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Sean_A

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Re: Ground control to Major Tom...
« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2009, 05:52:09 PM »
Sean:

So are you saying you don't like The Old Course?  Because certainly, all of those bunkers out there at 100, 150, 200, 250, and 300 yards from the tee are a big part of what convinced me that mixing them up was a good thing.

And can you think of an architect or two who tries hard to "even things out" with their bunkering across all classes of players?  I really don't see much evidence of that when I play.  Most every architect seems to have a strong opinion about exactly which kind of player he is trying to "test," and puts the majority of bunkers in the range of that player.





Tom

I think archies try to pull off the bunker issue by using multiple tees.  Its not a satisfactory solution, but when an archie is sold on bunkering as the major point of interest between tee and green there has to be a way to make as many bunkers in play for as many players as possible.  But I also see staggered bunkering or twos sets of bunkers on holes an awful lot.  It surprises me a bit because centreline bunkers can achieve many of the architectural intents with probably half the number of bunkers. Maybe even less if the land was altered to fit this style.  Meaning even if the carry is made the palyer needs to hit the right slot or perhaps risk being pushed to a poor angle for the approach.   

I like TOC, though not nearly to the degree you do.  I was just using TOC as an example of a divisive course.  What I like most about TOC is that it isn't the typical championship course - so much so that many feel it isn't really a championship course! 

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Ben Sims

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Re: Ground control to Major Tom...
« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2009, 11:05:36 PM »
Mr. Doak,

Thanks for the detail regarding the answer to question 3.  Looking one hole at a time proves far more fruitful when analyzing effects.  I'll break a few holes down--feel free to expound.  Forgive my extreme bias to modern layouts--in particular a few of Renaissance's courses--but they are fresh in my memory from the last couple months of playing many of your west coast courses.

#15 Bandon Dunes) That ONE bunker controls the tee shot.  In it, your dead.  "Clean on the green" and its a relatively straight forward par 3.

#17 Pacific Dunes)  The Redan style lends itself to the one bunker diagonal to the green being VERY controlling over the tee shot.

#11 Old Mac) You've already mentioned the Road Bunker.  But you and Jim's version becomes more scary when you realize that carrying it means flirting with certain disaster if struck long over that crazy straight edged drop off on the back. The best way to play y'alls version may be to lay up off the green, pin high on the right.  Going straight for that pin from 160yds out, into the wind, is suicide unless your name is Padraig.

#8 Stone Eagle) I forgot what PFerlicca called that fairway bunker when we played a couple weeks ago.  All I know is it is insane.  It scared the crap out of me because I hit a fade/slice sometimes.  I made sure to take it out of play by hitting right of it, somewhere up in the national forest.

I tried to include holes that many can comment on. The par 3's mentioned have only one or two bunkers apiece.  #11 at Old Mac--if you discount the bunkers used to simulate the dogleg right hotel hazard--has one bunker. #8 at Stone Eagle only has two that I can remember.  These bunkers, IMHO, GREATLY increase in effect when playing the course on a repeat basis. 

Would you agree that sparsely bunkered holes with profound "hazard fear factor" are predominantly par 3's?  Can you think of any fairway bunkers that have the "fear factor" of, say, a Road Bunker?






Michael Robin

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Re: Ground control to Major Tom...
« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2009, 01:28:30 AM »
Ben, what did you think of Hell bunker?

Ben Sims

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Re: Ground control to Major Tom...
« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2009, 02:10:08 AM »
Thankfully I didn't hit into it, because it looked hellish. The sleepers were a great touch and I bet the Renaissance men will brag of their functionality in guarding against harsh elements.  I stood in it for 3 minutes or so and hit a practice shot out of it.  I don't know how much play it will get, but it's location and monolithic qualities will no doubt dominate the hole.

It looks as if number 15 will have another large, sleeper faced bunker. I'll have to check it out next year at the GCA trip to Bandon in May 2010. By the way, is that group going to get a "preview" of the completed 18 at Old Mac while Mr. Doak is there to answer questions?

Tom_Doak

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Re: Ground control to Major Tom...
« Reply #29 on: May 18, 2009, 07:28:56 AM »
Ben:

Re: 17 at Pacific Dunes:  Mr. Morrissett was on my case when we built the hole for not fortifying the back right of the green, as so many other Redans are fortified.  I tried to explain to him that the wind at Pacific Dunes was so powerful and at such a nasty angle on that particular hole that more defense would be overkill.  There are actually three other bunkers on the hole, though:  one in the bottom of the hollow that's just visual, and two guarding the approach on the right (and keeping you out of the gorse).

