Todd Eckenrode - Origins Golf Design has completed a major renovation project at the Quail Lodge and Golf Club in Carmel, California.
Eckenrode’s work focused on the course’s tees, bunkers and fairway features,with improvements also made to the chipping areas. Drought-tolerant landscaping has also been introduced with the aim of encouraging resource efficiency.
Renovations were made to all green surrounds, and new short-cut chipping areas were introduced in areas that were previously rough.
“We opened up the approaches to many of the green complexes by removing or thoughtfully shifting various bunkers,” said Todd Eckenrode. “The stronger players are challenged still, but there is now an option of bounding the ball into the greens. The game is so much more interesting when choices need to be made, whether to hit a lob shot, a bump-and-run or possibly a putt. It certainly elevates the level of interest to approach shots, where some will now kick onto the green, or run farther away, depending on the slopes.”
One of the most significant changes to the course is the introduction of deep grass swales in strategic locations.
“The concept was fully utilised on holes 1-3, with the new feature now defining the left side of the drive on the first hole, crossing the fairway in front of the second shot, then traversing across the second hole before meandering up through the third hole,” said Eckenrode. “These previously pancaked-flat holes now feature a more dynamic, highly esthetic design - the end result is a far more interesting on-course experience for players of all skill levels.”
The same concept was introduced on the course’s back nine, where a new grass swale replaced two lakes.
“What was once a typical par three with a green adjacent to a lake, with the help of Todd Eckenrode - Origins Golf Design, has now been transformed into a strategic and fun par three where anything can happen, yet the golfer is always ‘in the game’ and able to recover,” said resident golf course superintendent Denis Kerr.
A number of lakes were removed from the course and replaced with drought-tolerant, native friendly landscaping, helping to reduce water usage.
Turf grasses were converted to fescue grasses in many areas, and the lakes that did remain were reconstructed in order to help enhance future sustainability.
“We are thrilled to introduce a fresh new look and design at Quail Lodge Golf Club,” added Eckenrode. “The new bunkers are incredibly memorable and unique, lending a distinct identity to the course that seemed to be lacking prior to the renovation.”