‘Golden Age’ feel to restoration work at Pelican Golf Club

  • Pelican GC

    The Better Billy Bunker construction method is being used across the course

  • Pelican GC

    The eighth green starts to take shape

  • Pelican GC

    The course is set to open for limited play later this year

  • Pelican GC

    Welling is looking to add a number of ‘Golden Age’ elements as part of the work

Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Beau Welling Design is overseeing a restoration project at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Florida. 

The project team is aiming to restore the ‘Golden Age’ aspects of the course, which was originally designed by Donald Ross and opened in the 1920s. The club was formerly known as Belleview Biltmore Golf Club.

Though a full restoration was deemed unfeasible after research due to a lack of historic records of the property, Welling has looked to create a course that is reminiscent of Ross’s era and includes many of his principles and styles.

“Pelican Golf Club has been a truly exciting project as we have had the opportunity to create a modern interpretation of a ‘Golden Age’ golf course,” said Beau Welling, president of Beau Welling Design. “The course is set in a beautiful park-like setting that we have updated, but our primary focus has been on recreating many classic stylistic elements while increasing overall strategy and playability.”  

As well as the ‘Golden Age’ elements of the project, Welling is aiming to create a course that is both challenging and fun to play, with many options and risk-reward scenarios.

Green contours are being altered and fairways are being widened to promote playability.

Bunkering will be renovated and changed to add strategy where suitable. Bunker will also be reconstructed using the Better Billy Bunker construction method.

Latitude 36, a relatively new strain of bermudagrass, will be introduced to the course’s fairways. Additionally, a new irrigation and storm drainage system will be introduced.

The course will open for limited play later this year.