Stow Acres Turf

Golf Course Maintenance News & Live Updates from @stowacresturf

Get that water out of here…

Yesterday, we started the first of a few drainage trenches that are going to be installed over the next couple weeks.  The excessive rain amounts we received last month helped us identify where we need trenches to help maintain water flow and dry conditions.  As it  was pretty obvious, a few holes on the North course definitely needed some help.  Holes 3, 15, and 18 North will all receive new drain lines by the end of next week. 

Hole 3 North is connected to the pond that splits the fairways on 3 and 4, and it also protects the 4th green.  The trench that we have dug is to increase water flow from the pond and regulate the water level during rain events.  The trench will be filled with 2″ stone on the bottom and capped off with 1″ on the top.  In the middle of the trench there will be a 10″ diameter PVC pipe that will run from the pond into the woods just off the 3rd tee complex.  On the pond end of the pipe, we are installing a regulating elbow with a grate cover to catch debris and regulate the pond to the level we desire.  The grate will allow for easy clearing of debris when needed.  The water flow will then empty into the woods running down through and past the 16th tee North and stop in a catch area to the right of 15 North approach.  Here, we have dug another smaller trench that has similar stone, but only has a 2″ PVC line as water flow has decreased once it gets to this point.  The water will eventually end up in the large body of water that borders the 15th hole.  This was definitely a weak point in the drainage here, and this recent massive rain event helped us identify what we needed to do to fix it. 

Hole 18 North is also another weak point in the drainage.  As seen on 18 from about 130 yards from the green, the turf has suffocated due to excess water and moisture.  Our plan is to install another drainage line similar to 15 North and empty the water and hill runoff into the small pond by the pine grove on 18.  Once the drain line is installed, we can then begin to repair the damaged turf in that area.  Our two options are seed or sod, and they are both currently being evaluated now. 

The South course also has drainage issues of its own.  Holes 2 and 4 continue to give us trouble each spring season.  On hole 2 South we plan to install a french drain in the valley, (  This should allow the rope fences to finally be removed the fairway will play normal soon.  By now, I’m sure most of you that have played the South are wondering about the drainage on hole 4.  Because it is level with a peat bog (, it makes it difficult for us to find a place for the water to go.  Continued field capacity with water is something very hard to manage without major renovation.  Hole 4 is also currently being evaluated, and a long-term solution is being worked on. 

I appreciate your patience as these areas appear to be under construction.  We are doing our best to restore these areas to their original appearance soon.  As always, feel free to email me with any questions regarding course projects and updates.  Thanks for your support!  See you on the course!

-Jason VanBuskirk, Superintendent

Kevin carefully maneuvers the Ditch Witch to cut a trench for a drainage line on 15 North.


Author: Jason VanBuskirk

I am the past Golf Course Superintendent at Stow Acres Country Club located in Stow, MA. I graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2006 with a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Horticulture and Turfgrass Management. Before Stow Acres, I did an internship at one of the country's top 100 courses, The Stanwich Club located in Greenwich, CT. I worked as an Assistant Superintendent at Oakley Country Club located in Watertown, MA and Stow Acres Country Club South Course before becoming the Superintendent at Stow Acres CC. I am married to my soul mate and we have two incredible kids! My course counterpart, Kingston, loves riding shotgun in the cart. In my downtime, I enjoy working out, coaching hockey, and playing with our kids. Hope you enjoy the blog!

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