Irrigation and Drainage

Six years on, the bunkers still drain as they did the first day

Dubsdread bunker repaired after Ian

Opened in 1924, Dubsdread in Orlando is the oldest public course in Central Florida. Formerly the site of the Orlando Golf Open, it played host to great names such as Hogan and Snead. The course was rebuilt by architect Mike Dasher in 2007/8, and its bunkers were reconstructed at the same time, with new sub-surface drainage lines, but no liners.

Dubsdread bunker repaired after Ian
Dubsdread bunker repaired after Ian

Superintendent Alan Lichter says it became clear to him fairly quickly that those bunkers would not stand up to the amount of play the busy course receives, especially in Florida summers, where significant rains are an everyday occurrence.

“The bunkers just kept washing out all the time,” he says. “So we started talking about bunker liners in about 2012, and did a demonstration project on our chipping green bunker using a liner from a company that later went bust. So we started looking at the alternatives, and that’s when I came across Capillary.”

Installing liners across the golf course was a significant investment for a municipal course, so Lichter began tracking the amount of time it took to fix the bunkers after rain events. “It wasn’t pretty, and that convinced the powers that be at the city that it was a good investment,” he explains. “The payback to the city was pretty obvious, and the improvements in playability that would follow were also a big issue. So we started the project in 2017, working with Benson Construction, a Georgia-based contractor. It took three months to install the liner in all the bunkers.

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Six years on from the installation and Lichter is still extremely happy with the performance of his bunkers. “I love them,” he says. “They are still draining as they were the first day. We had seven tenths of an inch of rain last night, there’s no water in the bunkers.”

Given the extremes of the Florida climate, Lichter’s bunkers have had to face up to some pretty severe weather – and he says they have come through with colors still flying. Even after Hurricane Ian dumped eleven inches of rain on Dubsdread last year, the Capillary Bunkers still performed. “It took one person – me! – about twelve hours to fix the bunkers after Ian,” he says. “Before we installed the Capillary liner, it would have needed three guys working solidly for a week.”

About CapillaryFlow

CapillaryFlow is  a technology company whose patented innovations are enabling golf courses sports grounds, and other leisure spaces like city parks to build long-lasting and low maintenance greens, bunkers and grounds. Controlling the water, carbon dioxide and oxygen levels for various soil profiles in these spaces is a major challenge. Our proprietary CapillaryFlow technology offers a simple solution that ensures optimal moisture levels and good drainage regardless of the weather conditions.

Capillary Material is the common factor across most of our solutions including Capillary Bunkers, Capillary Hydroponics and Capillary Geothermal. It is a patented and engineered polymer-based concrete that is the only building material that can move water both up and down to precisely regulate the moisture content of any adjacent material, such as sand or soil. 2. Capillary Bunkers is recognized as the world’s leading and most advanced bunker liner, and the most durable bunker construction method. It allows water to flow through the base of the bunker while keeping sand on the faces and preventing washouts, keeping bunkers in perfect shape during any weather condition. Over 800 courses around the world have built or renovated their bunkers with Capillary Concrete, including dozens of golf’s top 100 courses.

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