Golf architects Weed Design have completed the renovation of Brookville GC, near Tampa in Florida. A private club, Brookville was bought on the cusp of bankruptcy two years ago, along with some adjoining acreage.
"The adjacent property was entitled for residential development, and we were involved in reworking the land plan to add three holes into the abandoned limestone quarry.We also outlined some fairly extensive improvements to the remainder of the layout.
"The centrepiece of the course, without question, is the three new quarry holes, which should bring instant notoriety to the layout," says Chris Monti of Weed Design.
"Apart from the obvious golf appeal, the opportunity to reclaim a highly disturbed piece of the landscape was also attractive to us. Golf needs as many positive environmental stories as possible. All the stormwater runoff is captured and recirculated through the irrigation system.
This portion of Florida is known as a mining region, and thus is a red-hot area for groundwater protection issues, where mining activities can effectively bring the aquifer, which is 60 feet down from natural grade in most cases, right to the surface." Hole 12 skirts along the quarry edge, and provides a clear option from the tee, with an upper and lower fairway. "The green is driveable, due to some clever slopes on the upper fairway that will kick a ball toward the putting surface," says Monti. "The 13th plays from up high on the quarry edge down through the length of the pit floor. It does look quite narrow from the tee, but there is about 35 more yards of fairway on the right behind the large mound which was purposefully left to hide the landing area. The 17th may be the most interesting of the holes.We deliberated extensively during construction whether to play across the quarry and site the green up high, or take it below into the pit bottom itself. In the end, the chance to get down into the pit a final time proved irresistible, and we think the dramatic amphitheatre setting that golfers put out on is proof the right decision was made."
This article first appeared in issue 3 of Golf Course Architecture, published in January 2006.