Tech Reconstructs Golf Course
June 22, 2012
Restoration work requires a high level of detail in order to recreate a building or structure to historical accuracy—which is why precision-measurement technology is being used more often on reconstruction projects. One recent example: the Olympic Club Lake golf course, which was home to this past weekend’s U.S. Open.
The course was completely torn down and reconstructed in 2008 and 2009 in preparation for the 2012 U.S. Open. The course, which was being destroyed by roundworms, needed new drainage. The catch? Club members liked the original slopes of the greens and wanted 14 holes rebuilt exactly the same.
Brian Koffler, superintendent, Olympic Club Lake course, says, “The membership was happy with those 14 surfaces. The club was very adamant about putting the exact contours back on those putting surfaces, exactly as-is.”
As many construction companies know, rebuilding a structure—or in this case a golf course—to the exact same measurements can be challenging to say the least.
This is where precision-measurement technology comes into play. The builder Frontier Golf, www.frontiergolf.com, Jones Mills, Pa., used GPS technology capable of vertical and horizontal measurement precision. Koffler says other contractors bidding the job were forecasting two to three times the manpower to complete the project.
The technology allowed the builder to precisely recreate those 14 greens. The equipment from Topcon Positioning Systems, www.topconpositioning.com, Livermore, Calif., also assisted the project in moving faster than originally planned.
In addition to reconstructing the 14 greens, the last hole was reshaped using the same technology. In the 1998 U.S. Open, this final green was a bit too challenging, and in 2000 it was leveled and a bit too easy. This year, with the help of technology, the Olympic Club added a bit more rigor back to the last hole.
For construction companies building any type of reconstruction project—buildings, roads, or even golf courses—precision-measurement technology allows for a greater level of detail in construction. The same technology can also be used for accuracy in new construction projects as well.
As projects become increasingly complex, equipment continues to advance to meet the strict needs of the industry. In the end, with the aid of technology, construction can be completed faster and with less manpower.