Brian Schneider of Renaissance Golf Design has completed a restoration project on the seventeenth hole at Hollywood Golf Club in New Jersey.
Schneider has been working with the club since 2013 to restore Walter Travis’ 1918 design, largely focused on the wild and expansive bunkering. A special focus was given to the seventeenth, which was completely rebuilt from tee to green in 1998.
“Our goal for this project, and for all our work, has been to restore a wonderful Travis design as fully and precisely as possible,” said Schneider. “The original seventeenth was a remarkable hole, and its 1998 reconstruction was a great loss. The course is finally ‘whole’ again.
“The restored version is a monster, over 240 yards from the back tees to one of the largest greens on the course. The hole is ringed by eleven bunkers of all shapes and sizes, but a large fairway allows for a long, running approach. The green is bisected by a large central hump with a little shelf in the back-right corner and a deep fall-off along the left side. There is a great variety of hole locations that can each favour a different shot and those that miss the green will face a wide array of recovery scenarios.”
A huge new tee, shared with the fifth, has been built to offer more options in angle and length. “Combined with the ever-present sea breeze, the flexibility for set-up will offer tremendous variety from day to day,” said Schneider.
The club has also restored a tunnel through a large berm that separates the seventeenth green from the eighteenth tee. “Equipment manager Rich Cresci worked his magic with the tunnel to make it look like it’s been here all this time,” said Schneider. “Both berm and tunnel were part of Travis’ course and I give the club credit for including them in this restoration. It’s highly unusual but also wonderfully distinctive and will go a long way in re-establishing the unique character of the property.”
Work on the seventeenth began in early January 2021 with the hole reopening for play on Memorial Day weekend (29-31 May).
Hollywood Golf Club features in the July 2021 issue of Golf Course Architecture. For a printed subscription or free digital edition, please visit our subscriptions page.