Abstract: Push-up golf green construction uses native materials to provide a cheap alternative to USGA specification greens. You can’t say they don’t work because many of the finest golf greens in the world were built this way.
In the old days, operators pushed native soil into green platforms. After fine grading and seeding, the green was done. I can’t reccommend this procedure unless you have perfect soil sitting a bulldozer push away. This soil must have a sandy-loam consistency with no stones over 1/2″. Large stones make cup cutting difficult.
The cost of a typical USGA green can approach 80K. Golf courses with limited budgets save money by installing push-up style golf greens. Let’s assume your not sitting on a mother-lode of beautiful, naturally formed green mix. The process begins with a plan. You can have someone structure a plan, or you can make your own.
Let’s assume you’ll rebuild an existing green. You’ll improve the green playability with new surrounding swales and mounding, but the existing bunkers will be untouched.
First, determine the work limits; the area of disruption caused by the green reconstruction. For example, a 5000 s.f. green will need a work area of at least 15,000 sf to allow for shaping mounds and drainage swales. Don’t limit your work area; the green will look isolated and in disharmony with the surrounding features.
Calculate the size of the green by painting, or staking, ten foot intervals around the perimeter. Find the green center, and measure the radius from the center point to each stake. Let’s assume your measurements are 45,34,46,34,54,60, 36, 39 and 44. The total is 392. Divide this number by 9, the amount radius measurements. This number is 43.5. or the average radius.
Next, add the average radius into this formula: A (Area)=pi(3.14) x R (radius-in this case 43.5) squared (multiplied by itself. Area= 3.14 x 1892.25=5914 sf of new golf green.
Do the same to your surrounding work limits. This area measurement will help determine sod and fill quantities. Subtract the work limit area from the green area measurement to determine net surrounding area.
Use your green area calculations to determine green mix quantities. Let’s assume you’ll install 12″ of compacted green mix. Multiply the square footage, in this case 5914, by 27 to calculate the cubic yards. The number is 219. Multiply 219 x 1.3 =284 Tons. You’ll need to multiply 284 x 1.3 to allow for compaction. Plan on acquiring 369 tons for your push up green.
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