Abstract: Install curtain drains to dry-out wet golf fairways caused by subsurface water flow seeping from the bottom of a slope.
Golf course builders frequently cut into slopes to create flat fairway areas. This earthworks process severs natural water veins, causing disruption in subsurface water flow. Water that formerly stayed underground then finds the surface, creating wet fairway conditions.
A curtain drain intercepts subsurface water flow before it reaches the surface. Before installing pipe, locate subsurface water flow. Find the toe-of-slope (bottom of the slope) and perform a series of borings using a T-handle 2″ bore. The borings should be about 2 feet up from the toe-of-slope. Locate the areas that are moving water. Look for sandy, silty, gravel-laden strata. This is where the problem is located.
Let’s assume the water is running at 2 feet. I install curtain drains 2 feet from the toe-of-slope about 3 feet deep. I always use sugar sand and HDPE pipe with sock-a geofabric lining. Single-wall pipe is fine because of the depth of excavation. Pitch the pipe at least .10 percent, and discharge the water away from playing areas. Plan on a large volume of water discharging from this system.