Golf Course Industry magazine’s cover story features a detailed look at the hazards that consume much of a superintendents’ time. ASGCA members provide perspective on the design – and elimination of – bunkers.

Guy Cipriano writes, “Too wet. Too dry. Too inconsistent. Too ugly. Too clean. Too tough. Too many rocks. Too little sand. Too much sand. Features of a golf course designed to contribute to imperfect results are, well, hazards to maintenance operations. From superintendents to architects, there is no easy or uniform solution, yet viable options are being implemented.”

Todd Quitno, ASGCA (Lohmann Golf Designs) and Ian Andrew, ASGCA (Ian Andrew Golf Design) commented on their experiences and how they look at these sandy hazards.

Quitno cited an Illinois course built in the mid-2000’s with “big, flash bunkers” and fabric liners as an example of where less sand surface could provide more maintenance punch. “We are looking at taking some bunkers out at that golf course to try to get to a manageable amount,” he says. “That’s a big focus – getting you down to the footprint that if you do renovate them, you can afford to do that.”

Andrew advocates rethinking bunker counts. Short turf promoting creative shotmaking around greens could be an alternative for courses looking to reduce maintenance costs, according to Andrew.

“If they are losing their strategic value and they are one of the most expensive things that we build and one of the few items that we have to consistently rebuild, does this not bring us to the point as architects of saying, ‘Maybe bunkers shouldn’t be the answer as much as they already area?’”

The complete Golf Course Industry article can be seen here.