Tee It Up All Year Long

Last updated: February 17, 2023

A top concern for many golf courses throughout the Lower Mainland revolves around the control of water. For an approximate three-month period, from July to September, adding water to the turf through an in-ground irrigation system is critical for dry summer conditions. On average, from November to March, the Lower Mainland experiences more than 1,000 millimeters (about 3.5 feet) of rain fall. Unfortunately, the sheer quantity of this water overpowers the natural drainage of most soil. Therefore, removing water from soil is very important to maintaining optimal playing conditions and a healthy turfgrass.

To speed the process of removing excess water from the golf course top-soil, surface aeration ensures that water infiltrates through to the in-ground de-watering/drainage systems quickly. Both Riverway and Burnaby Mountain golf courses utilized a deep-tine aeration process on the fairways this year (October 2016) to ensure quick recovery of dry playing conditions. click here to see aeration in action. To ensure even drier turf conditions, top-dressing with sand, after deep tine aeration, was also done. Click here to see sand top-dressing in action.

Sand top-dressing and deep tine aeration ensures that the surface water infiltrates quickly through the soil/turfgrass. To get a sense of how this works, check out this amazing video of how quickly water infiltrates into a sandy soil after deep-tine aeration.  Click here to see aeration in action.

Once the water infiltrates into the soil, the in-ground de-watering/drainage system ensures the water has somewhere to go. At both Riverway and Burnaby Mountain golf courses, thousands of meters of small diameter perforated drain pipes exist inside sand trenches to help drain away the excess water. These specialized subsurface drainage systems can actually remove more than 50 mm of surface and soil water in just one hour!

What does surface (deep-tine aeration) and subsurface drainage (in-ground drain pipes) do?

  1. Quickly removes water from soil, and produces dry turf conditions year-round.
  2. Improves playability, especially from November to March, when the Lower Mainland receives more than 1,000 mm of rainfall.
  3. Reduces ball plugging, increases bounce and roll on tee shots, and allows golf cart traffic on fairways year-round.
  4. Removes water from the soil profile, which also increases the amount of oxygen in the soil. Plants require oxygen to survive.
  5. Quickly removes water after heavy rainfall and ensures playable conditions, in most cases, in fewer than six hours.

Golf Burnaby’s specialized drainage system ensures that you are able to play golf at Burnaby’s courses with dry turf conditions all year long!