Turfgrass Issue 15.6

Nov 15, 2013

Bunkermat installed into Royal Sydney

Nearly a year to the day since starting his tenure as the new superintendent at Royal Sydney Golf Club, Steve Marsden finds himself preparing the course for what will be its 14th Australian Open and his first. As ATM editor Brett Robinson writes, it will cap off a momentous 12 months for the ex-pat
Kiwi, one that has seen him slowly but surely leave his mark on one of Australia’s most unique sporting institutions. - source: Australian Turfgrass Management Journal 15.6

Bunkering down

One of the major on-course projects that Marsden has ticked off in his first year has been a complete renovation of all 76 greenside bunkers. Between February and September the existing Bidim cloth was ripped out, sand depths re-established and bunker faces re-contoured.
Bunkermat from Geofabrics (supplied by David Golf) was then installed on all the faces. The Bunkermat is pinned in underneath the turf with 300mm pins while all the joins are stapled with 200mm staples and stitched together with nylon. Drainage issues in a few bunkers were also rectified at the same time and following the completion of all the greenside bunkers a number of fairway bunkers have also been identified for refurbishment.
“In that first three months you do a lot of listening and certainly the feedback from the members on
what they found to be the most challenging aspects of the course was the playability of the bunkers,” explains Marsden.

“There’s a bit of a love/hate relationship with the bunker sand here. It is very tricky to play out and is
one of the main defences of the course. It is a very fine dune sand and accordingly it shifts like dune
sands, so when the wind gets up a lot of it is blown out of bunkers. As a result, over the years they have become deep and the faces very steep. Golf balls plugging in the faces had become an issue so we decided to investigate what we could do to try and improve playability.

“The bunkers are now more playable, with the sand remaining firm on the floor and on the faces, and the feedback from the membership has been terrific. While it was very much a project to improve playing conditions for them, it will also have obvious benefits come the Australian Open.”

Read Full Article as seen in the Australian Turfgrass Management Journal 15.6


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