Bobby Weed Golf Design is renovating the Championship Course at Grandfather Golf & Country Club in North Carolina, USA, as part of the club’s 10-year master plan.
The work is designed to “preserve and enhance the classic Ellis Maples layout” and includes extensive tree removal, installation of sub-surface fairway drainage and construction of open rock-lined streams.
Bobby Weed Golf Design helped the club restructure a short-term and long-range plan for the course and, following some substantial improvements several years ago, Weed and his team are working on incremental changes each autumn and early spring. Work completed so far includes the widening of the first hole and refining of its approach.
"This storied course continues to offer improved aesthetics and playability," said Bobby Weed, president and CEO of Bobby Weed Golf Design. "Golfers can make shot decisions based on enhanced visibility on the first hole, while appreciating many of the layout's unique features which have re-emerged with the ongoing improvements."
Fill from lake work on the first hole has been used to double the size of the practice tee, and a series of plateaus, rock walls and terraces soften the grade change between the practice facility and the first tee.
On the par-four 16th hole, a fairway bunker has been relocated and trees removed adjacent to the headwaters of the Linville River to lessen the angle of the hole. This resulted in the exposure of the water feature, which had been overgrown with trees on both sides, negating its visual impact. With the newly-opened sight lines, players must make a strategic decision off the tee how they want to play this hole, with the option to carry the corner if they choose.