A renovation led by architect Rees Jones will see the South course at Carmel Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina reopen in April 2011 as one of the longest courses in the state.
An Ellis Maples design from 1962, the South course received a cosmetic refurbishment by Jones in the 1980s. “This time, Rees was given a bigger budget and a blank slate,” said Bill Anderson, the club’s superintendent. “He basically built an entirely new golf course on top of the old one. He flipped some holes — the first and eighteenth were reversed — created new ones and eliminated others. The basic routing and hole corridors are mostly intact from the original design, but we had some adjacent land available to expand the layout,” he related.
Following a tree thinning program, the club replaced the mulch and pine straw that had framed the fairways with turfgrass. After an extensive drainage system was installed, the layout’s irrigation system and cart paths were replaced.
General manager John Schultz said: “We sat down with Rees at the 2005 US Open at Pinehurst and told him, ‘We want the best golf course you can put on our land.’” Schultz said the club attracted 45 new members in 2010 despite the flat economy. “We’re expecting even more interest next year based on the strength and appeal of the new South course,” he said.
Jones added roughly 500 yards to the course, which can now be stretched to 7,503 yards. Because of Charlotte’s climatic and subsoil conditions, two strains of zoysia grass were chosen for the tees and fairways. The rough is Celebration bermudagrass, while A1 bentgrass was used on greens.
Jones said: “We built a shotmaker’s course fully capable of hosting a championship, but we also wanted a flexible course that everyone could enjoy.”