Why We Layout Our XGD Installation Like We Do

 In Classic Golf Architecture, Flushing Salts, Golf Course Capital Improvements, Golf Drainage, Golf Infrastructure Improvements, Greens Drainage

I was recently at a meeting at club considering our process for completing the balance of their greens after we had begun with a few several years ago. The XGD greens had been performing admirably, but better outlets needed to be investigated so as not back up our system, which is the last thing anyone wants to do, as every minute counts when emptying the gravitational groundwater out of the pushup green. The club had experienced turf loss last summer during some extremely heavy precipitation events, followed by 100 degree temperatures. Almost all of the turf loss occurred on the non-XGD greens.

In the clubs quest for how to improve all their greens, a highly respected agronomist was brought in for their opinions. The agronomist questioned the direction of our XGD laterals, suggesting we needed to install our system perpendicular to the slope, rather than parallel to the slope. While this was not the first time I had heard this opinion, this struck a nerve, and blogging on these types of queries is what I am all about:

1) I agree, we would always prefer to install perpendicular to the slope rather than parallel. This allows us to catch the most groundwater(not surface water).

2) Our oldest greens are now 20 years old, and performing great still. The main reason for this longevity is exacting grade during the installation, which allows for self cleaning of all XGD pipes when the soil reaches saturation point and a natural flush occurs.

3) Another reason for this longevity is our 6′ spacing and our minimum depth of 14″ which allows for groundwater table control consistently across the entire putting surface regardless of slope.

4) In installing this self cleaning positive grade, we have to work with the wildly varying surface grades and contours on these classic old pushups. So, while we want to install every inch of pipe perpendicular to the slope it cannot always be achieved if we want to guarantee each client gets a long term investment with XGD.

5) Ultimately, lets keep it simple here. All we really care about is our spacing and our depth, and a positive self cleaning grade. Once we begin to layout the system, we can tweak the lateral direction wherever we can to be perpendicular to the slope, so far as we don’t compromise positive grade and our minimum depth.

The XGD System is superior to other drainage systems such as:
The Rope
Sand Channel
Cambridge System
Water Wick
Because our system has larger pipes, and/or at least a pipe on every lateral, and we open trench and use positive grade. We don’t vibratory plow in it without checking for grade. While others will tell you they can keep grade while following the natural contours of the green. Sure, all greens slope back to front and then to one single point in the front of the green! And, if they did, golf would be the most boring sport ever concocted. Less than 5% of greens have slopes like this.

Lastly, I wanted to exhibit a pair of pictures from a recent install we completed at Mercer Oaks GC, NJ:

The front portion of this green has a form of a flat, systematic layout, and not a true herringbone. Sometimes the middle bowl types of these greens force us to use this type of layout which is fine for new sand greens, and a popular way to describe drainage systems your grandfather might install.

This is the layout on the back portion of the same green, and what we prefer to install whenever the surface grade allows. This is a systematic pattern with the smile drain doubling as a mainline.

I will leave with you the thrust of this post, and our installation mantra here at XGD Systems:
Positive Grade
Layout Perpendicular to Slope, once the above Three are achieved.

Thanks for reading,
Poor Old Dirt & Grass Farmer

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