The second phase of a long-range masterplan project at Tupelo Country Club in Tupelo, Mississippi, has been completed.
Led by architect Nathan Crace, ASGCA, much of the second phase focused on the course’s eighth hole, which has been given a complete makeover.
The par three eighth was selected due to a number of reasons. The levee on the lake had been slowly leaking for years, while the green was too sloped at the front close to the water hazard. This meant balls were prone to spinning back off the front of the green into the water.
Crace was also tasked with turning the eighth hole into something of a centrepiece for the whole course, providing an example to members of what the rest of the course could eventually look like.
To achieve this, Crace introduced a new TifEagle green that is almost 1,000 square feet larger than its predecessor. The previous green featured three bunkers, all of which were in need of repair, but its new version wraps around just one bunker at the front of the green.
The new green also features a distinctive shelf on the right had side, with a pin placement close to the reworked lake on the hole. A new irrigation system has also been installed.
The total area of tee space on the eighth hole has been more than doubled. The hole now also stretches from 70 yards at the forward tee to just over 200 from the back of the championship tees.
Other elements of the second phase included the repair of lake banks across the course, and the restoration of a stream bed which crosses three holes at Tupelo CC.
“The project was a tremendous success,” said Crace. “Much like the practice facility and short course that was part of Phase I, the members have given their full support to this phase of the masterplan and we’ve heard nothing but rave reviews. I can’t say enough about the work the Committee put into this project and the work superintendent Jim Kwasinski and his crew poured into this project from day one! Jim is the type of superintendent that every golf course architect hopes is on-site for a renovation project.”