Wade Hampton Golf Club in Cashiers, North Carolina, USA, has reopened following an 11-month renovation project overseen by Fazio Design.
All greens have been rebuilt to USGA specification, and subsurface drainage has been re-piped and connected to the existing SubAir systems. Greens have been reseeded with Pure Distinction bentgrass, and green approaches and tees with Crystal BlueLinks bentgrass. Rough grasses have been sprayed out and reseeded with a three-seed blend of turf-type tall fescue.
Greenside bunkers have been reconstructed with Capillary Concrete bunker lining.
In explaining the rationale for the changes, Tom Marzolf, senior project architect at Fazio Design, referenced the American Society of Golf Course Architects’ Life Cycle Chart that details an expected lifespan of 15-30 years for greens. “Reconstructing the greens to improve the firmness of the soil mix and re-piping the subsurface drainage to increase the effectiveness of the SubAir system allowed the club to update the bentgrass to the upright, denser Pure Distinction seed variety.
“The course is now in its finest condition and a great year of golf is in store for the members of Wade Hampton,” said Marzolf, who was part of the design team when the course – ranked by Golf Digest as the best in North Carolina and 25th best in America – was originally built in the mid-1980s.
The project has also seen tee levelling, the creation of a new putting green and short game area close to the clubhouse, and improvements to the practice tee staging area. All cart paths have been replaced and reshaped to improve drainage and player access. A new back tee has been added on the par four ninth hole.
An additional storage lake has been created and improved irrigation pumps installed to improve pressure while reducing the power requirement. Drainage has also been improved throughout the course.
The club’s director of golf course operations Tom Bailey and golf course superintendent David McIntosh and team were supported by contractor McDonald & Sons.
“The members of Wade Hampton were emphatic that the goal from the start was to improve the playing surfaces and course features while protecting the original design by Tom Fazio,” said McIntosh. “Although we increased the number of pin locations on select holes, the greens are very similar to the original design.
“The selected grasses are not only a far superior playing surface, but also make an awesome visual contrast, enhancing the beauty of the course.
“Despite the 111 inches of rain we received during the renovation, the members are extremely happy with the results and are excited to be back on the course.”