Lester George to renovate Cobb-designed course in Alabama


Lester George to renovate Cobb-designed course in Alabama
Sean Dudley
By Adam Lawrence

Vestavia Country Club in Birmingham, Alabama, in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, is planning renovations to its golf course.

The club has engaged Virginia-based golf architect Lester George to design the masterplan of renovations for the course, which is known for dramatically undulating greens, wide fairways and spectacular views.

Vestavia was originally designed by George Cobb in 1951. Renovations are planned for tees, greens, fairways, mowing patterns and bunkers on all 18 holes. “They have allowed us the freedom to conceptualise a golf course that will maximise the physical characteristics of the site and the spectacular views,” said George. “The course will also be environmentally sustainable.”

The club established a Long Range Architectural Golf Course Committee in 2006 to steer it through the complex process of renovating the golf course. The creation of the masterplan was the first part of a multi-step long-term plan. “Through our process, we interviewed almost a dozen architects of high national regard,” said Alan Coshatt, chairman of the Long Range Golf Course Planning Committee. “After careful examination, our decision to hire Lester George was probably the easiest and best move we made. His work on several high-profile historic layouts has drawn praise from the entire golf community. Lester presented not only the most creative design features for our course, but more importantly, how to implement a process where the plan is a success before it was even unveiled.”

Addressing the members’ individual and collective needs and desires for the course, George took care to create a masterplan that would be playable for all members, promote club membership, attract future events, maximise views, offer more strategic playing options, correct infrastructure deficiencies and increase the environmental sensitivity of the course.