Fågelbro Golf and Country Club in Sweden has completed a project to install the synthetic edging solution EcoBunker in a number of bunkers on its course.
Swedish architect Johan Benestam handled the design work on the project, and he tapped up a regular collaborator, Scottish consultant Alan Strachan, to help with the bunker construction work. And Strachan, along with the club’s greens staff, has used the EcoBunker solution to build some very dramatic bunkers.
“Fågelbro is about thirty years old, and is owned by Stefan Persson, the chairman of H&M,” says Strachan. “The project was to rebuild five bunkers around the double green of the ninth and 18th holes. The bunkers that were there previously were Pete Dye-style timbered bunkers, and over time the timber was starting to decay and was slippy underfoot. So Johan and I figured that EcoBunker was a good choice. Once the bunkers have been constructed with EcoBunker, you don’t need to go back to them for a long time.”
Strachan had significant input into the final styling of the bunkers. “I get a drawing from Johan and then interpret it,” he says. “I’m not trying to be overly fancy, but I want to get some life into them, while still prioritising maintenance.”
Most EcoBunkers are constructed using a double stacked method – two pieces of artificial turf to form each layer of revet. Fågelbro’s – which are large, with a total perimeter of 250m, using 12 pallets of EcoBunker – use an unusual triple-stacked method. “We triple stacked and built three to five layers of revet,” says Strachan. “I felt that triple matches a thick natural turf on top better – it gives a better finish.”
EcoBunker founder and CEO Richard Allen, who first conceived the idea of synthetic revetting, says: “I like the chunky look that triple stacking give. We did it first at Burntisland in Fife several years ago. It really resembles a very thick cut sod. It’s for those clients who want to see the stripes.”