Golf course architect A John Harvey is nearing completion of work on two of the nine holes at Milbrook Club in Greenwich, Connecticut.
New greens have been built for the par-four third and sixth holes as part of a master plan that the architect created in 2008, and has been progressing with since.
“The original third green had slopes averaging around five to eight per cent, rendering very few fair cup locations,” said Harvey. “The new green, constructed to USGA specifications, is 5,500 square feet, including the collar.
“The new green complex was initially designed with three flanking bunkers, on either side of the approach and one at about 10 o’clock to the green. However, the rock encountered at the rear of the green complex warranted prudent design decisions to be made, resulting in only two bunkers at the approach that accented the intent, without compromising the visual drama and strategic possibilities with the green platform. The rock outcropping at the rear of the complex was uncovered and exposed, creating a rather interesting rugged looking backdrop to the new green complex. The enlarged green and toned-down slopes of the new surface allow for an expanded variety of pin locations and putting options.”
Harvey worked alongside construction firm US Pitchcare and Milbrook’s golf course superintendent Rich Duggan on the work, which also involved the expansion of the sixth green, which is now back to its original size and shape. Completion of work on the third hole is pending completion of Better Billy Bunker lining and the addition of sand.
“The third hole has been a long-awaited improvement,” said Duggan. “The golfers and overall membership have supported the project from the beginning. Knowing the borderline unfair conditions the old third green complex presented, they were all excited once news was announced.
The work on the sixth green has brought back original pin locations as well as highlighting the design intent and the original support mounds shouldering the green surface.
“The sixth became a project of opportunity,” said Duggan. “With the third green expanding, we were always going to need more green sod from the beginning. The decision to purchase 100 per cent of the sod for hole three was made. This opened up the opportunity to repurpose the old putting green surface of the third onto the sixth.
“Due to the sixth’s green expansion being less invasive and being completed first, we were able to open the green for play in mid-November and, again, for the Thanksgiving weekend with great reviews. The surface managed play with no issues and has since been re-closed for the remainder of the season.
“When we first approached this project in early summer, John and I knew this was an opportunity and possible gateway into future club golf course projects,” continued Duggan. “Now that I reflect on the last couple of months, I would say John and I have put forth a high standard for all future project considerations.”