The Castle Course: Holding back the floods on 6

This winter, the greenkeeping team redeveloped the approach to the 6th hole of The Castle Course. The lower part of the hole sits in a hollow at the far end of the course. It’s mounded on all sides and when wet, the mounds seep water for quite a long time. In heavy rain it runs like a river and we end up with a pond just short of the green.

The two weeks’ worth of work in four quick minutes:

Flooding at the 6th approach area before renovation work

Not only is water retention an issue due to the contouring of the site, there’s quite a deep hollow at the front of the green that makes hitting a bump and run shot quite difficult. If the shot is short it doesn’t run on, if it’s a little long it can end up through the back of the green. Over time, the quality of the turf has become poor due to flooding and constant mechanical aeration which drove our decision to revamp the area.

The work: 

First, the turf was cut, rolled and lifted… over 1000 rolls in total!

The 1000+ rolls of turf 

The poor soil holding the moisture was removed to a depth of 3 inches. You can tell the soil is anaerobic (holding moisture and lacking oxygen) by the smell (like sour eggs) and the black colour of it.

Cut of poor quality soil

We then added more drainage to the area to capture the water before it gets to the approach. (See previous drainage blog)

Further drainage being added

The approach area had an existing drain running through it so when we raised the area, we wanted the drain to continue running along the bottom of the hollow. In order to do this, we pegged the drain line and recontoured the area so everything fell towards the drain.

Once happy with the final contouring, we started the job of replacing the 1000 + rolls of turf.

Replacing the turf

The completed work

This was completed in late November and after a few months it has settled and started to root. By the time high season has started, the changes shouldn’t even be noticeable and the playing experience of the hole will be even better!

Words by Jon Wood, Course Manager – The Castle Course.

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