Friday, May 1, 2009

Improving Our Pathways... or, What We Do When It's Too Wet To Work On the Course!

As you know, we have few cart paths on the course, and their use is limited to areas of high cart or maintenance traffic. This is because they require added maintenance and can create erratic ball flight when impacted by a golf shot.

Years ago, we decided a way to improve the appearance, reduce the cost of periodical replacement, and reduce erratic ball flight on our asphalt cart paths, was to replace and/or cover them with the crushed red brick chips. Since that time, perhaps the last fifteen years or so, we have covered over deteriorating asphalt paths with the crushed brick and used this material exclusively for any newly constructed paths that are not prone to high water flow across or where access by heavy equipment is needed.

Crushed brick path by #2 tee

We have found that the brick chips will move over time and wash when placed on asphalt and/or will migrate into underlying soil or gravel base. Through trials we conducted a couple years ago, we determined that if we use a soil separator fabric combined with brick edging (which match nicely with the crushed brick), we could dramatically extend the life of the path. This process also reduces the need for topdressing with new material, retains the original desired width, and reduces adjacent turf loss by keeping drivers within or “on” the paths.

Example of a "growing" cart path. The edge originated roughly 12" to the RIGHT of this sprinkler head - over 2 1/2 feet from where it is in the picture!

Two years ago, we performed significant work of this type on the pathway from #8 tee going west to the Half Way House and continuing west to #11 tee. It worked very well and now requires much less maintenance and expense than the before. We have many more path areas to address, but we have recently begun to work on the cart path near #14 tees.

The path improvement process involves:
• Creating a solid base with sub grade gravel
• Cutting an edge into the adjacent turf to contain the brick edging
• Installing Soil Separator fabric
• Placing and cutting bricks along edges to follow desired path flow
• Installing a plastic edge material to keep bricks “tight” against adjacent soil/turf.
• Placing and moothing crushed red brick top material
• Repairing damaged areas along path edges with sod or soil & seed

Current improvement work behind #14 tees.

We plan to continue this work over time, as it will provide important benefits including being aesthetically pleasing, cost effective, and create reasonable outcomes when impacted by golf balls.

1 comment:

  1. Don,

    Was out Sat. evening and saw the new path behind the 14th tee box. I love the contrast of the red brick & the grass. Looks great and love the idea of these crushed brick paths being completed around the course.


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