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Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
If all sand bunkers were ponds
« on: May 31, 2023, 05:38:37 PM »
Hypothetical and somewhat tongue in cheek but if all sand bunkers, every one of them, were ponds consider how different the game would be.
Firstly, there might not be so many!!! No bad thing perhaps.
They’d be proper hazards once again. Proper obstacles. Keep away or else!
No more deliberate aiming for them. No more “get in the bunker”.
Heroic shot potential including golf balls that float (like they once did).
Would maintenance/cost aspects be any greater? Sand bunkers already being a huge maintenance burden/cost.
No need for raking and no balls in footprints! Ball retrievers and rescue rings/floats maybe needed.
The need to watch for crocs and ‘gators in some places maybe.
Thoughts?
Atb






jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: If all sand bunkers were ponds
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2023, 05:43:04 PM »
Hypothetical and somewhat tongue in cheek but if all sand bunkers, every one of them, were ponds consider how different the game would be.
Firstly, there might not be so many!!! No bad thing perhaps.
They’d be proper hazards once again. Proper obstacles. Keep away or else!
No more deliberate aiming for them. No more “get in the bunker”.
Heroic shot potential including golf balls that float (like they once did).
Would maintenance/cost aspects be any greater? Sand bunkers already being a huge maintenance burden/cost.
No need for raking and no balls in footprints! Ball retrievers and rescue rings/floats maybe needed.
The need to watch for crocs and ‘gators in some places maybe.
Thoughts?
Atb


They'd be maintained to precise depth of 1 1/2 inch so you could hit a "fair" recovery shot from them.
Of course setting up the complaint after a rainstorm that the ponds were too deep.
The upside being you could walk on water.
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Dave Doxey

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: If all sand bunkers were ponds
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2023, 06:24:01 PM »
I could always get out in 1 stroke.

Matt Schoolfield

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: If all sand bunkers were ponds
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2023, 06:40:06 PM »
I don't dislike the sand bunkers. I dislike the rakes.
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Kyle Harris

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: If all sand bunkers were ponds
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2023, 07:13:16 PM »
“The white face of Merion” were derived from Hugh Wilson’s idea that a bunker which always demanded a functional one-stroke penalty was contrary to the point of bunkers precisely because a water hazard served the exact same purpose.


Bunkers *should* offer recovery. But also uncertainty.


There’s nothing uncertain about a water hazard.
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Constantly blamed by 8-handicaps for their 7 missed 12-footers each round.

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Carl Rogers

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: If all sand bunkers were ponds
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2023, 08:44:07 PM »
A boon for the ball retriever industry
« Last Edit: May 31, 2023, 11:26:32 PM by Carl Rogers »
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Pete Lavallee

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: If all sand bunkers were ponds
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2023, 11:08:51 PM »
Interesting question, I dislike ponds and lakes for that matter and consider them my least favorite contribution to golf course architecture. There’s a finality to them that seems unacceptable; you loose a stroke and a $4 golf ball! Now I do love the ocean as a hazard and creeks are super cool too. Why is that?


In trying to come up with the best ponds on golf courses I can nominate the one on the 6th at West Sussex; it’s avoidable or one can try to make the carry. The fact that it doesn’t actually front the green probably plays a huge role.


Let’s face it; ponds confound normal golfers while giving little pause to the elite player. Is that a feature that should be applauded?


Can anyone come up with a pond that actually makes the hole better?
"...one inoculated with the virus must swing a golf-club or perish."  Robert Hunter

Mark Pearce

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: If all sand bunkers were ponds
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2023, 04:46:43 AM »
“The white face of Merion” were derived from Hugh Wilson’s idea that a bunker which always demanded a functional one-stroke penalty was contrary to the point of bunkers precisely because a water hazard served the exact same purpose.


Bunkers *should* offer recovery. But also uncertainty.


There’s nothing uncertain about a water hazard.
This.


Bunkers perform a different function and add a test of a different skill.
In June I will be riding the first three stages of this year's Tour de France route for charity.  630km (394 miles) in three days, with 7800m (25,600 feet) of climbing for the William Wates Memorial Trust (https://rideleloop.org/the-charity/) which supports underprivileged young people.

Enno Gerdes

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: If all sand bunkers were ponds
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2023, 05:24:32 AM »
“The white face of Merion” were derived from Hugh Wilson’s idea that a bunker which always demanded a functional one-stroke penalty was contrary to the point of bunkers precisely because a water hazard served the exact same purpose.


Bunkers *should* offer recovery. But also uncertainty.


There’s nothing uncertain about a water hazard.
This.


Bunkers perform a different function and add a test of a different skill.


+1


Also: as a 14 hcp, I don't "deliberately aim" at bunkers. I slice the ball into bunkers. Or hook the ball into bunkers. If all bunkers were water, I'm pretty sure there would be no amateur game to speak of (unless balls float and/or are easily recoverable from the water).

