The CordeValle resort in San Martin, California, has completed a bunker renovation on its Robert Trent Jones II golf course.
The course has 63 bunkers, with a total sand area of 188,000 square feet. They were originally lined with a geotextile, but its performance had deteriorated since the course’s opening in 1999. According to superintendent Brett Thornsbury, playability and consistency of the bunkers were becoming his biggest challenge.
“We have large, very elaborate bunkers with steep faces,” said Thornsbury. “Over the years, as with all ageing bunker sand, it had lost its original colour, the consistency to move water, and the playability was negatively affected, especially during the dry summer months or excessive rain events. With this project, we wanted to restore the sand to its original colour, ensure the health of the drainage system, and most importantly, install a bunker liner that was going to last for many years to come.”
Following a greens renovation by RTJ II president Bruce Charlton in 2019, CordeValle turned its attention to bunkers, with Thornsbury selecting a liner from Capillary Concrete for the project, which began in early October 2020.
“We tried to have the lowest possible impact on play, using temporary greens where necessary, and always keeping 18 holes open,” said Thornsbury. “Fortunately for us, we had a pretty dry winter allowing the project to work mostly uninterrupted. However, just a few weeks ago, we had our first major rain event of the season, producing six inches of rain in less than three days, which for us in central California, is welcomed and unusual. Not one speck of sand moved in our newly completed bunkers. The team was relieved to see they didn’t require any repairs after such a heavy rain event and kept the sand shovels in the shop that morning. It’s a testimony to the Capillary Bunkers product.”