Thursday, October 13, 2011


 The bunkers at Wakonda Club are beginning to show their age.  During the very wet summer of 2010 and also during Spring of 2011 we experienced heavy rains which highlighted the growing need for bunker repairs or a complete bunker renovation.

Over time bunker sand becomes contaminated with fine soil particles which restrict water perculation.  An analogy would be to think of new, clean sand like a window screen- water would pass quickly through the large voids of this material.  Think of dirty sand like a coffee filter- the very fine particles of soil are very restrictive thus water tends to pool in the bunker rather than releasing to the drainage underneath.  A major source of this contamination is from the bunker's sub grade- especially when torrential rains send rushing water through the bunker carrying (and mixing) topsoil and clay with bunker sand.

There are several products/ methods available to improve bunker performance.  Essentially the idea is to keep everything in it's place.  A few years ago we applied a product called Klingstone in the left bunker next to old 9 green.  We are happy with this product and this bunker performs well.  This week we have begun a "trial run" at utilizing some relatively new bunker lining products from Sandtrapper. We will be utilizing these products in the left bunker on #13 and #16.  Every golf course is different so we want to find out what works best at Wakonda and get feedback from our golfing members.

We started by removing the old sand as well as the old drain pipe and surrounding gravel.
In this bunker we experimented with the drainage by lining the trenches with Sandtrapper II.  We utilized drain pipe wrapped with a fabric sock.  The pipe is then covered with sand.
The sub grade is then covered with the Sandtrapper fabric.
The fabric is held down by 6 inch sod staples spaced 8 inches apart.
We then glued the staples to the fabric in an attempt to keep winter frost from pushing the staples out of the ground.
The end result- before sand.  Notice we are also experimenting with two different Sandtrapper products.
 The process has taken several days for a team of three people- we're learning as we go!  For the bunker pictured above on #13 we used over 3,000 staples and 31 tubes of glue.  We will be filling the bunker with sand tomorrow and are confident this bunker will perform much better in years to come.