Your description of #11 is more what I was talking about, though.  The combination of the one bunker plus the "road" is what makes the hole so tough.  Without the drop-off on the right, you'd just give the one bunker a wide berth.


PCCraig

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Re: Ground control to Major Tom...
« Reply #30 on: May 18, 2009, 09:49:29 AM »
Some of the best variety of bunker positioning I've seen in a while was this past weekend at the Ross Course in French Lick. Off the tee, bunkers were either guiding you or challenging you.

Tom Doak-

When you place bunkers somewhat randomly as to challenge all type of players vs. just placing them in the landing zone...do you run the risk of making the bunkers too irrelevant for segments of the golfers? Or, for you, are they just as much visual as they are there for a challenge?
H.P.S.

Ben Sims

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Re: Ground control to Major Tom...
« Reply #31 on: May 18, 2009, 09:44:22 PM »
Pat,

I don't want to pretend to have a clue what Mr. Doak will reply in regards to your question, but I think randomness in bunker positioning is the proper recipe to engage the highest number of golfers. 

By worrying about bunker irrelevancy for one segment of golfers, you unintentionally make it irrelevant for another segment of golfer.  For instance, all three times I've played #6 at Pacific Dunes, I've taken aim very close to the first right fairway bunker.  I do this because I know if I hit it straight, with either a 3 wood or driver, that I'll carry it easily.  If I slice it, the furthest right bunker comes into play.  If I hook or pull it, it will get all the way up to the left fairway/greenside bunker. It looks as if those bunkers were not placed according to yardage, but in landforms that accepted the bunkers best.  In other words, a random placement brings one (two if it's a bad push or slice) bunker into play for my "golfer segment".  If Renaissance had pulled that left bunker back into the "normal" landing zone for 80% of the resort's golfers, then longer players wouldn't be worrying about either bunker.

Of course, 35 knot headwinds make that hole significantly shorter too! ;D

Patrick_Mucci

Re: Ground control to Major Tom...
« Reply #32 on: May 18, 2009, 10:41:53 PM »
1.  To me the most important thing about bunker positioning is to put the fairway bunkers at different distances off the tee on different holes, so that there are some in play for everybody.  I remember hearing Jack Nicklaus saying somewhere that he needed to renovate a course five years after he built it because of equipment technology ... but what that really means is he put all the bunkers at a certain distance, and then that distance wasn't what it used to be.  Anyway, it's silly to assume that all "good" players hit the ball approximately the same length; they don't.

So, if you are going to have bunkers at different distances, what makes sense?  Naturally the topography has a lot to do with where the opportunities lie, but generally, I would have the shorter fairway bunkers on the short par-4's (where they would come into play for the shorter hitters who need to crowd them to get home in two), and the further-out fairway bunkers on the longer par-4's.

2.  Absolutely, we see that there are certain little rises that would be a great place for a fairway bunker, and then we try to position the tee in relation to those features.  That is why I just hate when some renovation architect moves bunkers downrange -- because the hole was designed around the original position of that bunker, and the new spot won't feature the right topography for it.


Tom Doak,

There's a 1938 Aerial of NGLA, Shinnecock and Southampton that seems to confirm your preference for bunker location.

The bunker configuration at NGLA seems timeless since one bunker that becomes obsolescent is replaced by another that was previously vestigial.


BCyrgalis

Re: Ground control to Major Tom...
« Reply #33 on: May 19, 2009, 09:17:45 PM »
I think there's is one factor that plays into bunker positioning more than any other, and it's a factor that Mr. Doak and most architects would agree with: The goal is to engage the golfer in thought.  The best designed courses (many of which were authored by Mr. Doak himself) make the golfers think before they tee the ball up; you have to see your options (or don't see them, but know there existence) and choose the one that works best for you on that particular day.  How that translates into bunker positioning - and, really, all hazard positioning - is that there needs to be options for every player, and your decision making is paramount to being successful.

