Insight into Bunker Maintenance
Ask most players on any golf course about Sand Bunker Maintenance and the answers will come thick and fast.
Not enough maintenance carried out, The appearance needs looking after, Not enough Sand, Too much Sand, Bases aren't level, to much rubbish in them.
And the list would go on, ask them what maintenance do they think gets carried out and the most likely answer is they rake them with a bunker rake and maybe do the edges every now and then but never enough.
With this in mind here is an insight into one aspect of Bunker maintenance, the dreaded bunker edges as the staff refer to it with a groan.
Every 4 weeks during the growing season and every 6 to 8 weeks at other times, all bunkers are edged, Trimmed, cleaned out and raked, a pretty simple sounding maintenance task unless you are aware of whats involved.
It can take 4 staff up to 10 working hrs to complete, THAT'S 40 WORKING HOURS EVERY MONTH !
First up is to edge the bunker, getting a sharp clean cut edge and cutting any couch runners through starting run into the bunker.
|Edging the bunker|
Secondly a whipper sniper is used to clean up the inside edge, remove visible runners and leave a tidy appearance. At this stage rhizomes are removed by hand.
A very uncomfortable job, with sand flying everywhere and needing to covered from head to toe, in the midst of summer, even when air temps are only 30 degrees, temperatures in the bunker with hot equipment, that can easily reach 38 degrees.
It is for this reason the bunkers are never all done in the one day, On most occasions we split into two morning sessions over two days, from 6am to 10am while still reasonably cool.
|Whipper Snipping the inside edge|
After the inside edge is, the outside top is trimmed up to give a distinct ring around the bunker.
|Trimming the top.|
Next, the Bunker is cleared of debris and debris removed from the area. Another Dusty job on a hot windy day.
Once all the debris are removed, we attend all the faces and sides of the bunker, removing excess sand and smoothing all slopes so a nice ball roll occurs into the base of the bunker.
|Smoothing the slope and faces.|
To finish the job the bunker is levelled and raked.
|Raking after levelling.|
Other Maintenance tasks undertaken for bunkers periodically include spraying and removing weeds, applying growth regulators on edges, Dedicated Base levelling, adding or readjusting sand, tree root removal and of course fixing roo damage.
During the course of a normal week, a minimum of 20hrs are spent raking, smoothing and clearing debris.
As you can see there is allot of hrs dedicated to bunker maintenance, and a great deal of work which goes into them that you may not have been aware of, so I hope this gives just a little insight into Bunker Maintenance.
For me the question is.... Is a Sand Bunker truly a hazard when this amount of maintenance is carried out ?
Those old Scott's would be rolling in their graves.
As one who is always finding them during a round, all I can answer with is, THANK GOD THEY ARE!
Happy Sand Trapping..Till next time.