How often do you hear golf courses proclaiming “they have the best greens around?”
Well, you can bank on it at Bryan Park’s Champions course after its March 21 reopening.
The Rees Jones design in Browns Summit, which opened in 1990 and hosted the 2010 USGA Public Links Championship, recently completed a major greenside bunker restoration on the heels of replacing the layout’s putting surfaces with Mini Verde Bermudagrass in 2013.
“I hate to brag because when people in my position do that bad things tend to happen, but it’s about as good as it gets between the Bermuda playing surfaces and now the quality and playability of the bunkers,” said Bryan Park superintendent Kevin Smith. “It is kind of like going from a Double AA baseball team to a World Series contender. Those two improvements really complement each other. I couldn’t be more excited about it.”
About half of the course’s 97 bunkers – or the equivalent of 57,000 square feet – were reconstructed by Kentucky-based Green Tee Golf Inc., using the popular Better Billy Bunker method.
The primary features of the bunker system are a 2-inch gravel layer applied over the bunker floor and herringbone tile system capped with a sprayed Polymer liner. The gravel serves as a conduit for water to transfer down the bunker floor slopes into the tile pipe system, thus greatly reducing and/or eliminating sand movement. The liner secures the gravel blanket and prevents native soils underneath from contaminating the preferred bunker sand that was installed overtop the liner. This method has consistently reduced manpower requirements in bunkers following rainstorms by 80 percent or more.
“It is kind of all the rage now around the country and a lot of golf courses are turning to it as an alternative to the traditional method of bunker construction,” Smith said.
In addition to all of the greenside bunkers, the fairway bunkers on the 15th hole were “contaminated” and also were replaced, Smith said.
The Champions course logged about 25,000 rounds last year.
“It raises our Champions golf course another rung on the ladder,” said Bryan Park general manager and director of golf Kyle Kolls. “These improvements will certainly give golfers a great incentive to want to come and play here, especially now that the greens have a year under their belt; they just seem to get better and better as they mature. The playability is just incredible, and when you pair that with the value that we give we would hope that anybody who enjoys the game of golf, and wants a great and fair test, would want to give the Champions Course a try.”