How to Save Your Golf Course’s Bunker Sand from Discoloration


Dirty sand is bad news for your golf course. It makes your first-time visitors have a negative first impression of your business. It makes long-term club members wonder what’s going on. Dirty sand is also sand that goes bad faster. Follow these four tips if your bunkers’ sand just won’t stay clean.

1. Pick a color that matches your maintenance levels.

Glistening white sand traps are the default image most people use when they describe their ideal golf courses. But white sand isn’t for everyone. It’s much more important to have clean sand and a well-maintained course in its entirety. Decide if you can really devote the time and money to keeping white sand white. If you can’t, aim for a different material that your staff can make look great and concentrate on your course’s strengths.

2. Get a better barrier between the dirt and the sand.

A bad bunker liner can ruin your sand no matter how often you clean or brush the top of the sand. Instead of patching your current liner, look for one that can withstand all of the sharp abrasions and rodents in the soil. Look for one with a bit more structural rigidity, too, so you don’t have to worry about sand and soil mixing at the edges.

3. Track your course’s drainage.

If a downhill slope goes next to a bunker, flood runoff will stain the sand. Algae might even start to grow and give your sand a green or gray tint. If that’s the case, make sure your next renovation changes the grading of that slop to direct the water flow somewhere else.

4. Don’t use colored soaps or snow melt chemicals nearby.

If you’re clearing snow out of your golf course, the blue rock salt will almost certainly stain the sand and light-colored landscaping. Look for clear or non-staining chemicals instead. Otherwise, it could be months before the blue fully fades.

Contact our team at ZLINE Bunker Systems if you think it’s time to replace your bunker to keep your sand cleaner.