The greens committee and I have put drainage as one of our top priorities going forward. Many of our turf struggles are directly related to drainage and the lack of evacuating water efficiently. Two areas of the golf course that have been habitual problems for ponding and holding water are the top of #11 fairway and #18 North of the fairway. The picture top left is #11 and top right #18, notice how poor the turf quality is due to poor drainage.
The lack of snow and warm weather has allowed us to get most of the drainage in these two areas done. All that is left is sodding over the top of the drain lines, which will be done in early spring. This added drainage will help evacuate water rapidly and grow healthier, denser turfgrass plants.
Below the pictures show some of the work on #11/#18, most of the work was done by trenching and removing the native soil. Then 4" perforated drain tile was added with 3/4" stone and finally the top layer was back filled with soil, which is now waiting for sod. Also small 4" catch basins where added in low areas to remove surface water. The large tile shown in the pictures is 24" plastic culvert pipe that will act as a catch basin in the low area in #18 rough. We also install them in areas where a large number of tile lines meet like #11. We place these large catch basins in the rough in out of play areas. Once the drainage grate is installed, it will allow water in and not be a hazard for the golfer!
Other locations we are considering for drainage next year are: #18 approach/surround, #4 fairway low areas, #14 fairway/rough, and #16 fairway low area. As I mention these areas, we all know how bad they look and play, which is why we are making it such are large priority. We also are evaluating surface and subsurface drainage on our putting surfaces. The installation of XGD subsurface drainage on #9 and #12 is a great addition. In the future we hope to do more in realm of greens drainage both surface and subsurface.
Winter is a great time for tree management. Last week, I toured the course with the Greens and Grounds Committee as part of our ongoing tree management program. We analyzed nearly every tree on the golf course based on the following criteria: i) tree health; ii) effect on sunlight, airflow, and nutrients to fine turf areas; and iii) short and long-term effect on maintenance, playability, and design.
This winter, we will transplant 40-50 trees to more desirable locations throughout the property. Disturbed turf areas will be filled and prepared for sod so that course opening preparations are not delayed.