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A Golfer's Paradise
Custom Outdoor Living Amenities

This private residence, located in Northhampton, Mass., underwent about six months of complete landscape renovations. In total, two golf greens, one sand bunker, two tee boxes, a 15' water feature, a smaller running-water stream, a basketball half-court, nine fire features of ranging sizes, 10,000 feet of sod, 3,000 feet of pavers and a full sized pool house with a bathroom, a kitchen, electricity, a bar and an outdoor shower, were all installed - amounting to what some might call a "Golfer's Paradise."


Approximately 3,000 square feet of Belgard Pavers were installed around the pool, pool house and home. Lafitt Rustic slabs in a sable color were used for the pathways diverging from the fire pit, while the walkways are outlined with 6"x 6"x 2-3/8" urban gray London Cobble Pavers. Campedelli and his team also installed the lighting on the property.

Located in the soft hemlock groves of western Massachusetts is an expansive golfer's playground that features a plethora of outdoor living amenities, all installed (with the exception of the pool) by Brian Campedelli and his team at Pioneer Landscapes.

Having been subsequently pleased by Campedelli's terrific job constructing a pool house, the client reapproached him with inquiries regarding the installation of an artificial turf putting green. Campedelli was ripe for the job; as having over 35 years of experience in the industry made him an expert in this sector.

"We worked with this client ultimately on a long term plan," relates Campedelli. "First, the pool went in so we constructed a pool house. Then we expanded on that with the patio area, and lastly we added the golfer's paradise part."

But the grass was not greener on the other side, so to speak, because the team encountered several problems during the installation process of the putting greens.

The first problem was that there were several trees obstructing the site and needed to be removed. Once these were taken care of, the team began to excavate the sites to install the greens. The excavation process however was difficult because there were subterranian sewage, gas and electrical lines in this area. Campedelli stated that in order to prevent any damage, "a good amount of discovery digging was done."


Brian Campedelli, owner of Pioneer Landscapes in Easthampton, Mass., and his 12-man crew, rolled out thousands of square feet of sod in a matter of days, in order to meet the requests of the client. A "True Putt" artificial green and a "Pro Putt & Chip" artificial green were installed first and then surrounded by "1st Cut Kentucky Blue Grass," which is designed to be cut to 3/4".


Two artificial tee boxes were installed at 35 and 70 yards away from the greens. In order to clear this area between the greens and tee boxes, about 20 hemlock and oak trees were removed. A crushed limestone bunker is located to the right of the greens, which includes 4lbs. of crushed limestone per square foot. Behind the greens, the running water stream and crushed, colored slate rocks help deaden a wild golf ball and protect the cars parked beyond.

Laying the Greens
To begin installing the putting and chipping greens, Campedelli and his team first excavated the site to about two feet down and then hand dug trenches to place perforated piping for drainage. The crushed limestone bunker was given its own separate drain, and then all the pipes were connected and run underground to a hillside, where they have a "daylight opening." In order to conceal the drain pipe sticking out of the hillside, riprap and natural stone were placed around it.

Once the perforated pipes were laid in the trenches and all connected, 18" of recycled hardpack, or a permeable, processed gravel, was added on top. This was tamped down three times with a plate compactor on a 6" lift, which allowed for a hardy compaction.

Next, 2" of stone dust was placed above the compacted hardpack and also tamped down twice. Because the stone dust was slightly rocky, a fine, washed masonry sand was placed on top of it to limit any dimpling or bumpiness that might jeopardize the greens. Lastly, the masonry sand was graded and smoothed with hand tools.

After the base was completed, it was time to roll out the green carpet. In the end, the work paid off because the stimp readings on the greens, for all you golf aficionados, are a near perfect 10 out of 11.


Installation of this 15' water feature and the fire pit were difficult because the main gas and sewer lines for the house go right underneath them. Locally quarried stones and boulders from Goshen, Mass. were brought in to construct both the fire ring and the waterfall. The larger, irregularly shaped pavers that encircle the fire pit are Mega Arbel pavers in a sable color.


This is the front of the pool house (the pool is directly behind the photographer.) This portion of the project took 4 months alone and was completed before the golfer's paradise section. Everything from the irrigation, to the electricity, to purchasing the wall decorations, was done by Campedelli and his company. A gray Boral Stone Cobblefield veneer runs along the entirety of this amenity.

Installation of the Patio
The process for installing the 3,000 square feet of Belgard pavers was relatively the same as the process for the greens. The team began by excavating and luckily did not encounter any clay.

"Anywhere you run into clay in New England freezing areas, you have to get rid of all of it - or at least down to four feet. But luckily we didn't have any of that, we just had sandy material underneath," states Campedelli. After excavating down about 13", a 12" sub-base of hardpack was laid down and compacted. Next, a permeable, soil-separating cloth was laid down on top of the hardpack to limit the masonry sand from slipping into the hardpack. Roughly 3/4" of masonry sand was placed above the cloth and then the regular sized 2-3/8" pavers were installed. After placing the pavers, they were softly tamped down, which resulted in the masonry sand also being pressed down to about 1/2" and rising up to fill the spaces between the pavers. Finally, some additional dry joint sand was spread over the pavers in accordance with the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute's general guidelines, which Campedelli complies with.


Rather than using mulch, red colored slate and 3-6" river stones were used around the property in order to lessen the amount of maintenance needed and to better withstand the snowy climate. Goshen stone, quarried only about 20 minutes away, was used to construct the steps as well as the large flat slabs above them. A BL-07 landscaping path light can be seen in the forefront and behind the boulder. An excavator and a 20,000-pound loader were used to lift the large boulders found throughout the project.


Here is an example of outdoor living at its finest, as partygoers enjoy a friendly putting competition on the newly laid greens. Two sizable fire pits, located on the property, were custom made by the crew. To create them, the team chose the largest and flattest rock and hollowed out a 4" deep semicircle in the center. Next, a hole was bored straight down, all the way through the rock, to allow a natural gas line to be attached from the bottom and connected to a burner that would sit in the bowl. Then lava rock was placed inside the bowl to conceal the burner.

Additional Touches
An added touch that was taken was incorporating three Sonos music stations at different locations on the property, each with their own individual controls. This allowed someone to be listening to one type of music and playing basketball in the front, while simultaneously another person could be listening to different music out near the greens. To make this possible, 5 miles of audio cabling was hand buried in shallow conduits. To illuminate the outdoor living elements, 160 low voltage lights were installed on the property, with most of the wiring being placed in low-lying hand dug conduits or hidden under the mulch. A large halogen lamp was installed high up in one of the hemlock trees to provide light for the expansive greens.

A total of 3 transformers were installed, one for the 300' long driveway, one for the pool house and one for the golfer's paradise. The customer is able to control the lighting with a control box and has the option to turn on photocells for automatic lighting in the evening.

A basketball half-court was implemented in the front of the property using part of the driveway. A professional 72" Goalrilla backboard was permanently mounted.

Although Campedelli has been installing outdoor living amenities for over 15 years, it was a slow start. He states that these types of outdoor amenities are hard to market in western Mass. simply due to the seasonal weather, making people hesitant to invest in these types of projects.

However, at the end of the interview, Campedelli says, "every client that I have ever done this for reaches back out to me and says 'even though it is a short season, Brian, I can't imagine having my yard any other way.'"

As seen in LC/DBM magazine, June 2018.

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October 17, 2019, 9:09 am PDT

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