Thursday, October 1, 2009


Just recently we added a smile drain to the front of #4 lake green. The reason for the drain is to remove the excessive water build up from the lowest part of the green basically the bottom of the bathtub. This type of drain was not part of the old Purr-Wick greens system when they were constructed back in the 70's so it is sometimes difficult to find the original edge of the green. We basically probe the green first to find the sand/soil edge, remove the sod and start digging. Once we find the plastic liner we dig down to the bottom of the liner some times close to two feet. Hopefully along the way we find a old two inch Purr-Wick drain and we can connect those old lines to the new smile drain. The new smile drain will not only help the front of our greens but also the rest since the old two inch drains may be clogged or crushed. With out the a smile drain the green starts to fill up with water raising the water table and creating a wet surface, poor turf and soil conditions, excessive ball marks and even algae. With the new drain in these conditions will gradually begin to disappear creating a even firm putting surface.

The reason it is called a smile drain is because of the way it looks. From above the drain actually resembles a smile. These drains usually follow the lowest elevation contour on the green. With the smile drain in it pulls the water that sits on the lower edge of the green. Typically all new USGA greens are constructed with smile drains. But for many years USGA greens didn't have smile drains so the fronts or lower elevations of USGA greens had similar problems.

Digging out the smile drain

Old Purr-Wick drains
the one to the left is not even connected?
Completed smile drain trench
See how wet the sand and soil are

Smile drain and outlet drain