Bunker care has traditionally been one of the
most labor-intensive aspects of golf course management, but newer products last longer and
require less maintenance.
“People are looking at ways to save on labor;
they’re looking to drive down maintenance
costs,” Straka said. “The lack of labor is the No. 1,
or close to the No. 1, most important issue facing
construction and maintenance of golf courses.
So, when you’re talking about trying to send 15
people out to repair bunkers after a rainstorm,
you just don’t have that labor.”
Some owners have reduced, or have consid-
ered reducing the number of bunkers on their
courses. New methods that reduce bunker main-
tenance have emerged, and design elements that
allow bunkers to fit in with existing course design
are also being considered.
What kind of lining are you going to choose?
Fifteen years ago, synthetic liners were growing
in popularity. Today, longer-lasting liners are
coming on the market. There’s porous asphalt
and concrete or gravel, which can improve drainage. Courses also are experimenting with a rubberized material. On the lower end, bentonite
and clay are popular choices. There are even
Better Billy Bunker is one of the most popular
products. It uses polymer-coated gravel, which
results is a strong, flexible surface.
The costs and applications for bunker products
vary widely, from $1 per square foot to $4 or $5
per square foot for projects with difficult challenges to solve.
Even with all the options available, no single
product offers the perfect answer.
“When it comes to the bunker liner, I don’t
uses an iPad
to map out the
course. “It doesn’t
make it faster, but
it makes it better,”