There's nothing better than a round of golf, on a beautifully kept course on a warm and sunny day. But whilst we do get our share of sunshine, there's no doubt that the unpredictability of the British weather can cause real problems when it leads to course closures from frost, snow or high rainfall. There's not a lot we can do about the weather, but you can minimise the impact it can have on your course.
Many golf courses are challenged with greens with poor drainage capabilities, water logged courses can keep you closed even when the weather has improved- not good for business or customer satisfaction.
This is a problem faced by many courses that were built more than 20 years ago on clay based moisture retaining land, which has been highlighted in recent years by the increase in winter play. However, specialist sportsturf drainage techniques pioneered by Shelton SDS can provide effective solutions to the problem with minimal disturbance to the greens. In fact, golfers can be playing a mere 24 hours after the work has been completed.
With over 100 year's experience of land drainage between them, they have seen most problems and are compelled to find a solution for them. Through ongoing research and development they have found that most issues can be rectified using one of the following techniques:
The Shelton Gravel Band System: This is carried out between November and February when the ground is wet. This simple system uses the Gravel Band Drainer and Lytag backfilling material, a man made aggregate, which moves water 8 times faster than crushed gravel.
The system gives excellent results as Mr David Thackray, Head Greenkeeper of Bradford Golf Club was happy to confirm 'We have just hired the Shelton Gravel Band Drainer and completed 2 more greens, we drained 3 greens eight years ago and have had fantastic results using this method.
I can't praise the machine and its support through Sheltons enough. It's a very cost affective and undisruptive way to drain wet areas on your course'. The beauty of this system is in its simplicity and speed; a large green can be drained in 5 hours and played on 24 hours later!
The Shelton System 25: This system is best suited to the drier months of the year, typically between late spring and late autumn, when the soil is dry to moist. The trencher cuts narrow channels in the green, with the soil being elevated into a trailer, whilst the Lytag is simultaneously vibrated in.
This system generates fast results and generally one green per day can be drained. Again, the damage to the green is minimal and they can be played 24 hours later -imperative in the busy summer months. The results are superb as Farnham Golf Club Greens Chairman stated 'The System 25 greens drainage has transformed the course'.
The latest and most advanced technique that Shelton's have developed is Lightening DrainTM: again, carried out between late spring and late autumn, when the soil is dry to moist, which also aids grass re-establishment.
It is a variation on the Shelton System 25, with the addition of 25mm perforated pipe being installed as part of the process, this helps to further speed the flow of water out into the exit drain. The structure of the soil improves as grass roots can penetrate deeper, helping to relieve compaction and reduce the need for irrigation in drier months. Cavendish Golf Club used the Lightening Drain system giving fantastic results. Peter Smith said 'the difference in the greens is like night and day'.
So, there really is no need to battle on with water logged greens any longer, Shelton's award winning machines and techniques are being used all over the world with great success and they pride themselves on listening to their customers needs to constantly improve.
For the chance to win an Ipod Nano, please click on the following link www.sheltonsdrainage.com/competition to enter the "Greens Drainage Prize Draw".
The draw will also be running at BTME Harrogate on the Shelton stand, number B8.
For more information on hiring, purchasing or contracting visit www.sheltonsdrainage.com or contact the team on 01507 578288.