PPGGroundBreaking.pngBefore there was Paradise Point Golf Complex there was The Posse golf course. The Posse was designed by the award-winning architect Ed Ault. Ault designed courses all over the world but predominantly on the East Coast of the United States. Bringing Ault to Smithville was a major achievement and set the stage for a great golf tradition in Clay County. The Posse opened in 1980 and by the early 1990’s had become so popular the need for a second course became obvious. Craig Schriener was a rising star among golf course architects. When Schriener was hired to design The Outlaw golf course it was another great achievement in Clay County’s golf tradition.  While designing The Outlaw, Schriener also redesigned a portion of the Posse creating holes 4, 5, 6 and 7 along the lake and reusing four original holes from The Posse to create the Academy Course. When The Outlaw opened in 1994 Clay County had two championship style 18 hole golf courses; a four-hole course for practice and youth camps, a large driving range, and a generous sized practice green merging together to become the Paradise Point Golf Complex. In 2018 the Clay County Commission voted to fund improvements and updates, and address deferred maintenance throughout the county using a no tax increase bond. Included in these improvements is a new irrigation system, Zoysia conversion and new maintenance equipment for Paradise Point Golf Complex.


The current irrigation system has 1497 sprinklers averaging 37 sprinklers per hole with two rows of sprinklers running the length of the fairway, a single row to cover the tees and four to five sprinklers cover the greens. The new system has 2094 sprinklers averaging 52 sprinklers per hole in three rows running from tee to green. This allows us to irrigate more of the golf course including the rough. The current system is set up in blocks of five or six sprinklers that run at the same time, they all turn on and off together. The advantage to the block system is it was cost effective to install. The disadvantage is the superintendent has limited control of how the course gets watered. Inevitably at least one sprinkler in the block will be in a dry area and at least one sprinkler in the block will be in a wet area. The superintendent is forced to average out the water time causing the dry area to remain dry and the wet area to remain wet. The new system will be valve-in-head, this means each individual sprinkler will have its own valve that is electronically turned on and off by a computer. The superintendent will be able to adjust the run time of each sprinkler to meet the needs of the turf.


Isolation valves are used to turn off the water to a specific location on the golf course in order to make repairs, much like the valves under your kitchen sink allow you to turn off the water to the sink and make repairs. With only 48 isolation valves on the current system, the staff is forced to turn the water off to three or four holes at a time to repair a single minor leak. During the heat of summer, we cannot afford to turn off the water to multiple greens while we fix leaks. Therefore small leaks remained for several weeks creating large wet areas in the rough, fairways or even tees. The new system will have 418 isolation valves giving staff the ability to turn off only a few sprinklers at a time to repair leaks, this will speed up the response time when we notice leaks.


No matter how good an irrigation system is and how much control the superintendent has over the run times of sprinklers it will always be necessary to use hoses to water select areas. The current system has a total of 44 quick couplers to attach hoses. As a result of limited quick couplers, there are areas not accessible with hoses and it is common to see a hose stretched across a green while golfers approached. The new system will have 161 quick couplers including one on each side of every green. This will allow the superintendent to water nearly any area on the property with a hose as needed and avoid dragging hoses completely across the green during play.


The new irrigation system at Paradise Point Golf Complex will have nearly 40 miles of pipe and an equal amount of wire. At no point during the installation of the new system do we intend to have more than four holes under construction at any given time. Installation is slated to begin in early May 2019 and be complete with all 40 holes, the driving range and practice green by the end of 2019. This is a state of the art system that will bring your golf course up to modern standards.


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