Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bunker on hole 11

During the past week, the staff and I completed the renovation of the bunker to the right of hole 11. This bunker had been compromised with foreign material due to the summer rain events and a diminishing sand supply and was in need of an overhaul.

Sod was removed from the perimeter of the bunker to allow for new soil to be added to create a raised mound of turf between the green and bunker. The previous bunker was quite flat and allowed for a fairly easy golf shot back on to the green.

The original bunker sand and perimeter sod is removed

The existing sand was removed and the drainage lines cleaned and inspected to ensure that they are performing correctly. Riaan Potgieter, our Assistant Superintendent, had the idea to create two smaller bunkers rather than one larger one earlier in the year. This would allow golfers to see the depth of the bunkers from the tee and create a visually appealing greens complex. After discussions with Gordon Lewis, our golf course architect, the idea was approved.
The base of the bunker is then cleaned and smoothed to improve drainage and prevent native soil contamination.

Trying to find the correct height for the new bunker face to make it fair yet visually appealing

The base of the bunker is cleaned and the perimeters cut down to provide a defined edge between the bunker sand and turf grass before the new sand is installed

New sand is then placed into the bunkers at a depth of 4 inches around the perimeter to approximately 6 inches toward the center. A vibratory plate is then used to compact the sand to prevent 'fried eggs' and ultimately firm up the hazard to provide a fair shot for golfers.

The sand used in the new bunker is the same sand that has been used at Copperleaf for many years and is mined locally
 Finally, the sod is replaced around the perimeter of the bunkers, top-dressed to fill in any voids, fertilized and watered. The bunkers will remain as 'Ground Under Repair' for 2 weeks to allow the sod to establish and new sand to settle. Overall, the bunker renovation was very successful and now provides a true bunker shot back onto the green as well as an improved view from the tee for all players. I cant thank my staff enough, especially Ricardo Gomez, for their work on this project. There are several other bunkers throughout the course requiring renovation. These will completed regularly throughout the year.

The finished product provides a stark contrast between the new, white sand and the green turf grass surrounding it.

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