How to keep your green green

Category: Product Information and Technical, Sureset Blog

Posted 26th October 2015 by Jim Newton


Golf is good for you – it’s played outdoors, it’s sociable and comes with many health benefits; providing low injury risk exercise, encouraging mental activity, improving vision and reducing stress, which encourages better sleep.  

So where did this popular sport come from?  
The term ‘golf’ is thought to originate from the old Scottish words golve, gowl or gouf; still used today by some Scottish golfers. The first recorded reference to golf was in 1471 when Scottish Parliament banned it, along with football, because both sports interfered with archery practice, which was necessary for national defence. The ban was lifted in 1500 and in 1552 Archbishop Hamilton’s Charter recognised the right of the people of St Andrews to play golf on the ‘Old Course’.  

Is golf still popular today?  
Although golf has been enjoyed around the world for centuries, recent years have seen a decline in the number of people playing. Cost, time and weather are thought to be some of the main factors contributing to its waning popularity.  

While the issues of cost and time can be addressed we cannot influence the weather, which in the UK, is not exactly ideal for outdoor sports such as golf. I mean, who wouldn’t rather be playing golf in Portugal?  

As annual rainfall increases in the UK, so do the problems associated with surface water run-off e.g. drainage, waterlogging and the pollution of watercourses. Many golf courses are adapting how they manage their greens and grounds because failing to do so will reduce the quality of a course and its playability.  

How do we do this?  
One way is by reinforcing grass in ‘high wear’ areas such as caddy and buggy paths with grid structures; a SuDS compliant, environmentally friendly and cost effective solution.   Our own cellular grid structure, SureCell® is made from 100% recycled plastic; an interlocking, honeycomb system that is laid directly onto compacted stone. When in-filled with soil and grass SureCell allows surface water to drain away resulting in a stable surface that doesn’t become waterlogged and muddy.  

Ideal for caddy and buggy paths, SureCell is:            

  • Fast, economical and easy to install      
  • Super-strong and high load bearing            
  • Fully permeable, efficiently filtering water back into the natural water table            
  • Fully compliant with SuDS*.

SureCell can be installed by our Installation Team and is also available in a TradePack® for experienced tradesmen and builders to use on their own projects.      

What are the environmental benefits of a grid structure?        

  • Made from 100% recycled material (HDPE), SureCell creates a fully permeable reinforced stable base, without the need for a cementitous or bitumen based products       
  • HDPE is inert and stable, with an expected lifespan of over 50 years        
  • CIRIA, the leading body in SuDS research, states that a permeable surface can remove 60-95% of suspended solids and 70-90% of hydrocarbons        
  • Minimal digging and reducing the amount and type of infill a grid structure requires, reduces the need for heavy machinery. This has a knock on effect on pollution and the carbon footprint and minimizes on-site disruption from dust, erosion and runoff        
  • The long-term design life of grid structures mean that maintenance, associated environmental and long-term environmental costs are significantly reduced.

What are the key benefits of a grid structure?       

Grid structures can transfer loads across the interlocking units to reduce dynamic load impact from traffic, some up to 400t/m².       

Quicker, easier and cheaper to install
With no need to install a separate layer the ‘dig down’ time is reduced and without the need for heavy installation machinery and there is little to no noise pollution.       

Control of water run-off
Permeable surfaces allow water to pass into the underlying sub-base to be stored, channelled or dispersed into the ground, onto the next stage of SuDS or a drainage system.  

Permeable resin bound paving  
The installation of permeable resin bound footpaths to other areas of the grounds will help manage the runoff produced by impermeable areas; transporting excess water away from the playing surfaces.   SureSet permeable resin bound paving can be specified to accommodate all kinds of traffic; pedestrians, golf buggies, car parks and access roads.   Our unique discipline of combining outstanding attractiveness and creativity with practicality and sustainability allows us to incorporate Golf Club logos into any surface.    

How is it permeable? 
We cold mix natural aggregate, marble or recycled glass with our high quality clear resin on site. When these components are mixed, each particle is completely coated with resin; forming a 3D matrix.   

During the laying process minute voids are formed that, when cured, mimic natural drainage by allowing water to quickly drain through. This efficient dispersal of water brings a wide range of safety, comfort and maintenance benefits including:            

  • Eliminating puddles
  • Preventing weed growth
  • Contributing to flood prevention
  • Minimising the potential for flash flooding
  • Reducing water pollution caused by oils and heavy metals.   

*What is SuDS?  
Sustainable urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) is an approach to water management introduced by the Environment Agency in 2011 to help manage flood risk and water quality.    SuDS use a range of schemes including soakaways, swales, attenuation basins and retention and detention ponds that, along with permeable paving, contribute to flood prevention.   Sustainable drainage also provides natural filtration by removing pollutants, (turf products, sediments and hydrocarbons) and helps reduce the ‘heat island’ effect by allowing the underlying soil to breathe.   Golf courses quite often increase areas of rough grassland to create ‘natural’ drainage that re-contours surface water away from the green. These areas of rough grassland also give visual definition to each hole and provide valuable habitat for wildlife.    

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