Golf course architect Drew Rogers is to lead a comprehensive design-reinstatement project at the Kenosha County Club in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Home to one of only two Donald Ross-designed courses in the state of Wisconsin, the work at Kenosha will run concurrently with similar projects led by Rogers’ firm at the Sylvania Country Club near Toledo, Ohio, and Pine Lake Country Club, near Detroit, Michigan. Willie Park Jr. designed both of these courses, and Rogers is helping to restore the respective design intent of both layouts.
“We’re nearly 100 years into the evolution of these golf courses and any layout will undergo some degree of change over such a long period of use,” said Rogers. “But there’s a spectrum of change that can take place on courses like these, from the ‘Golden Age’.”
“At one end, there are courses where the greens, tees and bunkering have been actively modified, moved or replaced with ever-more-modern feature components – such was the case at Pine Lake,” he explained. “At the other end, you have clubs like Kenosha and Sylvania, where most of the original features are still there, still recognisable but have slipped into disuse. Ross, Park and Colt all went about their business quite differently, but the goals for Kenosha, Sylvania and Pine Lake are similar and straightforward enough: we intend to recover the original design intentions and bring them back into play ways that best suit today’s game.”
For the Kenosha Country Club project, Rogers has secured access to Ross’ original routing plans from the Tufts Archive in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
Kenosha was built on gentle terrain, and Ross oversaw the introduction of a number of man-made earth forms. Many of these hummocks, cops, banks and faces still exist as originally built, but have been lost or obscured by trees.
“When we open up these corridors again, through tree removal and fairway realignment, the features will again be exposed to delineate Ross’ very clear design intentions,” Rogers commented. “You’d never know it, but these holes will be far better defined without the trees.”
Rogers’ work at Kenosha will be carried out in phases to allow the course to remain open. Tree removal is already underway, and the course’s irrigation system is being currently redesigned.
Later this spring, work will move onto the realignment and expansion of selected fairways and approaches, surface reclamations and collar expansions on all 18 greens, and the reinstatement of bunkers, tees and other elements.