St Andrews influence for Sewanee


St Andrews influence for Sewanee
Sean Dudley

Architect Gil Hanse expects to finish the renovation of the nine hole Sewanee course at the University of the South in Chattanooga, Tennessee, by October.

The Sewanee course was built in 1915 by then university vice-chancellor Albion Knight, making it perhaps the oldest college course in the US, as well as surely the only one designed by an Episcopalian bishop!

“We're blowing up all nine holes as far as the features are concerned, but the routing will remain intact,” Hanse told the Chattanooga Times Free Press. “We've stretched and pulled a few holes and added a few bunkers, so it will be more challenging and visually more interesting.”

A new single line irrigation system is part of the project, which aims to incorporate environmentally sustainable features in the course, preserving the ecosystem of the Cumberland Plateau, where it is located. Hanse's changes to the course include rebuilding the first in the style of St Andrews' famous Road hole, while the architect says the par three fourth, known as 'Infinity' could be one of the most visually stunning short holes in golf, with the green located right on the edge of a bluff.

Other Scottish-influenced features include the second hole, patterned after Prestwick's Alps, a version of the Valley of Sin in front of the eighth green, and a central bunker complex – but here a Bishop's rather than a Principal's Nose – on the home hole. Hanse is also building a Himalayas-style putting green for college golfers and guests to use for practice.