Golf Creations continues to make progress on the Golf Course Improvement Project. Rough shaping was completed last week on holes 13-17, and the finish crew has arrived to begin prepping the rough shaped bunkers into ones ready for polymer, sand, and sod.
This week you will begin to see additional holes closed, due to both crews working on different areas of the golf course. If we get some good weather, it could be very possible that most of the back 9 could be closed by Saturday, so it continues to be critical that you please check with the Pro Shop on what holes are available on the days you visit Elcona for a round of golf. Once the finish crew has finalized the bunker shape, added drainage and gravel, the hole will remain closed until polymer is sprayed. This is to preserve the integrity of their work and ensure the gravel layer is not disrupted, which is a critical step in the quality of the Better Billy system being installed. I appreciate your understanding regarding this project!
Below is a summary of all that has been completed since I last wrote:
The Practice Facility bunkers have been finished are are ready for the Better Billy polymer to be sprayed, which will create the liner. As the above slide show depicts, the crew uses both a mini-excavator and hand shovels to finalize the shape and depth of the bunker, as well as dig the lines for the drainage pipe to install. The pipe is installed in a herringbone pattern, that will collect water from all areas of the bunker and displace it into a 15″ catch basin, located outside of the bunker. These basins will be covered with a iron grate and allow water to escape during a heavy rain event. Gravel is then placed over the drain tile and across the bottom of the bunker in a uniform 2″ layer. Once dried to a specified moisture percentage, BBB polymer can be applied to create the final liner.
Hole 13 has one less bunker now on the right side, as the two were combined, with the majority of the sand area guarding the front middle of the green. The left two bunkers remain in their general locations, with sod/sand lines changed to make the bunkers more visible from the tee. The above video shows how Ramiro uses his skidsteer to rough shape a bunker.
While the fairway bunkers on 14 have stayed in their general location, there was some smoothing of slopes and lines to improve accessibility in and out of the bunker and to better shed water away from the sand area. The mound right of the first fairway bunker was shaved completely down so that now all sand should be visible from the tee and main landing areas, greatly improving the aesthetics of the entire hole.
The work performed on the greenside bunkers on 14 took a bit of time. Gone is the large knob in the middle of the left greenside bunker, and in its place is a much gentler slope along the front edge along with a clean view of the entire green. The front right bunker was moved slightly into the approach and reshaped to better shed water away from the sand area. The back right bunker was eliminated and in its place will be a bentgrass collection area behind the remaining bunker as well as bluegrass rough. Stay tuned once sod and sand are installed to see the final vision of these changes.
Hole 16’s fairway bunker was moved a bit farther down the hole, with the back half of the original bunker ultimately filled in to create a grass swale to collect water from the bunker and fairway. 16 greenside bunkers were left relatively unchanged in location. The left bunker’s front slope was softened and expanded a bit to make it easier to maintain. The front right greenside bunker had a mound removed and sloped softened so now the entire green can be seen while attempting a shot from it. The back right bunker’s design was good so no shaping was necessary.
17 fairway bunker was shifted a bit farther down the hole as well. The back 2/3rds of the original bunker will become a combination of fairway and rough, and maintain its lower grade to collect water from both the surrounding turf and the bunker drainage.
17 greenside bunkers remained largely in their current locations, with slight modifications to the right greenside bunker. A bentgrass run off area was added behind the left greenside bunker to improve the playability of that area should shots miss the green left, giving every player different options of recovery (chip, putt, flop, etc…). One of our main responsibilities during this project is moving/adding irrigation for their crew. One example of this is pictured above, where we had to move a 2″ pipe to make way for the new drain in this run off area.
The approach expansion on 9 was sodded last week, and will remain ground under repair until the sod has rooted down and seams are knitted in.
If you have any questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for taking the time to read this longer than normal blog post, and have a great week!