Pine Lakes makeover on course


Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

The Pine Lakes Country Club restoration project currently in progress under the direction of Craig Schreiner in South Carolina USA, is on schedule for its March 2009 unveiling.

Seashore Paspalum was sodded and sprigged on the fairways, roughs, tees and greens during the months of May and June and is now being fertilised through the irrigation system to help the warm perennial grass get established before the Autumn.

Golfers returning to Pine Lakes will also find four sets of enlarged tee boxes in the classical rectangular shape. More than three times larger than Robert White's original tees, Schreiner constructed the tee areas with more depth from the back to front of each tee box so Pine Lakes professionals can set the course up differently for different events, depending on golfers' abilities.

Schreiner has restored all greens and bunkers to the original sizes using schematic drawings by White. Using 1937 aerial photography of the course discovered in the Pine Lakes clubhouse, Schreiner also added native waste areas on several holes to match the feel of the original design, while reducing forced carries and blind water hazards.

"Typically, we're putting in the grass at the last hour but the Pine Lakes project has been ahead of schedule the whole time," said Schreiner. "After waiting out the cool nights in May, we planted the seashore paspalum and the grass has responded remarkably well. The greens are the most important part of a golf course and we took great care to make sure that Pine Lakes' greens were done correctly."

Pine Lakes superintendent Alan Jarvis and his staff have topdressed the fairways and greens using indigenous sand from the former course to level the surface and protect the new tissue of the grass. In the autumn, Jarvis and crew will begin work on grooming the bunkers.

This article first appeared in issue 14 of Golf Course Architecture, published in October 2008.