Staples Golf Design to renovate Meadowbrook Country Club course


Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley
  • Lovely Golf Course

    The existing seventh hole at Meadowbrook Country Club

  • Lovely Golf Course

    A visualisation of the seventh hole in accordance with Staples’ plans

  • Lovely Golf Course

    Staples aims to stay true to the spirit of Willie Park Jr’s original design

Staples Golf Design has been hired for an ambitious renovation project at the Meadowbrook Country Club near Detroit, Michigan.

All 18 greens will be rebuilt and renovations will be made to all bunkers and tee complexes across the course as part of the project.

The course was originally built in 1916 as a six hole layout designed by Willie Park Jr.

Staples helped develop a Centennial Master Plan for the club back in 2014, working with member focus groups, town hall meetings and using individual research and analysis.

“The primary goal of the project is to restore the course to its classic 1916 design while providing more consistent, quality conditions on a daily basis for our members,” says Joseph Marini, the club’s general manager. “Like most courses in the area, our course was hit hard by the winter of 2013-14. This project allows us to upgrade while getting the most out of the property. This is an absolute game changer for us.”

Staples said in a statement that he feels the key to a good master plan is melding ‘the positives of a particular property with the desires of the club’.

“Meadowbrook is blessed with a great piece of land, but over the years, it was renovated in pieces, creating a fractured and inconsistent layout,” he said. “By combining a good assessment of the club needs and by engaging in constructive dialogue with the members, we came out with a plan that is really, really good. Getting the vote to close the course for an entire year is huge, and we couldn’t be happier with the support we’ve received.”

As part of the project, Meadowbrook has also engaged course consultant Bradley S. Klein and turf consultant Trey Rogers to work with Staples. Klein and Rogers will help with research, planning and developing solutions for areas of the course in need of special attention. These will include the conditions of the greens and fairways, as well as the lack of family-focused forward tees.

The new greens will be constructed in a manner consistent with the existing Park-style greens, while flat sand bottoms and steep grass faces will be introduced to the bunkers.

The fairways will be converted to bentgrass, while the outer roughs will feature a drought tolerant bluegrass-fescue blend.

“It’s been an absolute joy to work with Meadowbrook,” says Staples. “We have an outstanding team; from an educated, forward-thinking committee, to a very business savvy general manager, to an incredibly knowledgeable superintendent that has been here for 40 years. We have all the pieces to not only make this a great project, but to also create a legacy for their next 100 years of existence. I’m honoured to be a part of it.”

Work is set to get underway before the end of 2015, with the course scheduled to reopen in early 2017.