Port Royal bunkers to be filled for PGA event
Thousands of dollars worth of sand is expected to be imported to fill bunkers before the first PGA Bermuda Championship in the autumn.
A notice on the government website invited proposals for the supply and delivery of 4,000 metric tonnes of sand to Port Royal Golf Course.
It gave a detailed breakdown of specifications and explained that submissions should include laboratory reports and that samples will be needed for tests on island.
Greg Maybury, the golf course general manager, said the bunkers needed to be filled regardless of the upcoming competition and that the sand will meet US Golf Association standards.
He explained on Wednesday: “Even if we weren’t having this event, we would look to have this type of sand.
“The sand has been depleted over the years, we needed it anyway.”
Mr Maybury said that the last delivery was about ten years ago, before the PGA Grand Slam of Golf was held at the course between 2009 and 2014.
He explained that play and stormy weather contributed to the loss of sand from bunkers.
He said: “The sand gets blown out, we haven’t been able to replenish it, we’re putting the sand back, if you wish.
“Typically, golf courses fill their bunkers every year, we haven’t been able to do that.”
The request for proposals was issued by the Ministry of Public Works last month. It said: “Following the recent announcement that Bermuda will host a PGA Tour event at Port Royal Golf Course in October, the Government is now seeking proposals from suitable qualified and experienced entities for the ‘turnkey’ importation and delivery of both bunker sand and topdressing sand to Port Royal Golf Course.”
Project particulars showed that 3,000 metric tonnes of bunker sand must be “fully compliant with applicable USGA recommendations”.
The notice explained: “Bunker sand shall be silica sand, white in colour, very angular and with a low degree of sphericity.”
It said the hydraulic conductivity — the rate at which water moves through the sand — must be 24 inches an hour or more.
And a “fried-egg lie test” will determine the likelihood of any balls becoming partially buried in the bunkers.
Requirements for 1,000 metric tonnes of topdressing sand included that more than 60 per cent of the particles will be fine, medium and coarse, between 0.15mm and 1mm.
The notice added: “The colour of the sand shall be clearly identified, for approval by the ministry.”
It said: “Laboratory analysis reports for both the physical analysis and particle-size analysis of the sands from an accredited laboratory are required.
“Proponents must be prepared to provide additional documentation verifying the material properties and performance characteristics, on request of the ministry.”
The material was expected to be delivered to the golf course no later than September.
The notice added: “The successful proponent will be required to submit samples of the sands to the Department of Agriculture & Fisheries (Plant Protection Section) for local analysis and testing, to include nematodes testing, to obtain official approval to import the sand to Bermuda.”
No suggested budget was provided in the notice and it was understood costs vary depending on quality and shipping arrangements.
One New Jersey supplier said premium bunker sand could cost up to $40 a tonne — which is less than a metric tonne — with some damp topdressing sand priced at about $20 a tonne, although it was thought that dry sand could be a better option because of the delivery distance.
Freight and delivery costs would be additional.
The Bermuda Championship is expected to involve professionals who do not qualify for this year’s World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions event in China.
It will run from October 31 to November 3 and carry a $3 million purse.
The Royal Gazette asked for further information about the RFP, which had a submission deadline of July 25, but the Ministry of Public Works declined to comment.
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