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: If all sand bunkers were ponds
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2023, 06:31:27 AM »
How would your playing strategy - and course and temperament management are skills - change if all sand bunker were ponds?
Or would't it change?
And would your gross scores go up or come down?
atb

Mark Pearce

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: If all sand bunkers were ponds
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2023, 07:43:04 AM »
How would your playing strategy - and course and temperament management are skills - change if all sand bunker were ponds?
Or would't it change?
And would your gross scores go up or come down?
atb
If greenside bunkers were ponds, I wouldn't play the game, as Enno suggested.
In June I will be riding the first three stages of this year's Tour de France route for charity.  630km (394 miles) in three days, with 7800m (25,600 feet) of climbing for the William Wates Memorial Trust (https://rideleloop.org/the-charity/) which supports underprivileged young people.

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: If all sand bunkers were ponds
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2023, 08:59:27 AM »
I can still remember that when Ben Crenshaw came back from Royal Melbourne the first time, he wrote to me that what impressed him most about it was that it was "36 holes with no water hazards!" [emphasis Ben's]

Scott Weersing

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: If all sand bunkers were ponds
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2023, 09:27:12 AM »
Hypothetical and somewhat tongue in cheek but if all sand bunkers, every one of them, were ponds consider how different the game would be.
Firstly, there might not be so many!!! No bad thing perhaps.
They’d be proper hazards once again. Proper obstacles. Keep away or else!
No more deliberate aiming for them. No more “get in the bunker”.
Heroic shot potential including golf balls that float (like they once did).
Would maintenance/cost aspects be any greater? Sand bunkers already being a huge maintenance burden/cost.
No need for raking and no balls in footprints! Ball retrievers and rescue rings/floats maybe needed.
The need to watch for crocs and ‘gators in some places maybe.
Thoughts?
Atb


Then you would be in Virginia Beach or Myrtle Beach or any place with a high water table.


We have lots of rain and water has to go somewhere. Fortunately, most courses try to keep the lakes away from the fairways. VB National, a Pete Dye-Curtis Strange design has water on holes 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 9. Not bad on the back as it goes through a forest.


What if we played with a floating golf ball like those driving ranges built in a quarry. https://theislandsgolfcenter.com/information/


Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: If all sand bunkers were ponds
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2023, 09:45:55 AM »
Ok then, how about replacing the pond/water thought with say something like a pit full of snakes and scorpions or boiling oil or hot lava or a septic pit.
Would your playing strategy change?
Atb

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: If all sand bunkers were ponds
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2023, 12:08:46 PM »
Thomas,
If bunkers were places a player couldn't try to recover from - instead taking a penalty shot - then of course there would be far fewer of them and placement would be much more careful. Players would absolutely have to show them more respect. This is all obvious. And wouldn't make golf better at all.

Bunkers with a more severe penalty (e.g. not raked, more vertical faces) would make for a more practical discussion. Stroke play has to be one of the biggest culprits in making bunkers easier to escape from.

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: If all sand bunkers were ponds
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2023, 12:45:35 PM »
Thomas,

A more cost effective solution than digging ponds everywhere on your "Dream course" is just to plant a bunch of these guys and they will give you the same 1 shot penalty with an unplayable lie.  ;D




Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: If all sand bunkers were ponds
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2023, 06:47:06 AM »
A bit too obtuse I suspect. Never mind.
Atb

Erik J. Barzeski

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: If all sand bunkers were ponds
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2023, 06:51:58 AM »
They’d be proper hazards once again. Proper obstacles. Keep away or else!
For 99% of golfers… they already are "proper" obstacles/hazards.
Erik J. Barzeski @iacas
Author, Lowest Score Wins, Instructor/Coach, and Lifetime Student of the Game.

I generally ignore Rob, Tim, and Garland.

David_Tepper

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: If all sand bunkers were ponds
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2023, 07:24:28 AM »
"For 99% of golfers… they already are "proper" obstacles/hazards."

Exactly! In fact I would bump up the ratio to 99.9% of all golfers. Even the best 1,000 golfers in the world, who are playing out of the best, most consistently groomed bunkers, don't get "up & down" much more than half the time. And they are also great putters putting on well conditioned greens.

Right now there are 100-110 players on the PGA Tour with a sand save percentage of 50% or better, 30-35 players on the Tour Champions with a sand save percentage of 50% or better and 35-40 LPGA players with the same stats.

But don't let the facts get in the way of your opinions. ;)
« Last Edit: June 02, 2023, 07:55:31 AM by David_Tepper »

Pete_Pittock

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: If all sand bunkers were ponds New
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2023, 01:36:42 AM »
a. Gene Sarazen would have never invented the sand wedge.
b. I wouldn't trip and fall getting into and out of ponds to hit a shot a few times a year.
c. More red and yellow paint and stakes.
d. Definitely less maintenance costs.
e. A betting pool to see which private club first puts in a fountain.
f.  Fazio would lower the surface a bit so he could install a waterfall.
g. Agree on requirement for a mae west or a life-ring; or,
h. four foot high chain link fence around each pond because it is an attractive hazard (for toddlers, not golf balls).
i.  more Canadian geese attracted.
j. also mosquitoes and other flying pests.


and
k. the 6th hole at Riviera would be quickly re-designed.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2023, 03:05:38 AM by Pete_Pittock »

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