Golf Course Architecture - Issue 60, April 2020

33 Kruse introduces sandbelt-inspired bunkers at Killara Golf Club Harley Kruse has completed a comprehensive renovation project at Killara Golf Club in Sydney, Australia. Every green complex has been redesigned, two holes have been reversed, bunkers have been rebuilt and a par three has been eliminated, bringing a spare hole into the normal rotation. “Greens were suffering; the rootzone wasn’t good and they were all poa,” said Kruse. “They were small, averaging 370 square metres, and basically flat, with very limited strategic value. We have increased them to an average size of 500-550 square metres, with lots more interest; we’ve also taken out 300 big trees and opened up the vistas.” The biggest visual change, however, has been the introduction of a new bunker style inspired by the work of Dr Alister MacKenzie and collaborators Alex Russell and Mick Morcom, at courses like Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath. The clay soil at Killara meant that introducing a similar style was going to be difficult. But Kruse saw the success Rod Hinwood, course manager at Ellerston Golf Club, had when using Ecobunker for bunker edges, which had previously been vulnerable to erosion. “It occurred to me that we might be able to do something similar at Killara, and thus be able to get the edging treatment that we wanted,” said Kruse. Killara’s bunkers now feature a 40-centimetre lip constructed using the Ecobunker system, and are lined with Capillary Concrete. Ecobunker CEO Richard Allen said: “When I first went to Melbourne last year, the principal reason was to see the sandbelt bunkers up close; the fact that our product has allowed a great architect to create similar bunkers on unsuitable soil is fantastic.” Killara’s bunkers have been redesigned to emulate MacKenzie’s work in the Melbourne sandbelt Photos: Killara Golf Club