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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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