Below is the chronological order of the renovation process:
• Remove existing bunker sand and stockpile in native areas to be spread by Exmoor Agronomy Team
• Remove existing drain tile and dispose – original pipe unable to be reused (pictures in next section)
• Strip/Remove existing rough sod for disposal – fine fescue (long grass) and bentgrass (fairway) edges kept intact, will not be replaced with new sod
• Edge new bunker – based on lines painted by GC Architect, Ron Prichard
• Excavate lower bunker subgrade for shaping purposed and to provide for 2” of gravel throughout the bunker floor – important to have “bowl” or “concave” shape throughout, especially on leading edges
Bunker sand and drainage pipe excavation on #18 green
Stripped grass sod being excavated before shaping #12 greenside bunker
Old: 4-inch, single wall drainpipe – gravel and sediment fit through easily
New: 4-inch, dual wall perforated drainpipe – more durable, less contamination
Blockages in outfall pipes must be cleaned before connecting new drainage
Drainage. Shaping, and Sod Installation
• Install 4” perforated pipe – trenches backfilled with gravel
• Test and when needed, install 4” solid outfall pipes
o Outfall lines usually tie into existing drainage, so each line needs to be cleaned and tested before connecting new drainage to an old line. In tracking these lines, we have found instances where 20 years ago they tied into an already 40-year-old clay pipe, so each new dig is a mystery to be solved. Areas that we do not feel confident will perform up to our standard, we have budgeted to run a new line to ensure that water is able to move out of the bunkers without blockages.
• Install 2” depth of gravel throughout the entire bunker floor – top inch to be sprayed with BBB polymer
• Install new rough grass sod around bunker complex
o All greenside bunker faces will be stripped to the collar and replaced with a better species of grass – Turf Type Tall Fescue. Not to be confused with Fine Fescue, which is the species of grass most notable for native or long grass areas. Turf Type Tall Fescue is the latest and greatest rough grass that is much more disease and drought resistant than tradition Kentucky Bluegrasses known in this region.
o Fairway bunkers will be selectively stripped to remove inferior species susceptible to turf loss or disease.
o Long grass and fairway edges will not be stripped and replaced because of the quality of the existing species and the difficulty and time it would take to regain those conditions.
o Stripping and replacing existing rough sod would be too difficult and labor intensive, even if sections of turf are not struggling. To cut and individually roll up each piece of sod would slow us down tremendously for little gain.
o As mentioned earlier, leading edges are being “flashed” about 6-18 inches to reclaim the original bunker shape, create a concave shape for balls to roll down into the flat of the bunker, and to capture some visual of sand from the tee box as Donald Ross intended.
o In areas where bunker faces have been built up by years of windblown sand or sand splash from wedge shots, we will shave off some dirt of the slope to steepen the face. A good example of this is the greenside bunker on #8. Too often this year I have seen balls get hung up on that slope and golfers nearly injure themselves trying to retrieve their ball or play a shot. Steepening the slope should allow for balls to release down into the bunker and eliminate the need to climb a hazardous bunker face.
edging by hand and machine on #16 greenside bunker
bunker on 16 ready for drainage and gravel
installation with laser level #16 greenside bunker
and gravel installation #3 greenside bunkers
Better Billy Bunker Polymer and Bunker Sand Installation
• Install BBB polymer
o Certified specialist from Total Turf to apply polymer.
o Polymer heated and sprayed uniformly over the entire bunker floor.
o Can be sprayed in any temperature.
o Gravel must be dry enough to pass inspection so that polymer binds and cures properly.
o Rain has not allowed us to spray any polymer yet, however, once we get a few dry days we will catch up. Roughly 15K sq.ft. can be sprayed in a day – that’s about 7-8 bunkers.
o Cured BBB polymer will allow for water to flow, but not sand, dirt, rock or other materials.
• Install bunker sand
o Once BBB is cured (takes 24 hours), sand is ready to be installed.
o 90/10 Elite from ProAngle – chosen for playability.
o Installed at a 6 inch depth compacted to between 4-5 inches.
o Sand will be compacted by contractors and again by our crew but will take about a year to reach its playability potential. That is due to the nature compaction and settling that will happen via time and precipitation.
o 4500 tons of sand used in total. That’s 9 million pounds or about 90 million golf balls!
o The current sand pile in the north tennis parking lot and the identical sized sand pile stored at the maintenance facility is about 15% of the total sand needed.
o As the 4-person demolition crew wraps up with bunker cleanout in the coming weeks, they will start to install bunker sand into sprayed bunkers.
o Again, the sand will need to be spread, compacted and settled naturally by precipitation before it is in playable condition. Our goal is to have bunkers playable by Memorial Day, weather pending.
Bunkers on #1 ready for BBB polymer (sand not yet installed)
Left fairway bunker on #2 (native area heavily topdressed with old bunker sand on the right)
Fairway bunker on #2 ready for BBB polymer.
Greenside bunker right of #2 with drainage installation on left greenside
Greenside bunkers on #10 also shaped and drained (sand/BBB not yet installed).