# Tee rebuilding part 2-fill calculations

Aug 082009

Part 2 in a series

In part 1, I discussed the basics of tee reconstruction. Golf tee reconstructions involve replacement of all the components of a tee box.This post will discuss fill requirements.

After you’ve installed the four tee stakes, establish a finish grade  and a slope. Tees are never built flat. They must  have a slope to shed surface water. Golfer’s tolerate slopes of 1%.

Mark the four stakes with elevations using a slope laser. This process involves the following:

• Determine the direction of the slope; 1% front to back is ideal, but the tee can be pitched in any direction.  Be sure that the low end of the slope doesn’t create a water pocket. Chose a discharge point that is not subject to heavy foot traffic. If needed, install a small swale or drain pipe and inlet at the low end to remove water.
• Place the slope laser near the high end of the proposed tee slope. For this example, use the front of the tee. Set the laser at 1%, front to back  pitch.
• Determine the final grade, or elevation, of the tee. This is the height of the compacted tee mix,before the sod is installed.  Using a black permanent marker, put one elevation mark, a horizontal line with a “V”  written on the mid-point of the line, on the stake or pole. Write F.G. to signify Finish Grade on the two stakes located on the front edge.
• A higher finish grade is preferable. Golfer’s like to see the target from a raised tee.  The slope configuration may reduce foreground visibility, especially on front to back slopes. Reverse the pitch if more visibility is needed.
• Without moving the laser, install two grade marks on the low end tee stakes. Be sure that the laser is set to 1%, sloping downward.

After everyone agrees on the new tee configuration and elevation, determine the amount of fill needed to build the new tee.

• Measure down from the  tee stake grade marks to the current tee grade. I’ll use one foot as the difference in my example tee.
• The example tee will be 40 feet long and 20 feet wide. In this example, the square footage of the tee top, or flat area, is 800 square feet.The fill quantity is calculated by dividing the square footage (800) by 27. This equals 29.6 cubic yards. I add 50% for side slopes and compaction. In this example,the fill needed will be 45 cubic yards. If the distance is 2 feet,  double the fill quantity.

You’ll use the original tee mix and everything under it as fill. Additional fill is expensive. Some golf courses have fill available on-site. If you have a gravel or sand pit on your golf course, you’ll save on fill costs. Use rocky, inferior fill in the lower depths of your new tee box. Install easily worked material in the higher elevations to allow for shaping.

Don’t use any organic material, you’ll pay later with settling.  Fill can be dug out of out-of-play areas, and these excavated holes can be filled with unsuitable fill and restored. I’ve dug many cubic yards from wooded areas, saving money in the process.

Imported fill is an expensive alternative. First ask for gravel borrow, a standard construction classification used by many sand and gravel firms. In Massachusetts, this material costs about \$18.00 per cubic yard plus trucking. If you need cost reduction, work with  salesman to locate cheap fill. Sand and gravel operations usually have a supply of less-desirable fill available. Rocky, unprocessed gravel works well in lower fill grades.  Be sure that the fill doesn’t include illegal substance like asphalt. Check each load before they dump it. I’ve seen loads of gravel fill delivered full of concrete and rubbish.

A fill analysis must include the cost of the fill along with any excavation and rehandling costs. Most golf course superintendents refuse to allow heavy trucks on their course, so the material must be rehandled with small trailers with turf tires.

Fill is an important consideration in your tee rebuild. Higher tee grades are favored by golfers. Look for creative, cheaper options for your fill needs.

Next in the series: Tee rebuilding methods

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