Originally included in my report on a draft proposal for like-minded local clubs to consider the ground-breaking idea of sharing the costs and benefits of jointly-owned 'specialised' machinery investments, having now used the machine on our 4th and 17th greens the results have been quite remarkable. Whilst the time taken for the surface trueness to settle down and return to normal was entirely due to a late-season, mid-October treatment, the recovery time would be different in Spring, and even quicker if done in summertime, which more and more clubs are now favouring for major works. Nevertheless, the 4th green appeared, without any STRI scinetific measurement tools, to clearly transform overnight our wettest green into our driest. Three months later after the wettest winter in recent history, our Staff believes that still holds true. The benefits this machine could give to all of our greens over time is obvious and it would not replace, but complement all the past Shelton drainage works which remain in situ, albeit theri effectiveness has reduced in time largely due to the build=up of organic material forming a 2"-3" layer above. The Sandcat at 5" deep, 1" wide at 5" centres reconects surface-lying water to the 10" deep Sheltone drains. This is clearly whats transformed the 4th green overnight, in simple terms it has restored the effectivenes of years-old Shelton drains and allowed them to do their job once again.
Photos below of our own experience. Other photos from other clubs at the foot of the page.
Two excellent STRI Trials on the effectiveness of the Sandcat machine on water-retaining soil-based greens, such as ours, can be found below.
(I'll summarise some of the key commenst in bulet point 'soundbites' from each when I have gone through them again)