Here’s my first rant. Sand traps are supposed to be hazards, right? Would you ever actually try to hit your ball into a water hazard? Yet when Jack Nicklaus used new kinds of rakes that left furrows in the bunkers for the Memorial Tournament, the players whined like my two year old granddaughter. I know that lots of people agree with me on this one, so here’s my solution. Course designers, take note!
Take out most green-side bunkers and replace them with grass bunkers. In preparation for a tournament, let the grass grow long and gnarly, so that a chip out onto a fast green becomes a very difficult proposition. Between tournaments, cut them back to a reasonable length, still enough to challenge the average golfer in a way similar to a sand trap. You can keep a few deep pot bunkers just to spice things up a bit. If you do this successfully, pros will think twice about shots that would leave them in a difficult position to make par. They would also be easier to maintain.