Golf course architect Mike Gogel has completed a bunker renovation at The Country Club of Jackson in Jackson, Mississippi, host course for the PGA Tour’s Sanderson Farms Championship.
The work has been done on the Dogwood and Azalea nines at the 27-hole club.
“John Fought and I did a full course renovation in 2007 and 2008 which included all new tees, bunkers and greens as well as a new short game practice facility and a completely renovated range,” said Gogel. “We designed the course in a nod to Donald Ross with slightly elevated greens and low mowed shoulders and run-offs.
“Because the course sits in a floodplain with heavy clay soils, we installed a sand cap and additional subsurface drainage around all the greens, which allows a golf shot to be bounced onto the greens surface should that be the shot played. As part of the project, the range, which would flood with no more than half an inch of rain and would be unavailable for a few days to a week, was raised and we installed a significant drainage field to help alleviate the flooding issues.
“The course construction was completed at the onset of the recession here and our budget took a decent hit due to the rise in fuel surcharges. To absorb these into the budget we elected to reduce the scope in the form of a number of bunkers and slightly reduced sand plating effort. The course has been very well received by the membership.
“With the course now at the 10-year mark post construction and with the continued improvement in bunker liners and improved bunker sands now available to the market, the club has elected to have the bunkers renovated.”
The original bunker sand has been removed, Better Billy Bunker liners have been installed and new Premier Play bunker sand has been added.
“This sand plays slightly firmer and drains quicker than the original sand we installed in 2008,” said Gogel. “The members should notice a firmer playing surface and the bunkers should retain their integrity following a typical Mississippi thunderstorm. This will allow golf course superintendent Stanley Reedy and his staff the opportunity to focus on other areas of the course and grounds following a major rain event.”
Work began on 1 December 2018 with the club also approving the installation of four original bunkers that were removed from the plan in 2008.
“In addition, we are sand plating approximately two acres of low-lying fairway areas to help improve the firmness and playability for the members during the wetter winter months and following and heavy rains,” said Gogel. “The bunker portion of the work was completed in the second week of February and the sand plating portion should be completed by the middle of March.”