irrigation control system to improve efficiency and save water. They also wanted to prepare the club to better meet future challenges. In January 2022, the Hunter Support Network team helped the club install 17 Pilot Field Controllers enabled with flexible and easy-to-use Pilot Command Center Software. This revolutionary irrigation control software determines the most efficient watering cycles possible. It does so by balancing sprinkler demands with water and electrical supplies. The intuitive software is customizable according to the daily irrigation needs of the course.According to Smelser, the Pilot Command Center Software made an immediate impact. It was now possible to view every sprinkler on the course from one location, allowing him to schedule, monitor, and manage the course irrigation with just a few clicks.
He was also extremely pleased with the priority service he received from the Hunter Support Network, which included on-site system setup, testing, diagnostics, training, and reporting. “The Pilot Command Center Software is faster and easier to navigate than our previous system, and the Hunter team has been quick to respond when needed,” he said. “And because our new Pilot Field Controllers have fewer components inside the cabinet, it will make for speedy removal when our next flood event occurs.”
Upgrading to best-in-class Hunter products has made daily upkeep much easier for club staff. Replacing the old heads with Hunter golf rotors has reduced maintenance time and lowered associated costs. It has also improved course playability and enhanced visual appeal.Since installing the new system, the maintenance team now has more control over course irrigation. Having controllers with fewer components simplifies maintenance. The industry-leading software makes it easy to adjust watering schedules from a single location. Hunter is proud to play a crucial role in ensuring Galveston Country Club’s gulf-side golf course stays healthy and playable for many more decades to come.