Science and Golf II: Proceedings of the 1994 World Scientific Congress of Golf

By A. J. Cochran; M. R. Farrally | Go to book overview

73

Australian bunker sands-quantifying playability

R.B. Dewar, G.W. Beehag

Australian Turfgrass Research Institute, Sydney, NSW, Australia


and K.Y. Chan

Biological and Chemical Research Institute, NSW Agriculture,
Rydalmere, Australia

Abstract

The playing quality of a bunker sand is described in terms of ball lie, the extent of compaction of the sand, the degree of crusting, ball plugging and the firmness of footing.

A survey sent to golfers and golf course superintendents across Australia identified these criteria as the most important properties in a bunker sand. These criteria are quantified by laboratory analysis of 17 bunker sands collected from around Australia.

Evaluation of playing characteristics of a bunker sand is made, with emphasis on the physical characteristics of particle size distribution (PSD), particle shape and packing density. These characteristics exert the dominant influence over bunker sand in terms of playability and are significant indicators of sand performance. Packing density and PSD predominantly affect ball plugging and crusting. Large values of Pmax (maximum packing density) and a widely graded PSD are associated with a higher crusting incidence and a lower plugging incidence respectively. Particle shape predominantly affects angle of repose and the crusting incidence, with low values of roundness and sphericity associated with higher angles of repose and crusting.

Keywords: Bunker, Sand, Particle Size Distribution, Packing Density, Grain Shape.


1 Introduction

Specifications for golf bunker sands exist in the United States and in Britain. The United States require sands in the range of .25mm to 1mm, preferably with 75% of the particles between 0.25mm to 0.5mm (USGA Green Section Staff, 1974). Sand should be light in colour, silica in composition, with angular grains preferred as they shift less under foot and provide the best stance and less buried balls (Beard, 1982). Britain's specification is similar for inland courses, with recommendations for links courses being in the range 0.125mm to 0.5mm (Baker, 1990).

Currently there are no guidelines for the selection of bunker sand in Australia. Although bunkers are meant to be a hazard, it is important that Australia has some means of reducing the disparity between and within golf courses to allow golf course superintendents, tournament organizers and golfers to make the most informed choices.

Science and Golf II: Proceedings of the World Scientific Congress of Golf. Edited by A.J. Cochran and M.R. Farrally. Published in 1994 by E & FN Spon, London. ISBN 0 419 18790 1

-483-

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