Golf Course Architecture - Issue 58 October 2019

38 “We were able to take probably the most unpopular hole and make it really interesting” GCA spoke with Art Schaupeter about his renovation work at Westwood Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri. What was the driving force behind the project? When the bunkers were renovated twenty years ago, the focus was on improving their maintainability. St. Louis gets a fair amount of annual rainfall – it tends to come in heavy doses through the summer. These rain events are devastating to bunkers, especially if the sand is flashed up on the bunker face. To improve maintainability efficiency with the bunkers in the 1990s, they were shrunk down in size. The sand was kept on the bunker floor and the bunker faces were grassed with Zoysia, which would require less-frequent edging. This approach did a good job of reducing the maintenance impact, but since the sand in the bunkers is only in the floor area, it’s not visible as players approach the greens. Thus, the course loses a lot of its potential aesthetic appeal with these smaller, unseen bunkers. How has your recent work addressed this? By adding a liner under the sand, we would be able to control subgrade soil erosion so that the new sand wouldn’t get contaminated as quickly, if at all. After the club’s superintendent Corey Witzman and I met with the various representatives at the Golf Industry Show, we decided to go with the Better Billy Bunker liner. I wanted to address the maintainability issues and I also wanted to improve the aesthetic appeal by using the new ‘design tools’ of improved liner technology and improved sand availability. By flashing the sand up on the bunker face I would be able to create bunkers that would be seen by the players, improving the aesthetics of the golfing experience. The bunkers are generally smaller in size at Westwood, so I kept the shaping of the bunkers simple, with subtle lines of movement on the edges. TEE BOX THE INTERV I EW with Art Schaupeter The renovation included a complete redesign and rebuild of the eighth green Photos: Chuck Ramsay