The art of creating a bunker: One of golf's most skilled shapers describes his process

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April 09, 2020

Earning the name "the Bunker Guru" your peers in golf-course design circles is quite the compliment. And for Jeff Bradley, the moniker is apt. Since the late 1990s he has been arguably the best known and most talented creator of bunkers, working primarily on the golf courses of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw.

Bradley brings a unique vision and artistry to the shaping of his bunkers. His eye—and his excavator—have helped give character and definition to much of Coore and Crenshaw’s most decorated work, including Sand Hills, Cuscowilla, Friars Head, Bandon Trails, Streamsong Red and Ozarks National. While occasionally stepping out to consult and shape for other design firms, crafting bunkers for Coore and Crenshaw remains his priority, and until the recent shut down he’d been in the Caribbean working on the beginnings of their latest venture, Cabot St. Lucia.

In the latest episode of “Feed the Ball,”, Jeff and Derek discuss Bill Coore’s on-site personality, adapting bunker styles to different soils and climates, creating golf from potato fields at Friars Head, the challenge of the Cabot St. Lucia project, how over-sleeping might have lead to his career in golf design, the rise of minimalism and if there are any styles or shapes of bunkers he’s never had the chance to create.

Click to listen below: