Golf course architect Richard Mandell is finishing up a renovation project at the Country Club of Asheville in North Carolina.
The oldest private club in the state, Country Club of Asheville can trace its history back to 1894. The club’s course was originally designed by Donald Ross and dates back to 1928.
Mandell used information gathered by members of the club, the Donald Ross Society and a series of notes made during the original construction phase to inform his work on the course. The architect looked to replicate the original design as closely as possible throughout the project.
“My early process walk-through with Les Stradley, who was the golf pro there in the 1970s, was an eye-opener as to the changes to the greens in the 60s from Ross’s work,” said Mandell. “I am most proud of the finished work to the features and shaping of the putting surfaces, which was done by NMP Golf Construction and my shaper, Marc Burger, respectively. I hope the greens are as fun to putt on as they were to design.”
Mandell has introduced 007 Bentgrass on all 18 of the greens, while also creating a new practice facility. The first tee has also been moved, resulting in a better view of the fairway for the golfer’s drive and opening up space for a new 10,000 sq ft practice putting green.
“I think the green complexes and the bunkering are a testament to Ross’s practical approach to design, yet we seized the opportunity to create a bit more variety from hole to hole,” said Mandell. “It was an honour to work on the sixteenth hole, as it has always been one of my favourites as depicted in one of my favorite books on golf architecture, George Thomas's Golf Architecture in America.”
The final touches are now being added to the course, with a reopening date scheduled for April 2017.