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Course Superintendent and Fazio Design Consultant Discuss TPC Myrtle Beach Bunker Project

Project Note: The renovation will be done in segments and will not interrupt play.

Meredith:            Today we are at the beautiful TPC of Myrtle Beach, and joining me are two very special guests. We have Clay DuBose, our Superintendent, and Clay, you have invited someone very special from Fazio Golf Design. Why don't you introduce our special guest here today?

Clay:                     Yes, this is Tom Marzolf, he's the Lead Design Associate with Fazio Design, and we've hired him to consult with them on our bunker reconstruction, and our Better Billy Bunker install.

Meredith:            Yeah, so tell us a little bit about what you're doing with the bunkers here today.

Clay:                     Okay, so when we decided to try to get the bunker work done, we contacted Tom to get his opinion on how the golf course was when it was originally built in '99. So he came out and we did a day tour, and we marked a bunch of edges. And we talked about how bunkers change over time and they get bigger and edges break off and it just changes. You know, you maintenance, you edge, storms, they change. So we brought him in to kind of give us an idea of where they originally were and to kind of ease maintenance going down the road. Because you know, everybody's trying to lean towards a little bit more player friendly kind of bunker, and trying to ease maintenance as well. So, we brought him in. Some neat things and helping us out and putting his seal of approval on the work for us. TPC Myrtle Beach 8th Hole

Meredith:            There you go, that's a great seal. Now when it comes to the bunker, so basically, if we have a storm here, or it rains or we have a hurricane, this pretty much is gonna help drain the water out of the bunkers. So there's basically no erosion?

Clay:                     To a certain extent, yeah. So what happens is, the construction crew that's in here now is Forefront Golf out of Atlanta, they are shelling out the bunker to the bottom floor. We're raising some of the floors in areas. We're bringing some of the edges down. And then they will install a two inch layer of pea gravel throughout the entire bunker floor. Then they'll spray it with a polymer. And then they'll install a PGA Tour quality G-Angle sand that holds in place much better than just your average bunker sand that we'd see at a lot of golf courses.

Clay:                     So what will happen is, when you get those large rains, two, three, four inches or whatever, you're gonna get a few washes, 10, 12, 15 inches versus where it used to be, the sand was in the bottom of the bunker and it took four days to repair and it might've taken two hours to do a hole. Now it'll take 20 minutes to put that bunker back into play.

Meredith:            Wow. That's amazing.

Clay:                     So you know, where the sand does wash, it'll peel to the gravel layer, and then the water is able to immediately hit that gravel and just crawl under it.

Meredith:            Wow.

Clay:                     So that kind of eliminates the erosion.

Meredith:            That's incredible.

Meredith:            And you know, that's what it takes to maintain these five-star golf courses, right? I mean, Golf Digest, this is the only course here in Myrtle Beach that we have a five-star rating. Hence why you are here. So what are your thoughts on this renovation with the bunkers?

Tom:                     Well, on behalf of Tom Fazio and Fazio Design, I want to say thank you to the Founder's Group for having us back here, to be back involved with TPC Myrtle Beach. It was our pleasure to be here originally when this was raw land and it was a new idea. And the TPC group were here looking at this and trying to create a great golf course for Myrtle Beach. I look back on that with a lot of fond memories here working on the golf course with Tom Fazio and Lanny Wadkins. Lanny Wadkins was a player consultant here and we had a great time out here, carving this golf course out of the forest and creating these golf holes. So it's very nice of Founder's Group to be back in ownership of this property and doing the right things. Re-investing into TPC Myrtle Beach, doing this bunker renovation project, which is a key next step for the evolution of this golf course. So we're excited to be here.

Tom:                     This method of construction with, that Clay has just mentioned, didn't exist when we built the golf course. This type of a liner wasn't a part of the industry back then. So this is a real upgrade to the golf course to have this new liner detail in here. Which I think, as Clay mentioned in detail, the golf maintenance crew is going to enjoy how these perform. And more importantly, the players. Everybody that comes here is gonna see firmer sand. And when we do private slices and you get brand new sand and this liner creates a firmer sand, we always say to players, time to look at a new sand wedge. The bounce through this sand is gonna be a little bit different, iSo it's time to maybe-

Meredith:            Upgrade?

Tom:                     -Learn about how that club moves through this new sand, and switch out your sand wedge so you perform a little better playing on these new, firmer bunkers.

Meredith:            Wow, that is really a great point. I'm glad you mentioned that. You know, something that we don't often think about when it comes to bunker renovations is club selection.

Meredith:            All right great, thank you so much for being out here. It truly is an honor to have someone from your team here such as yourself. You know, you have a long history of doing this. So TPC is definitely in good hands.

Meredith:            Clay would you like to add anything else?

Clay:      No I don't think so. You know, there are going to be a few changes on the golf course. With a few bunkers we are gonna remove a few and make a few changes here and there just to kind of tweak it a little bit. But you know, other than that I think it's going to be very welcomed by players and it'll be a little more player friendly and I think it's gonna put TPC at the next level for perfect golf

Meredith:            Okay, folks. So you heard it from the best here. Another reason why you need to get out and come play TPC Myrtle Beach.


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