Eventually, every golf course owner faces the need to rebuild or renovate their course. When this happens the managers of the course need to decide whether or not the existing bunkers are still doing their job according to USGA guidelines. The sand bunker renovations should adhere to their guidelines as well. Is their sand contaminated? Has the construction deteriorated to a significant degree? Do they have proper drainage? This evaluation of the bunkers is a vital preparatory step.
Contact Your Architect
Before taking into serious consideration any sand bunker renovations you have in mind, it is wise to involve your primary architect in the project. There aren’t many superintendents who can craft bunkers with the same skill as your architect. Their artful execution of bunker design is one of the main factors that can drive golfers to choose your course. An experienced architect knows how to balance the artistic aspects with player challenge level. Make sure your bunker designs are up to date, or other courses may begin to look more appealing to golfers.
Remove the Sand and Identify the Bunker Edges
Sand can become contaminated over time, and old sand can look unappealing. The sand and other material must be removed before the bunker edge can be identified, as it is possible for soil and other matter to obscure them. By probing and digging, the original bunker edge can be found, sometimes a few feet away from the current edge.
Dig to Restore the Original Shape
Use a mechanical loader to dig the bunker back to it’s original shape. Greens side bunkers tend to accumulate sand on the green due to shots towards the cup from the sand. Take the section of green down to its original level. This will keep the edge of the bunker edge from decaying. The sod and soil may need replacement around the edge during this step.
Contact us at Fusion Golf for all of your golf course construction and renovation needs. Read part two of this article set for the remaining steps for sand bunker renovation.