The Pushup Green – Brilliant Design Concept
Recently, I have once again begun thinking about the general design concept of the “pushup green”. It wasn’t just pushed up by single dirt yard horse scrapers and seeded.
Nope, first step was the construction of the bathtub, aka green cavity. In the early era of greens construction over 120 years ago savvy architects would shape out the proposed green cavity at a depth of 4″ or so, vs. today’s 16″ deep USGA green cavity. After the greens cavity was shaped a mixture of organic topsoil, sheep and horse manure was installed in the cavity(bathtub). This was essential in ensuring the greens soil would hold enough moisture between precipitation events, that little or no additional irrigation was needed. Trust me, 120 years there weren’t too many “quick couplers” in the ground.
These types of conditions were totally acceptable in that era when the number of yearly rounds at a golf club were significantly less than today, and mowing heights were of fairway heights today. Hence, very little turfgrass stress was on the plant, compared to today’s greens grasses. Check out this article from the USGA in 1925 on “Tile Drainage for Greens of Clay Soil” at http://turf.lib.msu.edu/1920s/1925/2507149.pdf as it discusses an early internal subsurface greens drainage installation at Columbus CC. The detail in the description from layout to finished product reads like a training manual for our XGD installation staff. The layout they propose is easy to achieve in the days of limited grading tools. One difference at XGD is we install our drainage laterals perpendicular to the line of play, not parallel. This is much more difficult to achieve and our competition truly doesn’t understand this concept of catching gravitational groundwater and cutting off its movement through a greens cavity, not running our XGD drainage laterals parallel, and letting groundwater and surface water travel beside our laterals? At XGD Systems, we are always trying to make our product better through feedback from our customers, as they continually figure out new tricks to keep the pore space more open in their greens root zones.
At XGD we like all types of greens, and the USGA typed greens are certainly the best way to rebuild very quickly. However, working with our parent firm http://www.tdigolf.com/ at Toronto GC, last summer we moved and reconstructed to pushup greens using technology from the area such as pitch forks and manual labour. These two greens turned out great, and you can rebuild your native pushups, albeit with the aid of internal subsurface greens drainage to control soil moisture, and provide consistent playing conditions on all 18 putting surfaces, like the Toronto Golf Club now has.
But, by all means contact the professionals at this new/old technique, and we can get you some budget numbers on how to restore/rebuild your putting surfaces without truly rebuilding them, only on the inside, without nary a blemish on the outer surface.
Cheers, Poor Old Dirt & Grass Farmer