|Written by Jerry Richard|
|Monday, 18 June 2012 15:20|
We have opened the new bunker on #14 today and several players have remarked how good it looks...it's much harder to get compliments during the process of construction than after completion. People have asked me about renovation to bunkers and why it is necessary. I'm sure I have said this before but most items on any golf course eventually wear out, some faster than others, and bunkers tend to wear out the fastest. Back in 2007, when the practice range was coming on line, the club approved an ambitious project to assess and renovate all the bunkers on the course with the help of Architect Ian Andrew and contractor Doug Schwartz. Ian was on site to lay out the new range and #6 at the same time which were completed together. The next spring Doug built the forward tee on #1 and 3 bunkers on that hole, an amazing improvement and we were well on our way. I was excited because not only was our course improving but my staff and I were free to maintain the course rather than get involved in building and construction. Right around that time the economy slipped into the dumper and all renovation work was halted until further notice.
Three years later and no more bunker work completed, I asked the Greens Committee if we could do a renovation job ourselves on #14 and compare costs vs. quality of work. The right hand bunker on #14 was our worst bunker to maintain and so we did it late last year. The hard cost for us to do it was about one third the cost of the contractor and so the board has approved us doing more bunker work in-house, again with the help of Ian Andrew. I mentioned "assess" earlier, and it should be noted that the old bunkering that has been basically maintained over the years, with some augmentation, was not of superior quality especially by today's standards. Our program includes removing poorly placed or redundant bunkers, re-shaping to fit the existing hole better, and making them more visible which liberates soil for other projects. Much of the bunkering on the course was not what was on Robinson's original plan, probably due to finacial constraints that existed back then.
...The notion of watching our infrastructure deteriorate, including bunkers, has never sat well with me or my staff members...