Golf course architect Lester George has completed the first phase of renovation work at Aspetuck Valley Country Club in Weston, Connecticut.
“Our goal is to transform the golf course into a more strategic design, with bolder bunker styles and mowing patterns that aren’t so curvilinear,” said George. “We’ve also got to make the turf situation more sustainable, and in Lucas Lownes, we have one of the best superintendents I’ve worked with.”
Heritage Links began construction in October 2020, which involved regrading, working on bunkers and greens, and installing new drainage and irrigation. The first phase of work covered four holes and was completed in July.
“We chose to renovate the eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth holes first because they were the most poorly draining and least-liked holes on the back nine,” said George. “The greens were also relatively small, and the fairways simply could not stand the summer heat and the accompanying traffic.”
For work on the thirteenth, George cleared the hill and widened the fairway, giving players additional forward teeing options, and moved the green back and down the hill, creating a driveable 310-yard par four with two strategic options for play.
Doug Wright, vice president of strategic planning at Heritage Links, said: “Through the years, the club had completed several renovation projects with varying results. Because of that, there was a lot of pressure on the entire team to make sure this specific project was done well – and achieved the desired goals. Happily, the reopening of these new holes has been very, very positive. The club has already authorised Lester to start work on the next group of holes. Obviously, the club got it right – the right architect and clearly the right builder.”
Course photographer Evan Schiller, who lives just off the thirteenth fairway, said: “It has been a fascinating thing to watch, though I didn’t see much at first because they parked a giant pile of sand right in front of my house! My wife and I dubbed it Mount Lester. And that was part of what struck me most: the massive number of materials required for just four or five holes – all the sand, all the sod, all the piping and equipment. Then to see it all deployed and the holes grow in? An amazing process. The course is looking so much better already.”