The worst course designs have two things (I can think of right now) in common: they force you to play to one place and there's no chance to play safe.  I think somewhere on this thread Mr. Doak mentioned always being able to have a safe play, and I think that's really important.  If you're forced to hit a shot with utter percision and no place to miss, you've now eliminated the fun for 95% of golfers (uh hmm, Sawgrass No. 17) and taken away all strategy.  You know why Corey Pavin does well on classic courses?  Not because they're just shorter (because that's not always the case anymore) but because he can think his was around a golf course; he can work his ball into places where he knows the following shot will give him a chance.

Just one quick example I'd have of this is -  and I'm sure there's a million better ones, but this is one I'm familiar with - is that Mike Davis and the USGA is deciding to shave the side of the hill on No. 6 at the Black this year.  The reason he's doing it is to give the guys more options - not necessarily good options, but options.  In '02, when the side of the hill was rough, players were forced to hit a long iron to the top of the hill, and there was no other choice.  "Here's your yardage, go ahead and hit it just like you're on the range."  It's boring golf, both for the player and specatator.  Now, at least there's an option to hit a 3-wood or hybrid down the hill to leave yourself about a 60-yard shot, which isn't necessaryily the right play ... but there's an option that makes you think!

And that's what good architecture does: It makes you think.  Bunkers are not there just for aesthetics, nor are they there just catch errant shots - although those are both very good reasons for their existence.  The main point is to make golfers think, and maybe some of the best bunkers in the world don't necessarily catch the most balls, but without a doubt they catch the most thoughts.

Mike Tanner

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Re: Ground control to Major Tom...
« Reply #34 on: May 19, 2009, 10:04:52 PM »
An excellent topic here. Something in Jeff Brauer's post caught my eye. He said that many of his clients want to reduce the number of bunkers on their courses as a means of controlling maintenance costs.

Is this a widespread (a relative measure in this economy) request? If so, how does that affect an architect's bunker positioning on new courses and renovation projects?
 
Life's too short to waste on bad golf courses or bad wine.

Jeff_Brauer

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Re: Ground control to Major Tom...
« Reply #35 on: May 20, 2009, 08:12:52 AM »
Mike,

Well, having me answer again isn't probably what you had in mind, but I think it is for about 85% of the courses out there.  Of course, the top 5% will never worry about money and the bottom 10% already have eliminated all or most of the bunkers.

When we talk about random bunkers, etc., I believe that they weren't eliminated by a generation of uninspired architects, but by a generation (or two) of cash strapped greens chairs and superintendents.  I remember starting my career in 1977, and doing a lot of club remodeling and removing a lot of "out of play" bunkers. 

I remember one in particular that galled me.  It was 20 yards short of the green, but with the dogleg set up as both a perfect aiming bunker and was part of the visual complex of the green.  The pro and club manager wondered why it was there since it was "clearly out of play" and it was removed. 

One of the reasons that random and excessive bunkering took hold in the 90's was because of the exceedingly good economic times.  Whenever times are average to a bit sucky, money counts and most bunkers get evaluated on how many functions they serve - hazard, visual, "save bunker", "safety bunker", target bunker, etc., and the problems that they cause - If they block circulation, slow play, or are hard to maintain, they are likely to be removed.  Remaining bunkers get a good look at size and slope reduction to improve maintenance.

Sad but true, and a big part of the design equation.
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Jason Topp

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Re: Ground control to Major Tom...
« Reply #36 on: May 20, 2009, 09:04:21 AM »
My course repositioned fairway bunkers about 10 years ago.  5 of them are placed at exactly or very close to the spot one would otherwise place a drive.  They make for very interesting and thoughtful play. 

2 are aiming bunkers that add nothing to the course other than a reference point I can use to give an aim point to someone unfamiliar with the course.  I would probably eliminate them if I were king.

Mark_Rowlinson

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Re: Ground control to Major Tom...
« Reply #37 on: May 21, 2009, 02:00:11 PM »
I like Donald Steel's wise words: High handicappers carry their own bunkers around with them.

Each time I play Wilmslow I am pleased that a number of old fashioned cross-bunkers have been retained. They do not affect the low handicapper or long hitter, but, by golly, I have to consider them and they cause me some of the best can I/can't I? decision making of the round.

Ben Sims

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Re: Ground control to Major Tom...
« Reply #38 on: May 21, 2009, 06:39:26 PM »
Mr. Brauer,

This is slightly off thread, but can you illustrate how bunkering adds expenditure to a golf course?  I'll need some insight to continue the thread before Major Tom returns....

