Keowee Key in Salem, South Carolina, is to reopen in August following a major renovation by golf course architect Richard Mandell.
The project includes new tee complexes, re-grassing of fairways and greens, rebuilding bunkers, fairway drainage and reshaping. Additional forward tees have added according to Mandell’s tee shot distance equity system.
Mandell has been involved with Keowee since 2003. He rebuilt greens and bunkers in 2006 and in 2014 guided the club through a renovation business plan process and completed a tree management plan for the course.
Construction for the recent project began on 1 January 2018 and was completed in November, despite record-breaking rains which created challenging work and grow-in conditions for long-time golf course superintendent Josh Sawyer and contractor Wadsworth Golf Construction.
“I am most excited for the members to see the new seventh hole, which we expanded and reshaped to minimise a strong right to left cross slope which unfairly kicked balls into a creek on the low side,” said Mandell.
“As part of that process, we widened the fairway to the right to open up an alternative landing area to that side in the second landing area of this par five. A pair of central bunkers cut into the slope defines both sides of that landing areas and helped transition the right to left slope to be more receptive to second shots.
“We also redesigned the approach into the green to feed bouncing wood shots onto the putting surface from the right side.”
Mandell said that members will also notice some shaping work that has been completed on the eleventh, as well as a fair amount of tree removal on the property. “It really is an infrastructure project,” he explained.
The course is currently growing-in and is expected to reopen in August.