Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bunker madness

One of the favorite topics for golfers are bunkers. These hazards are often vilified for ruining perfect rounds, sabotaging the blitz, and general unfairness.
Seriously, one of the complaints we get is that there is little or no sand in the bunkers. This perception comes from the soil that is washed into the bunkers after rain events.
The photo below shows an area where the bunker rake did not cultivate, why? I will explain later.
Notice how dirty the sand appears. The next photo shows a small channel in the sand where soil has eroded off the face during the rain. That soil is carried to the lowest point in the bunker where water accumulates, shown in the last photo (different bunker, sorry).
The next photo shows the sand profile in the dirty area. Notice how the top layer is much darker than the lower layer, that is where the soil has contaminated the clean sand.
In order to properly care for bunkers of this type of construction, the soil that settles in the low areas should be uncultivated, and removed (skimmed) by hand and disposed of.
We have years of contamination in our bunkers, as you can see that a good inch and a half should be removed.
The contamination compounds the problem, as it plugs up the sand in the area that the bunker was designed to drain from.
The "flashing" of sand was a popular golf course architectural effect, that I am particularly not fond of.
I think this topic deserves a worldofturf video,

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