Golf Course Management

AUG 2019

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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54 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 08.19 says Chris Clarke, president of Clarke Con- struction Group, a golf course builder based in Fort Myers, Fla. Clarke says deciding whether to do a bunker renovation in- or out-of-house all depends on the project's scope. "If you are just changing the sand out, that's something you can do in-house," he says. But if it's more involved than that, a course might want to consider hiring an architect and/or a builder. In some cases, only an archi- tect might be needed; in others, just a builder. And when a project is more significant than that — such as the one at Framingham, where new bunkers were created, old ones were re- moved and others were renovated — involv- ing an architect and builder might be what's necessary to do the job correctly. "e scale was just too big for us," Daly says. But Daly isn't opposed to superintendents doing bunker renovations in-house and knows of some superintendents who are capable of tackling even the most-involved tasks success- fully. But if they're messing with a course's de- sign as it relates to bunkering, Daly suggests they hire an architect. So does W. Bruce Matthews III, a long- time architect based in Manistee, Mich., who has designed 45 courses and renovated many more, including scores of bunker projects. Golf course architect W. Bruce Matthews III recently worked with Cascade Hills CC in Grand Rapids, Mich., and superintendent Alan Bathum, CGCS, on a bunker renovation project. Shown here is early work on a bunker on the course's ninth hole. Photos courtesy of W. Bruce Matthews III Matthews has seen his share of golf course decision-makers play architect during bunker renovations, and the results weren't great — water wasn't diverted around bunkers, wash- outs occurred over the tops of bunkers, and newly created bunkers looked sorely out of place. "Talk to an architect," Matthews advises. "An architect can tell you where, why and how. And then you can go from there. Even if you're only doing three bunkers, call an archi- tect to show you how to do it right." Even on small projects, an architect can offer advice on matters such as the advantages and disadvantages of grass-faced vs. sand- faced bunkers, point out possible drainage is- sues and offer opinions on whether a bunker will require liners, Matthews notes. An architect may also know the lay of the land better than anybody because he or she has been trained to see it that way. For in- stance, Matthews was recently hired to plan and oversee a bunker renovation at Cadil- lac Country Club, a private club in northern Michigan. "Anything north of mid-Michigan is pretty much on sand," Matthews says, not- ing that water "runs right through" the course at Cadillac. Because the club didn't have a lot of money to spend — and because the course drained "Even if you're only doing three bunkers, call an architect to show you how to do it right." — W. Bruce Matthews III

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