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Would You Mind Crappy Bunkers? Scrapping Bunker Maintenance Could Save Some Golf Courses.

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1 hour ago, pganapathy said:

The bunker you are assuming that what conditions you have for your feet are the same for where the ball is. 

Why? If, for example, it rained the night before and my ball is on the edge of the bunker, the sand will likely be more packed where I'm standing than where the ball is laying.

1 hour ago, pganapathy said:

It becomes difficult to judge a lie because you are not allowed to touch the sand.

Golf is a game of skill. Reading your lie is a skill. This is especially true in a bunker because it's explicitly written in the rules that you can't test the conditions.

It doesn't sound to me like you're ok with it being challenging at all if you want your bunker shots to all play the same way.

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5 hours ago, phillyk said:

One of the US Open qualifiers I played in had a rain storm pass through the previous night. All bunkers had some sort of water in it or very muddy. The maintenance spent the whole morning  driving in sand to fill greenside bunkers to make playable but the fairway bunkers were horrible (obviously due to weather not insufficient maintenance but the point remains). My ball ended up in a mud puddle in a fairway bunker while my feet were actually on nice enough raked sand, 2 very different conditions. Honestly while it sucks to have happen, I love the challenge. I put my 2nd on the green and made par. 

 

4 hours ago, billchao said:

Why? If, for example, it rained the night before and my ball is on the edge of the bunker, the sand will likely be more packed where I'm standing than where the ball is laying.

Golf is a game of skill. Reading your lie is a skill. This is especially true in a bunker because it's explicitly written in the rules that you can't test the conditions.

It doesn't sound to me like you're ok with it being challenging at all if you want your bunker shots to all play the same way.

Guys, it is not like I am opposed to a challenge.  In fact, it does make the game more interesting.  My concern is that badly maintained anything (bunkers, fairways, greens) make for unpredictable results.  I agree that rub of the green will happen even on good courses, but having any bounce or shot be unpredictable is stretching whether it is golf or roulette.  The difference is that on a good well maintained course, the percentage of funny bounces/results from a well struck shot are less

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33 minutes ago, pganapathy said:

My concern is that badly maintained anything (bunkers, fairways, greens) make for unpredictable results.

But given the choice between the above, if a course was forced to save money by reducing maintenance on one of those, I'd choose bunkers.

34 minutes ago, pganapathy said:

The difference is that on a good well maintained course, the percentage of funny bounces/results from a well struck shot are less

Right but it brings us back to the topic of whether you'd be okay with courses letting bunkers go which might allow them to stay in business or allocate the budget elsewhere.

If you play on a course that has money and you pay well for it, I agree that you'd expect it to be well maintained everywhere. But most courses don't have that kind of money at their disposal. At the courses I play I have no issue with them saving money on bunker maintenance and turning that into increasing the quality of their greens, fairways, or even tee boxes. Hell they could even just knock a few bucks off the greens fees, but that would be my last choice. I'm willing to pay a few extra dollars a round to help keep the courses in better shape.

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21 minutes ago, billchao said:

But given the choice between the above, if a course was forced to save money by reducing maintenance on one of those, I'd choose bunkers.

Right but it brings us back to the topic of whether you'd be okay with courses letting bunkers go which might allow them to stay in business or allocate the budget elsewhere.

If you play on a course that has money and you pay well for it, I agree that you'd expect it to be well maintained everywhere. But most courses don't have that kind of money at their disposal. At the courses I play I have no issue with them saving money on bunker maintenance and turning that into increasing the quality of their greens, fairways, or even tee boxes. Hell they could even just knock a few bucks off the greens fees, but that would be my last choice. I'm willing to pay a few extra dollars a round to help keep the courses in better shape.

I say let the parking lot go to hell (I have all-wheel drive) and let the on-course bathrooms fall into decay.  Just keep the course pristine.  These are kinda sad times...

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1 hour ago, Double Mocha Man said:

I say let the parking lot go to hell (I have all-wheel drive) and let the on-course bathrooms fall into decay.  Just keep the course pristine.  These are kinda sad times...

You want sad times? Live around here! I can't tell you how many courses have closed, and some nice ones too! We were "overbuilt" for golf, the economy went to crap, the population went down, and you can figure the rest! Some formerly private country clubs went semi-private, and some of them even signed up with GolfNow! 

That's been a boon for us. We've played a couple of terrific courses outside of Cleveland for a song! But, it keeps golfers on the course, and money in the till!

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15 hours ago, billchao said:

But given the choice between the above, if a course was forced to save money by reducing maintenance on one of those, I'd choose bunkers.

Right but it brings us back to the topic of whether you'd be okay with courses letting bunkers go which might allow them to stay in business or allocate the budget elsewhere.

If you play on a course that has money and you pay well for it, I agree that you'd expect it to be well maintained everywhere. But most courses don't have that kind of money at their disposal. At the courses I play I have no issue with them saving money on bunker maintenance and turning that into increasing the quality of their greens, fairways, or even tee boxes. Hell they could even just knock a few bucks off the greens fees, but that would be my last choice. I'm willing to pay a few extra dollars a round to help keep the courses in better shape.

