Famed Valhalla Golf Club, Louisville, Kentucky, is set to host the 2014 PGA Championship August 4-10, 2014. Valhalla Golf Club Superintendent Roger Meier, CGCS and staff have the course in pristine championship condition. The bunkers at Valhalla feature the revolutionary Better Billy Bunker method.
The Better Billy Bunker method is a linerless bunker drainage system that eliminates washouts and contamination during rain events. The method uses a spray-on binder, which is applied to local pea gravel and once cured, provides a firm but porous surface that allows water to percolate through the sand and Better Billy Bunker to the drain lines, without erosion occurring. With a percolation rate of more than 1500” per hour, the method can handle an extraordinary amount of rain in a short period of time, without washouts.
In 1982, while he was the golf course superintendent at Augusta National Golf Club, Billy Fuller, ASGCA created the “Billy Bunker.” Fuller knew that sand bunkers needed a conduit to allow the water to pass thru the sand, so he installed pea gravel in the base of the bunker. He covered the stone with a geo-textile liner, except on the drain lines where a “trevina liner” was installed. This allowed water to drain from the sand to the rock layer down to the drain lines before the sand could load with water and slide down to the base of the bunker (known as a radial slide).
This became the industry standard until 2010 when Billy Fuller, with Jerry Lemons, ASGCA, improved the process, naming it the “Better Billy Bunker.” The method made its market debut at the Golf Industry Show in 2010 at Orlando, Florida, and has continued to grow in popularity throughout the industry. With bunkers featured at the Gleneagles PGA Centenary Course (2014 Ryder Cup), TPC Harding Park (2020 PGA Championship), Winged Foot Golf Club (2020 US Open) and many more courses throughout the world, the method continues to provide an affordable and durable option when constructing bunkers.