Golf Course Architecture - Issue 61, July 2020

33 TEE BOX The Grove in Hertfordshire, England, has completed a bunker renovation on its Kyle Phillips-designed course. The ten-week project saw Phillips oversee a project where shaper Theo Travis worked alongside a team from The Grove – including golf course and estates manager Phil Chiverton, director of golf Anna Darnell and head greenkeeper Jonathan Taylor and his team – plus a crew from contractor MJ Abbott, to rebuild all 90 bunkers on the course. Chiverton said: “Remedial repairs were required, especially around the edges, and we also needed to attend to weak areas of turf, readdress bunker shaping lines, and manage native grass areas surrounding them. We also took the opportunity to review the relationship between mown and unmown areas, and how they marry together from a playability and aesthetic perspective.” “We reconstructed and restored the shaping of the bunkers more closely to their original size, shape and playability,” said Phillips. Work began in early January. “We knew that all drainage was working perfectly and had replaced sand recently for the 2016 British Masters, so we started by piling the sand into the middle of the bunker. We then marked and stripped the area around the bunker to allow Theo to do the shaping work. Once approved by Kyle, our finishing team followed behind to measure and lay appropriate turf, including a pure fescue behind the bunkers.” Heavy rainfall and subsequent wet ground conditions during the project presented significant challenges to the team. Steve Briggs from MJ Abbott said: “Our vehicles had to stay on the cart paths, and we laid boards out to enable the crew to access working areas without damaging turf. An outstanding team effort in challenging conditions has delivered fantastic results in a relatively short space of time.” Most golf course work was completed before the coronavirus outbreak took hold, with the course reopening on 20 May following the easing of the UK’s lockdown measures. The Grove completes bunker renovation Photos: The Grove