Hermitage Golf Club in Dublin, Ireland, has completed a renovation of bunkers and green surrounds on its front nine holes.
Jeff Lynch and Paul O’Brien from golf design firm (re)Golf worked alongside Colin D’Arcy and his team at DAR Golf Construction and club superintendent Mark Harrington. “
Our members felt that the bunkers were inconsistent and unfair,” said Harrington.
“We had occasions where they would be facing a downhill bunker shot to a green that was above head height. Bunkers were extremely close to greens, meaning members were frequently putting across sand-splash and there were many pinch points on collars where foot and cart traffic had led to wear and tear.”
Lynch explained: “We understand that bunkers are meant to be a hazard, but in too many cases the punishment was excessive for the members of this vibrant and prominent club. We scaled back the large, American-style bunkers into what we feel is a more classical, strategic feel, with flat bases to improve playability and lower front edges to make access in and out of the bunkers easier.”
“We have also reshaped the surrounds on all of the nine holes we worked on,” said Lynch. “They are now more accepting of bump and run shots, encouraging a more creative ground game."
Bunkers are now set further back from the putting surface and the number on the front nine has reduced from 29 to 20, with the overall sand area 40 percent lower. “It’s a massive saving,” said Harrington. “Rather than send out a crew specifically to rake bunkers, I can get my greens team to touch up with hand-rakes in a fraction of the time.”
The club has used DAR’s SportBond liner with synthetic edging from Durabunker.
“Combining bunker lining with our synthetic edge helps clubs to safeguard their investment,” said Durabunker’s Rhydian Lewis. “Investing in liner, only to have edges crumbling and contaminating sand, doesn’t really make a lot of sense.”
“The team at DAR was absolutely excellent,” said Harrington. “Nothing is ever a problem. They were very conscientious, and the finished product is great.”
“We’re a family business and pride ourselves on our attention to detail and running projects as efficiently as possible,” said D’Arcy. “This has been instilled into me and my brothers Brian and Graham from my father James, who has been in business for over 40 years. When we are out of the gate, everything is immaculate.”
The project began in January and was completed in early May. The club is expected to make a decision regarding the renovation of its remaining nine holes later this year.
More information on the renovation of Hermitage will be included in the July 2018 issue of Golf Course Architecture. Visit our subscription page to sign up for a printed copy or a free digital edition.