New short game academy created at Golf Club St Leon Rot

  • Nemu2

    Synthetic bunker faces have been added at St Leon Rot

  • Nemu2

    The reworked bunkers will now be easier to maintain than in years gone by

Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Golf course architect Christian Althaus is designing a new short game academy at Golf Club St Leon Rot near Mannheim, Germany.

Host of the 2015 Solheim Cup, St Leon Rot’s new facility will offer a full range of greenside recovery challenges. Bunkers are a prominent feature, but are notoriously difficult to maintain on heavily used practice areas.

Course manager Craig Cameron therefore decided to use a synthetic bunker face construction method, with the resulting tender won by Josef Poetter Golf and Ecobunker.

“St Leon Rot demands high standards, and we were challenged with designing and building a range of resilient bunker styles on the new short game academy,” said Althaus. “EcoBunker justified their rising reputation in Germany by providing top quality turf, fully professional site support and responsive technical back up.”

Ecobunker’s work at St Leon Rot follows on from a string of projects in Germany. These include at Apeldoer GC in the north of the country, Golf Resort Adendorf in Lower Saxony and Fleesensee Schloss in the east of the Germany. At Fleesensee, Ecobunker has helped convert all 70 deep ‘inland links’ style bunkers from rolled-in grass faces to synthetic revetments.

“Fleesensee has kept our production line very busy” said Richard Allen, managing director and co-inventor of Ecobunker. “To build 70 large bunkers to such a high quality in three hard winter months is an achievement that course manager Stephen Monk and his team can be immensely proud of.”

Going forward, Ecobunker will be working with golf consultant Sven Hanfft at Budersand Sylt Golf Course on the next phase of a bunker renovation project.

“The club invited us to review progress on a part complete renovation project and present a strategy for the remaining 60 bunkers, many of which were badly eroded,” explained Richard Allen, managing director and co-inventor of Ecobunker. “We recommended a change in design approach, and careful specification of construction materials, that would deliver enhanced aesthetics, more in keeping with the local environment. As a result, we have already started work and are looking forward to cementing a long-term relationship.”

A flyover video of the work at St Leon Rot, courtesy of course manager Craig Cameron, is available to view here