By Patrick Knelly GCS Sugarloaf Golf Club, continued from Bunker Project Part I
Hard work meets art work! Thatâ€™s how I like to think of this portion of our bunker renovation project. The old rocky and dirty sand has been removed, the turf has been stripped away, and the drainage is in place. Now, itâ€™s time for us to get creative!
Golf courses are meant to be beautiful and functional, and sometimes that can be a delicate balance. This is where the art behind the science can be very tricky. Up to this point, while renovating the bunkers at Sugarloaf Golf Club, we have been able to locate all the original shaping and edging put in place during the construction of
Sugarloaf in 1967.
These lines and contours were overseen by Mr. Geoffrey S. Cornish, who is one of the most well respected and talented golf course architects of his era. I feel that it is a blessing that we were able to retain his original look during this renovation, and we try to simply restore things back to the way they were originally intended to be.
However, itâ€™s not always so easy, and sometimes the creative juices really need to flow. During the planning stages of this project, I was well aware that we were going to have to make some changes to our bunkering on #16. The sever slope of the front bunker was causing massive amounts of sand movement during rain events, which lead to constant hand repairs and poor conditions.
The right bunker also had some problems, the sand had begun to migrate all the way out of the bunker and towards the green, and some very poor original base grading was the culprit. So, this was not just a â€œrenovationâ€, but more of a reconstruction. While we have made some dramatic changes to the bunkering on 16, no major grade changes have been made, so we feel that strategically the hole has kept itâ€™s original intention, but the changes we made have solved the problems we were experiencing on this hole.
If you have had the opportunity to play lately you may have noticed the changes we made. If not, check back here sometime next week for the final installment of this blog series. We will be opening the new bunker some time this week after the new sod has rooted and the soil has firmed up. Until then, just a reminder, these bunkers are STILL not open, please stay outside the ropes and DO NOT enter them please, they are not safe and the sod is not ready for traffic.