Travis Bunkers

Since the mid-1990s, most of the remaining Travis golf courses have undergone extensive renovations, remodeling, and/or restoration projects.  In its role as a resource for Travis-related information, the Travis Society has been approached on many occasions for its assistance.  Perhaps the most frequent question has been:  What are the prominent characteristics of a Travis bunker?  Do you have pictures of a Travis bunker?

There is no easy answer to this question, as you will see.  When asked, and in order to present as balanced and accurate a response as possible, we typically have provided images of several bunkers that are original, according to available information.   The pictures have included several of those shown on this page.  From these pictures, it is apparent that “Travis bunkers” varied from the deep trench-type bunkers on Garden City Golf Club’s par-3 18th, to the flat-bottomed, shallow bunker at Stafford Country Club’s 10th hole, to the free-flowing, flashed-up bunkers at Hollywood Golf Club.  In addition, Travis often talked about installing “pots” in strategic positions.

To further confuse the issue, Travis did not make reference to “bunkers” in his golf course drawings of the early to mid-twenties.  He spoke of them as “hazards”, generally.  In his course drawing “Legend”, he identified fairway hazards as “Mounds and Sand Pockets”.  These hazards were those commonly referred to as “chocolate” drops, with sand in amongst the mounds.  Examples can be seen in the 1922 pictures of Stafford Country Club that are included in this visual tour.  Original drawings for Lookout Point CC, CC of Troy, CC of Scranton, Cape Arundel Golf Club, Cherry Hill Club, Yahnundasis Golf Club, and Pennhills Club are among those we know to have had the “mounds and sand pockets” type of fairway hazards.  Bordering his greens, Travis placed “sand pits”.  The 1922 pictures of Stafford Country Club illustrate his “sand pit” type of hazard which, in today’s parlance, is called a bunker.  You will also find an early picture of the CC of Scranton that shows several examples of the classic “mounds and sand pockets” that Travis used as fairway hazards.  There are very few known examples of Travis’s “mounds and sand pockets” in existence today.  The chocolate drops in the middle of the 15th fairway of Lookout Point CC, and those in the middle of the 16th fairway at Stamford CC, appear to be remnants of that type of hazard, without the sand.

With bunker restoration projects, we encourage clubs to research their original hazards in order to determine the appropriate type of hazard to restore.  It is very likely that we can provide information that will be helpful in that research.

We welcome further discussion of this question, and look forward to your observations and comments.

Stafford Country Club’s finishing hole in 1922 (photo courtesy of Stafford CC)
The Country Club of Scranton golf course with the classic Travis “mounds and sand pockets”(courtesy of CCS member, John Gershey)
Hollywood Golf Club shortly after Travis 1917 redesign of bunkers, greens, and minor routing changes.
Early CC of Troy Image of greenside bunker, courtesy of Chris Strong, CC of Troy Superintendent
Vintage greenside bunkers at CC of Troy’s 18th. Courtesy of CC of Troy Superintendent, Chris Strong.

Click Each Image Below To Expand

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