Golf Course Management

JAN 2018

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

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98 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 01.18 The quest for the perfect sand At the heart of every great bunker is a great bunker sand. Knowing what to look for (and where to look for it) is the key to making the right choice for your golf course. Editor's note: T e following story was originally publis ed in t e August 2015 issue of GCM. With a sand wedge in hand, a golfer approaches a deep bunker on your golf course. As he walks up to the edge of the hazard, he squints and sees it. The top of his ball, barely visible, is nearly buried in the sand — the dreaded fried-egg lie. He bellows out a swear word, cursing himself for his lousy play. And he may be right. He may have hit a bad shot. Or, if the sand in that bunker was not chosen correctly by the golf course architect, the club owner, or you, the superintendent, he may be wrong. That fried egg might not be his fault. It might be yours. That's right — sand selection can and does impact playability. It can also affect bunker maintenance, drainage and overall course aesthetics. That's why selecting not just the prettiest sand but the right sand for your golf course is so critical. In a study published by the USGA in 2008, Cale A. Bigelow, Ph.D., and Douglas R. Smith, Ph.D., at Purdue University described the general guidelines for bunker sand selection this way: "From a golf course manager's perspective, an appropriate sand for golf course bunkers would be Stacie Zinn Roberts AT THE TURN According to USGA-funded research, the right sand for bunkers "maintains firmness, drains quickly, does not easily erode from slopes," and is similar in size to the sand used in root zones. Photo courtesy of Rain Bird Corp. (bunkers)

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