As the game of golf evolves and the standards of regular players continue to grow, bunker renovation and modernization is one of the key areas that courses consistently need to address.
Here are three aspects of bunker renovation that might surprise you:
Sometimes “updating” really means “restoring”: Consult the original plans for the course, and if possible, the architect. Many aging bunkers drift over years of maintenance and erosion. Restoring the original positioning of bunkers can improve the pace of play, no new designs necessary.
Drain tiles increase bunker positioning options: An aging bunker with increasing water movement issues is salvageable by installing drain tiles. The drain collects and moves groundwater, mitigating surface water pooling without adversely affecting the usage of the bunker during play.
New sand? Send it to a lab: USGA has strict guidelines for bunker-sand. Particles must lie between 0.25 and 1 millimeter, and be angular in shape. These guidelines are not arbitrary. The intention is ensure that courses provide the best sand for their play, and give players some consistency from course to course. The best way to match these requirements is to send samples to a soil lab, and make sure any further sand you acquire matches the selection that had the best results.
There are countless approaches to renovating bunkers, from scrapping your original designs to restoring the original intentions from the past. Consider the tips above as you evaluate the specific needs of your players. Contact us for a consultation on renovating the bunkers on your course.