The four-phase drainage project at Sundridge Park Golf Club

By Alistair November 8, 2019 10:08 Updated

The golf club started draining all of its 36 holes in 2015, as part of a four-phase project involving the unique Hydraway Sportsdrain, which will be completed next year. The results, so far, have been remarkable.

Sundridge Park Golf Club – tucked away in a beautiful pocket of greenery a short drive from London, in an otherwise bustling and urban part of Kent – boasts two 18-hole courses that have been offering picturesque and challenging golf to members for over a century. In more recent times however, one of the biggest challenges on the course – for golfers and greenkeepers alike – has been increasingly waterlogged greens affecting both courses, diminishing an otherwise superlative golfing experience.

Under forward-thinking, proactive management that has been making consistent improvements across the club’s facilities – both on and off the course – these issues have been faced head-on with the help of sports turf drainage specialist Turfdry. With 25 years’ experience installing industry-leading drainage systems on over 70 courses nationwide – as well as the firm’s reputation for careful project planning to minimise disruption to a club’s activities during installation works – Turfdry seemed a natural fit for a club looking to develop a long-term plan to solve its drainage issues, and the decision was made to drain all 36 holes, over four nine-hole phases.

Work on the project began in 2015, when the club’s West Course ‘back nine’ greens had new drainage systems designed and installed by Turfdry. Rather than using conventional plastic pipe drainage, the club opted for Turfdry’s unique drainage system using Hydraway Sportsdrain, having been convinced that the promise of increased performance and reduced disruption to the greens would offset the marginally increased cost.

Indeed, a water-intake rate three times that of conventional drainage, laboratory-proven clog-resistance and only a 55mm wide installation profile made a compelling case for a cost-effective investment, and to the club’s great delight their belief in the system’s benefits was rewarded with immediately transformative results to the playability of the greens. General manager Ben Riley reported that he and the club “have been extolling the virtues of the Turfdry system” since the initial installation in 2015, and have hosted visitors from other clubs interested to see the remarkable difference between the drained greens and those awaiting drainage.

Perhaps the greatest testament to the effectiveness of the greens’ drainage is that when all 18 greens on the West Course had been drained, enabling all-year-round play, the club decided that some complementary fairway drainage improvements to the West Course should be prioritised, and engaged Turfdry to design and install this in 2018.

The club’s attention is now focused on the East Course, where Turfdry is currently hard at work draining the back nine greens, with the final phase of this rewarding project scheduled for autumn 2020.


By Alistair November 8, 2019 10:08 Updated

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