Monday, January 31, 2011

Bunker Renovation at Harrison Bay

If you have been on the golf course this winter you have surely noticed the golf course maintenance crew hard at work repairing what could be our biggest problem...poor performing sand bunkers.  Even with all the compliments we hear about the golf course throughout the year, the one overwhelming complaint we hear is how we need to repair the sand bunkers on the golf course. We hear you and we are working on repairing the problem. 

Our bunker renovation process begins by removing the existing sand from the bunkers.  The process is no more than getting some crew members in the bunker and shoveling the sand out.  The sand that is removed is being stockpiled to be used as topdressing sand in some of our fairways during the summer months.  Once the sand is removed we remove the existing felt liner which was installed in 2003 when we a quick renovation of the bunkers.  We are using better products and a better process this time so that the bunkers will not need to be renovated again for a long time. 

 Bill Greene is installing the new liner into the bunker.  We are using Sand Mat 350 in this bunker because of its moderate slope on the face of the bunker.  Sand Mat is a highly porous geo textile fabric which provides a barrier between the gravel layer and the bunker sand.  The sand is embedded into the Sand Mat fibers to hold the sand in place on steep slopes.  The liner, being more porous than the sand, will increase the infiltration rate of the water as it passes through the bunker profile.  You can find more information about SandMat at  Our old geotextile felt restricted the movement of the water resulting in the sand being moved off of the slopes and the liner becoming exposed, increasing the possibility of contamination.

All the liner installed in the bunker.  Ready for sand.

The sand is hauled in and spread by hand over the new liner.  A bunker of this size will take between 22-25 tons of sand.  Once the sand is roughly spread out it is packed using a mechanical bunker rake to pack and firm the new sand in the bunker.
After the sand has been packed in two directions it is raked by hand in two directions and is ready to be opened for play.  We will pack the bunkers several more times before the beginning of the golfing season to help ensure proper playing conditions.

Our bunker renovation project will take three years to complete and in the end we believe we will have sand bunkers that perform properly and are uniform and consistent from hole to hole.

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