Irrigation System Design for a Golf Course

 Min read
November 10, 2021

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to running a golf course, as in any business. Making sure the course looks good and stays in excellent playing condition is right at the top of the list of concerns. A huge part of making sure a golf course stays in tip-top shape involves having a good irrigation system in place.

The irrigation system design for a golf course is essential to consider when putting a plan together. Unlike a design that may be used for landscape irrigation, a design for golf course irrigation is often more sophisticated and complex. Like a design that may be used for landscape irrigation, a design for golf course irrigation will still incorporate some of the same elements.

According to, a golf course can have somewhere between 500 and 5,000 sprinklers in place, and possibly even more. Turf Feeding Systems notes that an irrigation system for an 18-hole course can range anywhere from $500,000 to $1,000,000. So it’s essential to make sure that the system is well maintained to keep it running the way it should while cutting down on unnecessary maintenance costs.

Anytime you're pulling water from an outside source, odds are that it won’t be completely clean. More than likely, there will be some sort of sediment present. These days we’re well aware of all the issues that unclean drinking water can bring to our health. It’s just as important to realize that unclean water can have a negative effect on equipment as well.

Sprinkler heads are the most common failure points in irrigation systems. Over time, if you don't take care of your sediment problems, particles build up in the sprinkler heads, causing them to not work at full capacity and leading them to wear out a lot sooner. When you’re talking about a system with at least 500 sprinkler heads, the last thing you want to deal with is cleaning and possibly replacing all of those sprinkler heads.

It’s also important to consider how sediment can impact other aspects of the system. Simply allowing sediment to run through pipes, rubbing against and settling in different spots, can cause problems over the course of time. Looking at a system that on the low-end costs around half a million dollars, you certainly don’t want to allow anything in the system that could cause damage. You not only have to think about the cost of the parts that you may need to replace when things wear out, but the time that will go into doing so, and in the case of a golf course, you may have to shut the business down for a while to take care of it.

Implementing a screen filter from Vu-Flow into your system can help prevent these problems from arising. A Vu-Flow screen filter is designed to take sediment out of the water, preventing it from affecting the most sensitive parts of an irrigation system. Placing one of these filters at the start of an irrigation system can help give you the peace of mind that sediment build-up won’t be a reason for needing to perform maintenance on your irrigation system.

With a Vu-Flow screen filter, you have your choice of sizes between ¾", 1”, 1.5” or 2” depending on the size of PVC that you’ll be plugging it into. You also have a variety of element mesh sizes to choose from, depending on the type of sediment you need to filter. If you’re working with larger sediment, you can pick a coarser option as low as 24 mesh, and if you have tiny sediment, you can choose a size as high as 1,000 mesh. You may also want to implement a couple of filters in series to eliminate as much sediment as possible from your water.

Mesh to Micron Conversion Chart

Aside from having filters that can help enhance your golf course irrigation system, Vu-Flow offers other products that will be important to the design. One of these items is an electric valve. Electric valves are designed to help regulate the flow of the water through your system, which can be very important when implementing a screen filter into an irrigation system. When choosing a Vu-Flow screen filter, you need to consider how many GPM (gallons per minute) your system pushes through. The smaller the filter, the less GPM it’s designed to handle, and the larger the unit, the more it can handle. An electric valve can help to adjust the flow rate to whatever you need it to be. Vu-Flow has the 200 and 300 series electric valves available depending on the flow rate you’re looking at, and each series is available in the 1”, 1.5” and 2” port sizes. There are also several different voltage options available depending on the series that you choose.

If you’re looking at designing an irrigation system for a golf course or want to improve upon one already in place, consider the products available from Vu-Flow. For any questions, feel free to call 1-800-833-5171, where a live customer service representative will be available Monday through Friday.

Source Notes: Information in this article relating to aspects of a golf course irrigation system came from Information regarding the cost of a golf course irrigation system came from Turf Feeding Systems.