Thursday, January 31, 2013
Unfortunately, the heavy December rains carried rocks, silt and debris from the hillside into this bunker. A large drain above the bunker became clogged, and the overflow filled the bunker. The sand was washed to the bottom and became mixed with rocks and gravel. To fix the damage, the contaminated sand was removed and fresh sand will be brought in. The photo above shows the bunker after the contaminated sand was removed.
What is interesting to note is how much the bunker has changed in the last 17 years. The bunker lip which started at 4", was now an astounding 24" at the bottom of the bunker and 18" between the bunker and the green. Over the years, sand has been deposited outside through play (hitting shots toward the green), and through regular maintenance (blowing leaves out, and the exit of the raking machine.) As the grass grows through the sand, the terrain actually gets higher. In this case higher mounds were built up between the bunker and green, and at the front of the bunker (limiting visibility of the front of the bunker from the fairway.)
All bunkers and their surrounds change slowly but dramatically over the years. This photo shows why it is important to go back and renovate bunkers if a golf course's architectural integrity is to be preserved.