Work on the second phase of a masterplan project to enhance the Tupelo Country Club course is to begin soon.
The board and members at the club in Mississippi, US, have given the go-ahead for the next phase of a masterplan project to commence. The masterplan was drawn up by Watermark Golf/Nathan Crace Design back in 2010.
The project’s first phase, completed in 2011, saw the creation of a new practice area, which included a new range, short game facility, and a ‘free range’ short course.
When plans were first drawn up, the second phase involved the restoration of the entire 18-hole course. However, the decision has been made to break the project into separate phases, with the introduction of a third phase, which will be completed at a future date.
The second phase will now include major work to the course’s eighth hole, with a focus on the hole’s green complex, bunkers, tees, irrigation, grassing and the lake that lies in front of the green.
A streambed restoration project will also be carried out from the 14th fairway, across the 13th fairway, behind the 12th green, and into the 15th fairway.
Other elements of phase two include renovations to lake banks to help repair erosion, make more manageable slopes, and install new turf.
“Tupelo Country Club is one of those special courses where there’s a lot of history and lot of support from the membership,” said Nathan Crace. “They also have one thing many courses built in that era don’t have – room to grow. So as we move into the future phases, we’ve taken into account the need to balance playability for the full spectrum of members with the need to challenge the stable of better golfers who call Tupelo Country Club their home club.”
Design studies and committee review meetings will continue to the end of this year, and work could begin on the eighth hole by mid-March 2017.
“We can get a head start on the lake banks and the streambed restoration this winter,” Crace explained. “But there’s no sense in tearing up the eighth hole any sooner than necessary when the grassing window for TifEagle sprigs in this region of the state doesn’t begin until mid-May. This way, we can leave the existing 8th hole open for members as long as possible.”
It is hoped that the entire second phase will be complete in the summer of 2017, and that the eighth hole will be reopened in the autumn of 2017.