Kalen Braley

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Re: Ground control to Major Tom...
« Reply #39 on: May 21, 2009, 06:41:26 PM »
Mr. Brauer,

This is slightly off thread, but can you illustrate how bunkering adds expenditure to a golf course?  I'll need some insight to continue the thread before Major Tom returns....

Ben,

I'll take a crack at it.  Extra man hours and labor to maintain those bunkers over what would simply be 1 man on a mower taking a drive if it were grass.

P.S.  This is a civilian site, no formal titles needed.   ;)

Ben Sims

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Re: Ground control to Major Tom...
« Reply #40 on: May 21, 2009, 07:01:21 PM »
Kalen,

Agreed.  But how negligible is it for the mower to steer around the bunker? ;)  So I don't buy the mowing thing.

Man hours to upkeep? Okay. I'll bite.  How much more cost in equipment and manpower does it take to rake and maintain, say, 80 bunkers of varying size on an annual basis vs. a course with just 40 bunkers?

Jeff_Brauer

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Re: Ground control to Major Tom...
« Reply #41 on: May 21, 2009, 07:29:37 PM »
Ben,

Actually bunker maintenance costs vary all over the map, depending on how perfect golfers want them. I have heard guys say that they spend only $50K per year, others spend $200K per year.  Jim Moore has an article on the USGA website that talks about it, but I don't know too many supers and management companies who don't consider bunker maintenance almost an unnecessary expense, or at least unnecessarily expensive.

A lot can go into it - if you put in liners that are now almost standard, they require hand raking and that drives up man hours a bit.  If you rake every day, etc.  Most complaints focus on having to shovel sand back up the banks after every rain if you have a gully washer, frog strangler or turd floater.
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Mike Tanner

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Re: Ground control to Major Tom...
« Reply #42 on: May 21, 2009, 09:43:39 PM »
I think we're straying away from Ben's questions about bunker positioning into a discussion of bunker maintenance, and I'm guilty, so let me try to steer back to the original direction.

It seems that bunker positioning is one of the  most elastic hazards an architect can incorporate into a course design, as compared to naturally occurring features such as streams, lakes, sand dunes, cliffs, etc. So, how does the environment of a course -- linksland, parkland, desert -- affect an architect's decision-making about bunker placement?
 
Life's too short to waste on bad golf courses or bad wine.

Ben Sims

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Re: Ground control to Major Tom...
« Reply #43 on: May 21, 2009, 11:16:10 PM »
Jeff and Mike,

Let me see if I can tie this up like a good Boy Scout.  Thesis is as follows

1) Evolution of golf courses shows too many to last. Strong will survive

2) My interpretation of strong involves fiscal solvency, stirring architecture, willing fan base.

3) Reduction in build costs as well as operating costs needed in the business.

4) Knowing how to position bunkers for maximum effect with minimal use (I hypothesize 36 or less)

So, to put it all together.  I'm researching a way for golf architecture AND golf course operations to become better with less.  These economic times dictate a change.  Just riding it out will not be enough, IMHO.  If firms can learn to make courses in a less expensive way--in both building and operating the course--while maintaining strategy, tactical shot values, and esthetics; the entire business will no doubt benefit.  I don't think any architect will lose one iota of their talent to "let their hair down" if the money is there to do so.  But controlling costs for the other 97% of new courses will prove to be a windfall in the next decades. 

This is why I asked Mr. Doak to expound on his thoughts on courses with few bunkers that still have great effect on strategy.  That one variable however, is just the first in a long line of golf design and operations practices that will need to change for American golf courses make money and remain soulfully stirring in their layout and playability.

Back to bunker positioning....

Jeff_Brauer

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Re: Ground control to Major Tom...
« Reply #44 on: May 22, 2009, 10:33:26 AM »
Ben,

I agree that less bunkers makes a lot of sense. Not just for the money aspect, but if golf is supposed to be natural, then why are there bunkers at all when we leave the seaside dunes sites?  They have become artistic abstractions (all Mac's fault, according to another thread).

I once postulated that a course should have no more than 30 bunkers, but each should be deep, deep, deep to affect play.  Sadly, the trend of most gca's (me included) is to put them all over the landscape in almost spin art fashion, because, well, "they look MAHVELOUS Dahling".  And, that is because they help sell houses in many cases, which also drives the bunker reduction programs - once the houses are sold, golfers don't necessarily want a bunch of bunkers all over the golf course.

