However good we try and get the golf course there is, unfortunately, always something that requires more work than others. This year (and if I’m honest, probably a good few years previous) it has been the bunkers that have been the biggest area of concern. The problem we face is the amount of contamination that the sand suffers from. We suffer from three forms of contamination from washouts, worm cast and the other from stones.
Washouts: This contamination happens when we get heavy rain or flooding and the sand washes down from the bunker faces. Once the sand has washed down the base (which is clay) the clay particles are much finer than sand particles and once mixed in with the sand, cause each space between the bigger sand particles to become filled and blocked. At this point the water cannot penetrate the sand and reach the drain and therefore the bunkers remain full of water for long periods of time.
Stone: Several factors contribute to stone contamination. One of which is caused by washouts, as they loosen the face of the bunker. Others include; settlement, incorrect sand depths, mechanical raking too far up the bunker face, too much drainage stone. Most of the stone contamination comes from washouts and settlement. However if the sand levels are incorrect when we rake we pull stones to the surface compounding the problem.
Project on the 8th fairway
Step 1: is to remove the contaminated sand, redo any blocked drainage before lining the bunker base with astro-turf.
Step 2. Remove and save turf from around bunker in the shape we want to make it.
Step 3. By using clay we aim to create slightly higher banks. This will give them the perfect angle for the ball to roll to the base of the bunker.
Step 4. We then lay the AstroTurf overlapping towards the hole, and by tucking it under the turf.
Step 6. By consolidateing the sand throughout with the heal toe action, (we're not pretending to be penguins... Honest) we then give the bunker one last role with the tractor.This will help firm the bunker and keep the sand in the faces.
All in all the work we are carrying (and plan to carry) out will dramatically improve the bunkers playability and should eliminate the problems that previously we encountered.
The difference is unbeleveible considering it's the same sand, this illustrates how much damage the three types of contamination have on the bunkers.