The storied Seminole Golf Club, in Juno Beach, Florida, has come to the end of the first year of a three year restoration programme led by the architectural firm of Coore and Crenshaw.
Seminole, universally regarded as one of the finest works of Donald Ross, and typically ranked among the top twenty courses in the US, engaged Coore and Crenshaw because it concluded that the course had become overgrown with palm trees and grasses, according to a club source.
The architects, with renowned bunker wizard Jeff Bradley in charge of the shaping work, worked on 29 bunkers on three holes: the twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth. They also restored the natural sandy areas between the holes, rather like they previously did at Pinehurst No. 2, another noted Ross masterpiece.
The Seminole course had not been significantly altered by the hand of man since the 1930s, except for work done by Dick Wilson after the Second World War, when he added a substantial number of bunkers. However, the hand of Mother Nature had made substantial changes to the look and feel of the course, with bunkers growing in and grasses and trees covering areas that Ross had intended to be open sand.
Seminole has a total of 185 bunkers, so this first phase of work has affected only a relatively small percentage of them – though Coore told GCA that the restoration of the native sandy areas was largely complete. Around 80-100 bunkers are slated to be rebuilt in the summer of 2017 – Seminole, like many Florida courses, closes in the summer – with the rest to be done in the final phase during 2018. “The work has been very well received – 99.9 per cent of our membership is extremely pleased with it,” the club source concluded.