Golf Course Management

FEB 2017

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

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Page 33 of 127

30 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 02.17 Brian Fischer Stuart Fischer (water) line. In layman's terms, these products are like filling a huge sock with rich organic sediment and lining the shoreline with it. After it's sod - ded and fully rooted, it becomes a permanent part of the shoreline, which is then no longer susceptible to erosion. After shorelines have been stabilized, su - perintendents can consider a variety of other initiatives that reflect a commitment to the en - vironment and will also beautify their courses. Fountains, for example, are much more than ornamental features. Fountains (and foun - tain-like aeration systems) aerate lakes, thereby maintaining water flow and creating a sound, healthy environment for fish. The fish them - selves are important too, as they can control midge and mosquito populations. Aquatic plantings can be beneficial to the environment along with being aestheti - cally pleasing, but some actually have a nega- tive impact, polluting the water and harming habitat for fish, birds and other wildlife. Iden - tifying these detrimental plants is critical, and they should be removed and replaced with aquatic plants known to be suitable. Bodies of water are assets to your golf course that can enhance profitability, but they, like any other amenity, must be maintained responsibly and efficiently. Taking steps to se - cure shorelines will help preserve these attrac- tive features, protecting the overall value and beauty of your facility. Brian Fischer and Stuart Fischer are presidents of Lake and Wetland Management Inc. (, a full-service environmental resource management company based in Boynton Beach, Fla. At this month's Golf Industry Show in Orlando, you can find Lake and Wetland Manage - ment in booth 207. Shoring up your shorelines Most golfers' first priority is to hit a drive down the middle of the fairway on the first hole. And while they may shake their heads in frus - tration as another ball lands in the drink, hack- ers and scratch players alike appreciate views of natural or man-made ponds, lakes, fountains and scenic waterways as they play a course. Without continual care, these enjoyable bodies of water can fall into disrepair, resulting in unsightly and potentially dangerous shore - lines, as well as a failing habitat for wildlife. Damage to shorelines is unavoidable, because water is a highly corrosive agent and, as prop - erties age, water can encroach on land, causing an array of problems. Storms and the encroach - ment of algae and other undesirable plants that require herbicides or mechanical control also exact a toll on a shoreline. Those charged with maintaining these properties must be proactive and take regular, cost-effective steps to avoid larger repair expenses. While we can't fool Mother Nature, with an understanding of the environment and today's technology, we can subtly influence her, and many of these shore - line issues can be reversed. Despite any superintendent's best efforts, fluctuating water levels in a body of water can destabilize the ground and result in signifi - cant erosion. Unstable land can be hazardous — golfers walking on the shorelines could fall as the land collapses, and the weakened shore - lines could also lead to golf cart accidents. Re- ceding water levels can become a haven for burrowing animals, which can further crip - ple shorelines. In addition, poorly maintained shorelines may leave drainage pipes, sprin - kler systems, and electrical, cable and inter- net lines exposed and subject to corrosion and damage — damage that can be quite costly to repair. Fortunately, there are several strategies that control shoreline erosion, including the instal - lation of sandbags, rocks and trees. For the most part, however, those tactics are only ban - dages. Among the more permanent and eco- friendly erosion-control technologies are those options that offer an effective way to remove sediment from waterways and reclaim shore - lines. For example, planting and/or sodding directly through mesh armoring establishes newly rooted vegetation, and this approach taps nature's own ability to stabilize the shore - Before and after photos of a shoreline restoration project undertaken by Lake and Wetland Man - agement at Boca Pointe CC in Boca Raton, Fla. Photos courtesy of Lake and Wetland Management

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