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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86 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 02.16 Geotextiles are stabilization blankets, mats or liners used to hold soil in place in hillsides or bunker faces. The frst generation of stabiliza - tion mats, made from rubber and natural co- conut fbers, were tested at Huntingdon Valley back in the late 1980s. Fred Woll is the president of F.P. Woll, a company that began in 1907 in Philadelphia that used natural animal hair to create furniture and bedding. Over the decades, the company found new ways to use natural fbers includ - ing coconut. Three decades ago, Woll was the tennis chairman at Huntingdon Valley and he showed Anderson his company's new coconut matting. Anderson, along with the green com - mittee chairman at the time, agreed to test the mats for soil stabilization on the stream banks and under sand in the bunker faces. The mats worked so well for the stream banks — and held sand in place in vertical bunkers after rain events — that the technology quickly caught on at other golf courses around the country. From there, the stabilization mat grew into the geotextile industry. Today, biodegradable mats are available that, like Woll's coconut fber mats, degrade over time. Other perma - nent mats with reinforced polymers for a more long-term solution are also on the market. Geogrids Geogrids may be inserted close to the sur - face of the soil and used to reinforce parking lots or paths, and their strong plastic honey - combs allow grass to grow through the voids in the cells. At Jeffersonville Golf Club in West Norri - ton Township, Pa., superintendent Rich Shil- ling struggled with the entrances to cart paths on two holes of the Donald Ross-designed municipal golf course built in the 1930s. The course is open year-round and receives upward of 40,000 rounds of play annually. Golf cart wheels wore ruts through the grass at the en - trances to the cart paths on the ffth and sixth holes until the grass stopped growing. As the ruts got deeper and deeper, casual water be - came an issue. The areas were continuously marked as "ground under repair," and mem - bers complained. Schilling knew he had to fnd a solution. "We looked into some options with using stone, or mulch, but I didn't think that was the right answer," Shilling says. "I didn't want that washing out, or the golfers hitting out and getting the material closer to the green where it could damage the mowers. If we used the geogrid, we could grow some grass in there and it would look aesthetically pleasing." He purchased two 60-foot-by-4-foot rolls of geogrid from a local landscape supplier. His crew excavated the area, laid some modifed stone, rolled out the grid, and staked it to the ground with railroad spikes. They flled the open grids three-quarters full with soil and then seeded over the top of the grid. More than a year later, Shilling says the geogrid is holding up well. "There's no more rutting or erosion at all. The only problem is if some of the grid gets flled up too high with soil, the grass burns Above: Geogrids are strong plastic honeycomb grids that can be inserted close to the surface of the soil to stabilize heavily traffcked areas while allowing grass to grow. Photo courtesy of Archie Filshill Left: Burlap covers a stream bank at Huntingdon Valley Country Club to help stabilize the soil and secure new sod. Photo courtesy of Scott Anderson

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