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Bradley Anderson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Fairway Drainage or Bunker Sand Replacement?
« on: August 15, 2011, 10:34:17 PM »
I have taken over mgt of a new course and I am putting together my fall projects plan.

With alll the excess rain we have had this season there are areas of fairways that are thinned from standing water. I also have bunkers that need new sand to play consistently.

I can't tackle both problems, and I am inclined to address the fairway drainage issues first. But most of our players would vote to address the bunkers and thats probably what we will work on.

My reason for addressing drainage first is:

I can open the course to carts quicker (more revenue) with better drainage, and I would spray less for diseases like pythium (cost savings) if I had better drainage. I should also say that I can't stomach the amount of GUR that I have to paint with brown grass under bird baths that hold water. But the players want to have more control of their bunker recovery shots.

Input from the tree house please.  ;)

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Fairway Drainage or Bunker Sand Replacement?
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2011, 10:39:02 PM »
I would work on the areas where you're supposed to hit the ball, instead of the areas where you're not supposed to hit it.

Mike Nuzzo

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Fairway Drainage or Bunker Sand Replacement?
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2011, 10:59:26 PM »
I would work on the areas where you're supposed to hit the ball, instead of the areas where you're not supposed to hit it.

[thumbs up]

They will see the improvements over time and appreciate what you did to the fairways, and may even still complain that you didn't work on the bunkers first.
Cheers
Thinking of Bob, Rihc, Bill, George, Neil, Dr. Childs, & Tiger.

Tyler Kearns

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Fairway Drainage or Bunker Sand Replacement?
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2011, 11:41:23 PM »
Bradley,

We are tackling both of these issues right now at my home club, and in my estimation, I'd focus on drainage first. While the visual impact may not be as apparent as a bunker renovation project, it will add revenue by keeping the course open and keeping gas carts out. The bunkers are not going to pay for themselves like a good drainage project might.

We bought a trencher last year, complete with conveyor to transport spoils from trench into a pull-behind trailer which has greatly reduced labour input and greatly increased speed. We have installed about 15,000 feet of mainlines and feeder slit trenches (every 20 feet) on five fairways and they have gone from having standing water after a 2" rain to being able to handle cart traffic on fairways the day after a 2" rain. We were wasting money sodding low spots that got damaged year after year, and have now being able to sod them for the last time once the drainage was installed. Our fairways turf has improved dramatically, course closures have been limited and cart traffic is not interrupted as often, all of which are better for the bottom line.

TK 


Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Fairway Drainage or Bunker Sand Replacement?
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2011, 03:29:20 AM »
Bradley

I say follow your instincts and relate it to the owners as an income situation. 

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Melvyn Morrow

Re: Fairway Drainage or Bunker Sand Replacement?
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2011, 07:43:53 AM »

Hi Bradley

I am no Green Keeper or Course Designer, just an ordinary bloke who has enjoyed the game over the years. So my comment is based upon the well trodden path of a traditional golfer, so here is my opinion of what little its worth.

I always believe in observing the problem or site both through its busy and quiet times, from that I then get a picture of the pending problem.

The next stage is to view my customers (presuming you are referring to an existing course) and their habits. Now I feel I am in a position to face the problem head-on with some facts. One other question – as not a course in Scotland – what sort of Golfers does the current course cater for and do you want to continue with this selection of clients?

If on the whole your club is a walking club with ties to the traditional game then, the simple answer is no major drainage work but utilising the fairway contours to do the work for you with the slight tilt or slope in the worst areas. An operation akin to relaying the turf with some additional packing to promote a reaction and thus minimise standing water. I am also a great believer that worms have a place on a course but that depends upon location and the tolerance of the staff.

Bunkers are generally survivors only suffering at the hand or should I say the feet of Man, so unless work is urgently required I would leave well alone letting them do the job they have been designed for – a thorn in the bum of golfers, even a bunker that has been neglected for a few years still has the ability to work well as a hazard/trap.

