Abstract: Every golf course superintendent or golf construction manager should learn how to use a slope laser. This survey tool provides important engineering information during drainage and other construction projects.
Laser survey devices shoot a high-powered beam of light across a few hundred feet. The best lasers have an automatic leveling function, cheaper versions require manual leveling. A laser survey set-up includes a tripod, receiver, rod, and laser.
- A tripod is a three-legged aluminum stand used to hold the laser during survey work.
- A receiver attaches to the survey rod. It receives the laser beam.
- A plastic or metal rod is marked in tenths or inches.
- The laser attaches to the top of the tripod.
Use lasers to perform the following work.
- Establish a slope for digging drainage trenches.
- Establish pitch for tee and fairway construction.
- Measure elevations.
My favorite lasers combine self-leveling with a durable exterior able to take an occasional bumpy truck ride. Watch out for fancy but wimpy models that don’t like moisture. I always have an old golf umbrella and a separate pipe with a kick plate available to protect the laser from a mild shower. If heavy rain and wind arrive, get the laser under cover.
Carry a field book and tough pencil with you when working with a laser. Spend a few dollars more; purchase a field book with tough paper. I like Rite-in-the-Rain. I recall a muddy field engineer preaching about his love for this product during my tunnel digging days.