Columbus, Georgia, United States: The longevity of Capillary Bunkers – exemplified by the 10-year performance guarantee provided when the product is installed – was the key reason August Rocco, Golf Course Superintendent at the Country Club of Columbus chose to install the product during a recent course renovation.
The club was founded in 1909, and the course rebuilt in the early 1920s by Donald Ross. Architect Drew Rogers, at the time working for Arthur Hills, renovated it between 2000 and 2002. That was the last time the course was touched.
“Drew did a fantastic job but, at that time, there really wasn’t advanced bunker liner technology available,” said Rocco. “The previous superintendent, William Smith, ended up having to grass some bunkers down, because they just couldn’t keep sand on the faces.”
Twenty years on from the Rogers work, and it had become clear that Columbus had to do something.
Rocco said: “Like all superintendents, I strive for consistency throughout the golf course, and the one area we couldn’t achieve that was the bunkers. We had 50 bunkers with 50 different playabilities.
“From a playability standpoint, achieving consistency is a huge thing, and from a financial point of view, I calculated that if we didn’t need to spend so much of our time making the bunkers playable, we would effectively reallocate between five and eight per cent of our annual labour budget.”
Rocco, therefore, launched a project to rebuild the bunkers using the Capillary Bunkers product. Contractor Duininick Golf completed the work in eight weeks in the early part of 2022 – despite the fact that the golf course was open at the time.
Rocco said: “We did the entire project while the membership was playing golf. My membership was very conscious that the bunker project was the most important thing going on in the club and played around the construction.
“For me it’s about longevity. We’re a club that did a renovation 20 years ago and hasn’t spent much capital since on the course. With the product’s guarantee and rave reviews from other superintendents, I figured Capillary Bunkers was the right choice for us.”
Capillary Bunkers is an Associate Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.