The 12th green has been a problem ever since I have been at the club. It suffers badly from water logging after only light rain. The main reason for this is the construction material and shape. The green is built up so theretically it should drain well. Unfortunately the subsoil used was pure clay, with a 300mm capping of what I would describe as poor topsoil. The surface of the green is then bowled which holds rather than sheds water. Before I became Head Greenkeeper the green has been drained previously, however the 'poor' topsoil was placed back on top of the gravel. Firstly the topsoil has contaminated the gravel layer and around 400mm of soil made water perculation to the drains very slow.
So the plan, ripping up the entire green was not an option, so we plan to install new drains, fresh gravel and an approved root zone. The drains will be connected to the ditch which runs at the back of the green. From the green we are also picking up wet areas in front, to the sides and also a new bunker which we digging to the front right of the green. Following the work in future years we will have to intensively aerate and improve the top 300 mm of soil structure and drainage ability.
First task was to mark out the 5 drainage trenches, spaced at 10 ft centres across the green so they fall in the lowest areas on the green. Once finalised turf was cut and trenching began.
At the outlet of the drain work also started breaking through a stone wall to install the pipe.
After the first day we managed to dig and fill one trench. Frosty start to day 2 however now we got into the rhythm we were more productive and the team were giving it their all. A trench and a half completed on day 2 and good progress on the outlet pipe.
A wet start today which made it a little messy but work continued. Today we again managed around 1 and a half trenches. Today showed exactly the nature of the soil used, a lot of large stones and very heavy clay removed from one of the trenches.