Taking a Systems Approach to Golf Course Irrigation

When we talk about irrigation, individual components probably come to mind — from the sprinkler heads to the controllers to the weather station and more. But there are some real benefits to thinking about how those components work together efficiently as a system, too.

With today’s smart technology, more components are able to talk to you and to each other, delivering instant information that can help you save time, water and ultimately the health of your turf. In fact, many Toro® irrigation products already contain the features needed to give you critical information so you can make informed decisions. The key to unlocking these capabilities is the Lynx® Central Control System.

Components: Hardware and Software
Before we dig into the details about Lynx, let’s back up for a moment. Irrigation system integration relies on two things: hardware and software. The hardware is the part you likely see every day — the products that deliver water to your turf. The software is what you interact with to not only control the operation of but also gather information from those components. Each time a product is enhanced with new functionality, it’s Lynx software that makes using that functionality possible.


To get the most value and functionality out of your Toro irrigation hardware, Lynx software is the place to start. Lynx makes all of your essential irrigation information readily available in one place, conveniently combined into a single, intuitive interface. You can map your course, control irrigation and view real-time and daily reports of watering events. You can also get alerts when there are issues in the system or when components aren’t operating as expected. These are just a few of the extensive capabilities in Lynx.

It’s a proven system that has been on the market for over seven years and is now used by thousands of golf courses around the world. From the start, Lynx has been shaped by extensive feedback from customers, and we continue to add features that customers are asking for — including industry-leading mobile access.

Access: Mobile Suite Capabilities
Lynx Mobile Apps enables remote access and control of your irrigation system from any mobile device connected to the internet, anywhere in the world. Plus, our newest mobile service, Lynx Dash, is a comprehensive dashboard presenting Lynx data remotely with integrated, site-specific weather information, as well as current site conditions and enhanced diagnostic information.

Lynx Dash can be used in connection with Toro’s Turf Guard® Wireless Soil Moisture Sensors and irrigation pump stations to better monitor turf health and system performance before issues occur — for example, if soil becomes too hot or dry — or if the pump station is running but sprinklers are not. It’s all about having access to the information you need at the time you need it in order to react quickly and implement decisions based on current conditions.

Communication: Lynx Smart Satellite
To serve up information in Lynx, components also need a way to communicate from the course. That’s where hardware like the new Lynx Smart Satellite comes in. Building on the proven Toro Network VP® platform, the Lynx Smart Satellite adds enhanced communications with the Lynx Central Control System and integration with field sensors to further complement your decision making.

The Lynx Smart Satellite offers improved communication signal integrity, new diagnostic information and more control options. It also integrates with the new Sensor Input Kit, allowing either local or Lynx Central Control System response to pressure, flow rate, rain, status and temperature information from anywhere on the course.

Integrating with the Sensor Input Kit can also provide automatic alerts when there’s an issue or if irrigation occurs when it’s not appropriate. And based on sensor inputs, weather and other environmental conditions, you can make adjustments. What’s more, Lynx measures the requirement to a hundredth of an inch, then calculates the run time to the second — for every sprinkler, every day. That level of accuracy can add up to saving thousands of gallons per watering cycle or even millions of gallons of water per year.

The Lynx Smart Satellite is the communication piece of the complete system, providing information that is ultimately displayed through Lynx Dash. In the unlikely event that the central control system becomes unavailable, the system can continue to run in its fully integrated, flow-managed mode with the Smart Satellite. Peace of mind through system redundancy is the hallmark of a Toro satellite system. In addition, the diagnostic information on the Smart Satellite is a leap forward in technology. For instance, right in the faceplate of the satellite, you can actually read the signal strength and immediately know if the radio signal is transmitting data.


What Customers Are Saying
One of the advantages customers frequently tell us they like is how an integrated system with Lynx helps them manage growing in a golf course, either for new construction or overseeding applications. Lynx offers the flexibility to make adjustments on the fly and continually manipulate irrigation from day to day or even throughout the day to get the results they need.

Customers also comment on the mobile capabilities of Lynx. You can drive down the cart path, stop for an issue you notice and tap “Find Me” in the Lynx app on your tablet. It will zoom into your location so the sprinkler in front if you on the course is the sprinkler in front of you in the app — no need to remember addresses, codes or hardware.

Taking the Next Step
If you are ready to take advantage of new integrated technology, talk to your Toro distributor. Whether you have older equipment or a competitive system, Toro has a migration path to take you from where you are to where you want to be. Your distributor can help you create a manageable schedule with incremental steps that fit your budget requirements.

As a company that’s focused on innovation, our goal at Toro is to help our customers take advantage of smart innovations that make a real difference in efficiency. The more information you can pull in and view at once, the better informed you will be to make irrigation decisions based on facts, not guesswork. It all adds up to having the right information summarized in one place, so you can spend more time acting on it.