Monday, November 29, 2010

Bunker Renovation

I want to address one of the biggest complaints that I receive about the golf course. “When are you going to do something about those bunkers?” Well the time has come. I have proposed a “master plan” to rebuild and remove bunkers on the course. Some of the bunkers on the course are no longer a real hazard. Many fairway bunkers are too short off of the tee. If they drained well and didn’t have rocks in them it would be a moot point, but they are in poor shape and either need to be fixed or removed. Removed is the more practical option for this situation. For those bunkers that are still integral to the design of the golf course, the “master plan” calls for a phase rebuild project. What this means is that over a period of 4-5 years we hope to renovate all of our bunkers, that will remain, that are not in good shape. The order to this work will be the worst bunkers get fixed first and the most playable will be fixed last. I have; #10 front left green side, #12 green side, #13 green side, #7 green side on the list for renovation in February of 2011. These bunkers are scheduled for elimination in December of 2010; #2, all of #3 fairway bunkers, #10 front right and back green side bunkers, #11 right fairway bunker, #17 back green side bunker.

The process of fixing a bunker is not as easy as most people think. I often get the question, “Can’t you just put some sand in the bunkers?” Simple answer, No. Full answer, we can’t do that because the pretty, expensive, playable sand that we put in the bunker will integrate with the soil like sand that we have in our bunkers now and be ruined in the first heavy rainfall we get. There are steps to properly rebuilding a bunker. The first step I take is finding the drainage out fall area. Without proper drainage bunkers become ponds quickly. After the outfall area is found we will redefine the edges of the bunker. We will have no more steep sloped faces on our bunkers. The steep faces are too labor intensive. The next step is creating the drain system; there are many different methods to drainage. I am going to go with the tried and true method of herring bone drainage. It is the same style that we used on # 11 fairway bunker and it has preformed beautifully. After the drainage is cut and cleaned the liners can be installed. Liners are a method of diverting water without diverting sand with it, and they are a barrier between sand and soil to prevent contamination of the sand.

The elimination process will consist of filling the existing bunker with topsoil to conform to the existing topography. Then in the spring we will come back with bermudagrass sod and cover the topsoil areas.

This project will be a major improvement to the golf course and will also greatly enhance play.
I can't wait to get started on it!