During the current period when our facilities are closed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, Atalaya Golf & Country Club is obliged to maintain our two championship golf courses with minimum maintenance crews. This difficult challenge has called for creative solutions – solutions that we have taken to heart – to ensure playability after the lockdown is lifted.
Bunkers are integral to both golf strategy and aesthetics, and maintaining them is high on Atalaya’s checklist of regular course care. Director General Andreś Sánchez points out that during this “low maintenance situation with no play” keeping the edges of our bunkers well-defined is challenging. The fact is that bermuda grass regularly sends lateral stem growth from a bunker’s lip into the bunker itself. Under normal conditions this growth is periodically trimmed. However, carrying out this hands-on maintenance is time-consuming and, thereby, expensive. As an alternative during the current “no play” period, Atalaya is using a selective herbicide to prevent this growth. When the lockdown is lifted and play is resumed, bunker maintenance will return in a seamless fashion to normal maintenance.
Bunker washouts are also a problem, especially during this rainy month of April. When washouts occur repeatedly, bunker sand sometimes becomes contaminated. If so, replacement is necessary in part or in its entirety. Atalaya’s maintenance personnel regularly monitor and stay abreast of this issue. The goal is for our bunkers to be properly playable when our courses reopen and normal play resumes.