Soil sample testing reports prove or disprove material compliance with specifications. Golf contractors should encourage soil testing whenever possible. Pre-construction testing reports prove valuable if post construction problems arise.
I’ve submitted hundreds of soil tests to many prominent labs. The USGA Green Section recommends that golf projects use a soil lab with American Association for Laboratory accreditation. This designation insures that the laboratory complies with the strict protocols required in the golf construction business. I’ve also found that accredited laboratory personnel understand golf course terminology. In the past, I’ve dealt with a few owners who insisted on using soil labs who had little knowledge of golf construction. Their sample reports didn’t relate to golf construction requirements.
When dealing with a soil lab, always comply with the submittal formats usually posted on their website. I always phone the lab to explain my needs directly to the technician, not a receptionist. I also tell them that I’m shipping a sample to them. I follow my phone discussion with an email that clarifies my testing needs along with precise instructions listed in easy to read bulleted list form. I also scan and attach contract specification pages and soil test requirements.
A precise email will allow lab technicians to write an effective response narrative with itemized results that sync with contract requirements. I’ve learned the hard way that verbal instructions sometimes get bungled. It’s good practice to have a written email backup for the technician to reference.
When you receive your test results, be sure that the technician fulfilled your testing needs. If all is well, generate a transmittal form that identifies the specification referenced in the test and the soil test results. Conclude the preliminary information with your personnel recommendations. Send it to the owner or engineer for their response.
Microsoft Word has several transmittal templates available at Microsoft.com.