Hills Forrest Smith is continuing with a renovation of the course at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania, Ohio, a Sandy Alves design that originally opened in 1925 and now a regular stop for the LPGA tour.
The current phase, which includes the completion of the bunker improvements, is based on the overall master plan developed in the 2000s. It was spearheaded by the club’s golf course superintendent Greg Pattinson and head professional Nick Myers. It focuses on making the bunkers more impactful by improving their strategy and aesthetics.
“Many of the bunkers hadn’t been touched in decades, were out of play and had become tired,” said Shawn Smith of Hills Forrest Smith. “The bunkers on the fourteenth and seventeenth were rebuilt as part of smaller projects over the past 10 years, and hole nine and eighteen’s greenside bunkers were rebuilt as part of the practice range expansion project in 2016.
“The final phase of the bunker project includes 52 new or rebuilt bunkers, and we completed all but five holes [four, five, six, eight and fifteen] before the cold weather shut us down last fall. We started up again about a month ago, having completed the fourth and fifteenth thus far.”
The goal is to have the project completed by early June, so the maintenance staff has time to button everything up in time for the LPGA Marathon Classic. The LPGA announced last week that the tournament has been pushed back two weeks to 23-26 July as a response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The project has been continuing amid the global pandemic with both the maintenance and the construction crews operating with reduced staff and practicing social distancing.
Highland Meadows has been a regular venue on the LPGA Tour since 1989. “The new bunkers will only enhance what is already an outstanding golf course,” said Smith. “The strong grass faces of the new bunkers will provide definition and their new strategic positioning will encourage thoughtful play.”
“We have been fortunate to be able to keep the golf course open during construction so most of the members have already had a chance to see and play the bunkers that have been completed. One of the added benefits of keeping the course open has been watching the members excitement grow as the work progresses.”