I am sure that bunker reductions will help architecture.  I used to "plug in" 100,000 SF of bunkers. In my recent work, that number has ranged from 40-60,000 SF, in part because of bunker numbers reductions, and in part because I make sure to build them smaller. I think many gca's build them too big anyway - the greens really should be the visual focus, not the surrounding bunkers.

Wish I had more time to expound today, but I don't!
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Kalen Braley

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Re: Ground control to Major Tom...
« Reply #45 on: May 22, 2009, 06:16:37 PM »
Ben,

I think you summed it up pretty well.

As it concerns how a course becomes better with less, I would suspect it has less to do with bunkering, and more to do with where the money gets budgeted.  It would seem from what i've read in here and seen 1st hand its courses spending too much money on the "extras" instead of on the course.

A local muni recently spent millions to spruce it up.  So what did they do?  The built a new multi-million dollar clubhouse/grill that sits mostly empty while the course got some new sprinkler heads and a few new pipes. Other than that its still pretty much the same Doak 2 golf course.  So now when folks finish thier round, they have a cool place to hang for a few minutes before thier wives call and tell em to get thier backsides back home.

Cristian

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Re: Ground control to Major Tom...
« Reply #46 on: May 22, 2009, 07:09:37 PM »
Ben (and others),

I think having not too many bunkers is a sound idea, even without considering the economics. If we consider the fairwaybunkers first there are two issues that strike me as being often overlooked in bunker discussions (and leading to too many):

1)Fairway width; Yes it is true fairway bunkers can make the not so low (>10) handicapper think as well. But we have to consider following: The average tour pro hits something like 50-60% of fairways on tour. Even though the FW's are perhaps narrower and the pro-drives longer, they are still a lot better at accuracy than the average 10 handicapper. If no more than half the drives of this section of players hits the fairways, it means these players are not going to aim far away from the middle of the Fairway, unless there is A VERY OBVIOUS AND COMPELLING REASON to do so; In another thread it was calculated that average variance of this group is some 40 yards (20 right and left). This means that for this group any fairway bunker on a FW which is significally narrower than 40 yds, will hardly influence the line of aim in my view. Therefore my thesis (1) is that one has to question the use of FW bunkers on not so wide fairways; they look good and may worry some of the scratch players on the course but have little strategic influence on the vast majority of players.

2) Length; There is much discussion on the positioning of Fairway bunkers in yards from the tee to catch drives of different players. But how many people hit drives of consistent length and carry? I am an 11 hcapper and typically hit drives between 220 and 260 in similar conditions (a hole which is not severely downhill or uphill). If you add common wind conditions that may be encountered on most courses the variance for me is probably from 200 to 280. My average drive on an average course will probably have some 20 yards of roll. This means really that any bunkering from 180 to 280 yards may be in play, and will influence my line of aim (if the Fairway is wide enough :)). So: (thesis 2) one bunker or maximum two on either side of the wider fairways (or in the middle if the FW is really wide) is all you need to enforce strategy. I also think the placing of bunkers 20 or 30 yards apart in length on different sides of the fairway (which seems very popular with many designs) really does not work for the vast majority of players; they will just aim down the middle. I think most players, who are not low cappers will recognize this. Only the very long hitters will obtain advantage, as they can decide to fly the shorter carry.

Obviously there a other reasons to place bunkers besides strategy, but usually non more important. So why do we see 99% of hole designs conflict with above theses? Where am I wrong?

By the way Ben, thanks for a great thread!

« Last Edit: May 24, 2009, 04:59:17 AM by Cristian Willaert »

Sean_A

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Re: Ground control to Major Tom...
« Reply #47 on: May 23, 2009, 04:18:46 AM »
Ben,

I agree that less bunkers makes a lot of sense. Not just for the money aspect, but if golf is supposed to be natural, then why are there bunkers at all when we leave the seaside dunes sites?  They have become artistic abstractions (all Mac's fault, according to another thread).

I once postulated that a course should have no more than 30 bunkers, but each should be deep, deep, deep to affect play.  Sadly, the trend of most gca's (me included) is to put them all over the landscape in almost spin art fashion, because, well, "they look MAHVELOUS Dahling".  And, that is because they help sell houses in many cases, which also drives the bunker reduction programs - once the houses are sold, golfers don't necessarily want a bunch of bunkers all over the golf course.

