How Enfield GC achieved an affordable drainage solution

Andy Waple
By Andy Waple January 30, 2017 15:49

When two streams at Enfield GC overflowed, flooding both the course and nearly 200 homes, local authorities devised costly schemes to protect the venue’s neighbours. Fortunately, the club was allowed to embark on an affordable alternative drainage solution, which has achieved all its goals. 

Enfield Golf Club in Middlesex faced a dilemma when the Environment Agency and Enfield Borough Council sought to carry out extensive remedial works on its course to protect local homes from flooding.

Already faced with a course prone to standing water, the club’s members and staff were unsurprisingly alarmed to hear of the plan that included a proposal to create flood plains on the fairways and adjacent land.

40 turfdry DSC07262

Drainage being installed on the 9th fairway, to the east of Salmon’s Brook.

In 2000 196 homes, some miles downstream, suffered severe water damage following the overflowing of two streams, including Salmon’s Brook, which runs through the course, prompting the design of a £15.3 million flood alleviation scheme that included the siting of the emergency flood plains on several fairways adjacent to Salmons Brook, at the southern end of the course.

While accepting defences were necessary to prevent a repeat of devastation to properties, the club sought a solution to protect its own interests, believing the works would potentially leave five holes (holes 1, 9, 10, 11 and 12) under water some months during the winter, putting the future of the club at risk.

Following negotiations with the Environment Agency and the landowner Enfield Borough Council, a scheme involving ground drainage improvements was agreed by all parties.

The agreement sought a solution to minimise flooding created by the Flood Alleviation Scheme to the picturesque parkland James Braid designed course.

“Historically, the fairways and greens would be affected by flooding, particularly in winter so a long term drainage solution was an attractive proposition,” said Dane Watts, head greenkeeper.


Dane Watts

In 2014 the sports ground drainage specialist Turfdry was employed. Its experts liaised closely with the Environment Agency, the council and the club in designing a comprehensive remediation scheme.

Initial work saw the installation in the most problematic areas of a high-specification Turfdry drainage system, using Hydraway Sportsdrain, enabling the course to swiftly return to play in the event of storms resulting in the fairways being submerged. The 10th green – the one most subject to flooding – also on the same level as the fairways and at risk from flooding was also subjected to Turfdry’s expert attention.

The club was delighted to discover that its wettest green became one of the best, remaining in play throughout the winter, whilst many others were forced onto temporary greens. As a result it re-engaged Turfdry to work on a further seven greens and approaches in 2015.

40 turfrdry DSC08581

The ‘flume’ within the bank

The club was shut for only three days during the extremely wet winter last year and is employing Turfdry again in the next few months for the three remaining greens to enable its members to play on normal putting surfaces for the whole of the year.

Watts added: “The work carried out by Turfdry substantially improved the drainage and we have a long term solution to waterlogged greens that are much superior to their condition prior to the drainage work.

“Turfdry exceeded expectations for design, consultative approach and quality of workmanship. I am completely confident giving Turfdry our unreserved endorsement.”

Turfdry is the sole UK approved installer of the revolutionary Hydraway Sportsdrain, a quality-engineered product from the US that combines maximum drainage efficiency with minimum disruption.

The Hydraway Sportsdrain is a columnar construction fusion-bonded to a non-woven needle-punched geotextile with proven clog resistance, whilst maintaining optimal filtration.

Maximum efficiency is achieved because the surface area of Hydraway Sportsdrain is 40 per cent greater than a conventional 80mm plastic pipe and double that of a 60mm plastic pipe. Water can enter the drain through 75 per cent of its surface area compared with only six per cent for plastic pipes.

Unlike conventional plastic pipe drains – which must be laid at a minimum gradient of one in 200 to prevent blockage through silt build-up – Hydraway Sportsdrain is effective even at zero gradient.

Screen Shot 2017-01-30 at 14.24.48

Salmon’s Brook is shown centrally on the drawing running in a NE – SW direction, with Turfdry’s drainage works either side of it. Just off the southern course boundary the Environment Agency constructed the large, dark grey coloured ‘earthwork bund’ to act as a water containment barrier and then constructed a ‘flume’ within the brook to restrict the maximum flow volume to a level that would prevent the flooding of domestic properties further downstream. The purpose of Turfdry’s drainage was to facilitate the rapid dispersal of floodwater from the affected fairways in a post-flooding event, but it has also dramatically improved year-round playability of these low lying fairway areas.

Installation results in minimum disruption to the ground, and its speedy application prevents costly loss of play.

Over the past 20 years Turfdry has worked successfully on over 60 golf courses throughout the UK, designing and installing cost-effective solutions to a wide range of waterlogging problems.

For more information, call 01283 551417 or visit


Andy Waple
By Andy Waple January 30, 2017 15:49
Write a comment

No Comments

No Comments Yet!

Let me tell You a sad story ! There are no comments yet, but You can be first one to comment this article.

Write a comment
View comments

Write a comment

Your e-mail address will not be published.
Required fields are marked*

Join Our Mailing List

Read the latest issues

Advertise With Us

To advertise in the magazine or online, contact:


Social media