Chris Wilczynski nears completion of Blythefield renovation

  • Blythefield
    Chris Wilczynski

    The par-four eighth hole at Blythefield CC, which has been renovated by Chris Wilczynski

  • Blythefield
    Chris Wilczynski

    The renovation has included rebuilding all bunkers, with some repositioned

  • Blythefield
    Chris Wilczynski

    Work has also seen fairways widened and realigned, as seen on the ninth

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Golf course architect Chris Wilczynski is nearing completion of a golf course renovation at Blythefield Country Club, host of the Meijer LPGA Classic, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Wilczynski was hired in 2017 to develop a long-term master plan for the club that would respect the course’s history as a 1929 design by William Langford and Theodore Moreau, and prepare it for the modern game.

“We have been working to renew the course to what Langford and Moreau designed, with a modern approach,” said Wilczynski. “That includes bolder bunkers that are positioned at strategic angles to the intended line of play and wider playing corridors to provide options for golfers of all abilities.”

MacCurrach Golf Course Construction began renovation work in July 2020. “We choose MacCurrach for their talented workmanship and their ability and experience in completing large-scale renovation projects in a short period of time,” said golf course superintendent Collin Romanick. “They have exceeded all expectations!”

All bunkers have been rebuilt with Better Billy Bunker. Fairways have been widened and realigned, and Wilczynski has added tees to every hole to increase the range of total course yardage.

Work has also seen greens expanded to their original shapes and sizes, with new internal drainage systems installed on every green. “Improving the bunkers and better drainage of the greens will make for an improved experience for our members and better conditions and quality of play for the LPGA tournament,” said general manager Bob Crissman. “We needed this plan so that we can remain one of the premier golf courses in the Midwest.”

The renovation has also included the removal of several trees which, according to Wilczynski, has “opened the site panoramas, restored a cleaner look and created the width for each hole that Langford and Moreau intended.”

A new two-acre short game practice facility has also been built, along with a 12,000-square-foot putting green/course.

“We are thrilled with the transformation of the course”, said club president Jack Skoog. “Our relationship with Meijer has helped us put together a first-class project. This will be a great facility for our members, the LPGA, and the Meijer Classic. We took an aggressive approach to revitalising our golf course and have finally given this wonderful course its due!”