Friday, September 10, 2010

Drainage Installation Underway On Blue 9 Greens

The drainage installation is well underway on the Blue Nine putting greens. This is the final phase of the overall green drainage program which began in 2008 on the Red Nine. The White Nine was completed last year. I have been extremely impressed by both the improved performance of the greens following the installation of the drainage as well as the excellent workmanship done by Golf Preservations. Samson Bailey, owner of Golf Preservations, has been on site for the installation of each green at NSCC.
The installation process is a time consuming and labor intensive endeavor. I have included a simplified version of the process through the following photographs.

First, the entire putting surface must be meticulously mapped with a laser level to account for all undulations and contours. Once this process is complete, the overall drainage template is designed for the green.

Once the drainage pattern is established, the actual trenches for the drain lines are cut. Prior to trenching, the sod is carefully removed and cataloged so that each individual sod piece will be placed in exactly the same location following the back filling of the trenches. This will allow the sod lines to blend into the rest of the green, rendering them unrecognizable upon completion of the project.
After the drain lines have been installed, the trenches must be filled in a resodded. The trenches are filled with a custom mix of sand which closely mimics our existing sand in our greens. This is critical as poorly chosen sand will not allow the greens to function properly. When back filling the trenches, Golf Preservations takes great pride to ensure that the material is sufficiently compacted within the trench to minimize settling. In order to accomplish this, the hand tamp and four different levels for each foot of back fill material added. Talk about manual labor!

The last step of the process involves replaces and tamping the sod. The photograph above was taken one day after the installation was complete. In only a couple 0f weeks the seams will be barely noticeable. Stay tuned, as next week I will detail why the drainage project is an essential part of our overall greens maintenance program at NSCC.

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