They do things a bit differently at The Open – even raking bunkers


Salute the intrepid heroes who make sure the traps at Royal St George’s are in tip top condition for the championship

Their alarm went off at 2.30am. Most of us don’t see that time in the morning – unless it’s involved not going to bed the night before – but for eight greenkeepers The Open began right then.

The octuplet are part of the Open Support Team organised by the British & International Golf Greenkeepers’ Association that is assisting the home team at Royal St George’s.

They have the job of raking all the bunkers each day of the championship and making sure they cut the mustard.

How long does it take you to smooth the sand? A couple of scrapes with a rake and away you go? It’s a bit more of a job when Rory McIlroy might find a sandy trap at one of the globe’s biggest tournaments.

It takes the octet between three and three and a half hours to get round all 104 of the course’s bunkers, which range from dastardly little pots to cavernous scars in the turf.

And as you’ll see if you watch BIGGA’s Twitter video below, where Royal St George’s greenkeeper and irrigation tech Damien Puxted demonstrated how it should be done, it’s a pretty involved process.

Maybe it will give you a few ideas of what to do the next time you find yourself sweeping the sand at your home club…

How would you like to be part of Open history?

The R&A has announced details of how you can get tickets for the historic 150th Open Championship at St Andrews in 2022. Click here to find out more.

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