Since approximately 4 years ago, and moved forward by the Head Greenkeeper D. Fernando Expósito, the Real Sociedad de Golf de Neguri has undertaken an ambitious investment project that aims to achieve a significant improvement of certain aspects of the golf course. During extreme climate periods, occuring in summer, and during the wet season (prolonged during the rest of the year), the golf course is affected by problems that limit the possibility of offering their members excellent playing conditions.
Almost 1.200 mm of average annual rainfall, concentrated between October and April, promediates more than 100 mm monthly rainfall. This rainfall ammount, added to low evapotranspiration conditions, and poor soil infiltration rates (ksat < 8mm/hr), makes very hard to avoid a golf course that feels damp, and high soil moisture content during long periods of time.
Aiming to improve the drainage capacity of the golf course and the evacuation of water, the Club commissioned a comprehensive drainage project, which is to be complemented by a sand-capping of fairways and collars.
The selection of the right sand, critical in this type of projects, will be carried out based on a compilation of laboratory analysis and an in-depth evaluation, similar to when sands are evaluated for green construction. Water retention curves will be determined, to define the minimum sand layer depth that grants an adequate capillarity and air content in the soil fraction.
Even though sand-capping improves drainage rates in the topsoil drastically, it is still essential to install subsurface drainage, so that excess water can be removed and taken away from the playing areas.
The design of the drainage system will greatly depend on the existing shape and topography of the golf course. These have a great influence in the velocity of the water when running off towards low points where there are catch basins. Regarding this, the sand-capping project will evaluate the necessity of incurring in “light” shaping towards these areas in order to promote efficient drainage.
Finally, once sand-capping has been carried out, and depending on the phases in which the works are to take part and the time frame for the opening, the playing surface will be either sodded or hydroseeded.