I am sure that bunker reductions will help architecture.  I used to "plug in" 100,000 SF of bunkers. In my recent work, that number has ranged from 40-60,000 SF, in part because of bunker numbers reductions, and in part because I make sure to build them smaller. I think many gca's build them too big anyway - the greens really should be the visual focus, not the surrounding bunkers.

Wish I had more time to expound today, but I don't!

Jeff

It gratifies me to read your post.  I am sure you know that I have long been an advocate of fewer, but nastier and more thoughtfully positioned bunkers . However, the argument is really three fold.  Part  IIconcerns the better use of terrain even if it needs to built.  If we can build bunkers why can't we create interesting terrain?  Finally, archies don't do nearly enough to sell subtle features.  I think its assumed that golfers don't get subtle and this is true to a certain degree, but archies seem to avoid these types of features in favour of more obvious features (like bunkers) as a way to justify their pay.

Ciao   
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Ben Sims

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Re: Ground control to Major Tom...
« Reply #48 on: May 25, 2009, 10:18:54 PM »
Trying to revive a thread that needs reviving.  I wish I had the participation of a Merion related thread ;)

I played the new and improved Brackenridge Park in San Antonio today.  I counted par 71 of 6300 yards on 113 acres.  I found 7-10 "geometric" greens--straight lines and 90 degree corners.  Most notably, I found 64 flat bottomed, bermuda faced bunkers that range in depth from 2-8 feet.  I found sensible fairways and average sized greens.  Water in the form of a creek on--I think--7 holes.  All-in-all, a wonderful renovation and reclamation of a historical layout. I think 15 of the holes are back to original and I am pretty sure Tillie would approve.  In fact, the dudes I played with went so far to say that it looked a lot like Silva's restoration of San Antonio Country Club. 

But back to the bunkers.  As I walked today, my mind drifted back to this thread.  I kept noticing that I was actually considering the bunkers on every tee.  I was noticing and being "effected" by every greenside bunker that I could see, and some I couldn't.  Dividing it out, you find, that there are between 3-4 bunkers per hole.  There is at least one bunker on every hole, and I counted no more than 5 on any one hole.  I found 15-23 of what I will call "superfluous" bunkers.  I'll define superfluous as a bunker that would in all likelihood, only see one player hit into it per 100 rounds--roughly one player per day for a 40,000 round a year course. 

To sum all of that up, I saw a course today with what I considered to be EXTREMELY well placed bunkers, on a short and compact course.  I found that upwards of 20 of those bunkers could be eliminated and the course still be considered well bunkered.  I also saw that, other than some of the hogsbacks and contouring around the bunkers, that not a ton of earth was moved to create contour in the fairways and around greens.  Contrast that with a course I also liked a a lot--The Bandit in New Braunfels--that was built on three times the acreage, with twice the bunkering.  In fact, I think that there are probably 20 bunkers at Bandit that just aren't filled with sand and were allowed to grass in.  Bandit defended with the width I like so much, Brack with bunkers and trees. I liked Bandit a lot yesterday, but I liked Brack more, and I think it was better bunkered in my opinion.

I hypothesize that if Brack and Bandit were both built today the way they sit--excluding land and clubhouse costs--that Brack would come in roughly 1 mil less on the construction, maybe less.  I also think that it's quite clear that the maintenance costs on the hypothetical "New Brackenridge" would be roughly a third less.  All of this with what I consider to be a a more strategically interesting more playable course.  What say you guys regarding this conclusion??

Tom_Doak

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Re: Ground control to Major Tom...
« Reply #49 on: May 26, 2009, 08:51:01 AM »
Ben:

I haven't seen either of the two courses you are comparing, but why did the new one cost $1 million more?  Certainly not just because of the bunkering ... there's no way they spent $1 million building bunkers.  Earthmoving?

The actual biggest cost on a golf course nowadays is the irrigation system.  Brackenridge's is probably smaller because a lot of the between-holes areas already have mature landscaping (trees) and don't need much water ... but if you were starting from scratch, and the trees weren't there, it would cost a lot to create them.  So you aren't exactly comparing apples to apples, but I do understand your point in general.

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