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A Publication of the National Golf Foundation

Questions, Answers and Insights for Everyone Interested in the Business of Golf

NGF TOP 100 BUSINESSES IN GOLF

Rain Bird

Category

Corporate Headquarters

Azusa, California

Website

Key Employees

Anthony LaFetra, President
JR Bergantino, Director
Mohan Subramanian, Marketing Manager
Didier Genty, Golf Sales Manager – Europe
Stuart Hackwell, National Sales Manager
Matthew Mikucki, International Sales Manager

Profile

Rain Bird Corporation is a leading global manufacturer and provider of irrigation products and services, with a significant presence in the golf industry.

Since 1933, Rain Bird has offered a broad range of irrigation products for farms, golf courses, sports arenas, commercial developments and homes in more than 130 countries around the globe. Rain Bird has been awarded 450-plus patents worldwide, including the first in 1935 for the impact sprinkler, which was designated a historic landmark of agricultural engineering in 1990. The company’s Golf Division has a portfolio of products that includes pump stations, rotors, field controllers, map-based and mobile central control systems, decoders, swing joints, filtration systems, valves and irrigation accessories.

Rain Bird’s Golf Division uses fully integrated components to design total system solutions for golf course irrigation that are easier to manage and more efficient to operate than mix-and-match solutions. Every Rain Bird golf irrigation product is engineered with Timeless Compatibility in mind, meaning they will work with any previously installed Rain Bird products as well as future Rain Bird technologies.

Rain Bird’s control system can tie in weather station information to control an entire golf course and is used by many properties, including Pebble Beach Golf Links. Central controls and pump stations are serviced and supported by a comprehensive Global Service Plan (GSP).

Rain Bird’s central control systems and other advanced control technologies are designed to help golf course professionals manage water more efficiently while saving time and money. The ground-breaking Integrated Control (IC) System connects central control directly to the rotor or valve, with no need for field controllers, decoders, secondary wiring or unnecessary splices. Through accurate, real-time measurements of moisture, salinity and temperature, Rain Bird’s Integrated Soil Sensor System (ISS) can help save time, water and other inputs while maximizing turf health. And, the MI Series Mobile Controller provides superintendents with convenient, remote access to their central control systems, making it possible to turn watering programs on and off, modify schedules and perform diagnostics from just about anywhere.

Rain Bird is the No. 2 irrigation company in the golf industry.

Rain Bird originated when Orton Englehart, a Southern California citrus grower, revolutionized the food production industry and ushered in a new era in worldwide irrigation when he invented the horizontal action impact drive sprinkle. Clem and Mary LaFetra, neighbors of the inventor, recognized the sprinkler’s potential and began to market it. Soon after, they set up a manufacturing facility in the family barn and began production. They chose the company’s name, Rain Bird, from an ancient Native American legend about a great bird that brought life-giving rain following a terrible drought. One of the first commercial customers in the early 1930s was Los Angeles Country Club. Today, Rain Bird is still based in Southern California.

Rain Bird’s guiding philosophy is The Intelligent Use of Water, with a focus extending beyond products to education, training and services for the industry and the community. In 2015, Rain Bird developed the 25 Ways to Save 25% website to provide a resource to consumers on water irrigation options.

Rain Bird, which maintains state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in the United States, China, France and Mexico, in 2017 partnered with the international non-profit Golf Environment Organization (GEO) to build on their shared interest in creating a stronger, more sustainable future for the golf industry. It’s a relationship that Mohan Subramanian, Rain Bird Golf Division’s international sales manager, says is globally relevant with the company’s goal of “helping golf courses maintain the best possible playing surfaces with less water.”

NGF Takeaways

Rain Bird Corporation is the No. 2 irrigation company in the golf industry, with about 35 percent of the market share. Given the water requirements of golf courses, it’s a significant position and a noteworthy part of Rain Bird’s overall business.

New advances in irrigation technology are playing an increasingly major part of many course renovation projects across the country, and Rain Bird is able to help facilities save money, conserve water and give superintendents far greater control of their systems.

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