Yesterday we started a drainage project that should dry up this area in front of 5 green. For those of you that have forgotten how wet this area can get, below is a pic I took in May that clearly shows just how gross this area used to be.
It's no wonder this area gets this way. All the foot and cart traffic funnel through this low area on the way to the 6th hole. Also, because it's a low area, during heavy rain events, we always have standing water here. Well, today we hope to put an end to that with a little drainage work. We use a back hoe instead of a ditchwitch simply because it's faster. There is so much rock in our soils that the ditchwitch just bounces all over the place and inevitably we'll hit a boulder that throws off the main digging chain. Anyway, drainage at Tacoma C&GC usually involves digging through some tough stuff, but our drainage solution is always very simple and that is "keep digging till you hit gold". Actually, there is no gold to be found on the property but what we're looking for is the "gold" layer. Check out the picture below I took yesterday at the beginning of this project on 5 approach.
Sure enough, at about 24" of depth, we found gold. You can clearly see the dramatic color difference between the gold layer and the top dark layer. Below is a close up that shows this gold layer is essentially sand and gravel.
So the good news is we never really need to move water through a ditch with pipe. That means we don't have to worry about digging a ditch that has slope. Once we hit the gold layer, our ditch will drain straight down at a very rapid rate. So drainage at Tacoma C&GC is simple, dig down till you hit gold, backfill with straight sand, then replace turf. There's a few areas on the course where we will be doing this sort of work over the next couple weeks.