Quite simply, drainage is one of the most critical elements necessary to obtain quality turf conditions on a golf course. The picture above, taken of the 7 White fairway, highlights this point. The portion of fairway displayed in the picture is taken from the dog leg looking back to the tee. As most members can surely attest, this portion of the fairway is historically a wet area as it is a low-lying area that actually sits below the water level of the adjacent pond. Golf course maintenance team members would be quick to point out that this area is also a very difficult area to manage due to the problems associated with excess water.
During the colder months of the year, water regularly accumulates in this area during freeze-thaw cycles which occur throughout our Wisconsin winters. The concern over potential winter damage in this area is common due to ice formation which often times leads to significant turf loss. This area also proves difficult to manage during the summer, as excessive moisture leads to saturated root systems which lack sufficient oxygen and increased disease pressure.
Ultimately this are is addressed in the Golf Course Master Plan as presented by Ron Forse. Upon completion, this fairway area will be raised and significant subsurface drainage will be added. Since the time frame for the implementation of the Master Plan has been extended, the golf course maintenance staff added drainage to this area in the fall of 2010. The golf course maintenance staff utilized only our remaining inventory of supplies to complete as much drainage as possible without overextending our budget.
Following winter, one can easily see the benefits of the drainage to this area. The turf in the areas surrounding the drainage remains in good condition, while the areas of the fairway further from the drainage, the forefront of the picture, have suffered areas of damage due to ice accumulation. The golf course maintenance staff plans to revisit this area in the fall, adding additional drainage in areas where ice accumulated over the winter.