Summary: Second post in a series on golf range construction includes construction methodology.
A golf range includes a tee and a landing area; the fairway-like area that receives golf balls. After engineering and site plan approval, golf range construction includes the following:
- Tree clearing (if needed)
- Grubbing of roots and wood waste
- Topsoil removal
- Subgrade modification
- Drainage installation
- Topsoil return
- Irrigation installation
- Fine grading and seeding
This post describes the construction of a range on a wooded site. Use a golf course shaper to build your range. Site developers create flat, featureless installations that look like parking lots. Your range must look like a golf course, not a rest area along an interstate highway.
Locate property corners and establish setbacks as per local ordinance. Remove trees, stumps, and wood waste. A root rake mounted on a mid-sized bulldozer works well to remove forest floor debris.
Stockpile topsoil on areas without severe cuts and fills. Create a few piles, not one large pile. My construction standards on a range landing areas require topsoil with golf ball sized stones and smaller. Larger rocks, 4-6″ in size, buried 6 inches below the surface are fine. After topsoil return, process with a rock picker if needed, but plating the landing area with 6 inches of screened topsoil is a waste of money, except on target greens and tee slopes.
Construct the tee base using fill generated from the range sub grade and site grading processes. Range tees require a large quantity of fill to provide a raised elevation to create better visibility. An 8-10 foot fill is not uncommon. Be sure to slope the tee forward 1-2% to insure positive drainage and optimum visibility.
Consider drainage patterns when making landing area cuts. Contain surface water and install inlets and pipe discharges, or divert water off the site with swales. Don’t create water pockets. Conform to off-site water discharge laws; don’t shed water into a wetland or neighbor’s property without approval.
Create 2500 square foot target greens at 50 yard intervals. These forms mimic golf greens. Don’t worry about recreating classical golf green forms. Pitch the target greens toward the tee and create subtle mounds that permit easy mowing while providing a distinctive golfer target.
Install irrigation using large golf course fairway heads on the range and smaller heads on the tee.
After fine grading, install a resilient seed mixture containing blue and rye grass (in the Northeast USA).