As the approval for the project is progressing or being finalized, you’ll want to spend some time organizing and preparing your management plans. This section highlights several factors important to keeping your project on time and on budget. It also addresses key communications ideas that will improve the impact to your club and minimize problems.
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Internal Management Team – In most cases, you will use the same group of individuals from your planning and design team to serve on the project management team. You should plan to have weekly meetings to discuss progress so that everyone in your organization is on the same page.
It’s useful to schedule meetings to coincide with an architect’s site visits or with a contractor’s on-site manager. Meetings should be more informal in nature and focus on project status. Issues may arise during the project that will require discussion and action. Be prepared to address them during these meetings so delays are not encountered.
Disruptions to Play & Course Impact – Interruptions are reality of any bunker project. You’ll want to consider how to define phases of work that will minimize the impact of your project. As this schedule is created, you’ll want to create and post a series of regular announcements to keep members/golfers informed. Include what phases of work will be performed on what parts of the course. This allows members/golfers to anticipate any disruptions and plan their activities accordingly.
You’ll need to plan your construction routes as well. With any bunker project, the transportation and movement of workers, equipment, and materials will need to be confined to pre-defined and marked routes. Review these plans with your contractor and make sure to schedule reminder discussions or to revise routes as construction migrates to other areas of your course.
Internal & External Communication Plans – Be prepared and organized with the communication devices you will use to manage the project and keep internal team members and external members/golfers informed. It is normal for the greatest communication challenges to exist when disseminating information to the wider audience. It’s recommended to use a combination of printed notices/letters, posters, and emails to keep people informed. You’ll need to solicit assistance from the club’s office personnel to help create, print, and execute these devices. If you have a club membership email list, you’ll find this a valuable asset when disseminating project information.
You should plan on meeting daily with your golf pro to review project status. This person should shoulder the responsibility of face-to-face communication with golfers, outlining where change of routing or disruptions may occur on each day. Reminders and information can also be inserted into score cards as an effective tool.
Enthusiasm & Acceptance – It’s important to maintain a high level of enthusiasm and acceptance during the project. This is true for both internal team members and your club as a whole. Any project brings with it additional pressures and responsibilities for internal staff while disruptions and increased noise change the golfer’s experience.
More so in the case of major or more complex bunker projects, the impact needs to be managed proactively. Get people to focus on the end result. Showcase completed bunkers as they happen. Let them know when the project is complete, the course will be greatly improved. This will translate into a happier and better golf experience.
Daily Progress Meetings – At the end of each day, meet with the contractor to review job progress and planned work for the following day. This will help you set-up your external communications for the next day more effectively.
Weekly Management Meetings – Summarize job progress and present this information on a scheduled weekly basis with your internal team. It’s beneficial to schedule a fixed day and time for the meetings so people can plan around them accordingly.
Changing Project Scope & Quotes – You will undoubtedly encounter situations during construction that were not anticipated. You’ll need to carefully review what options exist to remedy the condition. Any change in scope definitely means more costs. Bring in your architect and discuss with the contractor the options and get quotes for any additional work, equipment or materials that might be required.
Change Orders – If new work is required, review with the club owner or your internal team to make decisions on costs. It’s important to get all details of required changes in writing. Don’t make any agreements informally as you’ll create problems and disputes when it comes time for payment of additional work.
Keeping Track of Material – It should be your responsibility to monitor and inventory job materials. Whether honest mistakes are made or job site theft occurs, keeping on top of what you’ve got can save you money. Begin by checking or auditing all material shipments. Verify your quantities and secure materials in a protected area.
Record Keeping – As your project progresses, paperwork will accumulate. Maintain accurate accounts of every aspect of the job. Create a system to organize and file documents that is separate from your normal maintenance efforts.
Pictorial Record Keeping – Purchase a digital camera and create a routine for downloading pictures and organizing them on a computer. Consider grouping job phases, golf holes or bunker complexes together. Take pictures so that you have a record of conditions before the project, during all phases of work, and after job completion. It’s also a nice touch to identify and mark locations where pictures will be taken so you have pictures from the same angles and perspectives.
You’ll hear from many people it is better to perform a minimum project with maximum quality. This also applies to materials – choose the best products. The following are several tips you can consider when selecting or specifying products for your job.
Sand Selection & Acquisition – Much like design itself, the concept of sand selection is varied. What constitutes “good” sand will be different for every club and region of the country. You will encounter specific opinions within your membership and organization. Be prepared for many heated discussions about sand.
There is a range of bunker sand articles available at the USGA website (www.usga.org). Use the search box and type ‘bunker sand’. You can also go directly to the following articles:
It’s important to keep in mind important characteristics such as particle size, shape (angularity), and infiltration rate. The above articles also address testing in terms of penetrometer values, crusting potential, chemical reaction (pH), hardness, color, and overall playing quality.
Suffice it to say, bunker sand is the single most expensive item in a bunker project. Due to this fact, you’ll want to spend time testing several sands on your course, usually in one or two “test bunkers”. When it comes time to select sand, you’ll want to monitor and test sand directly from the sand pile. Make sure you take several samples from different points of the pile, not just at the edges.
Bunker Drainage – When working with the architect or mapping out your drainage plan, know that more drainage is better. If you have problem bunkers, the faster you can get water into drainage tiles the better. You should also consider where and how quickly bunker drainage enters main drainage systems.
Beyond the basic 4-inch pipe and gravel format, there are a number of different products on the market that offer alternatives or enhancements to traditional drainage methods. It’s worth researching your options and considering these alternatives. Drainage systems will be in the ground a long time, so considering options that can improve performance and lengthen the life cycle of the bunker.
Bunker Liners -- Over the past 15 years, there has been a wide acceptance of implementing these products into bunkers. These synthetic, non-woven products prevent sand contamination and washouts by creating a barrier between the sand and the bunker surface.
When determining what product to use, consider how long suppliers have been ‘in the ground’ and execute your due diligence when calling references. You’ll want to look at the range of products offered and compare the product grades with your application.
Consider the shape of your bunkers and, at minimum, implement liners on the bunker faces. Most courses that are using liners prefer to line the entire bunker, eliminating any chance of contamination. Some courses will choose to place higher grade products on bunker slopes and lower grade products in the bunker base.
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