Abstract: Water pockets contain rain or irrigation water. They don’t permit natural surface runoff and this leads to many turf and playability issues.
The perfect golf course includes millions of tiny drainage swales that guide excess water to ideal drainage destinations. This golf course doesn’t exist. Every golf course has water pockets that collect some water. These are caused by:
- Natural settling
- Bad construction grading
- Bunker sand overspray
Settling is the irregular grade change caused by poor compaction, dissimilar fill, or degrading fill. The repair often involves removal of the problem and installation of a geogrid and crushed stone matrix.
Bad construction grading happens when final contours aren’t checked for proper slope. The ideal down slope for turf surface drainage is 1% -2% ,or more. A skilled golf contractor will run a laser on every downward slope. If the operator refuses to do this because he does everything “by eye” it’s time to get another operator because golf course work is full of deceptive grades.
Bunker sand overspray adds topdressing to collars and green surfaces in higher rates than normal metered sand applications. Water pockets occur when a slight berm forms that blocks exiting water. The solution involves sod removal and subgrade adjustment.
Water pockets disrupt efficient surface drainage. Evaluate your water pockets and repair the ones that create the most havoc.