Why Incorporate a Bunker to a Backyard Putting Green

backninegreensOctober 25, 2016Putting Greens

mark wahlberg golf complex with bunkers

Bunkers Are the Hidden Golf Tool You Never Knew You Needed in Your Backyard

When you make the decision to install a backyard putting green, you have high expectations, and that’s okay! You want a space that will help you perfect your stroke and tackle maneuvers typically found on a commercial golf complex. The most effective way to accomplish this is to vary the elevation of the turf in certain sections of the backyard golf green. This helps mimic the varying levels of difficulty found on a natural putting green. Look at the world-class golf complex we built for Mark Wahlberg earlier this year. It’s not just the sheer size of it that’s challenging; it’s the bunkers and shape!

If your backyard allows room to install a bunker near or in your putting green, definitely opt for this! You will experience a whole different level of play, allowing you to perfect your shot without paying those hefty course fees at the local community club.

What exactly is a bunker?

golfer playing a bunker shotA bunker is a depressed area often filled with sand, which can prove to be difficult for novice golfers. Bunkers are golf course hazards that replicate the playing conditions of golf in the 1600s when the game was invented. Natural holes and sand pits formed over time as the landscape evolved, creating obstacles that would trap the ball and make it difficult to score. Today, bunkers can be installed on the sides of the fairway or in the middle.

How is an artificial turf or sand bunker made?

Creating a man-made bunker involves digging a depression and then adding layers to create a slope on one side. Bunkers can vary in depth, slope and shape, and can be filled with sand or coated with artificial grass to replicate the feel of a rough. At Back Nine Greens, the only sand we use is for infill to keep the grass blades erect and to perform like real grass. However, most local community clubs fill their bunkers with fine grade silica sand.

Which types of shots and clubs should I use in a bunker zone?

Some bunkers are packed with different types of sand, which can be abrasive to your golf equipment.  The grade of sand and the depth of the ball will make a difference in which bunker shot will be best for you. A great rule of thumb to remember is to use a softer, shorter stroke using a thinner and lighter club or wedge for very thin sands. Meanwhile, if the sand is dense or the ball is half submerged, use a longer, more powerful stroke to push it out of the sand. You will find this type of stroke is a deeper divot, so plan to use a heavier club or wedge to execute this swing.

How much more space will I need in my backyard for a bunker or fairway area?

mark wahlberg backyard putting green complexConsider incorporating a bunker space within the traditional kidney-shaped backyard putting green. If you have room, you can also plan for a spot next to the golf area to serve as your bunker space. In the event your backyard is smaller, be sure to let our designers know that you are interested in a bunker, so we can make some accommodations for you. In most cases, it is possible, but size can be a limiting factor. We highly recommend including a bunker in your design because it truly can help you improve your game! Our turf does not interrupt ball rolls and allows you to play as if you were on a large golf complex.

If you are ready to create a more challenging game right in your backyard, request a free backyard putting green quote today! We can measure out your space and let you know which design will help you train at your best without the hefty course fees.