Monday, August 10, 2009


The month of July brought us 3.75" rain which was very beneficial to the golf course as a whole, but the bunkers did not fare so well.

This summer, we had three major rain events that completely washed out all of the bunkers and required them to be restored. Each time the sand moves around in the bunker it becomes contaminated with silt,soil and pea gravel. These components are fine on their own, but intermixed with high quality bunker sand is a major problem.

As the year has progressed the drainage of the bunkers has degraded to the point of having to pump out some bunkers after normal irrigation cycles. The once open pore spaces in the sand are now clogged with silt and soil not allowing water to freely flow through and enter the subsurface drain tile. Ultimately these problematic bunkers will have to be addressed by replacing the contaminated sand with new clean sand that will once again allow free flow of water into the drainage systems.

The other problem with the sand comes in the form of pea gravel contamination. This does not effect drainage, but it does cause playability issues. In order to restore the playability of the sand we must remove the pea gravel. This is being done with the use of a hand held sieve that selectively removes the larger particle size of the gravel. This is extremely labor intensive due to the fact that the gravel is completely mixed with the sand and every time you rake it more gravel is brought to the surface. Just when you think you have it all more comes to the surface.

Close up of the pea gravel in the sand

The hand held sieve