Introduction

Recently, golf became one of the most popular and rapid growing sports in the United States. According to the American Golf Foundation in 2003, there were approximately 17,000 golf courses in the United States. The key to operating a successful golf course is having healthy greens. As stated by O. J. Noer (Tadge, 1980), the two most important ingredients for building and maintaining a successful golf course are "common sense and drainage." Poor soil drainage results in anaerobic conditions. An anaerobic green is more susceptible to disease development and can induce formation of a black layer that impedes turf root development (Bengeyfield, 1976; Chong et al., 2003; Schwartzkopf, 1975). Poor-quality greens always result in poor performance and playability of the field and will eventually jeopardize golf course income. In order to have a healthy green, both irrigation and drainage are of vital importance in golf course management (Chong et al., 2004). Therefore, in order to attract and keep players, the turf must be kept in excellent condition. In other words, a proper functioning drainage and irrigation system is critically important to the success of a golf course.

Over time, drainage and irrigation systems can fail or become plugged due to improper construction or management. Unfortunately, many drainage and irrigation system maps are neither available nor correctly marked, which makes the problem hard to fix. Locating faulty drainage or irrigation pipe can be laborious and time consuming, particularly for those nonmetal drainage lines. Currently, the ground crews lack a viable way to efficiently identify the exact location of these underground features for making necessary repairs.

Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is a noninvasive geophysical tool for locating subsurface features. It was commercially developed in the mid 1970s. It is primarily used for imaging near-surface features such as buried artifacts (Conyers and Goodman, 1997), drains (Chow and Rees, 1989), irrigation pipes (Vellidis et al., 1990), utility cables (Annan et al., 1984; Morey, 1974), land mines, and human remains. Highway officials also commonly use it to determine roadbed integrity. In addition, GPR has been used to monitor wetting fronts through surface layers (Vellidis et al., 1990), detect perched water tables (Collins and Doolittle, 1987), and chart subsurface soil horizons and layers (Asmussen et al., 1986; Collins and Doolittle, 1987; Mokema et al., 1990; Raper et al., 1990). There has been recent work performed on mapping the water content of soils (Huisman and Bouten, 2002; van Overmeeren et al., 1997; Weiler et al., 1998). The use of Global Positioning System (GPS) and GPR technology for three-dimensional mapping of soil is a recent innovation (Tischler et al., 2002). GPR has been used to test and characterize agriculture contamination transport (Sénéchal, 2002). Recently (Chong et al., 2000), GPR helped characterize the thickness of the sandy rooting mixture in golf greens, locate the drainage pipes, detect areas of surface compaction, and identify areas of concentrated subsurface wetness.

0 0

Post a comment