Ron Kern completes first phase of Highland GC bunkering project

Ron Kern completes first phase of Highland GC bunkering project
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Golf course architect Ron Kern has completed the first phase of a bunkering project at the Highland Golf and Country Club in Indianapolis, US.

The work forms part of a masterplan Kern has developed for the club. The architect spoke to GCA about working on a project that is close to his heart.

“Highland is an important golf course in Indianapolis as it was originally routed by Willie Park Jr,” said Kern. “The greens and bunkers were designed by Bill Diddel, his first golf course work. Bill was my father’s mentor and I grew up watching Bill and my dad design and build golf courses and played golf with Bill until very late in his life.”

Ron’s father Gary Kern has designed courses across the American midwest, including Columbia Bridges GC in Columbia, Illinois, Pomme Creek GC in Arnold, Missouri, and Royal Hylands GC in Knightstown, Indiana.

Ron Kern’s list of course designs include Purgatory Golf Club in Noblesville and West Chase GC in Brownsburg, both of which are in the state of Indiana. He also remodeled the Evansville Country Club course.

With regards to the ongoing project at Highland Golf and Country Club, Kern said: “I reworked the bunkers completely, as the original design’s bunkers were taken out and replaced with contemporary bunkers in the early/mid 1990s. All of the new bunker work was accomplished with the greatest respect to the spirit of original 1919 design.”

Highland hosted the 1926 Western Open, won by Walter Hagen in the year of his infamous ‘feud’ with Bobby Jones. Highland hosted the 1945 Women’s Western Open, which was won by Babe Didrikson Zaharias.