Sunday, May 14, 2023

Bunker Refreshing

 A complete re-building and re-shaping of our bunkers was a big part of our 2021 golf course renovation. We only reduced the number of on course bunkers from 65 to 66, but we  decreased the square footage from  88,000 to 65,000 while providing subtle redirection and framing of the same golf holes we all know and love.  Construction of the bunkers included the Better Billy Bunker drainage system, and the bunker sand choice was  Best Sand 900, formally known as Idaho White as the bright white sand originates and is shipped from Western Idaho. Best Sand 900 is not only known for this bright white color, but more importantly its angularity, making it a great choice for bunker sand as the particle shape produces a sand that compacts and resists buried lies, along with an innate ability to adhere to steep bunker faces. 

When sand was installed during construction, the target amount of sand was 4" to 6" packed on the bottoms as well as  2" on the bunker slopes or faces. Settling and further compaction of the sand as well as migration out of the bunker from wind and actual golf play along with sand contamination always necessitates the need to refresh and add bunker sand, so that is what we will be doing the next few weeks along with our normal routine maintenance tasks. A picture is worth a thousand words, so below are some of the sand refreshing process as well as an update on Swans and supplemental irrigation install.

Process starts with identifying where additional sand is needed then adding sand which is pictured above. 

Next step is to rake and disperse the sand.

Next step is to compact the freshly installed sand. Above depicts the use of a mechanical sand trap rake with the raking mechanism removed. The tires are wide on this "Sand-Pro", which is what we refer to it by. These closely spaced wide tires make this compaction method a popular choice for compacting sand in a bunker.

Another closeup of the compaction process.

Supplemental Irrigation Installation

We started some supplemental irrigation work on #13 this week and will continue this work the following few weeks in addition to the above-mentioned bunker sand refreshing and normal golf course maintenance. This is a lot of work but all important. If you search your memory of past GBGC summers and envision the upper left-hand rough on #13, you should recall very thin conditions starting in late spring all the way through summer and most of the fall. This area has always been the first area to start to show summer stress on the course and some individual small supplemental irrigation heads that will irrigate these areas independently of the fairway turf will change this dynamic. 

Search your memory further and recall the cart path edge of #18. We installed this type of supplemental, irrigation heads years ago, and completely changed the area from one of the worst in the summer to pretty good in the summer. We want to get some of this done before the real heat arrives so this area will be another great example of the  importance of these measures as there will still be more to do after #13.

Trench along the fairway and rough line on the LH side of #13. This will transform this areas summer conditions.

Swan Update

Nothing much to report on the parents to be. Flying camera found them in the very same location as last report. Trying not to get too close and stress them out. 

The Best Is Yet To Come!   Thanks for your support.

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