This trial has been initiated with the objective of identifying an alternative solution to reduce the expenses incurred in maintaining the bunkers and to replace the conventional and outdated methods that have been in use.
Aphrodite Hills was designed by American architect Cabell Robinson and opened in 2002. Robinson returned to Cyprus to design the new academy course, which sits on a site previously occupied by an under-used earlier short course.
The new course is just under 1.5 hectares (3.7 acres) and freed up the rest of the ground for more real estate. The new course has been built to PGA National Academy specifications: the holes range from 60-100 meters long.
The new course has twelve bunkers, which cover about 400 sqm in total and have been lined using the Capillary Bunkers system, including the Capillary Wash Box, which will enable Blair’s team to keep the sand’s color through pressure washing.
The work on the new bunkers was done in April. This project serves as a test bed for the 18-hole course of Aphrodite Hills.
The course superintendent, David Blair, says:
“On the main course we have around 14,000 sqm of bunkers, and they are deep and steep faced. There is no liner in them now – the old fabric was ripped and useless – and they didn’t present too well.
We could not keep the colour of the sand, because the fines in the clay contaminate it.
Sometimes if we spray a wetting agent and turn on the irrigation to water it in, we get puddling in the greenside bunkers – on the academy course there’s not a drop of water to be seen.