Greg Martin begins renovation work at Park Ridge CC

  • Park Ridge
    Greg Martin

    The existing par-three twelfth at Park Ridge Country Club

  • Park Ridge
    Greg Martin

    …overlaid with architect Greg Martin’s planned changes

  • Park Ridge
    Greg Martin

    The existing long par-three seventeenth

  • Park Ridge
    Greg Martin

    …with Martin’s sketch showing the planned bunker work

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Construction work has started on the Greg Martin renovation of the Herbert Tweedie-designed golf course at Park Ridge Country Club near Chicago, Illinois.

Martin has developed a plan to update golf course features and refresh the playing strategy, with the project’s scope including bunkers, drainage, minor grading, limited green and tee expansions.

“There were a number of items on the club’s wish list, including bunker maintenance, downsizing, relevance, playability and bunker recovery after a rain event,” said Martin. “These were 20-year-old bunkers with flat bottoms and steep grassed faces with unmaintainable and unplayable slopes. There were some very interesting architectural characteristics and other that were ill-fitting. The intent was to consolidate, realign and regrade the bunkers and other nearby features to soften the edges, take advantage of landscape characteristics and make the golf course more golfer-friendly without removing its teeth.

“The golf course will be refreshed and invigorated. For most of the membership, there will be places to play away from hazards, but the course will hold up against the better players. Hazards will be more visible and less arbitrary. We will simplify the drainage systems to allow more rapid recovery.”

Construction was scheduled for the autumn, but the club decided to move it forward to make use of the golf course’s closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Wadsworth Golf Construction has started work on holes ten, eleven, sixteen and seventeen. Work on the back nine is expected to be completed by mid-June.

Better Billy Bunker liner is being installed in the course's bunkers.

“Depending on the next few weeks, it will be determined if work will continue to complete all 18 holes or suspend work until fall,” said Martin. “Right now, we have a plan to work until completion, keeping nine holes available if the club desires.

“Wadsworth Golf Construction has been quite flexible to accommodate work conditions and the change in work schedule. We are progressing at a good pace, and as spring weather subsides, our momentum will quicken. Early work looks great.”