Friday, February 19, 2016

Fairway Drainage

Over the last 10 years 5 lake fairway has become our worst draining fairway.  We had a situation like this a few years back where 1 lake fairway had become our worst draining fairway when it previously performed well.  What I attribute it to is better infiltration rates and that's a sign of all the aeration we've done over the last 5 years.  Before we started aerating so much I believe when it rained, a majority of that water just sheeted off the surface into collection drains.  Now the rain water is getting in the soil and once it is in, it moves lateraly below the surface and pops out in new areas each year.    It's a catch 22 because the better infiltration rates are great for irrigation purposes, but not so much in the winter if there aren't drains for the water to move to. 

You can see an example of the lateral movement by looking in the drain line we just cut on 5 lake.  We trenched a line to 2.5 feet and the day of there was barely any water in the drain line.  The next morning the line has standing water as shown in the picture.  We haven't had rain in 3 weeks and it shows us (or me at least) the importance of getting the drain lines so deep as to catch the subsurface water movement.   

Will this make the fairway playable the next day after an inch of rain?  No, but maybe instead of 5 days on the path, we could reduce that to 3 days.