Summary: Tee renovation begins with a review of scope and budget. Use this post to begin the process, then check out our four-part series on tee construction.
I grew-up on a golf course with irregular tee surfaces. Water pockets and mounds complicated my search for a level teeing area. Eventually, laser graded tee surfaces became the standard. Imagine my horror when I read a post in Golfclubatlas.com by Tom Doak. He advocates irregular tee surfaces, and he has installed this detail on several new courses he designed.
I’d stick with laser-graded tee surfaces. Your players will enjoy them. You’ll love the positive drainage and even mowing. Here’s a few observations on tee construction:
1. Choose between a rebuild or a reconstruction.A rebuild includes removal of the existing sod and leveling of the existing tee mix. This works if the tee mix percolates water and the tee will accept a pitch of 1-2%.
a.) You can pitch the surface any way; most golfers cannot perceive the pitch (unless you tell them!). Set up a laser and take twenty shots on the proposed pitch to see where the grade will end. Be careful, you may shave off all the tee mix.
b.) Be careful of irrigation impacts. If you install a pitch/slope on a tee you may need new swing joints to fit the sprinklers in the new grade. Plan on recycling or purchasing new surround sod because the new pitch will need to transition into the existing slope.
3. A reconstruction is a total rebuild of the tee. Now is the time to add square footage, increase the elevation, remove nuisance trees, and install a new golf cart path.
a.) Plan on removing all the sod from the tee platform including around 3500 sf from the surrounding area.
b.)Remove the existing sprinklers and reinstall if desired. Reconfigure the existing fill or bring in additional fill. Use rocky fill if you like in the lower levels of the tee-fill-platform. Shape the subgrade in the form of a bathtub.
c.) Install 4″ drainage pipe (I know, some people don’t want drainage pipe but the stuff is cheap insurance if your tee mix gets supersaturated). Install pea stone or high percolation drainage sand with a perc. rate of 40 inches per hour (this is another superintendent point of argument that I’ll discuss in another post).
d.)Add 6″ of your favorite tee seedbed mixture and compact. Install topsoil on surrounding slopes. Transition the grades, and then its time to square the tee.
e.) Laser level with a box-blade, and sod after you check the irrigation.