Bergin completes restoration work at Chickasaw

  • Chickasaw

    The twelfth hole at Chickasaw Country Club, where architect Bill Bergin has completed a restoration project

  • Chickasaw

    The same hole prior to work commencing

  • Chickasaw

    Bergin was tasked to return the William Langford course to its historic roots

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Golf course architect Bill Bergin has completed a restoration project at Chickasaw Country Club in Memphis, Tennessee.

Chickasaw opened its 18-hole William Langford course in 1924. According to Bergin, the layout has been renovated several times over the years but this time the club wanted the project to return the design to its roots.

“The project included all new greens complexes, bunkers that matched the original style and new forward tees on every hole,” said Bergin. “Over 150 trees were removed as the canopies on some holes seemed to practically touch from one side of the fairway to the other.

“Langford’s work at Skokie and Lawsonia provided inspiration for the design. On the bunker faces at Skokie, material seemed to be dumped on the face of the bunker and allowed to ferment into its final form. The big angular slopes at Lawsonia were recreated on the fifth and tenth holes at Chickasaw. Angular grass-faced landforms can be found throughout the course and many were exposed, enhanced or added during the work.”

Read more: GCA’s initial coverage of the project includes a 1922 aerial photograph that Bergin used to shape his approach

“A conversion from bentgrass, that struggled through most Memphis summers, to TifEagle bermudagrass greens allows the surfaces to play fast and firm throughout the calendar year.

“Membership to this historic club increased through the year despite the closing of the course for the project.”