Wilmington Municipal course renovations given green light

Wilmington Municipal course renovations given green light
By Sean Dudley

The proposed renovations to the Wilmington Municipal Golf Course in North Carolina have been approved by the City of Wilmington.

Designed by Donald Ross in 1926, John Fought completed plans for the course in November last year. The architect spoke to GCA following the project’s approval. 

“This will be a unique project because I do not believe the greens were ever constructed to Ross’s original design,” said Fought. “They were sand greens until the early 1950’s when the irrigation was installed. I can find remnants of the sand greens but nothing of the original Ross design.” 

Located in a sand belt area on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Wilmington’s greens were reputedly not switched from sand to grass until 1953, five years after Ross’s death. Preserved by the Tufts Archives in Pinehurst, Fought has had access to sketches and notes for seventeen of the course’s greens to help with his plans.

A major feature of Fought’s plans are the restoration of the course’s greens to sizes more in keeping with Ross’s original design. Currently, the average green size is approximately 2,540 sq ft, in contrast to the 5,500 sq ft average green size of Ross’s original design. Fought’s work will bring the average up to approximately 5,730 sq ft.

Duininck Golf of Minnesota has been announced as the project’s contractor. Fought said of the firm: “They are a quality group and they have given me their best crew. I worked with this contractor before several years ago and they have a great project manager and shaper.”

Work will start in the next few weeks and is being funded by the city of Wilmington.

“I am so pleased to assist the city with this important project,” said Fought. “I think it will make this course so much better both from an infrastructure standpoint and will also look and play like the wonderful design Ross intended it to be. Now that we have all of the approvals and a great contractor on board I know this project will be a great success!”

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