Durabunker HistoryFrom Maesteg Golf Club to The PGA Tour
Maesteg Golf Club to The PGA Tour
It has been fascinating to follow the development of the product and we are proud to be the pioneers of this innovative construction method. I have known Rhydian personally for many years and his contribution to the club as former 1st team captain and Chairman of Greens has been considerable.
Rhydian brought the idea to the executive committee many years ago and as part of a 2 man team he was able to develop this idea and introduce it to the golf club, ultimately making it a viable commercial product.
The growth of the product into a successful brand since that time has been beyond what any of us at the club imagined and we cannot recommend the product or the company highly enough. They certainly have bent over backwards to facilitate us on this most recent project and we will be building further DURAbunkers in the near future.Paul Lewis, Maesteg GC, Captain 2016
From humble beginnings at a typical members club in the heart of the South Wales Valleys, to the appearance of the product at the LPGA Tour Championships and PGA Tour, the journey of our synthetic bunker product has been an extraordinary one.
The origins of the product can be traced back to Maesteg Golf club, where Durabunker MD, Rhydian Lewis, has been a life long member, and remains actively involved in project work, the golf club having completed the latest stage of Bunker renovation under licence, with Durabunker Ltd in Autumn 2017. It was here that the product was co-developed by Lewis, initially through the building of small scale models and followed by the first ‘in situ’ build during a re-modelling of a par 3 at the course, a project he managed and supervised.
The company Envirosports Ltd was co-founded by our current MD in 2009 as a vehicle to realize the commercial potential of the synthetic bunker edge and over the subsequent months and years, the original partnership continued to develop the product, with various grades of material, along with different processing techniques and construction methodologies being trialled.
As one of the original developers of the product, Lewis became the full time Director of Envirosports Ltd, and the co-owner of international patents and registered designs associated with the product, continuing to personally build the next number of synthetic bunkers at his home course, and at other local courses such as Pyle and Kenfig GC and Clyne GC, all the while learning important lessons about this new synthetic bunker construction methodology.
The product was officially taken to market by Envirosports Ltd under the brand name ‘Envirobunker’ and launched at the Harrogate BTME show in 2011, being received very positively by its early adopters. Shortly afterwards UK venues such as St Andrews, Berwick on Tweed GC (Goswick) and Royston GC, trialled the product, with our MD subsequently building bunkers at each venue. As with any new product, on site learning was fundamental to it’s early development, Lewis being at the heart of that process, played a central role to driving the evolution of the product.
Maesteg Golf Club
We began building bunkers under licence from Durabunker with our in house team. Having seen the quality of the product at other venues I recognized that it would be advantageous to have the Durabunker team assist us moving forward. Rhydian did so of his own accord, giving his time freely to re-design bunkers on our 6th hole. He also built the final bunker of the project with us. We have seen the difference in results and will be using Durabunkers services again as we move forward to ensure all future bunkers are built to the same quality standards. The professionalism, hard work and expertise shown by Rhydian was clear for all to see and it was a pleasure to collaborate with him.Steve Trickey, Head Greenkeeper
From that point onwards the product quickly gained recognition as a viable alternative to traditional bunker construction methods that used natural sod. Further refinements were incorporated into the construction method at various stages over the subsequent years, as the methodology continued to evolve.
In 2014, Lewis’s then business partner requested that Lewis relinquish equity in Envirsports Ltd to bring a 3rd share holder into the business. The company having no requirement for investment at that stage and not wanting to relinquish shares in a business he founded and remained the only full time employee Lewis declined. It was at that stage an ultimatum was issued to Lewis, and having reached a deadlock as a result, his then business partner requested that the company be wound up, and started a new business venture with a new partner.
Our MD then founded Durabunker Ltd, built the business from the ground up and today continues to utilize the unique bunker construction methodology he co-developed and co-owns, re-branding the product as ‘Durabunker’ in 2014. Our company has continued the development of the product through refinement of the ‘Double Stack’ system, originally trialled at Pyle and Kenfig GC, under an NDA, but not brought to market until it was refined and built by our team, at prestigious courses such as St Enodoc GC (UK) and Tennessee National GC (USA) in the Autumn of 2014. Since that time many courses have followed suit, utilizing the ‘Double Stack’ and ‘Triple Stack’ systems and further refinements and adaptations of the product continue to be developed by Durabunker Ltd.
our business is about connecting synthetic technology with beautiful bunkers, providing a solution to many of the issues related to bunker maintenance. We have faced and overcome many hurdles and much scepticism, yet our belief that the industry requires innovation and more sustainable practices to address the many challenges it faces, fuels our passion, the history behind the product fuels our drive, to ensure we keep pushing the company forwards with integrity and honesty.
As the co-inventor of the only granted design patent associated with the product and the equal co-owner of all IP related to the construction of synthetic bunker edging, I could not be more proud of what we have achieved or more excited about where the journey will take us next!!Rhydian Lewis, Director