Noyac Golf Club XGD Backfill

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Mark Rowan and crew recently completed another green at this golf treasure in Sag Harbor, NY. Noyac Golf Club was built in 1963 and designed by William Mitchell.

I met superintendent Brian Goleski while completing a green at neighboring Shinnecock Hills GC several years ago. His enthusiasm for our unique subsurface greens drainage process was immediately evident as we began completing the initial greens at his club a year later.

While I wasn’t on site, Brian told me he may use some of the native green trench spoils as backfill material, and may take some of the more organic material back to the shop and “cut” it with some sand to return to the green as trench backfill material. This type of varied backfilling options on a green by green basis is certainly unusual for us, but stems from the native sandy loam found in the Hamptons. For instance, at Shinnecock we returned the native trench spoils right back in to the trench instead of using an organic greens mix. We also did this on all the greens at Toronto GC as well. Of the more than 2000 greens we have completed, these are the only three clubs that we have gone down this road on. It certainly nearly guarantees that the XGD greens drainage laterals will rarely be visible.

While Toronto and Shinnecock returned the native sandy loam to the trenches, it is certainly not that cut and dried at Noyac. Brian is super involved in the XGD project each time we are there and he is always monitoring the varied material we are pulling out of his greens to see if sand is needed to be added to the native dirt backfill. He tells me a good portion of his greens have a really nice native sand just under the topdressing profile that we immediately return to the trenches in those cases, while other greens are much more soil based and need a little sand mixed in to match up with the consistency of his more sandy green profiles. Now this sounds a little risky, but Brian is completely on top of this unique backfill operation and tells me the visibility of the XGD laterals is consistent across all the greens we have completed.

In summary, it takes a select few (3) golf clubs that we have the opportunity to pull off these types of native sandy backfill deals.  Nearly all of our installs utilize a sand organic greensmix purchased from an outside sand supplier. As most of my readers know, most all pushup greens were built on predominantly clay soils, designed to hold moisture in the old days that were absent of automatic irrigation, and these old green bathtubs performed admirably in that era. However, as golfer expectations have soared over the past 20 years or so, the ability to utilize our greens restoration process, to save these original greenpads from the perils of new construction is what has kept us growing as a company. So kudos to Noyac and Brian Goleski, as they continue to strive to improve the performance of their gorgeous original greenpads.

Regards,Poor Old Dirt & Grass Farmer

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