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Irrigation for Bowls Greens

Further to my previous post a lot of clubs have been in touch recently to ask for advice about irrigation systems; mainly about the cost of installing them.

Readers of my ebook Performance Bowling Greens a practical guide will know that I am not a big fan of the industry accepted standard for bowling green watering systems. They simply don’t work well enough.

Where standard irrigation systems are struggling to apply enough water to help with fending off LDP or indeed to apply sufficient water as part of an LDP curative program then I usually recommend reverting to hand watering for at least some of the time.

So if your club is starting from scratch and doesn’t currently have an irrigation system installed I recommend that you start by funding a large holding tank; the bigger the better; a good quality pump and 50metres of ¾” professional hose.

You could add a snap fit (professional) sprinkler for ease, but it’s much better to use this arrangement to simply hand water the green. It’s a bit time consuming but it does a much more effective job than automatic systems.

Recommended tank size for automatic irrigation (on a single bowling green) allowing typically 3-4 minutes per sprinkler would be in the region of 3,500 litres

Pump duty for a single phase supply would be 130 litres per minute at 60 metres head (around 85 psi).

However, If costs are still a limitation, for hand watering, I would recommend purchasing a tank with a capacity suitable for future automatic use and a budget pump from somewhere like Machine Mart as a suitable stop gap. They have a range of small domestic pumps with a 3 pin plug which will easily cope with a ¾” hose.

If the tank size is reduced, the limiting factor on amount of application will be the available in fill of water to the storage tank.

As always if you have any questions or comments please feel free to get in touch

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  1. Roger Parker says:

    We are Egham Bowls Green, and have a sprinkler system in place with a sprinkler on all four sides of our green, I believe it requires servicing. What would the cost be?

    Roger Parker

  2. Roger Parker says:

    Hello John,

    I am from Egham Bowls Club, and our irrigation system need servicing! It is not watering far enough with all sprinklers.

    I am pretty sure you have attended our Egham Bowls system before.

    Roger Parker

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