While you may be seeking increased revenue and go in the cart direction, then that opens even more potential problems which are not cheap and the revenue from the carts will be swallowed up in the early years. Of course it’s a client driven problem, in more ways than one, but is this the type of golf you and the club want to promote. If so, then when I finally get to travel again I will not be able to address your club members on the importance of playing real traditional golf, but that’s for another day.

Be brave, observe the situation then using your gut reaction do what you consider is right for all.

Melvyn

PS Please no raping the course for siting drainage, no scaring for cart paths and please no usage of anything fake otherwise you will never sell the dream of a traditional Scottish course (that means a real golf course   ;)  ).


Ian Andrew

Re: Fairway Drainage or Bunker Sand Replacement?
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2011, 08:11:19 AM »
Do the fairways while you can!

They'll always find the money for bunkers later.
They rarely find money for something they can't see when done.

Don_Mahaffey

Re: Fairway Drainage or Bunker Sand Replacement?
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2011, 08:44:09 AM »
Brad,
I try to prioritize problems like that based on which one will lead to more and bigger problems down the line. If the bunkers are bad, they’re bad, but the damage is contained. Wet fwys mean more lost turf, damage from mowers and carts, lost revenue...etc...the fwy drainage problem is a downward spiral that needs to be stopped. The bunkers will be there in a similar conditions a year from now.

Bill Brightly

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Fairway Drainage or Bunker Sand Replacement?
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2011, 01:40:24 PM »
Do the drainage! When I was named Grounds Chair at my club it was after a year of heavy rain and the older members were in an uproar because there were 43 days of either closed, no carts, or carts in the rough only. They felt our superintendent was FAR too conservative...I was handed a plan to install a continuos cart path so carts could go out when it was wet, and it made me sick to my stomach. (After 25 years in the club, THIS was going to be my lasting contribution?) The superintendent asked for the money to install drainage instead of blacktop, I got it for him, and that fall/winter he installed new drainage on the 3 wettest holes (and we worked on other holes in the next two offseasons.) Best money we ever spent.

The improvement was dramatic, and I got lucky with a pretty light year of rain. When it did rain, the carts got out faster and the gin players were thrilled! They told me I was doing a great job and had finally convinced the superintendent to lighten up... (Of course, I never said one word to him about when to close or open :) )
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 01:43:21 PM by Bill Brightly »

Bradley Anderson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Fairway Drainage or Bunker Sand Replacement?
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2011, 01:54:37 PM »
Do the drainage! When I was named Grounds Chair at my club it was after a year of heavy rain and the older members were in an uproar because there were 43 days of either closed, no carts, or carts in the rough only. They felt our superintendent was FAR too conservative...I was handed a plan to install a continuos cart path so carts could go out when it was wet, and it made me sick to my stomach. (After 25 years in the club, THIS was going to be my lasting contribution?) The superintendent asked for the money to install drainage instead of blacktop, I got it for him, and that fall/winter he installed new drainage on the 3 wettest holes (and we worked on other holes in the next two offseasons.) Best money we ever spent.

The improvement was dramatic, and I got lucky with a pretty light year of rain. When it did rain, the carts got out faster and the gin players were thrilled! They told me I was doing a great job and had finally convinced the superintendent to lighten up... (Of course, I never said one word to him about when to close or open :) )


Most golfers will cancel if they have to go cart paths only. Biggest waste of money there is.

Greg Tallman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Fairway Drainage or Bunker Sand Replacement?
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2011, 02:08:26 PM »
Do the drainage project and look at what bunkers might be elimininated, Reducing your future bunker problems. Most courses are overbunkered big time.

Philippe Binette

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Fairway Drainage or Bunker Sand Replacement?
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2011, 02:16:39 PM »
Drainage....

if somebody asked for consistency in the bunkers... just tell him that there are large well-drained areas called fairway from which you always get a nice lie

archie_struthers

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Fairway Drainage or Bunker Sand Replacement?
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2011, 08:25:01 PM »
 :o 8) :o

Woo woo!   Do the drainage.....almost unanimous.    However you can definitely improve the bunkers quality by consistent maintenance . Suggestions might include working them hard on Monday, even at the risk of their being too much air in them afterwards . By weeks end they should settle out for your heavy play days, and the players will notice the improved look and detail!

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