Global Edition

The Hidden Costs of Golf Course Flooding

10.20am 15th March 2013 - Management Topics

Blinder Bunker being installed at Richmond GC
Blinder Bunker being installed at Richmond GC

Over the course of a year, a recent survey has identified that it costs a golf club an average of £416.88 to repair each flooded bunker, adding further pressure to maintenance budgets, which are already under severe strain.

The survey was conducted by Blinder Bunker Liner with Course Managers at golf clubs throughout the country and identified that an average bunker(50m²) which flooded involved two greenkeepers spending two hours to  remove contaminated sand and two hours to replace the sand. That equates to eight man hours which at current average greenkeeper salary rates *equates to £76.88 in labour. Take an average cost of £340 for sand and that gives the cost of repairing just one flooded bunker once.

Other hidden on-going costs adds still further to the drain on golf club finances with the time spent maintaining contaminated bunkers per day working out at 10 minutes each. Doesn’t sound much but work that out at £6.72 per week and approximately £249.44 per annum, per bunker. Take an average number of 80 bunkers per course and the potential cost just to spend 10 minutes per bunker removing contaminated material and you have an approximate cost of £19,955 in labour alone each year.

Blinder Bunker Liners were developed from porous rubber which was identified as an idealhard wearing maintenance-free liner. Since bringing them to market in 2010 many golf clubs in the country have had them installed – either to every bunker, orinitially purely to those more susceptible to flooding or contamination.

“Using the figures which the survey has identified, and working this against the cost of installing Blinder Bunker, it will save a golf club £10,360 per bunker over a 10 year period,” explained Blinder Bunker Liner Director, Penny Long.

One golf club which looked at the money it was costing to keep bunkers in play and decided to install Blinder Bunkers was Richmond Golf Club, in London, a move Course Manager, Les Howkins MG, certainly doesn’t regret.

“After one of the wettest years on record I can’t express how pleased I am with the choices I made.  We have experienced almost no wash out, which has meant that the sand has remained pure and clean while the drainage effects of the Blinder Bunker means that we have had no standing water in any bunker in the last 12 months.

“There seems to be a lot less sand migration around the bases and I have only had to top up one of the very busy bunkers, which in itself is saving thousands each year,” revealed Les.

Blinder Bunker Liners

* Based on the 2013 Standing Committee on Greenkeeper Salaries recommended rate for a Qualified Assistant Greenkeeper with three years of experience.

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