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TOPIC: What IF

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msherer260
What IF
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Wednesday May 19, 2021 9:50 PM
What if public golf courses got a clue and figured out it would be worth the money to trim down lips and plant grass in fairway bunkers making basic grass bunkers that would take care of the never taken care of fairway bunkers anyway...it would also speed up play as grass bunkers with little to no lips give the average Joe/Jill a much better result. My bet is instead of rock hard, filled with rocks, never taken care of fairway bunkers having lips cut down and filled with grass would give maintenance more time for green side bunkers and also speed up play maybe 10 or more minutes every round...
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 Message #98951
kurator62
RE: What IF

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Thursday May 20, 2021 8:01 AM
Very good point
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 Message #98956 - This was a reply to message #98951
Deepsea14
RE: What IF
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Thursday May 20, 2021 9:28 AM
What if I got a clue and figured out...

...how to hit it out of a bunker consistently?

Ans: I'd lower my score!

I did make a sandy par recently since I can't recall when.

Very frustrating when green fees are up 30+% and they can't or won't prep the course to the price point.

[[Edited by Deepsea14 on Thursday May 20, 2021 9:30 AM]]
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 Message #98957 - This was a reply to message #98956
noeldaof
RE: What IF
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Thursday May 20, 2021 1:04 PM
Every now and then this idea would surface in a thread or a regular conversation. What I've heard is that, for the course that has bunkers that aren't maintained so much, golfers would rather have the bunkers eliminated or grass it up like you suggested. On the other hand for the courses or holes that doesn't have fairway bunkers, the golfers there imagines how it would improve the golf course or some holes. So it isn't really a build them or take them out... bunkers, from what I've learned from or heard from others, magazines, books... existed long ago when heard of sheep would hunker in from a weather as it gets deeper over time and it became part of the golf course- so the golfers played it and learned how to get out of it and avoided it. Over time, it had become part of the modern course's design.

Fairway bunkers are there to be avoided, to say the least from a design point of view and/or a player's strategy. If anyone gets in it, that was the consequence(s) of the player's choice of shot or for other reasons.

But then again, many times, your "What if?" idea had won both ways in some or same course(s) but it had also gone back and forth- leveling them and building them again.

Why couldn't the course invest time and efforts in making it better?

And if the course can't make it better, why couldn't the golfer avoid those bunkers if they know they'd have a difficult time making a desirable score from it?

What if?
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JVGA
 Message #98967 - This was a reply to message #98951
ringworld
RE: What IF

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Thursday May 20, 2021 1:11 PM
Deep grass, you would never find your ball. Think of it playing Torrey Pines before a major event. That ball rolls into the first cut just outside the fairway it's as good as lost.

Sorry, Ornamental here, and I have really bad eyes

[[Edited by ringworld on Thursday May 20, 2021 1:12 PM]]
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 Message #98968 - This was a reply to message #98967
divotnjay
RE: What IF
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Thursday May 20, 2021 10:58 PM
Bunkers are supposed to be penalizing. Nowadays the sand is so good, it takes the penalizing factor out of play. In fact, bunkers are so nice and maintained that I have been known to aim for them because I have an extra dollar on a "sandy" bet. I recall Jack Nicklaus at Memorial one year putting back these deep thong wooden rakes to make the bunkers a true hazard.
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Nickesquire
RE: What IF
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Friday May 21, 2021 5:41 AM
Careful what you ask for if you want sand bunkers removed to make the course play easier/faster.

Prior sand bunkers at courses like the Links Course in Paso Robles? You can clearly see where some bunkers were, now just no sand. Automated equipment cannot mow what used to be the faces of bunkers, so now you have grass/weeds that they may maintain every few months with a weed whacker. You miss a fairway by a few years, the ball can plug, bury or otherwise just disappear into "rough" that may be 3" to 2' deep. And thick. I'll take playing out of a poorly maintained sand area over playing out of that any day. Lucky if you even find your ball, much less play it.

Sixpex and I played Real del Mar in Mexico many years ago. They were evidently going through a bunker renovation, where all the sand was removed from the traps. And evidently had been for awhile, based on the size of the weeds. Long, thick Kikuyu everywhere. One hole I hit a pitch shot that landed just off the green in an area that was overgrown with Kikuyu. We both saw exactly where the ball went from maybe 30 yards away. No ball, just disappeared? It took several minutes of literally stepping shoe print by shoe print covering an area maybe 8' by 8' before I finally stepped on, found and retracted my ball. Buried under about 2" of Kikuyu, completely invisible.

The presumption seems to be that the course will then keep that area mowed and maintained low and uniform like regular rough. Here are at least two examples that come to mind where they had let it go to the point that you had lost ball areas barely off fairways and greens. MUCH worse IMO for POP.

Layout okay @ Paso and very good at Real del Mar. But both these courses made my "worst 10" courses ever played because of the maintenance.
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The goal has always been long and straight! But since I can no longer hit them long, hopefully straighter could be achieved more than occasionally?
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Deepsea14
RE: What IF
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Friday May 21, 2021 6:53 AM
QUOTED  from what I've learned from or heard from others, magazines, books... existed long ago when heard of sheep would hunker in from a weather as it gets deeper over time and it became part of the golf course-

Thanks for the reminder noeldaof. I think that's right.

An in-depth study of bunkering would begin there IMO

But this What If started with the bunkering and changes to improve POP. Not sure if perfect conditions in all areas of the course can improve some players POP unless they are aware of the issue and have a desire to speed up.

For the pros now a days they'd rather be in a fairway or greenside bunker with a chance to get out instead of thick gnarly rough surrounding it.
For the recreational player it should be the same easier to get the club face to the back of the ball.

Bunkering another mental test of the game. Even in the Covid era tournaments with one club length preferred lies accorded in the sand. Therefore a "perfect lie" of the players choosing. It's still not easy.

Now if the said player was to take some time and practice these shots at the range they may become more proficient. Improve there scores, POP, and maybe more fun? Wow what a concept lol.

Morgan Creek Golf Club as a mostly private venue had beautiful site lines and course design (Kyle Phillips) Wispy tall grasses on the edges of fairway bunkers and greenside as well. An approach a few yards off line would be asked to get in the bunker if not a lost ball was possible between the bunker and green in foot tall spinach. Degree of difficulty high POP not helped. But oh what a course to play it was. Eye candy on every hole.

Today? all that is whacked down and many removed and some grassed over POP improved a course that plays easier and "fair"? But not the same experience. Less money to play less amenities. Not wrong just different.
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