Durabunker enhances sustainability of bunkering at Tiburón Golf Club


Durabunker enhances sustainability of bunkering at Tiburón Golf Club
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Tiburón Golf Club in Naples, Florida has become the first LPGA and PGA Tour venue to install the Durabunker solution on the bunkering of its two championship courses.

Part of The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples, Tiburón Golf Club is home to two courses designed by Greg Norman’s firm – the Gold Course and the Black Course.

“We have numerous original stacked sod wall bunkers on both championship courses at Tiburón GC, which have proved difficult to maintain over a number of years,” said Kirk Richmond, the club’s director of Golf Course Maintenance. “Having discovered Durabunker, which uses recycled synthetic material to build sod wall bunkers, we commissioned a ‘Phase 1’ build to reconstruct roughly half of the greenside bunkers on the Gold Course.”

Richmond believes the club’s investment in the Durabunker solution will be reap rewards due to additional sustainability of the new bunkering.

“During the initial stages of the project, the Durabunker staff suggested we raise the floors a little to create a slight rise and fall in the sand line,” Richmond said. “Greg Norman had concerns about some of the aging bunkers becoming a little over penal with flatter bases and steeper faces. The recommendation to slightly raise and soften some of the bunkers has worked really well and the bunker faces look fantastic, are less penal, however still pose the same intended visual intimidation.”

Based in the UK, Durabunker has recently work at courses such as the Tennessee National Golf Club in the US, Royal North Devon Golf Club in the UK, Frosaker Golf Club in Sweden, and Golf Club Budersand in Germany.

“It was a genuine thrill to be on site to oversee the work at Tiburón GC and we are delighted with the results and feedback we have received,” said Rhydian Lewis, Durabunker’s founder and director. “The bunkers we’ve built there will far outlast the traditional method they were using and offer maintenance free bunker faces for the lifetime of the product.”

Lewis added: “The product can be built to fit many different design styles, from shallow edges to very high walls, offering stability, longevity and a guaranteed fixed shape for the lifetime of the bunker. The natural shapes and elevations of the bunkers at Tiburon gave us a great platform to work from and by raising the floors slightly in certain places we were able to create a flowing sand line to match the beautiful shaping of the bunkers. From an architects viewpoint, the ability to design dramatic shapes without the concern of leaving the golf course with a problematic maintenance burden is an obvious advantage.”