Leighton Buzzard golf club Captain Robbie John cuts the first turf to mark the launch of a new state-of-the-art irrigation project at the Plantation Road course.
The scheme, costing around £500,000, is due to be completed by next March and involves replacing the existing and unreliable 35-year-old system with new supply, storage and distribution facilities.
Over five miles of piping delivering water to tees, greens and approaches, 11 kilometres of cabling and around 500 sprinkler heads will be installed, with watering being provided on 10 of the fairways on the 6,000 yard long course.
Other work includes laying additional pipework to ensure that water is available should the system need to be extended to other playing areas, a borehole capable of delivering 20 cubic metres of water a day and a storage tank capable of holding 500 cubic metres of useable water.
The work is being carried out by irrigation specialists LS Systems who have successfully installed scores of similar systems at golf clubs and other sports facilities around the country, including Royal Birkdale which has hosted many major golf tournaments including The Open on ten occasions since 1954.
Club President Brian Carter says the major investment, the biggest since the construction of the impressive new club house 20 years ago, will enable high-quality course conditions to be managed and maintained throughout long dry summer periods as experienced in the last two years.
With almost 600 members and a small number of playing vacancies now available, the Leighton club will be celebrating its centenary in 2025.
Also pictured (left to right) are club project co-ordinator John Preston, President Brian Carter, golf director and club professional Maurice Campbell and course manager Paul Harris.