Drainage installed by Duncan Ross Contractors has reduced the number of days play lost to wet conditions to less than one week in a year at the 18 hole Hurlston Hall Golf and Country Club near Ormskirk.
"Our target is 365 days play every year" said Tony Smith Estate Manager. We may not be able to do anything about the snow but we can certainly address the rain. Before work began in 2009/10 we were constantly resorting to temporary greens because of poor drainage.
As everyone knows last year was an exceptionally wet one. In fact I had to go back 8 years to find weather patterns that came even close to what we had to deal with in 2012. Since the drainage work has finished, we only lost three days play and have not resorted to temporary greens once. This is a phenomenal achievement when you think about it.
The whole project has been phased in over a period of three years, with the work on the fairways taking place during the drier periods and the greens throughout the winter months.
Duncan Ross started installing drainage on the fairways in 2010, with main drainage lines laid on the 5th and lateral drains on the 6th, 8th, 10th and 1st fairways. Phase 2 began in 2011 with 200m, 100mm pipe installed on the 13th and 1st fairways plus a further 63m dug through an existing road and trees to connect to a manhole. Another 520m of 80mm lateral drainage lines on the 1st and 8th completed the immediate requirement for fairway drainage.
Moving onto the greens in 2011 and returning in 2012 to complete the final phases, Duncan Ross installed over 1200m of 80m pipe at 3m spacings across the 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 8th, 9th 12th and 13th greens, including junctions and road crossings, and an additional 76m of 100mm carrier drainage on the 2nd green.
Running alongside the standard drainage work, the Duncan Ross team also excavated a pond, dredged and dammed ditches, installed concrete bases for bridge work and generally assisted with any excavations required on site.
"What I like about this company is that they get involved with the project and there is a personal touch which is rare these days." explains Tony "They are extremely versatile and willing to tackle other work that arises as a consequence to the original brief.
"We were in the process of re-locating a new green and Duncan Ross and his team were prepared and able to construct and shape a new green and install drain lines on it and create three bunkers."
All of this work was conducted with the minimum of disturbance to the club, laying boards wherever necessary to reduce impact on the ground. On-going work maintenance work, Tony is delighted with the results "We have a full membership of almost 600 but still want to encourage the 'one day' golfer. It is imperative to the survival of the club that we keep the doors open to everyone all year round. Since completion we know it's going to take more than rain to close our greens."
Duncan Ross Ltd is one of the leading specialist sports turf contractors and always offers a personal hands-on approach to all of its projects. Working with fellow professionals to ensure that best practice is encouraged and affordable however large or small the task.