Thursday, December 4, 2014

Greens Drainage

During the past couple of years we've seen areas of several greens fail to drain as they should.  Standing water on the surface, accompanied by saturated soils don't make a good growing environment for turf that's mowed daily throughout the golf season at 0.10".

Uncovering the cause of the drainage problem and the best solution often requires some "exploratory surgery"...also known as digging.  We decided to tackle one of the worst areas this week, and dove right in on #9 green.  After removing several tons of material, we found that the green's internal drainage  appeared to be fine, and it was the exit point that had become compromised.  That is, water was draining through the green's mix to the gravel layer below, but the water was unable to leave the green.
Creating a new "smile" drain at the bottom of #9 green.
With the changing elevation from turf to bunker to pond, and several obstacles to cross (such as drain lines in the bunker and irrigation lines in the turf), we opted to dig the new drain line by hand.  When the new line was opened, thousands of gallons of water that had been trapped under the green came pouring out.
Water comes streaming out from beneath the green.
New perforated pipe and pea gravel were installed, and despite some challenging weather conditions, the guys did a great job cleaning the area when finished.  The end result should be some much healthier turf in this area next spring. 
Good to see no standing water on the green after rain on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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