Bethesda renovation aims for 'inspired and memorable golf experience’

  • Bethesda

    McDonald Design Group is renovating Bethesda Country Club near Washington D.C.

  • Bethesda

    Tee complexes will be changed to a traditional rectangular style

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

McDonald Design Group is in progress with a comprehensive renovation project at Bethesda Country Club in Maryland, near Washington D.C., designed to provide members with a “more inspired and memorable golf experience”.

The master plan of improvements involves work on tees, fairways and bunkers, with construction being handled by McDonald & Sons. Tanto Irrigation is installing a new course-wide irrigation system this winter.

“Our project focusses on improving the visual definition of the entire golf course,” said Joel Weiman of McDonald Design Group. “Currently, the ryegrass fairways and rough and the flat-bottomed bunkers provide very little visual definition for the player.

“With the aid of Better Billy Bunker liners, we are dramatically raising the sand lines on each bunker. These new bold sand faces are then directly bordered with fairway turf to maximise the contrast of the bunker sand. New pine straw beds are enhancing the periphery of the golf holes to again aid in creating visual definition.”

Weiman aims to create more interesting playing angles through selective tree work. “The current playing corridors are quite narrow, and the course only has five fairway bunkers,” he said. “Upon completion, the facility will feature additional fairway width defended by eighteen fairway bunkers in total, which will provide the player with a multitude of line-of-play options. The result will be a more fun experience for players of all skill levels.”

Tee complexes are being renovated to a traditional rectangular style, with the total yardage distribution between the sets of tees increasing by over 20 per cent.

“The renovation will also see us taking advantage of the relatively small facility footprint by melding adjacent golf features together through fairway grassing connections to create a unique sense of charm,” said Weiman.

“We are implementing a clean and ultra-manicured appearance throughout the golf course to provide a style unique to the Washington D.C. region.”

The course remains open during the renovation, which will be completed before the 2021 golf season.