Golf Course Management

AUG 2014

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

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76 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 08.14 between Fuller and fellow ASGCA member Jerry Lemons, who had the idea to connect with Dow Chemical Co. to develop ST410 Polymer especially to "glue together" the two- inch gravel layer so essential to the process. The result: Better Billy Bunkers, a moni - ker out of the mouth of Fuller's wife, Atlanta musician Sarah Hawbecker. Spraying gravel with the polymer creates a layer that is "as hard as a rock but retains its porosity," says Easley. "It's mind-boggling." "The drainage is the simple thing," Lem - ons says. "The magic's in the drum — the polymer. That's where the high-tech, the sci - ence, is." Lemons says the company stands behind its system and adds: "We know that in 20 years with this polymer being under a sand bunker, it will be just like it is today. Indepen - dent lab tests prove it can handle freeze-thaw because of its fexibility. Flexibility is key be - cause some concrete polymers have failed in environments where freeze-thaw is prevalent." An investment and more "We look at it from maintenance, playabil - Enhanced drainage lines are ready to be covered with gravel during bunker renovation at Winged Foot. Photo courtesy of Steve Rabideau, CGCS ity and aesthetics standpoints," says 19-year GCSAA member Boyce at Princess Anne CC. "It was sold to the club based on maintenance, the time put in repairing bunkers. Obviously, in regard to playability, the sand stays where it's at and the players love that." "People want perfect bunkers," says course architect Rees Jones. "It allows more consis - tency, stops contamination and enables you to fash the bunkers a little better, too. Clubs don't want sand movement. They want bun - kers to stay frm, not too soft; if it's soft, you have to rake it up. "The other methods have improved, too," he adds, "but [Better Billy Bunkers] are less apt to be a problem in cold climates." "I've tried all the bunker liners and so far Better Billy Bunker is the best one I've seen," says course architect Jeffrey D. Brauer, whose designs include Cowboys Golf Club. "These things went from being luxuries to necessi - ties… We get a lot of rain in a hurry in Texas. Cowboys in particular has very sloped bun - kers. The sand holds up on those slopes, no matter how hard it rains." ClubCorp's Miller says, "We haven't had any issues. It's been one of those things that's simple for us. In all our conversations around bunkers and bunker maintenance, we've taken the liner piece out of the conversation. Now it's all about, 'Do you change design?' or 'What sand are you using for frmness?' It's not about liners." In fact, excluding California, where the soil does not tend to migrate into the bunkers, ClubCorp has taken the method to courses in Arizona (where rocks push up and damage fabrics); Texas; Ohio; North Carolina; Geor - gia; Washington, D.C.; Long Island; and to the north of Boston. Now in his third year at Winged Foot, Rabideau says that soon after he arrived, he tested the new technique on a few bunkers on the West Course, which contains the most severe slopes and is hosting the 2020 U.S. Open. "It worked excellent," he says, so this spring the 20-year GCSAA member started renovat - ing bunkers on the East Course in preparation for the frst USGA Four-Ball Championship in 2016. "I think the Better Billy Bunkers might

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