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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Golf Course Applications of Near-Surface Geophysical Methods

Authors
item Allred, Barry
item Redman, Dave - SENSORS & SOFTWARE INC.
item Mccoy, Edward - THE OHIO STATE UNIV.

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental & Engineering Geophysics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 5, 2005
Publication Date: February 17, 2005
Citation: Allred, B.J., Redman, D., Mccoy, E.L. 2005. Golf course applications of near-surface geophysical methods. Journal of Environmental & Engineering Geophysics. 10(1):1-19.

Interpretive Summary: The upkeep of golf course facilities requires continual maintenance and occasional remodeling. Near-surface geophysical methods can potentially provide a non-destructive means for golf course superintendents and architects to obtain the shallow subsurface information required to address their maintenance and remodeling concerns. Therefore, two near-surface geophysical methods, electromagnetic induction (EMI) and ground penetrating radar (GPR), were evaluated for potential golf course application. Field data shows that GPR methods are quite capable of determining the position of the bottom of the sand layer in a green along with detecting and mapping golf course tee and green drainage system infrastructure. These results indicate that GPR can provide valuable information to golf course superintendents and architects in regard to tee and green maintenance and remodeling applications.

Technical Abstract: As of 2000, there were over 15,000 golf course facilities in the U.S.A. alone. The upkeep of these facilities requires continual maintenance and occasional remodeling. The superintendents and architects responsible for the maintenance and remodeling efforts need non-destructive tools for obtaining information on subsurface features within golf course components such as greens and tees. The subsurface features of importance include, but are not limited to, engineered soil layer characteristics and drainage system infrastructure. Near-surface geophysical methods can potentially provide a non-destructive means for golf course superintendents and architects to obtain the shallow subsurface information required to address their maintenance and remodeling concerns. Two near-surface geophysical methods, electromagnetic induction (EMI) and ground penetrating radar (GPR), were assessed with respect to golf course applications. Investigations were conducted at two sites. EMI and GPR were tested on a tee and a green at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, U.S.A. GPR was also tested on a golf course green at the Guelph Turfgrass Institute & Environmental Research Centre in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Although the EMI apparent electrical conductivity measurements showed substantial variation across the tee and green on which data were collected, there was no apparent correspondence of these values with the engineered soil layer horizontal boundaries or the drainage system infrastructure. GPR proved to be more capable of obtaining readily useable information on the golf course tee and greens that were investigated, at least in regard to engineered soil layer depths or horizontal boundaries and in locating the subsurface drainage systems present. In addition, computer modeling of synthetic GPR profiles provided valuable insight and helped considerably with data interpretation. While more research is certainly warranted, near-surface geophysical methods, particularly GPR, appear to have the ability for obtaining the data needed in golf course maintenance and remodeling applications.

Last Modified: 11/22/2014
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