The Arcade Creek Golf Course Bunker Renovations Are Complete!

Over the past year, the bunkers on the Arcade Creek 9 and 18 Hole Golf Course have undergone a major transformation with the redesign or removal of every single bunker on the course.

This past winter, we renovated 8 bunkers, in addition to two bunker renovations in the last year, totaling 10 bunkers that have been renovated and the rest have been removed, filled in, and replaced with grass.
The reason we did this is that over the years the greens have either shrunk in size or have moved slightly. What we found was that a lot of the existing bunkers had become really far from the greens. So in this renovation we placed the new bunkers slightly closer to the green and slightly more in play. One of the holes that people are going to notice the change the most in is hole number 17. The two bunkers on this hole make it so that you can’t run the ball in, which has been very popular on that hole in the past. That particular hole is going to play a little more difficult but most golfers are going to find that the bunkers are in places that strategically make a bit more sense as you play the hole. Before, when you would come out and play Arcade Creek you were pretty much guaranteed that if you hit it in a bunker you’re going to have a wet, hard, dirty kind of lie and that’s not really what bunkers are designed to be. This problem largely came from a lack of drainage. A properly built bunker has a drainage system, yet the old bunkers either were never built with drains or the drains were compromised, it’s hard to say though because the course was built in 1959. As a result, it was a real pain point for our golfers because that shot off of the hardpan is very hard to hit. Now, when golfers come into play, it’s fresh, white, brand new sand, not a single grain of the old sand is in there. If anything, the bunkers are a little fluffier than we want now. But over time, that will change; they’ll get a little firmer in the next couple months and play just the way a bunker should play. There are actually a couple of things that we did strategically with the bunkers:  The first thing is that we didn’t feel like the bunkers on Arcade Creek should be very deep. We find that our average customer really would prefer it better if it’s easier to walk into the bunker and easier to walk out without going up and down a hill. We also think that our average golfer would prefer if there’s not a big dirt lip to hit over because it takes quite a bit of clubhead speed to get the ball to go up high in the air over a lip and back down to the ground. The McKenzie course has bunkers like that but we thought that on Arcade Creek bunkers that were a little flatter to the ground would be much better for our typical golfer. The second thing we thought was that golfers really would prefer to be able to roll the ball in. And so we have cut all the aprons and fringe areas and fairways up to the greens much wider, so that when you’re playing your shot in, if you strategically put it on the correct side of the fairway, you’re going to be able to roll the ball in. However, if you put your ball on the wrong side of the fairway, now you’re probably going to have to contend with that bunker and either roll it to the side of the bunker or fly it over the bunker. So there’s a little more strategy out there now, but it’s really all built considering our average golfer on the Arcade Creek Golf Course. Ultimately we invested over $35,000 into this renovation to make the course more playable and enjoyable for our golfers. In addition, we have actually saved a good amount of time for our course maintenance crew by having fewer bunkers so that they can spend more time working on other projects to constantly make the course more enjoyable. The man we hired for this job has been building new greens, renovating, and building golf courses for over 40 years. He’s done projects at places like Incline Village, redoing all their bunkers up in the Tahoe area, and in plenty of other wonderful golf courses. And the reason we brought him in was because we thought it was essential to do this project right! We hired out a licensed golf course architect to design the bunkers and to make them so they look good and make every round you play on Arcade Creek more enjoyable.
Now, most importantly, we also added a whole new drainage system which took some planning because of how flat the Arcade Creek Golf Course is. We ultimately ended up building big sumps (big holes) in the ground for the water to drain effectively. These sumps are just outside of the bunker and are underground so that the water can be drained and dispersed into the ground without affecting your golf game. In regards to the sand in these new bunkers…  There’s really three kinds of sand out there that we had to choose from. The first was the sand that we used to have that was more brown and felt more like dirt at times. Then there’s this super high end pearly white, beautiful sand that you see at Pebble Beach or at the Del Paso Country Club, and that’s about three times the price. So, what we did is we went with the sand in the middle. This is the typical bunker sand that almost every golf course in Northern California uses (it’s actually all from the same sand pit) and this sand has a nice white color and feels like the typical sand you will find if you play much golf in Northern California. The nice thing about that is when golfers come to play, it’s going to feel and play like their regular courses. Making it feel normal, which was actually a strategic decision on our part, will help to create a course that doesn’t feel or play drastically different than anywhere else. This new sand is finer, fluffier, and smoother than the sand that was replaced, making even your time in the bunkers more enjoyable. And lucky for our local golfers these renovations are now complete! To schedule your tee time on the Arcade Creek 9 or 18 Hole Golf Course just click here.