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WUTiger

Hole design: Stand-by sand trap area?

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Can designers build a sand trap area you only fill with sand when needed?

Let's say you have a hole on which a greenside or fairway bunker would be challenging for competitive golfers, but a killer for everyday golfers. Would it be possible to have a hollow or trough that had the tiling and drainage for a sand trap, but was a grassy depression most of the time (Set-up A). Then, it could be filled with sand for big tournaments (Set-up B)? Then, most of the sand could be removed afterward and the area would quickly go back to a grass bunker.

Bailout.jpg

Would this work from a maintenance standpoint, or would it be best just to build a new bunker for big events, and then remove it? 

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11 minutes ago, WUTiger said:

Can designers build a sand trap area you only fill with sand when needed?

Let's say you have a hole on which a greenside or fairway bunker would be challenging for competitive golfers, but a killer for everyday golfers. Would it be possible to have a hollow or trough that had the tiling and drainage for a sand trap, but was a grassy depression most of the time (Set-up A). Then, it could be filled with sand for big tournaments (Set-up B)? Then, most of the sand could be removed afterward and the area would quickly go back to a grass bunker.

Bailout.jpg

Would this work from a maintenance standpoint, or would it be best just to build a new bunker for big events, and then remove it? 

A grass bunker in a tough position (e.g. facing a downslope on the green) will likely be just as tough as a regular bunker.  Perhaps easier because they can spin the ball better from the sand.

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The only way I could see this working is a very shallow bunker that was actually not rough, but fringe...so the weaker players could putt.  Of course, that would make the maintenance a bit more difficult.

Skilled designers can find ways of creating hazards that challenge the better player without severely penalizing weaker players, without resorting to actual modification.

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On 6/2/2016 at 10:27 PM, iacas said:

Good players like bunkers over rough. Better to just design the hole the first way.

I've heard many times on golf telecasts that players facing a particularly tough approach, or an intimidating tee shot on a par 3, will actually aim for a particular bunker. If they miss, they'd rather miss in the sand than the rough.

Sand shots are intimidating to the average amateur, but they're not really that difficult. All you need to do is practice them. Once I found out that Mill Creek Park Golf Course had a practice green with a sand bunker, tucked away where you might least expect it, I went there to practice bunker shots.

A couple days ago my buddy and I were in an informal 2 man scramble against another twosome. On a 225 yard par 3, my 3 wood wound up in the right greenside bunker, and my buddy quacked his drive off the planet! I told him not to worry, and hit my bunker shot to about 5 feet. He wound up making the putt for par, and on a 225 yard par 3, I'll take that any day!

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Fairway bunkers aren't usually very deep so it might be easier to cover those up with grass to make the course easier to play than it would to cover green side bunkers.

I'm not a expert in this area but it would seem the challenge would be in securing the turf within the bunker.  If they came up with interlocking pieces of turf like they do for football stadiums that could work but I would be concerned that just laying sod over a bunker would tear up pretty easy if there was a lot of activity on it.  

Most high handicappers struggle with sand shots, so I think most would prefer to chip or pitch off of grass rather than sand.  Better players would prefer the sand.  A problem that exists on non-tour courses is that the sand isn't always consistent from hole to hole which adds to the difficulty of making shots out of it.  

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Note: This thread is 1234 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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