Sunday, October 25, 2015

Course Improvements--#15 Fairway Bunker

Sometimes designers place details on a golf course by what might look good on a piece of paper or maybe to add some character to the golf course but in reality these details are not necessary and more often than not are costly and time consuming to maintain.  This was the case for our fairway bunker on #15.  A very large, long bunker which even the modest golfer could easily carry.  Although pleasing to the eye from the tee it took a lot of manpower to maintain and took close to 4 loads of sand to keep in playing condition.

So last month we decided to reduce our expenses and time spent maintaining an area on the course which no one used and had become an eyesore by filling in the first 75% of the bunker and sodding this area.  Willie and Mitch spent a few days hauling soil generated from last years septic line expansion to the area.  The soil was then spread out and packed.

Once the soil was packed and ready we brought in a truckload of sod to cover the area.  The lip of the new bunker area was stacked with sod three layers high to create the edge of the bunker best. Willie did a very nice job of shaping the new bunker and floating all the dirt out to make sure water did not flow into the bunker but was diverted around it so we won't experience any bad washouts.

A steady drizzle of rain was no challenge for our staff as they just kept on one piece of sod after the other until the entire area was covered and cut in.  Nice to have such a dedicated crew that nothing gets in their way.

Once the sod was down it was rolled with a 1.25 ton roller several times in several directions to ensure good soil contact and to eliminate any ruts or creases.  New sand was added to the bunker and was then watered, packed, and raked.

This is the new view of the fairway bunker from the teeing area when we were finished.

I am confident by the end of the growing season next year you won't even be able to tell that the old bunker ever existed.

This is a shot of the area looking back toward the teeing area.

So we have taken an area on the course which was not in play for 99.9% of our golfers and was a tremendous drag on our manpower and budget to keep maintained and have, in my opinion, dramatically improved it for both the golfer and the agronomy staff.

Sometimes what looks good on paper or looks good to the eye just doesn't make sense and I think we have made a drastic improvement to the course with this simple change.

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