The upmarket Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles has started construction on a significant project to return its course as closely as possible to original architect George Thomas’s 1925 design. A number of architects including Robert Trent Jones, Dick Wilson and Tom Fazio have altered Bel-Air’s Thomas course.
Tom Doak and his crew from Renaissance Golf Design are leading the project, which aims to have all eighteen of the course’s green complexes restored and ready for grassing by the start of January 2018. Eric Iverson, Kye Goalby and Blake Conant are the on-site team.
Work started in early October on holes eleven to sixteen at Bel-Air, which includes the famous ‘Mae West’ green at the twelfth hole. The Renaissance team is using historic aerial photos to guide its work; golf historian Tommy Naccarato handled much of the pre-project research.
As well as restoring green contours and bunkers as close as possible to Thomas’s originals, the project will see the removal of a number of water features added over the years, most notably a pond at the third hole.