Thursday, June 23, 2016

Green Speed Consistency, Bunkers, and Rake Placement

Green Speed Consistency

I am often asked by members “why don’t green speeds remain constant?” The USGA has published an excellent article on this issue.  Please read the attached article from the USGA.     

Consistency from day to day is very difficult to achieve.  Consistency should be viewed from green to green, tee to tee, and trap to trap for EACH day.  This is why golf is such a great sport.  Each player has to adapt to changes every day on the golf course. 

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We are always evaluating and reevaluating the way the bunkers play, look, and are maintained.  This past Monday we began the very tedious process of packing in the entire bunkers (faces and bottoms) using a bunker rake. 

Once this process is completed, we will “experiment” with a new way of raking the bunkers.  We will smooth the faces and outer edges of the traps (see photo below).  We will then rake the bottoms of the traps with a leaf rake. This technique may be the optimal way to increase firmness for the golfer, while still preventing any possibility of algae forming due to moisture retention in the bunker. 

Bunker Rake Placement

For those that are uncertain as to where to place the bunker rakes, they are to be placed IN the trap perpendicular to the edge as shown in the picture below.  This is for two reasons.

1.  Maintenance around the trap is much more efficient
2.  The impact of the rake for the golfer is minimal.  This is due to the ball already being in the bunker and once the rake is removed, the ball would still most likely still be in the bunker.