Golf course architect Shawn Smith of Hills Forrest Smith is overseeing the construction of a second nine at Plantation Lakes Golf and Country Club in Millsboro, Delaware, as well as a rebuild of bunkers on the front nine.
Plantation Lakes is located within a resort-style community developed by homebuilder Lennar. Construction of the course began in 2006 and the first five holes opened in 2007. Work paused after the recession, then the first nine and the practice range was completed in 2013.
“The current nine holes provide an interesting contrast in character, with the first five holes laid out around a series of lakes and having more of an open feel, whereas the finishing holes drop down into a wooded floodplain that offers a unique sense of seclusion,” said Smith.
“The site, located only minutes from the Atlantic Ocean, consists of sandy soils which lends itself to the creation of large sandy waste areas that provide an aesthetic and architectural connection between the open and wooded holes. The new holes – ten to eighteen – will continue with this theme. Holes ten and eleven are isolated in the wooded floodplain with views of Betts Pond and the adjacent wetland, while the remaining holes will have more of the open feel.
“The sandy soils are a big plus for the project. It provides us the opportunity to do things architecturally that aren’t as easily achieved on heavier soils.”
The grading of the new holes began in July 2018 and is expected to be complete by the end of the year. The detailed course work will begin in spring 2019 with a planned opening date for the new holes of late spring or early summer 2020.
This winter, the bunkers on the existing holes will be rebuilt using Capillary Concrete and modified to create an irregular sand line.
“Aside from the obvious benefits of Capillary Concrete, it provided us the opportunity to modify the character of the existing bunkers and establish a new style that we can carry forward to the new holes,” said Smith. “The new irregular sand lines of the bunkers will make them visually more dynamic and create a rugged character that will complement the larger sandy waste areas that we have throughout the course.”
Construction work is being undertaken by McDonald & Sons. Turf Drainage Company of America is providing assistance with drainage, while Golf Maintenance Solutions is helping to maintain the course.
A new short game area was constructed this autumn and is scheduled to open in summer 2019.