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Why do courses have sand traps?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
I know this is a given, but who decided in the first place there needs to be sand at a golf course? If the game wasn't invented in Scotland where there are natural waste bunkers I am sure sand wouldn't be part of the game
post #2 of 31

I think in some way bunkers would have been put on golf courses. If golf started out in another country, were the ground was less sandy. If it was just as popular, I am sure it would have spread to the UK over time. There, I am sure they would have to use the resources available, I am pretty certain bunkers at some point would have been invented. 

post #3 of 31

quite possibly the cruelest person in the history of mankind, that's who

post #4 of 31

I  think it's geographic thing, with different reasons. I know in the desert southwest they have sand traps so they can water them and then let the sun bake them into a rock hard surface. The old "thin to win" cliche. 

 

The other popular belief is they originated in links golf, with the help of sheep bedding down out of the weather. By doing this, the sheep caused depressions (bunkers) that collected sand. 

post #5 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

I think in some way bunkers would have been put on golf courses. If golf started out in another country, were the ground was less sandy. If it was just as popular, I am sure it would have spread to the UK over time. There, I am sure they would have to use the resources available, I am pretty certain bunkers at some point would have been invented. 

Saying that bunkers would have been invented with any kind of certainty is a long stretch in my opinion.. There really isn't any kind of pro someone could present to say that if it didn't exist it would have been discovered!

Same reason why some golf courses create man made lakes now on courses, it is because I'm sure originally there were lakes or water bodies that were part of some of the original courses.
post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 

I think if its part of the natural enviroment sand /soft lies are fine. But there are courses where its just overdone. 

Whistling straits is just a ridiculous, I never played there, but watching on tournaments on tv its seems like that course has too many bunkers and its not clearly marked off.

post #7 of 31

I think it beats the alternatives to protect the greens which I would think would be little "water puddle" hazards or using only false fronts to try to protect them where wayward shots aren't penalized enough. I like playing out of them as long as it is nice soft sand.

 

Now deep fairway bunkers with real soft sand, that's just an a-hole move. 

post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchoye View Post

I know this is a given, but who decided in the first place there needs to be sand at a golf course?

 

The strip of land or "linksland" where you see a lot of these links courses, wasn't useful to anyone hundreds of years ago so it was used for grazing sheep and cattle.  Sheep would burrow down behind sand dunes to take shelter from the wind. Over time, these areas hollowed out to form bunkers. So blame sheep lol

 

When I was at St. Andrews last year they told me rabbits are responsible for putting greens.

post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post
 

... When I was at St. Andrews last year they told me rabbits are responsible for putting greens.

 

Let's say you want greens with a Stimpmeter reading of 9...

  • How many rabbits per green would you need?
  • What breed of rabbits would be most efficient?

 

In China, rabbits evidently help with the bunkers also. Below is a shot from the Sheshan International Golf Club

near Shanghai.

 

article-2481311-19195D4300000578-146_634x393.jpg

post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchoye View Post

I know this is a given, but who decided in the first place there needs to be sand at a golf course? If the game wasn't invented in Scotland where there are natural waste bunkers I am sure sand wouldn't be part of the game


Kind of a bizarre premise to begin with as the game was invented in Scotland and evolved based on the natural lay of the land. If not for The Old Course and others in that part of the world, golf does not exist today.

post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchott View Post
 


Kind of a bizarre premise to begin with as the game was invented in Scotland and evolved based on the natural lay of the land. If not for The Old Course and others in that part of the world, golf does not exist today.

It's not bizarre at all. What if aliens are playing a form of golf on an exoplanet right now where tight pins are tucked behind liquid methane? Now that's bizarre.

post #12 of 31

 Because there wasn't enough in the game to make you curse?

post #13 of 31

I don't mind traps that are placed to catch errant shots that would run into the "jungle" if the trap were not there.

 

Having said that, the course I play has packed gravel traps that have lips which precludes putting.  Yes, they are curse holes. 

post #14 of 31

I actually like sand traps...it makes the game more fun as you have to strategize to not hit your ball in them...

 

But, hey that's me

post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 
I grew up playing at a poor muni course with no sand bunkers and now I been playing at a club with sand bunkers on almost every hole
Had to make an adjustment to my short game Starting to love hitting out of the sand this year and prefer now to lob out of sand bunkers than hard ground
post #16 of 31

because (like many other things in golf), they've been around since day 1, and heaven forbid that we should realize that games evolve and maybe golf should too...   bunkers make the game harder for hackers and easier for good players...  hazards are not something that a good player should benefit from, and they do... 

 

however, as alluded to in sentence one....   we are playing under the essentially the same rules that were set down eons ago...   and if you bring up the fact that maybe those rules should be modernized, since we in no way shape or form play the same game they played 400 years ago, every "real golf fan" will tear you apart...   so i wouldn't expect "bunker free" golf anytime soon...

post #17 of 31

I'm fine with them because they offer a penalty of a poor shot that isn't as harsh as a water, lost, or OB ball.  I'd like to see more grass bunkers, though.  They're cheaper, and can still be quite challenging if constructed correctly.  

 

If I were designing a course (for non-tour play), I'd keep my sand bunkers shallow and escapable, but my grass bunkers deep and nasty.

post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchoye View Post

I think if its part of the natural enviroment sand /soft lies are fine. But there are courses where its just overdone. 
Whistling straits is just a ridiculous, I never played there, but watching on tournaments on tv its seems like that course has too many bunkers and its not clearly marked off.
Whistling Straits looks FANTASTIC! It's nuts and batshit insane. But entertaining and amazing. As for bunkers, I just consider them to be a staple in golf.
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