Elements of Stanley Thompson’s design set to be recaptured at Beechmont CC

Elements of Stanley Thompson’s design set to be recaptured at Beechmont CC
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Golf course architect Richard Mandell is working on a renovation plan at the Beechmont Country Club.

The club near Cleveland, Ohio, is home to a golf course designed by revered architect Stanley Thompson.

Mandell has carried out a series of projects at the club to date, and commenced drawing up the current renovation plan this summer. He spoke to GCA about the work he has done and what the implementation of the latest plan will bring to the course moving forward.

“I have been the architect of record there since 2012,” Mandell said. “That first year we completed a tree management plan. I have been a certified Arborist since 2008. That process yielded the removal of almost 1,000 trees over a four-year period. In 2013 we extended the tenth hole and redesigned the green complex. I utilised a 1938 aerial to replicate the greens complex. It is a par five, so I also added a fairway bunker to the corner of the dogleg in the second landing area. We also rebuilt the seventh tee box.”

Mandell began the latest renovation plan earlier this year, partaking in course walk throughs with members and staff and the club. The implementation of this plan is to commence in the coming weeks.

“We completed a tee complex concept for the club first as that is mostly on their minds,” Mandell said. “The club currently has five tee boxes ranging from 5,240 yards to 6,894 yards. They utilise two additional combo tee complexes as well. We will create as much tee shot distance equity as we can, which will at least include a tee complex in the 4,500 to 4,800 yard range.”

Mandell said a general goal of the plan is to try to recapture as much of Stanley Thompson’s work and style as is possible.

“I’ll do this by taking advantage of the 1938 aerial I used for the tenth green, as well as a 1952 aerial and further exploration of tee complexes,” he said. “Frankly, the 1938 aerial bunkers are very large and almost seemingly out of scale with the size of the greens. They also lack much cape and bay styling. Instead they are round, oval or kidney-shaped. There are also a few bunkers with grass islands in the middle. I wonder why they don’t seem like Thompson in character. But regarding their locations, many of them are set into natural rises that come in between shots, something he was known to do. This will require a bit more historical research –which I love – to confirm no one else was involved.”

Mandell added that the club also tentative plans for a tee complex project in the next year or so, which may include sand bunkers.