Golf Course Management

FEB 2016

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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84 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 02.16 That's the case at Huntingdon Valley Coun- try Club in suburban Philadelphia. The course is built in a valley, with a mile-and-a-half-long stream bisecting the property. When this Wil - liam Flynn course was designed in 1927, the surrounding area above the course was farm - land. Today, it's neighborhoods with impervi- ous roads and rooftops. During heavy rain- storms, the water from those neighborhoods rushes down the valley, resulting in fash foods. "There's a lot of impervious ground up - stream, so during storm events, we get a lot of fooding that causes cutting into the banks of the stream and erosion around bridges," says Scott Anderson, the superintendent at Huntingdon Valley since 1983 and a 32-year member of GCSAA. "We use burlap some - times under sod, even along the stream banks. We shoot for a 3:1 slope to soften the stream bank so there's less ability for the stream to cut into the bank. We'll sod the top of burlap, put wire mesh over the top or chicken wire over that, and pin the sod with spikes to hold it all down. In some cases, in order to get the sod to root, in the off-season we'll put a geotex - tile over it like an insulation blanket so it stays warm through the winter." Flooding from upstream urban areas cut into stream banks and eroded the soil around bridges at Huntingdon Valley Country Club. Photos by Archie Filshill Yet not every event need be catastrophic and cause headaches. Each year, slopes in Cal - ifornia give way in the rainy season because fres earlier in the year have destroyed vege - tation that would have held the soil in place. Flash foods on the East Coast cause washouts on riverbanks and streams. If you work on a golf course, you've probably handled a land stabilization issue at some point in your career. Stabilizing soil Archie Filshill, Ph.D., is recognized world - wide as an expert in soil stabilization and geotechnical engineering and is the owner of INOVA Geosynthetics in Huntingdon Val - ley, Pa. He says if it seems like we're hearing a lot more recently about landslides and land stabilization matters, there is good reason for it. "People are building now where they never built before," Filshill says. "With all of the urban sprawl, there's more paved area, which causes more runoff. When it does rain, what would go into the ground is being concen - trated into channels and streams that were not designed to handle that kind of fow. There's more water coming through these channels and streams than ever before." "With all of the urban sprawl, there's more paved area, which causes more runoff." — Archie Filshill

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