Thursday, February 9, 2012

Winter Shutdown Renovation Work-Stacked Sod Bunkers

As of Thursday morning, Kyle Trzaskos and his team from McDonald and Sons Golf Course Contractors have completed the new bunker on hole #2, expanded the tee on hole #3 and re-built the stacked sod greenside bunkers on holes #11 and #18. Currently they are working on the large stacked sod bunker in the middle of #18 fairway. Their final task for this winter is to remove the old forward tee on #7. They could be finished as soon as early next week if the weather cooperates.

Would like to go through the process of building the stacked sod bunkers and point out some changes we made to the construction to ensure that these bunkers will last for as long as possible. All stacked sod bunkers need to be replaced on a consistent basis but the goal is to increase the time between re-builds.

First the old sod is removed:

Notice the trench dug at the base of the wall. Perforated drain pipe is installed in this trench and backfilled with gravel. This is something that has not been done in the past and will get rid of any water seeping through the soil before it gets to the stacked sod. The gravel is filled between each layer of sod and the bunker wall.

This picture shows another new method of construction which is stacking the sod face up then face down. So the two grass sides touch each other and the two soil sides are in contact:

Another important feature that we are incorporating is that when the sod is laid it is offset about 1/2 inch from the previous layer creating a batter. This gives the stack sod much greater strength:

Every few layers a compacter is used:

Another very important change is that the stacked sod is laid above the original grade and the grade slightly changed behind the bunker so water from rainfall will not go directly into the bunker. Instead the water moves away from the bunker on either side:

We also had the sod cut as thick as possible and added sand in between the grass layers. This helps decrease the amount of organic matter decomposition. The finished product on #11:

Completed greenside bunker on #18:

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