Bunkers Getting Facelift at IU Golf Course
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Just weeks prior to hosting its first tournament since the 1996 women's golf Big Ten Championships, the Indiana University Golf Course is currently undergoing a renovation of its sand bunkers, with hopes that most of the construction will be complete before the Northern Intercollegiate, September 28-29.
Indiana's men's golf team will serve as host of the 2002 Northern Intercollegiate later this month. The field is made primarily of teams from the Midwest region, and also includes nine Big Ten schools.
The Northern Intercollegiate is an annual fall tournament that the school that hosts the Big Ten Championships the following spring puts on.
The IU Golf Course hasn't had many major facelifts, such as this project, since it was opened in 1957. A new watering system was installed in 1991, but has already been outdated by the technological advances in golf course irrigation.
Indiana men's golf coach Mike Mayer, who also serves as the course's director of golf, notes that the sand bunkers were in desperate need of a facelift.
"This golf course really needed new bunkers because our old sand traps were certainly not up-to-par as far as the current standards are concerned," said Mayer. "This was a great aesthetic project that was long overdue and we're going to be having this course looking really good in a few weeks. The white sand is very attractive to the eye and I think the course will gain a lot of interest from area golfers."
As for Mayer's Hoosier squad, the men will now be able to practice and play under the same bunker conditions.
"We will now have the same type of sand that we have at our practice facility, which will make my players extremely comfortable," said Mayer. "The sand won't be hard and I think the players will have better and certainly more accurate results with their shots."
Each of the course's 20 bunkers are being resized and configured, edged and filled with Best Signature white sand. Zoysia grass will surround the outside of the finished traps. The old bunkers contained sand that was not only up-to-par for collegiate course bunkers, but was very susceptible to erosion.
With the new lining and drainage system in place, the sand bunkers will be protected against erosion and soil contamination.
"We're stripping the bunkers down bare and reshaping a lot of them," said Brent Emerick, who is Indiana's golf course superintendent and athletic turf manager. "In the past, our bunkers have been very susceptible to erosion and often had a lot of soil contamination in them. With this renovation though, the lining on bottom and the plastic edge that will surround the interface of the bunkers will prevent such occurrences from happening."
Emerick went on to note that only half of the bunkers would be done by the Northern event.
"Our target number is 10 bunkers by the Northern, and we will shut down construction during the tournament," Emerick said. "Work will start back up the first of October and we'll get the project completed as quick as we can."
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