Proper Golf

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Concave v. Convex

Have you ever played a round of golf and felt like every bunker you were in played differently? The reason most likely isn't the sand itself, but the construction of the bunker and the shaping of the ground underneath the sand.

Like almost every aspect of golf courses, the important stuff is hidden from eye, under the surface. In this case, the playability of bunkers doesn't have as much to do with the look of the thing, but the consistency in construction at the bottom of the bunker and attention to detail. You can make a bunker appear in any way you wish with artistic shaping and wispy tall grass around the edges, but if you don't properly drain your bunker with a concave bottom, you will get inconsistent lies all day long.

Bunkers need a low floor to help drain water out of the depression. This can be achieved with either concave or convex slopes. While it is possible to create a concave surface with the sand, so the ball comes down off the sides of the bunker, the playing surface underneath can only be consistent if the dirt parallels the sand. If this is not achieved, and a convex slope is used, certain parts of the bunker will have a depth of sand much less than others. This will create problems with wear, as clubs will bottom out in certain spots, and cause different reactions on the sole of the club as well.

While this concept is nothing more than common sense, the extra attention to details like this is what in turn creates a more enjoyable experience for the golfer and a more sustainable product for the developer and maintenance purposes.

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