Here in Ontario, much like the rest of the world, water availability and water quality are big concerns for environmentalists, environmentalists like Doug Carrick.
Although Carrick’s design and renovation portfolio largely consists of projects North of the American border, he is well known through the golf industry for his environmental considerations.
So… in what has developed in to my turfhugger tag line, I decided to learn more!
Turfhugger.com – What techniques or design considerations do you employ to help a golf course use resources conservatively during regular operation.
Doug Carrick – Some of the techniques we use to conserve resources include creating large water storage reservoirs to reduce the requirements for drawing water from aquifers and or streams for irrigation purposes. The reservoirs are designed to collect as much surface water from runoff as possible. Examples include Copper Creek (which is collected entirely from surface runoff and the high flows in the Humber River) Cobble Beach, Eagles Nest and Ballantrae are other good examples of collection of surface runoff into large storage reservoirs. Other techniques include establishment of unmaintained non-play naturalized areas to reduce maintenance requirements and inputs.
Turfhugger.com – I’ve seen a number of new projects where the holding capacity of a large reservoir truly reduced the amount required from aquifers, rivers, lakes or alternative sources. What are some of your designs that employ this technique?
Native buffer-zone materials were planted along the banks of Weston's pond on number 4.
Turfhugger.com – What about alternative water sources?
Doug Carrick - Alternative sources of irrigation water include storm-water runoff and effluent water. Ballantrae uses a combination of both. Eagles Nest, Copper Creek, Cobble Beach use storm water runoff to varying degrees.
Turfhugger.com – Is it necessary to keep a pond in play?
Doug Carrick – Ponds do not necessarily have to be in play. Sometimes if a pond is used primarily for storage of irrigation water and has a large fluctuation in the water levels, it is best to try to screen them from view.
Turfhugger.com - Can we still have ponds without buffers?
Doug Carrick – Where ponds are adjacent to play areas on the golf course ie. beside fairways or greens it is preferable to have the pond banks maintained for playability and aesthetic reasons. It is not necessary to always have a buffer adjacent to ponds.
Turfhugger.com – Do you try to incorporate filtration features like buffers?
Doug Carrick – Buffer-zone plantings along water courses is a fairly standard requirements on golf courses today to ensure the protection of water quality and habitat areas adjacent to stream and lakes.
Turfhugger.com – Do you consider runoff from clubhouses or parking lots?
Doug Carrick – When it is possible to direct water from the clubhouse area and parking area into a reservoir we will try to do that. This can be achieved either above ground in swales or underground through pipes. Sometimes it is beneficial to direct runoff water from parking areas etc. through naturalized swales to help filter some of the contaminants out of the water.
Turfhugger.com – On the issue of aquifers, is there an opportunity for golf courses to help regenerate groundwater?
Doug Carrick – Groundwater recharge occurs on every golf course to a certain degree through the infiltration of irrigation water and rainwater back into the ground. The turfgrass is one of the best filters for removing contaminants from the water. Some of the golf courses we have designed show ground water quality on the golf course is much improved from previous agricultural uses or when compared to adjacent agricultural land or other land uses. Osprey Valley, Eagles Nest, Ballantrae, Cobble Beach all have a number of ground water recharge areas within the golf course.
Want to learn more about Doug Carrick?
Doug Carrick Q & A on the Walking Golfer
Doug Carrick - ASGCA