A team from Pierre Fulke Design is overseeing an ongoing project at the Frosaker Golf Club near Västerås, Sweden, which includes the introduction of the DURAbunker solution to the bunkers on the club’s 18-hole course.
The firm was originally hired to design and oversee the construction of a nine-hole short course at the club in 2012, before taking on a renovation of the club’s 18-hole course.
Pierre Fulke Design first collaborated with Rhydian Lewis, founder of DURAbunker and co-inventor of all design patents associated with the synthetic bunker face and edge solution, during the creation of the Frosaker nine-hole course.
The two companies have since collaborated on a number of projects, and in 2014 began a major bunker renovation together at Frosaker focusing on the 18-hole course.
“Frosaker is a big golf course with an open landscape and large greens,” Fulke commented. “The bunkers on the 18-hole championship course were revetted with a number of small pot bunkers around green complexes and in fairways. We wanted to maintain an element of ‘links style’ golf in keeping with the owners favoured look, but we also wanted the bunkering to fit into the scale of the landscape more effectively.”
“Rhydian and I met on site to share ideas and plan a way forward for the bunkers on the 18-hole championship course in Spring 2014. Our discussions led to a change in bunker style, moving away from pot bunkers, which we felt were disproportionate to the size of the greens, towards ‘hybrid style’ bunkers with sand flashed faces, framed by shallower synthetic sod wall edges. We also wanted to incorporate a rise and fall in the sand lines and reflect that in the bunker edges.”
Fulke said the input on site from DURAbunker has been hugely valuable and that his envisaged outcome for the rebuilt bunkers has thus far been achieved.
“As a product, DURAbunker enables designers to create ambitious bunker shapes that will remain as they were intended to look, without the concern of erosion or degradation, or indeed of leaving the golf course with a significant maintenance burden,” Fulke said. “The use of recycled synthetic turf to construct bunker faces is not only innovative, but brings benefits to both the designer and those left to maintain the golf course long after the architect has left the site.”
The renovation will continue in stages over the next few years, with the most recent phase completed in May 2016.
“Pierre and I have developed an honest and open relationship which has been fundamental to our success thus far,” said Rhydian Lewis. “It also helps that our design tastes and philosophies are very similar. Having worked together on the nine-hole course which has received such positive feedback, I think our past history with the club, coupled with our shared belief that it was the right design decision to move away from traditional revetted pot bunkers on the 18-hole championship course, convinced the owner at Frosaker to trust in our ability to deliver a new style of bunker.”
The renovation is also addressing the base of the bunkers, with the club’s ownership choosing Capillary Concrete for this element of the project.
Lewis explained: “DURAbunker can be used with or without liner. However, for many courses, a ‘turnkey’ solution to address every area of their bunkers is the ultimate ambition. Frosaker is one such course. It was important to the ownership at Frosaker that this renovation addressed all the bunker issues being experienced at the site, as well as improving aesthetics to be more in keeping with the style of golf course.”
Lewis added that the creation of shallower revetted edges will safeguard the design decisions made at Frosaker, as well as the detailed shaping work.
“It is important to emphasise that the product is not only suited to traditional links style pot bunkers or larger bunker walls, but also to other bunker styles and can be used for edges of as little as six inches in height,” Lewis added. “The maintenance benefits and subsequent cost savings from our shallow edge design, coupled with an effective liner, will be of huge benefit to Frosaker Golf Club, and are already proving to be cost effective.”