Thursday, February 1, 2018

February Bunker Update

Finished bunker in front of No. 17 green.
After a fast start to our bunker project this fall, things have slowed down a bit in the past month. With the holiday season, followed by abnormally cold and then wet weather, the bunker renovation is currently on hold. As soon as more favorable weather conditions take over, we will be back at it to finish work on the back nine. Sand needs to be added to the bunkers on No. 10 and No. 18 still has a few days of work left before it is finished. Check out our last post for more information about the work that was completed before the holidays and plans for No. 10 and No. 18.

After the back nine bunkers are finished, we will shift our focus to the front nine. Not all work will be finished on the back as we will begin tree removal and rehabilitation of the haul roads used during construction. Aside from those two projects, all heavy construction will be finished on the back nine. 

In this post, we will focus on the plans for the front nine and practice area. With the uncertainty in weather forecasting and amount of moving parts involved in a project of this magnitude, no firm timeline can be established for completion of the front nine. As with any large project, plans are subject to change for a variety of reasons. It remains our goal to have the bulk of the work finished before spring and the unofficial start of golf season.
Design plans for No. 5 green complex.
Almost every hole on the front has changes in store, except for holes No. 7 and No. 8. We will most likely begin work on No. 5, as it is the furthest hole from our shop and storage areas, and work our way back towards the center of the property. As you can see in the plans above, No. 5 will have quite a different look. Slight reshapes will take place to the two bunkers in front of the green, while the two bunkers behind the green will be removed. Two trees on the right side of the fairway will be removed to open up the right side of the green, which in its current form is basically inaccessible. The large tree in front of green will also be removed, in part to open up that side of the green, but also to reduce root encroachment in the bunker and under the green. We are confident that removal of these trees will provide improved playability, but also healthier turf in these areas. 

Design plan for No. 6 fairway bunkers.
Design plan for No. 6 green.
Hole No. 6 will be a straightforward renovation with slight shape changes to the bunkers in the works as well as new sand. The large tree between the fairway bunkers will be removed to reduce root encroachment and should increase the lifespan of these new bunkers dramatically. 

Design plans for No. 4.
Tee shots in to No. 4 green will be much more daunting after work is completed. The bunker behind the green will be removed, as it is not in a location conducive to catching shots, and will be replaced with a grass mound. A new bunker is being added to the front left of the green, where it is sure to see more action than the replaced back bunker.

No. 3 fairway bunker plan.
Design plan for No. 3 green complex.
Hole No. 3 will also look quite a bit different this year. The fairway bunker is being reduced in size and moved to make it more visible from the teeing area. The big bunker behind the green is being removed and replaced with rough. The bunker in front of the green is being enlarged and reshaped to make for a more challenging shot in to the green. These changes will improve playability as well as aesthetics on the hole.

Design plan for No. 2 fairway.
No. 2 is seeing a new hazard being added to it with the addition of a fairway bunker on the right side of the hole. This is a popular landing area for second shots, and with the current topography a bunker should lay in seamlessly, making for a tougher choice in club selection after your drive.

Design plan for No. 1 fairway.
Unlike most holes in this renovation, the tee shot on No. 1 should be a bit easier. The fairway bunker is being reduced in size, and additional bentgrass fairway will be added where the old bunker was. This will create a wider landing zone for tee shots, and should only punish longer hitters who try to "cut the corner". 

No. 9 green complex design plans.
Hole No. 9 is also a very simple renovation. Bunkers will be cleaned out, reshaped, and new white sand added. The small bunker in front of the green will have fescue sod added around it to hopefully increase turf health around that bunker. Both bunkers will also be made more visible from the approach area.

Design plans for the practice area.
The practice area is our last target for renovation. The west bunker is being removed and replaced with bentgrass. The east bunker is being reshaped and expanded to allow for bunker shots in to all areas of the chipping green, not just one side of it. Allowing shots to be spread out, instead of all shots going in one direction and sand building up over time, will help increase the lifespan of this bunker and reduce maintenance needs.

As mentioned above, with unpredictable weather and numerous moving parts, these plans are subject to change. Keep checking back here for updates on our progress, before and after pictures, and more.

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