The mountain-backed Alpine Country Club in Highland, Utah, boasts a lot of smooth, fast greens without a spot of brown to be seen. That is, thanks to Jake Ebner and the 22 staff members who care for the course. "The biggest challenge for us here in Salt Lake is the water, irrigation use," says Ebner. "Out here it's more just fighting the irrigation and getting enough water out to the right spots."
And, using anywhere from 80 to 100 million gallons of water a year, much of their time is spent testing out water-saving methods. The best saver so far? About a half dozen high school kids that drive around in carts testing soil and hand watering. "I would say it saves us 15 percent to 20 percent at least," said Ebner. "If we were to just try (full automated watering), how the fairways look today, how there's no really brown spots, we would have to water 20 percent more at least, but they'd be too wet for play."
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