Down The Drain August 19, 2014 By Chris Hartwiger

(L) Small rubber curbing was installed along this cart path to prevent surface water from flowing off a hill and onto a fairway. (R) With this new curbing in place, water now runs downhill until it eventually reaches the appropriate drain.

Excellent drainage is one of the hallmarks of a course that is enjoyable to play throughout the entire year. Properly drained golf holes benefit both the turf management team as well as golfers.

Recent travels in the Southeast provided a great reminder about a cost-effective way to keep traditionally wet areas drier by preventing surface water from reaching wet areas. In some cases, this can be done by using the hard surface of a cart path to your advantage. The solution shown was observed during a recent Course Consulting Service visit.

This golf facility has a large hillside that sheets water downhill, across a cart path, and onto a fairway. Although there was subsurface drainage installed in the fairway, the amount of water sheeting off the hill overwhelmed the drains and kept the fairway wetter than most others on the course. The golf course superintendent was able to purchase commercially available rubber curbing and install in along the cart path as shown in the pictures. Now, surface water hits the curb and moves downhill until it eventually reaches a drain.

By preventing the water sheeting off the hill from reaching the fairway, the existing drains in the fairway handle much less water. With this inexpensive fix, playing quality has never been better on this hole during wet times of the year.

Source: Chris Hartwiger (

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