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Deucie Bies

No Separation Between Bunkers and Water
« on: February 17, 2010, 10:28:46 AM »
At my course, there are a couple of bunkers that are right next to a lake and there is no separation between them.  The sand near the water is very wet and there appears to be little sand under the ball.  It is very difficult to get up and down, much less just hitting the green.  I see many doubles from there.  The closer you get to the green, the more sand there is, in fact my ball plugged in that part of the bunker the other day. 

Does anyone see an issue with this?  Should the bunker be consistent?

If the answer is yes to the above question, what can be done?  Management has told me that they discussed building a retaining wall of either sod or bulkhead material with the architect to contain the sand and get a more consistent bunker, but he was not in agreement with that solution and explained why the lake and the sand should be left as is for aesthetic reasons.  Are there any other potential solutions?

Thanks.


Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: No Separation Between Bunkers and Water
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2010, 10:57:35 AM »
Beach bunkers... Not everyone's cup of tea.... You might find that many on here disagree with your architect's aesthetic preferences...

Greg Chambers

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: No Separation Between Bunkers and Water
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2010, 10:59:57 AM »
Ummm...don't hit the ball so close to the water that you have to play off the shitty sand?
"It's good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling.

Deucie Bies

Re: No Separation Between Bunkers and Water
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2010, 11:02:49 AM »
Beach bunkers... Not everyone's cup of tea.... You might find that many on here disagree with your architect's aesthetic preferences...

I disagree as well, but is there a solution that would maintain the aesthetics and make the bunker better?

Jim Sweeney

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: No Separation Between Bunkers and Water
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2010, 11:14:41 AM »
No and no. Noone is guarenteed anything (i.e., good or playable lies). That's a crucial part of the game.
"Hope and fear, hope and Fear, that's what people see when they play golf. Not me. I only see happiness."

" Two things I beleive in: good shoes and a good car. Alligator shoes and a Cadillac."

Moe Norman

Garland Bayley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: No Separation Between Bunkers and Water
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2010, 11:22:10 AM »
...
Does anyone see an issue with this?  Should the bunker be consistent?
...

As a high handicapper there are lots of shots on golf courses that are difficult for me. Why shouldn't there be shots on the course that are difficult for you? It is only fair that it be so! You are playing golf! Forget about predictability! Especially in a hazard!
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Brent Hutto

Re: No Separation Between Bunkers and Water
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2010, 11:27:54 AM »
Some people whose opinion I respect greatly simply abhor "beach" bunkers. I don't know quite why that is so but I think they're cool. Especially given that you rarely see them I think they're sort of a treat. As less-than-common features go it seems less gimmicky and more playable/maintainable than some.

Then again I love the sandy "waste areas" at Tobacco Road and the Ocean Course so obviously I have unrefined GCA tastes... :P

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: No Separation Between Bunkers and Water
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2010, 11:45:11 AM »
Brent,

I agree somewhat.  I've always thought that they look good when they have that rugged look to it.



Even the ones at Bay Hill look decent to my eye.




Bill_McBride

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: No Separation Between Bunkers and Water
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2010, 12:52:00 PM »
Deucie, is it any worse than hitting a six iron off this wet sand at North Betwick's #2?  At least three GCAers have reported making par from this situation in the recent past!


Jason Sloan

Re: No Separation Between Bunkers and Water
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2010, 12:57:41 PM »
It seems that the architect is either more concerned with the aesthetics of the feature or perhaps, they have taken into account that bunkers of this type are more difficult to play from due to the inconsistency of the surface and it is part of the strategy of the hole.  

...or they just like Arnold Palmer!

Deucie Bies

Re: No Separation Between Bunkers and Water
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2010, 12:59:28 PM »
Deucie, is it any worse than hitting a six iron off this wet sand at North Betwick's #2?  At least three GCAers have reported making par from this situation in the recent past!



I think it is a matter of expectations between golf in the US and golf in the UK.  My response yesterday to management is below.

"I will admit that personally I am torn on the issue of bunkers.  On one hand they are hazards and should not be easy to play from (and arguably not consistent), but on the other hand I think most players expect bunkers to be consistent.  I would guess that the latter is the prevailing view and would be the goal."  

The people on this discussion group may not agree with the latter view, but would we agree that consistency is the prevailing view among golfers and most courses?  If not, there probably is no issue.  However, if the goal is consistency, then that is the product that they should deliver and then I would stilll be curious if there is a way to achieve both aesthetics and consistency.


Garland Bayley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: No Separation Between Bunkers and Water
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2010, 01:06:27 PM »
Golfers that want consistent should enjoy driving ranges and bowling alleys. Leave the golf to the rest of us.
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Sean Leary

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: No Separation Between Bunkers and Water
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2010, 01:15:42 PM »
Wouldn't these sorts of bunkers be what one would normally see in nature if it weren't a golf course?

I have no problem with them.

Michael Rossi

Re: No Separation Between Bunkers and Water
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2010, 01:33:02 PM »
Deucie sounds like hazardous duty.

