Marsh targets bunkers at Royal Pines

More bunkers, but less sand will make the RACV Royal Pines Resort a much tougher proposition for golfers at the Australian PGA Championship – but not until next year.

Proposed changes will not be started before this year’s event, to be played from November 7-10, at the Gold Coast layout.

Royal Pines Golf Resort Royal Pines Golf Resort

Still players will find the resort course has been tightened and playing from several new tees, adding distance and difficulty to at least seven holes.

But certainly it will be even tougher in the years ahead, thanks to a plan that designer Graham Marsh wants to implement over the next two and a half years.

His proposal reveals that the area of sand-filled bunkers will actually be at least halved.

According to RACV Royal Pines general manager, John Morris, Royal Pines has 2.2ha of bunkers which will be reduced by as much as 50 per cent as part of a $5m revamp of the layout to “toughen up” the long-term home of the Australian Ladies Masters.

The end result will be more bunkers, although most of them will be smaller than the existing ones.

“A lot of the sand around the course is not actually in play for most golfers,” Morris said.

“Some bunkers will disappear and others will be ‘adjusted’ to make them more strategic.

“That may mean reducing them in size, moving them tighter to the putting surfaces, or putting them in play off the tee.

“At the end of the day, the course will be more interesting and exciting.”