Update: Bunker Remodeling, Pebble Brook Golf Club, North Course

No. 15, right ride fairway bunker

No. 15, right side fairway bunker, ready for sand

The bunker remodeling at Pebble Brook’s North Course is progressing.  We’ve been blessed with some fine weather in which to work.  Shaping is complete, thanks to excellent work by Derek Dirksen, golf course shaper.

I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the process for reshaping the left green side bunker on golf hole number 15, so here we go!

Here is the existing bunker before remodeling.

Exisitng Left Green Side Bunker No. 15

The North Course’s bunkers originally had grassed faces with rolling capes and bays and the sand was on a slightly concave bottom.  Over time, the capes and bays had been edged up to the top of the grade with very steep slopes that then eroded, contaminating the sand causing the bunker to seal up and not drain.  The proposed design eliminated the cape and bay design and provides for more simply shaped bunkers with grass faces.  During construction when material allowed, some movement was introduced into the bunker design.  This is what happened on the green side bunkers here on golf hole number fifteen.  In most cases, material barely balanced as we had to generate fill to reconstruct the grassed bunker slopes.

Below is a photograph from a 1989 article in the now defunct publication, Golf Course News, that shows three of the original bunkers on golf hole number 8 as constructed in the late 1980s.  Note that the writer got my father’s name, Gary (Ken), wrong in the caption, but it was correct in the article!

Original Bunkers

After design work was complete, Pebble Brook’s golf course staff prepared the area for shaping by rototilling and minor excavation.


Next, the area was worked into form by the shaper.  Derek Dirksen, a very skilled shaper, did all of the shaping for this project.  He did an exceptional job within a difficult timeline.  In this case, he was actually shaping in a mist and a light sprinkle.  Lucky for us, the ground had been very dry, so prepping the area right before he shaped enabled him to complete his work before it became too wet.


After working the area to the grades and slopes required, Derek then tracked the work into its final form.


Here is a photo of the shaped bunker.

Shaped Left Green Side Bunker No. 15

Golf course shaper, Derek Dirksen.

Derek Dirksen, Golf Course Shaper

Next, I painted a line where the sand will go along the edge of the bunker, that sand line was cut and then the bunker was finish graded, drainage was installed and the prepared seedbed was sodded by Pebble Brook’s golf course staff.

Laying Sod Left Green Side Bunker No. 15

When the sand is installed, I will update this post to show the finished bunker.

The new bunkers meld into their surroundings and existing grade giving them a natural appearance, making the North Course at Pebble Brook feel as if it is more from the golden age of golf course design, rather than a contemporary golf course.

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