Architect Michael Hurdzan is leading a renovation project at the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club in Canada.
Work began over the summer on the club’s West Nine, and the course is set to reopen next summer. Work is then scheduled to begin on the South Nine, and the club is likely to back to its full complement of 27 holes in the summer of 2015.
Originally designed by Willie Park, the course has been worked on by many architects since its opening. The course’s greens were the cause of some controversy, as the heavy sloping rendered only 12 to 20 per cent of the green could be used for flag positions.
Hurdzan’s work has left the greens with a maximum 2 or 2.5 per cent gradient and with a minimum of 14 flag locations per hole.
Perhaps the most noticeable change is the new fourth hole, built on what was formerly brush land located between the old third and fourth holes. Elevated tees look down to a new green which is surrounded by a newly built pond. The teeing areas of the fifth hole are now on the site of the former green of the fourth green, with the new fourth hole playing back to where the old fourth tees used to be.
Greens have also been relocated on holes one, seven, eight and nine.
Once reopened, the West Nine will play to a par of 35 rather than the previous 36, while the South and North course will remain at 36. Fourteen new tee decks will also feature on the West and South courses, and the two nines played together will measure from 4,000 yards on the front tees to more than 7,000 yards from the back tees.
Other improvements at the club include the relocation and expansion of the driving range and short-game practice area. The renovation is costing in the region of US$2.4 million.