Expectations for bunkers are discussed frequently during our on-site Turf Advisory Service visit. However, when the cost to meet those expectations is brought up, the answer usually is difficult to determine. Most golf course budgets are not organized by playing area, but according to certain line items that can apply to many parts of the course. For example, labor is the biggest line item, but it is not broken down by parts of course.
We find that when discussing expectations for bunkers, it is important to understand what the cost is to meet those expectations. We have developed a simple table to estimate the cost to maintain the bunkers at your golf course. Complete as much of Table 1 as you can based upon how the bunkers have been maintained in the past. If you have not tracked this information, make an estimate. Expectations must be tempered with costs. Unfortunately, seldom do course owners or course officials know how much they are spending annually to maintain these playing areas. By using this worksheet it is possible to provide decision makers with a fair estimate of the annual costs to maintain bunkers.
Information on the USGA’s Turf Advisory Service
Contact the Green Section Staff