Last winter’s record- breakingly wet weather affected the whole sportsturf industry and spurred Chippenham Golf Club into taking direct action on their soggy first fairway.
“In all my years of working outside”, said Chris Sealey, the Club’s course Manager, “I have never seen rain like last winter’s. Our first fairway has always been wet but this year it was completely waterlogged and we decided to install primary drainage.”
Ecosol Turfcare designed a system which utilised adjacent ditches and existing carrier pipes as well as installing a new main drain. A matrix of lateral drains would be laid across the fairway, connecting to the main and cleaned-out ditches. Backfill was to be 2-6mm gravel and 80:20 rootzone to further improve the water infiltration rate off the surface.
“Things were so bad in the winter,” recalled Chris, “ that you couldn’t walk down the fairway and balls hit on to it disappeared into mud. There was standing water in every gully and we couldn’t get people off the tee. And an additional problem with it being the first fairway is that we had to close the following three holes as well, making four out of action.” The sodden turf was always blackened and thin, affecting surface stability.
We moved into Chippenham in mid May, installing 152 linear metres of 100mm perforated land drain(PLD) piping for the main drains which were 550mm deep. Lateral drains at 5 metre centres accounted for 1496 linear metres of 80mm PLD. After the pipes had been laid, the trenches were backfilled and a press wheel passed over three or four times to consolidate the area and reduce risk of settlement.
Within five days, the job was complete and the fairway ready for reseeding and a future double-pass with a Verti-Quake to further enhance drainage and de-compact the area.
“It was a pretty clever job,” reported Chris. “Bang on schedule and very, very smooth. The Ecosol team were really helpful and worked well with our guys. There was no mess left behind, even on the haulage areas, which considering the hundreds of tonnes of material they moved in, was amazing!”
Club and Committee members were impressed and the club is hoping that this will be part of an ongoing project of identifying problem areas and gradually draining them.
“If anyone is interested in a similar job,” said Chris, “ I’d be happy to show them round and talk them through it.
Watch the video of our work here - https://youtu.be/HhHLl70R4Dw