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Think Again About Carrying That Bunker

At The Rawls Course at Texas Tech, the things you know about your game become what you think about the most
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If you come to The Rawls Course at Texas Tech, the yardage book will be your best friend. No really.

Formally a cotton field, designer Tom Doak embraced the challenge of designing a course with only 18 inches of elevation change from one end to the other. He reciprocated that into a course where every shot is a calculation, and no two shots are the same on different days. This is from using the course design to play with and create different pockets of wind that comes naturally in the area.

Jay Thomas, the Head Golf Professional, described the unique funneling that Doak created on the par-3 No. 3.

"Doak actually designed it to funnel the wind up from back behind it...and it drops the ball straight into the front bunker."
Jay Thomas

That front bunker is one of the most difficult on the course too. About 15 feet below the level of the downward-slopping putting surface, you have to get enough on the ball to lift it above the lip and then keep it from rolling back off the green. Think you can miss long? Think again, as a hidden back green-side bunker is there to greet your ball if you take too much club for the green and prevailing wind.

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About 95 bunkers cover the course, with seven more littered around the facility for practice. The sand mix has a little more grain in it, giving it a sharp tan color to it. Around seven years ago, liner was put in to help keep them from getting contaminated with the West Texas blow dirt.

Thomas also went on to explain these bunkers cannot be done by machines.

"They were designed to be very labor intensive."
Jay Thomas
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Each one is hand ranked by the staffers, needing ten of them to do so when tournaments are played. They are located in places made for deception, making golfers have to judge their distances along with whatever breeze is trailing along. All the reasons why The Rawls Course eats up the scorecards.