Olympia Fields approves restoration of South course

  • Olympia
    Andy Staples

    A visualisation of Andy Staples’ plans for the par-three fifth hole on the South course at Olympia Fields

  • Olympia
    Courtesy of Olympia Fields

    Andy Staples’ work is based on a study of the club’s historic materials

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Members of Olympia Fields Country Club in Chicago have voted for work to proceed on a restoration of its South course by golf course architect Andy Staples.

The $4 million project will include bunker work, fairway expansion, reconfigured tees, new drainage, tree work, more naturalised areas of native rough, and the introduction of more short grass surrounds to the greens.

Staples, who conducted extensive study of historic materials from the club’s archive in developing his plans, aims to create firmer playing surfaces that are more conducive to a ground game and also enable the course to recover quicker after floods.

Read more: GCA spoke with Staples in April 2019 about his plans for the course.

Most of the holes on the South course are from Tom Bendelow’s original No. 1 course laid out in 1915. They were later redesigned by Willie Park Jr, who also laid out the club’s No. 4 course, now the North, which has hosted multiple major championships.

The work on the South course is expected to be conducted over two seasons, with a first phase beginning in autumn 2021, and the second phase in autumn 2022.