My understanding is that the design is to replicate a beach setting. Beach sand and bunker sand are 2 different animals, and a natural beach is not consistent. With beach sand the surface gets firmer the closer to the water you get, with bunker sand it usually becomes slop when saturated.

You have the best feeling for the players at the club, and if what they want is more consistent depth and moisture it can be accomplished. It would require stopping the water from coming in direct contact with the sand which would stop the "wick action" of water into the sand and the look would have to be slightly altered. Or have those areas designated as a beach not a bunker. Different rules for the game apply.

At a course I worked at we had a par 3 on the water with a bunker at green edge on the beach. At green side we had bunker sand as the bunker bled into the beach we mixed the 2 sands, the last 20 feet (depending on water level) was pure natural beach sand. We also used native plants to help with the transition and keeping the mixed materials in place.

Good luck
« Last Edit: February 17, 2010, 02:01:15 PM by Michael Rossi »

Gary Slatter

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: No Separation Between Bunkers and Water
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2010, 01:52:43 PM »
the responses were very predictable.  I like the beach bunkers and as they are a hazard you should feel lucky when the ball is playable from the sand and take it on the chin when you are in the water.   :)

I feel a few beach bunkers work.  I remember a Dick Wilson one on the 17th at Lyford Cay, nice touch, memorable.
Gary Slatter
gary.slatter@raffles.com

John Moore II

Re: No Separation Between Bunkers and Water
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2010, 04:43:46 PM »
I don't mind bunkers that lead directly into the water. After all, they are each considered hazards according to the rules. But in nature, rarely does water change directly into grass or some vegetation, it often starts as sand/dirt and then works into grasses. So, in that way, its more natural. Some are done better than others of course, but overall, I think they are fine. And to clear it up, you most likely don't actually lack sand under your ball, the sand there is just compact because its moist.

Tim Nugent

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: No Separation Between Bunkers and Water
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2010, 07:34:27 PM »
I find it ironic when people criticize beach bunkers when they are about as natural as it gets. Lining bunker edges with stones or bands of turf is counterintuative.  Courses like Pine Valley (#14, old #18 - before Faziio) had them.  However, beaches are formed by erosion and current nurishment.  On courses, the size and shape of both the bunker and the lake must be taken into consideration  Wind driven wave action can be a be detriment.  Also if built out of soil and filled with sand requires some "tricks of the trade" in order to function properly.
Coasting is a downhill process

jim_lewis

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: No Separation Between Bunkers and Water
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2010, 08:07:57 PM »
Deucie:

My least favorite word in the English language is "consistent".  i have no problem with the situation you described. That's why they call them "hazards".
"Crusty"  Jim
Freelance Curmudgeon

Jim_Kennedy

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Re: No Separation Between Bunkers and Water
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2010, 10:29:36 PM »
For the life of me I cannot remember the course (probably in Florida) that had a couple bunkers like the ones pictured.

What I do remember is that they had red stakes in the same place as the ones seen in the N. Berwick photo, i.e., the bunker was played like beach, it was part of the lateral water hazard.

I thought the options added by marking them was interesting, and beneficial.
"I never beat a well man in my life" - Harry Vardon

Jon Wiggett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: No Separation Between Bunkers and Water
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2010, 01:06:27 AM »
Deucie,

please don't take this personally it is not meant as an attack on you but if this is an issue you feel the need to raise at your course then you must have it good. It might be an idea to look at the good things about your course so as to get things in perspective. Perhaps the biggest problem is the whinge culture that one sees so often today.

A.G._Crockett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: No Separation Between Bunkers and Water
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2010, 06:26:13 AM »
This point was raised in a recent discussion of True Blue, where several holes have either bunkers or waste sand that run into the water.  I found it odd that such a look was considered "unnatural", especially at a coastal golf course, given that most of pay good money to vacation and spend time on beaches made of sand that extend into the water...
"Golf...is usually played with the outward appearance of great dignity.  It is, nevertheless, a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul."      Bobby Jones

Bill_McBride

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Re: No Separation Between Bunkers and Water
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2010, 01:31:55 PM »
This point was raised in a recent discussion of True Blue, where several holes have either bunkers or waste sand that run into the water.  I found it odd that such a look was considered "unnatural", especially at a coastal golf course, given that most of pay good money to vacation and spend time on beaches made of sand that extend into the water...

A.G., I thought that bunker on the last par 3 (#17?) was pretty wild, with the beach at the bottom and a literally sheer face of sand maybe 5' high up against the elevated green.  I'm glad I didn't get in that bunker!

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: No Separation Between Bunkers and Water
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2010, 06:46:40 AM »
I think sand flowing into water is infinitely preferable to bunkers neatly cut between water and green/fairway.  I still have not been given a decent answer as to why this is such a popular design concept these days - I absolutely hate it - the idea is right up there with cluster bunkering.  So many times I see pix of holes and think the green is well placed to take advantage of water only to see sand cut that advantage out. 

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

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