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BenThat's an interesting point you raise about the EIGCA vetting products, although perhaps more a question for the STRI or USGA Greens Section, who have laboratories for such things. Still, you are a Candidate for Membership of the EIGCA and it would be perfectly valid for you to raise your concerns to the appropriate committee, and perhaps directly to Jonathan Gaunt, the architect who has specified this method for Cavendish. FYI, Richard Allen (EcoBunker) is a Bronze Patron of the EIGCA.
BenCan you point to evidence of plastic affecting the "natural" properties of soil? Over 30 years in a tangential industry I never got a whisper of this. Golf courses have drainage and irrigation pipes/sprinklers and the soft paths, signage etc already. I looked quite seriously at jumping onto the Astroturf in gardens bandwagon maybe 20 years ago. None of my research suggested this (in the end we didn't want to get involved with the domestic market) and its been installed by a lot of people with shrubbeds surroundingit.. My local parks have Astroturf cricket wickets with no apparent problems surrounding them. We cant have it both ways. An innert material that "poisons" (too strong?) The soil around it? I'm having trouble understanding that idea.
Ben,The cart paths at Silloth (and countless other courses) are made from reused astroturf.Iíve never noticed any deterioration in the quality of the surrounding sward whatsoever.As for combustibility, thatís just bonkers! 🤣
Ben,Should we replace the wooden benches we have at most tees? The wooden tee blocks?What about the wooden furniture on the terrace outside the clubhouse?Trees donít come with a fire certificate. Technically they can burn - weíve all seen the images of forest fires on the telly. Iíve heard lots of good reasons for felling trees on golf courses but being a fire hazard is a new one on me.
AllyIt would go in a landfill.I contacted Richard Allen of EcoBunker and he kindly provided a response to Ben's charges. See below. Ben, I'm curious to know if you ever refused, on a point of principle, to play hockey on an artificial pitch?Over and out.Fire risk- we did actually test it at the start and tried to set it on fire with naked flames. There was some scorching and localised melting but the material doesnít continue to burn after the source flame is removed. It would take a very determined prolonged act of vandalism to cause noticeable damage. In other words, unless you drench it with an accelerant like petrol , you canít set it on fire and leave it burn. Regarding the ecobunker walls, the same comment- but this time we can point to literally thousands of bunkers worldwide over the last 10 years and not one single report of fire. (A cheeky point perhaps- iíd say with a fair degree of certainty that peat-rich natural revetting turf , during a hot dry summer would be far more at risk of burning- a golf course i was a member of, with a high peat content underneath actually had a ban on smoking in 1983 because the 13th fairway was smouldering all summer, with worries about the rest of the course going up in flames too- true story) Is it recycled or reused? A debatable point, and perhaps not that important, but we do carry out careful reprocessing. We calculated the weight of the material, and cut it into sizes that can be installed by hand , negating the need to use heavy lifting apparatus. We also developed a jointing technique and we are very selective on the type of artificial turf thatís used for lining (we use 1st generation needlepunch turf) which has a very high density of fibres - much more dense than more commonly used 2nd generation sand fill - which is the usual type for hockey pitches. It would take a really determined , deliberate effort to cause any damage to it...
Well, I guess if it all goes in to landfill, it is not adding to the production of artificial turf and it does not add to transport or manufacturing, then the point that I thought Ben might have had no longer stands up.
Ben,Using words like ďtoxicĒ on a public forum to describe a companyís product is unwise and could prove expensive.I advise caution.
Duncan,Thanks for these and thanks also for bringing us back on topic!Are you sure this post isnt just an opportunity to show a great approach to the 1st green? The photo of the bunkers on the 2nd looks like the existing fairway bunkers? I thought the plan was to grass those over and put a new bunker further up or have plans changed? Are you able to post details of the Masterplan?There also appear to be channels coming away from the bunkers which I assume are drainage? We all know drainage is a key part of good architecture, but its not an area I know much about, so the opportunity to discuss a specific example I'm familiar with is not to be missed! If that is drainage, are they connected to an existing drain there, a soakaway of some sorts, or do they just drain away naturally after that? Just curious and while I suspect its not your area of expertise either Duncan I hope one of architects could let me know?I really like the look of the back right bunker on the 3rd and hope that more of the back bunkers that look so wonderful in the old photos can be reinstated.Please continue to keep us informed on progress.Cheers,James
Duncan,Looking at a GE image it would appear that there is a drain line or similar that runs across the front of the 3rd tees and then across the 2nd fairway toward the 1st fairway. I would imagine the drains for the two fairway bunkers have been tapped into that.