Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Bunker Sand

The last two weeks we have been adding fresh sand to our bunkers. This will allow our players to have more control over their recovery shots.

Every year we will need to add a few inches of sand over the top of the old sand to replace that which is lost from rain washouts, wind and degradation.

The sand is dumped directly in to the bunker and spread by hand.

For the next two weeks we will power rake the bunkers every day to help the new sand mix with the underlying sand. This will make the sand play firmer.

We are very fortunate here at Bittersweet that the bunkers were grassed with fescue when the golf course was originally built. Fescue does not creep or grow laterally in to the sand as does Kentucky Bluegrass, the conventional species of bunker grass. Kentucky Bluegrass bunkers must be mechanically edged several times during the golf season. But our fescue bunker edges can go up to two years between edging without loosing their shape. And the edges of the fescue bunkers are more whispy and natural in appearance.

The oldest bunkers in America were originally fuzzy and irregular like ours are now. But with subsequent remodeling of bunkers those original fescue grasses were sodded over by Kentucky Bluegrass - it was not very easy to find fescue sod in those days - sod farms were not growing it. So the American bunker evolved into something that is actually very expensive to edge and maintain. And the appearance of the American bunker became unnatural - the edges took on a crisp and curvilinear pattern to conform with the mechanical edging tools that were used to maintain the Kentucky Bluegrass edges.

We are very fortunate here at Bittersweet that our bunker motif is economically and environmentally sustainable.

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