Part 4 in a series
In this post, I’ll discuss the tee construction process. My technique may differ from others. I prefer to build tees properly, not cheaply.
After you’ve developed a construction scenario with an approved budget, it’s time to move some dirt.
Start the construction process by painting and/or staking out the work limits. The tee rebuild begins with the stubbing of irrigation. Find the closest valve outside the work limit and gate off live laterals and mains. Cut pipe and wire after the valve. Leave enough wire to form a splice. Expose enough pipe to allow the installation of a glued or repair coupler when you connect the new pipe. Remove existing swing joints, sprinklers, and other components. Stake valve boxes, quick couplers, and other irrigation components that will remain. Paint the stake orange or install flagging to discourage damage to the irrigation components.
Remove the sod within the work limits. Use a sod cutter first, then an excavator or other machine. Make sod removal a separate operation. Sod mixed with topsoil or fill is difficult to work. Screening the topsoil to remove the sod is expensive. Transport the sod to a dump.
I use an excavator for most tee work. A bulldozer works well for large tee construction. Be sure that the layout stakes described in a previous post are installed in the proposed tee platform. Strip the topsoil and stockpile it within the work limits but outside the active tee construction.
Using a black, permanent marker, mark a fill subgrade six inches below the finish grade. The subgrade elevation is the height of the tee minus 6 inches of tee mix.
The tee subgrade is built in a shallow V shape, with two down slopes meeting at a mid point. Use a 5% pitch from the right and left tee border to the center line of the tee. This detail, with two slopes converging in the middle, will permit the subsurface water to converge at the drain pipe.
Install subsurface drainage consisting of perforated HDPE pipe and a stone or sand back fill. Place the pipe in the convergence point of the two subgrade slopes. Install drainage back fill to the subgrade elevation. Use cross-strings connected to the grade marks to establish fill elevations. The completed drainage layer backfill will be level with the subgrade elevations.
It’s time to install irrigation components. Trench in laterals and connect to mains. Install sprinklers and swing joints. Establish final sprinkler elevations before fine grading.
The tee subgrade is now 6 inches below finish grade. Using topsoil, construct a berm 12″ wide and 6″ tall on the subgrade; this “basin” will contain the tee mixture.
Install the tee mix in the basin. Compact the sides of the topsoil berm after you install the mix. Install stockpiled topsoil on the side slopes and where needed on the work limits.
Rough grade the tee top with an excavator or bulldozer. Use a string to establish a rough version of the finish grade. Laser-grade the tee top with a tractor mounted box-blade with a laser attachment. Fine grade the tee slopes and work limits. Install sprinklers to grade. Sod or seed as required.
Congratulations. You’ve built a modern golf tee.