With support provided by Bandon Dunes developer Mike Keiser and the ongoing input of original restoration architect Martin Ebert, the Renaissance Golf Design team, led by Tom Doak, has been at work enhancing the Askernish links in South Uist, Scotland.
Doak and his associate Eric Iverson visited the course, along with Ebert, last year, and now, during a period of mild weather in January, a return visit by Iverson has seen some significant reshaping to the course. Iverson spent two weeks on site, building or enlarging twelve tees and making alterations to three greens, on the seventh, eleventh and sixteenth holes.
Iverson told GCA he had tried to improve the playability of some of Askernish’s toughest holes, notably the brutal par four seventh, and the par three eleventh. “On the seventh, we tied into the middle of the green and lowered the front a good deal.,” he said. “It will still require two very good shots to reach the green, but there is a more realistic chance to climb the slope with the approach, with a bit more usable space in the front half. We did a bit of work in front of the eleventh green, so hopefully when Tom [Doak] eventually returns his tee shot won't end up at the bottom of the track for the third consecutive time!”
“You’d be hard-pressed to notice the differences by looking at the greens, but the improvement in how they play is huge,” said Askernish chairman Ralph Thompson. “The seventh in particular is far more open for traditional running shots. Eric has done an amazing job.”
Iverson has also built two completely new greens on the course. The par three seventeenth is now played towards a green settled into the dunes, and the par five sixth, known as ‘Runway’, now has a new tee overlooking the Atlantic, and a new green that was created using no earthworks whatsoever.