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6 technology solutions to help you build a better bunker

By |  March 22, 2022 0 Comments

Continuing our theme from this month’s cover story, at the 2022 GCSAA Conference and Show in San Diego, we put on a superintendent’s hat and walked into multiple bunker booths and asked the same question: If a superintendent is looking to improve his or her course by installing a new bunker technology, why should he or she consider your product?

We got a lot of smiles, a few pauses, and then these thoughtful answers.

Bunker Solution

Kevin Clark, owner, Bunker Solution: We are an impermeable liner that is very flexible, has very consistent moisture content. It’s very club friendly. You can machine rake on it. It will flex with soil movement. We seal the entire bunker to keep all the contaminants from below out, so you don’t get much washing from it. I own the patents on it, I started it in 2008 and I’ve grown it grassroots. I was a superintendent. I have an agronomy degree from Texas A&M. I was at Pebble Beach and then I came back to Dallas to do a course construction and grow-in. We installed a liner during the construction that failed miserably. We tested a bunch of different liners at that point, to try to figure out what we were going to do. We didn’t like anything that was on the market then. I came up with a couple of different renditions, I came up with this in 2008 and the rest is history.

Porous Pave

Porous Pave’s Sand Guard is an easy install for contractors and maintenance crews. (Photo: Porous Pave)

Porous Pave’s Sand Guard is an easy install for contractors and maintenance crews. (Photo: Porous Pave)

Matt Lamb, vice president, Sales and Marketing, Porous Pave: Superintendents like Matt McKinnon from Cragun’s Legacy Courses love Porous Pave XLB Sand Guard because it’s incredibly permeable, handling more than 9,000 inches of water per hour. Sand Guard adheres to steep bunker faces and the flexible, yet strong, construction excels in areas with significant ground movement and freeze/thaw cycles. Sand Guard is a low-impact installation and is easily mixed and installed right at the bunker feature without the need to heat material or concrete trucks. It can be installed by certified golf course contractors or trained course maintenance crews. It’s made from recycled tires, it’s eco-efficient and effective, dramatically reducing bunker sand contamination and maintenance.

Better Billy Bunker

Todd Jenkins, vice president, Better Billy Bunker: The main thing is maintenance savings, especially with labor the way it is these days. The savings that our method offers, after rain events, preventing washouts, allows you to allocate very scarce labor hours to other stuff that is more important than pushing sand back up. And the other thing is playability. Obviously, golfers are our clientele. They want to have playable bunkers no matter what the weather is.

A rubber based liner, Blinder, is thaw-resistant, flexible and resistant to damage from club strikes. (Photo: Blinder)

A rubber-based liner, Blinder, is thaw-resistant, flexible and resistant to damage from club strikes. (Photo: Blinder)

Blinder

Alan FitzGerald, director of U.S. Operations, Blinder: The biggest reason to try Blinder is cost savings, long term. It’s money up front to save money in the future, by not having to replace your sand, saving your drainage, saving your labor. And you’re not looking to replace your bunkers again in five or seven years. That’s the biggest reason — do the project once and you’re done. Blinder is the original rubber-based liner, which makes it flexible, resistant to thaws, and prevents damage from club strikes.

Kafka Granite

Tiffany Koss, director of sales and marketing, Kafka Granite: Nobody likes raking bunkers, so if you can cut back on the time spent raking bunkers, everyone appreciates that. We’ve developed a product, a wax-coated bunker sand, it’s crushed manufactured sand that we blend with a polymeric wax that completely seals the sand. It packs kind of like clay so wherever you put it, it stays put. Water will bead up and just run off the top of it. It is not meant to be a playable sand. It’s for your driving range or your steep-faced bunkers. You can easily install this product; it won’t negatively affect gameplay and it cuts down on maintenance.

Klingstone

John Ammons, vice president, Klingstone: Klingstone is a quick and easy installation process. It’s a liquid polyurethane resin that is moisture-cured. Once it’s in place, it forms a hard shell. It’s a hard-shell bunker liner that forces water to the drain and out of the bunker. It takes 24 hours to cure. You can install it in the morning and play on it the next day. The ease of installation allows it to be all done at once, or one hole at a time, depending on your course’s needs. We don’t require certified installers so you can hire it out or do it in-house. It pays for itself over time, keeping bunker sand clean and pristine, you don’t have to replace it.

About the Author:

Seth Jones, a 18-year veteran of the golf industry media, is Editor-in-Chief of Golfdom magazine and Athletic Turf. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Jones began working for Golf Course Management in 1999 as an intern. In his professional career he has won numerous awards, including a Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) first place general feature writing award for his profile of World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman and a TOCA first place photography award for his work covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In his career, Jones has accumulated an impressive list of interviews, including such names as George H.W. Bush, Samuel L. Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Charles Barkley. Jones has also done in-depth interviews with such golfing luminaries as Norman, Gary Player, Nick Price and Lorena Ochoa, to name only a few. Jones is a member of both the Golf Writers Association of America and the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association. Jones can be reached at sjones@northcoastmedia.net.


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