Which brings me back to the point I made earlier.  Keep the course as simple as possible.  Anything you cannot afford to maintain you remove.  For example, I have played courses where water is an issue.  What they have done on par 4 and 5's is not worry about maintaining a fairway for say the first 100 yards from the tee box.  After that they maintain a fairway.  So, if you cannot afford to maintain a bunker, remove it.  Other simpler options make life easier for the course and the challenge of a course can still be maintained.

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8 hours ago, pganapathy said:

Which brings me back to the point I made earlier.  Keep the course as simple as possible.  Anything you cannot afford to maintain you remove.  For example, I have played courses where water is an issue.  What they have done on par 4 and 5's is not worry about maintaining a fairway for say the first 100 yards from the tee box.  After that they maintain a fairway.  So, if you cannot afford to maintain a bunker, remove it.  Other simpler options make life easier for the course and the challenge of a course can still be maintained.

Kiawah Island doesn't technically have bunkers - everything is just "sand." As such, good luck finding rakes. There aren't that many, and you may find yourself in a footprint.

Look at Patrick Reed's ball landing in a footprint (before he breached the Rules).

Those courses have enough money to rake the sandy areas… and still don't.

Original bunkers weren't raked: why should modern ones all be raked?

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I received emails from a few courses that they have removed rakes due to COVID-19. I don’t know how much play they’re getting since it’s still March and I’m in NJ, but I guess we’re going to see how playing out of unraked bunkers will be like.

I assume they’re still going to maintain them though, so maybe it will just be the people playing later in the day that end up with bad bunkers.

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15 minutes ago, billchao said:

I received emails from a few courses that they have removed rakes due to COVID-19. I don’t know how much play they’re getting since it’s still March and I’m in NJ, but I guess we’re going to see how playing out of unraked bunkers will be like.

I assume they’re still going to maintain them though, so maybe it will just be the people playing later in the day that end up with bad bunkers.

One of my local courses has removed the rakes... you are allowed to replace your ball from footprints or sand divots.  Special rules for special times.

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Since it's a hazard, I don't really care if they are raked or not, but please, please, for safety and club issues, please make sure that there are not rocks or stones in them.

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Simple fix...if there are no rakes....why not try to fix the bunker using your foot to smooth out the sand as much as possible....it's a bunker and a hazard....it's meant to be penal....no one should expect a perfectly smooth surface....a touring pro would rather be in a bunker vs. gnarly rough.

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First time I played a dumpy little par 70 course in Celementon NJ, you know the one by the run down amusement park with railroad tracks running thru it and not a single freakin rake on the whole "track".  On the par 3 third hole with a right to left sloping green, my seemingly well struck draw landed on the green but wound up in the bunker.  In a huge foot print!  I was just standing there staring at it.  My buddy comes over and says, "next time, the correct shot is a high cut....welcome to Pine Valley"

Bunkers are hazards from which one can redeem oneself unlike water or OB where you are eternally screwed. 

I'd rather limited maintenance budgets to be focused on putting surfaces.

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3 minutes ago, Rippy_72 said:

First time I played a dumpy little par 70 course in Celementon NJ, you know the one by the run down amusement park with railroad tracks running thru it and not a single freakin rake on the whole "track". 

Sounds like the start of a Private Detective novel!

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1 minute ago, boogielicious said:

Sounds like the start of a Private Detective novel!

I guess I only care about putting surfaces and nobody moving behind me when hitting.....everything else is chill

 

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"First time I played a dumpy little par 70 course in Celementon NJ, you know the one by the run down amusement park with railroad tracks running thru it and not a single freakin rake on the whole "track".

From out of nowhere this dame sashays outta the bunker behind me while I'm putting.  I says to her, "Don't mess with Rippy, stop right there!"  She comes to a screeching halt as only a gal with those gams could... sloshing a few drops from the martini she carries in her left hand.

Edited by Double Mocha Man

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We already have crappy bunkers. We have these float rocks in the soil around here that can range from 6" to 12". As long as they cleared them out I'm fine. If the sand is so poor we're down to those, I'm dropping outside the bunker. 

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3 hours ago, Double Mocha Man said:

"First time I played a dumpy little par 70 course in Celementon NJ, you know the one by the run down amusement park with railroad tracks running thru it and not a single freakin rake on the whole "track".

From out of nowhere this dame sashays outta the bunker behind me while I'm putting.  I says to her, "Don't mess with Rippy, stop right there!"  She comes to a screeching halt as only a gal with those gams could... sloshing a few drops from the martini she carries in her left hand.

She was the kind of broad that would beat your teeth out then kick you in the stomach for mumbling.  

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13 hours ago, Double Mocha Man said:

"First time I played a dumpy little par 70 course in Celementon NJ, you know the one by the run down amusement park with railroad tracks running thru it and not a single freakin rake on the whole "track".

From out of nowhere this dame sashays outta the bunker behind me while I'm putting.  I says to her, "Don't mess with Rippy, stop right there!"  She comes to a screeching halt as only a gal with those gams could... sloshing a few drops from the martini she carries in her left hand.

That's exactly how I read his post, with a NJ accent to boot!

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