Llano River Golf Course Hires Landscaper To Do Sand Bunker Renovations

Renovating Sand Bunkers On A Golf Course Landscape

At some point, all golf courses will require renovation or rebuilding of the sand bunkers. When this time arrives, the course management team should consider whether the existing bunker is still

performing the job intended and find a good landscape designer. The new technology being implemented regarding golf club and ball design is making fairway bunkers obsolete; therefore, these elements may no longer be a challenge to players. This article will discuss the different steps involved in the team considers it necessary to renovate a sand bunker on a golf course landscape.

1. Determine The Reason For Renovation

When discussing the renewal of sand bunkers, it is important to identify the cause for improvement. The most common reason is that the sand may be contaminated; however, it is also possible that the edges of the bunker are deteriorating or the construction is poor. The bunker may be old, and drainage could be lacking. In some cases, more than one of these issues may be present and need to be managed.

Older bunker designs typically include a flat base with grass banks sloping down into the sand. These bunkers are easy to maintain and don’t have many problems once adequate drainage is installed. The new bunkers, however, have shallow traps and are elevated for visibility. This leads to sad being flushed up out of the bunker causing erosion problems.

2. Contacting The Original Architect

Before beginning renovations to the sand bunker, it is recommended that you communicate with the original designer. Bunkers influence the golfers’ play on a golf course landscape, as well as the mood of the golf hole. Few managers possess the same skill as an architect to design the bunker following the golf course.

Competent architects provide consideration in identifying the correct location of a sand bunker. This is to ensure it challenges the players and is placed strategically. Before completing renovations, it is important that you look at the course and make sure it is not becoming outdated.

3. Removing The Sand

Before renovations begin, it is necessary to remove the sand from the bunker. The sand can either be discarded or used in other areas of the golf course. Sand that is contaminated should be discarded as it has no place on a golf course, particularly in a sand bunker.

4. Identifying The Original Bunker Edge

Identifying the original bunker edge can be a difficult task on first courses, but it is an important mission to complete. The original shape of the sand bunker may be several feet from the existing edge, and you need to determine this. Original edges are found by following the original contour of the bunker via digging or probing.

5. Digging Out The Original Bunker Shape

When the original edge of the bunker has been identified, it is time to dig the bunker back to its original shape. This can be done using a mechanical loader. Of course, removing a significant layer of sand from the course can give a different appearance to the hold; therefore, you should give careful thought to the renovation. You may need to add soil before replacing the removed sod.

6. Consider Water Movement

It is vital that you feel water movement when working on a sand bunker renovation. It is possible to avoid any surface runoff into the bunker by building lips on the edge of approximately 6-12 inches. It is also possible to prevent surface water by installing an interceptor drain at the top of the sand bunker. This drain will intercept the water before it reaches the bunker and is seen in many of the older bunker designs.

7. Installing Drainage

Drainage is vital for all areas on a golf course, and this is necessary for sand bunkers. In fact, good drainage may be even more important in bunkers than on other parts of the course. To install appropriate drainage in a bunker, it is recommended that you install a smile drain at the top of the bunker slope. This smile drain will act as an interceptor drain and remove any water runoff.

8. Replacing The Sand

Before purchasing replacement sand, it is important that you send the container of sand you intend using to a soil-testing lab. This will ensure that the soil being used meets the USGA golf course bunker sand regulations. The size, shape, color, purity, and composition of the ground need to be of an exact specification before it can be used.