Golf Course Architecture - Issue 74, October 2023

83 Photo: Bend Media Egan courses, one being an extensive project at Oswego Lake CC near Portland that started in summer 2023. At Bend, Hixson worked closely with superintendent Scott Moffenbeier, general manager Josh Coccagna and Ridgetop Construction, led by Casey Kalbrener. It helped to keep mobilisation costs down that Ridgetop had two other projects in the Bend area. Crew members were booked in a long-term Airbnb and equipment (excavators, dump trucks) did not have to be moved very far. Hixson’s plan called for a scruffier bunker style than the modernist, mounded look that Bend had adopted. Also, a more efficient one. What started as 47 bunkers totalling 38,000 square feet (809 square feet on average), became 37 bunkers totalling 32,000 square feet (865 square feet on average). Superfluous rear bunkering was removed. Placement emphasised strategy to create meaningful shotmaking options. “Fewer bunkers, more significance,” as Hixson summarised it. There was no need for anything more than sod liners. Bend only gets 15 inches of rain annually, and by careful placement and shaping of the bunkers, the likelihood of washouts was avoided. Sod faces were brought halfway down, and the bunker floors were not flashed up. Instead of burying the club in extensive paperwork just to facilitate a bid, Hixson did bulk earthmoving calculations and sand volumes and then relied upon drawings via iPad that were regularly sent off to the shapers. A tree management plan implemented four to five years ago had already opened up the site and allowed for re-establishment of views from the tees. That also created a greater sense of the native land, which included 100 feet of elevation change across the 218-acre site. One result of all the work is that golfers are hitting more drivers off the tee. They are also thinking more about what happens when the ball hits the ground. As for how those bunkers are performing, Bend got an early test. On 3 September, the area got 0.65 inches (16.5 millimetres) of rain. “No washouts,” reports superintendent Moffenbeier. Dan Hixson’s plan called for scruffier bunkers with sod faces halfway down