Summary: Golf fairways suffering from uneven surfaces benefit from fairway leveling procedures.
A top golf course had two uneven fairways caused by subsurface peat and stump movement. The solution involved the following:
- Removal of existing sod and irrigation
- Bulldozer grading of subgrade peat
- Installation of Mirafi geofabric under entire fairway fill
- Importation of gravel fill
- Drainage installation
- Irrigation installation
- Topsoil plating,fine grading, and new sod installation
The work area encompassed 7 acres. The subject holes included a long par-5 and a medium length par-4. The golf course had a large mound of gravel behind the par-5 tee; this gravel became the new fairway subgrade. An additional gravel source bordered the par-4.
After removal of the existing sod, irrigation stubbing began. The irrigation mains and lateral taps remained; the lateral pipe and sprinkler were removed. Large orange stakes marked the location of the live mainline taps.
Bulldozer grading of the peat subsoil created a smooth surface for the geofabric. We transported excess peat to a screening location for later use as topsoil.
The project was done in 10,000 square foot increments. We didn’t want to open up too much area. After placing a few thousand feet of geofabric on the subgrade, installation of a 24″ thick layer of gravel fill began. The work included construction of a haul road, 36″ by 11 feet wide, on the centerline of the fairway. The haul road permitted delivery of gravel fill to distant areas of fairway fill. After completion of the gravel fill operation, we removed the haul road by pushing the surplus material over the fairway.
The gravel fill provides a working drainage layer, intercepting water before it entered the peat layer. The mirafi cloth served as an additional water barrier while improving structural integrity to the fairway, preventing settling.
We shaped the leftover gravel into a new elevated tee box on the par-5. We also added two fairway bunkers.
The drainage system consists of 4″ solid, double wall pipe, and 12″ inlets constructed of 12″ double wall solid pipe. Subtle swales directs water to inlets, and the pipe daylights at a bordering pond.
We used PVC lateral pipe for the irrigation system, 2″ fused HDPE would have been a better choice but the expense was too much for the owner. We installed new wire to the reused valve-in-head sprinklers.
We screener mixed the stockpiled peat with unscreened drainage sand. The six inch layer of home made topsoil provided an economical topsoil.
We installed fairway sod in strips, not rolls. The late New England weather caused muddy conditions, so we laid out plywood and this provided a suitable working platform.
Two years later the fairway looks good. A few areas have settled, but the settling is only a few inches, not the few feet seen before construction. We installed inlets in the low areas to remove pocketed water.