Golf Course Management

JUN 2018

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

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06.18 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 63 revised recommendations preserve their broad applicability, ensuring they remain useful to golf courses around the world. 4. Consider alternative methods for construc - tion. e potential benefits and pitfalls of alternative construction methods are recog - nized and discussed in the USGA publica- tion, "Building the USGA Putting Green: Tips for Success." Summary of changes made to the recommendations e 2018 USGA Recommendations for a Method of Putting Green Construction lists eight steps to educate readers on the charac - teristics of a USGA green. e following sum- marizes the revisions made within each step. Step 1. Assemble your team e 2004 version of the recommendations did not include this step. e industry profes - sionals on the review committee felt it neces- sary to stress the importance of compiling a trusted team to design, implement, build and maintain a new USGA putting green. Typi - cally, such a team includes an architect, golf course superintendent and golf course builder. Step 2. e putting green cavity and subgrade e recommendations for building the subgrade changed only slightly, with added comments on compacting and stabilizing the subgrade. Specific changes are listed below. • If soil is used to construct the subgrade, it should be installed in 6-inch (15.2-cm) lifts and compacted to at least 90% minimum standard Proctor density as determined by the Proctor compaction test ASTM D698. • e 2018 revision encourages courses to consult with a local geotechnical engineer should they encounter unstable soils such as those containing shrink/swell clays, soft sands or high concentrations of organic ma - terial. e document, "Building the USGA Putting Green: Tips for Success" provides additional explanation on using lime or geotextile fabric as stabilization methods. Step 3. Drainage USGA agronomists and the golf course superintendents on the review committee shared experiences observing chronically wet root-zone conditions in low-lying areas at the perimeter of putting greens. In some instances, the perimeter drain (sometimes referred to as the smile drain) was installed several feet from the cavity perimeter rather than immediately at the edge of the put - ting green cavity. Several changes were made based on these observations. • Install clean-out ports (flush-outs) upstream and downstream of the putting green, and add metal to the cap of the risers to facilitate easy location with a metal detector. • Install perimeter drains in all areas where water could accumulate adjacent to the cav - ity wall, not just at the front of the green. In addition, perimeter drains should be in - stalled immediately against the cavity wall. Step 4. Gravel and intermediate layer • e intermediate layer remains an option in the USGA green, but experience has shown this layer is rarely necessary. e changes in this step focus on new technology for test - ing material stability and alerting courses to a potential construction pitfall with the formation of iron oxide layers (a cemented In the new recommendations, courses are cautioned that placing low-pH root-zone mixtures over high-pH gravel could cause iron oxide layers to form between the root-zone and gravel layers.

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