By: John Ouellette
NCR Country Club is a 36 hole golf course in Kettering Ohio. This picturesque and challenging club was built in 1954, utilizing the architectural design of Dick Wilson.
The cement water basin used for the irrigation supply had always presented a challenge. According to Superintendent Jim Campion, the basin which is 12ft. (3.7m) deep, approximately 1/3 acre (.13 hectare,) and holds slightly over 1 million gallons (3785m3,) "would consistently be covered up to 90% with algae bloom by June 1st." Also, the site was unhealthy and a breeding ground for mosquitoes. This was prior to the 2003 installation of the Otterbine Air Flo diffused air system.
NCR which has been the host of several prestigious PGA tournaments, such as: the 1969 PGA Championship, 1986 US Women's Open, the 1998 US Mid AM and the 2005 US Senior's Open, had tried several approaches to improve their water quality situation. These included bio-chemical product applications and dyes to darken the water. Although some success was realized, it was minimal and these products, Jim says, "were eventually lost through the irrigation system."
Century Equipment, is the Otterbine distributor to this 36 hole venue consisting of a 6,800 yard (6218m) links type "North Course" and Golf Weekly magazines "Top 100" 7,050 yard (6447m) tree lined championship "South Course." Jim Dillard, Golf Project Specialist for Century was the salesperson responsible for leading NCR in the Air Flo direction. He says this product was the "ultimate solution for that situation" and it has "taken care of the problem 100%." Adding "the basin now looks like a swimming pool."
Jim Dillard recommended an Air Flo 5 diffused air system which consists of two 3/4 horsepower compressors and 6 diffuser manifolds. The compressor cabinet is located in the nearby pump house.
Jim Campion who has been NCR's superintendent since 1999, reflects "We really didn't want to spend another $5,000.00." However, based on Jim Dillard's advice of this being the appropriate product to solve the current issues the decision was made to purchase. According to Jim Campion "the capital expense and the running costs have been well worth the benefits." After 2 1/2 years of use the irrigation basin now experiences "pristine conditions all season with the use of this system" says the superintendent.