Plantation Lakes opens new nine for play

  • Plantation Lakes
    Brian Fedish

    Plantation Lakes Golf and Country Club has opened its new second nine

  • Plantation Lakes
    Brian Fedish

    Hills Forrest Smith has incorporated classic template designs, such as the Biarritz green pictured here at sixteen

  • Plantation Lakes
    Brian Fedish

    …and a reverse Redan green on the fifteenth

  • Plantation Lakes
    Brian Fedish

    Holes ten and eleven (pictured) are located in a wooded floodplain, similar to holes seven-to-nine

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Plantation Lakes Golf and Country Club in Millsboro, Delaware, has opened its new second nine, designed by Hills Forrest Smith.

The first five holes opened in 2007, with work pausing after the recession. The first nine and the practice range were then completed in 2013. Grading work for the second nine began in July 2018 with detailed course work starting in spring 2019, overseen by McDonald & Sons.

“Similar to the original nine, the new holes are strategic and reward thoughtful play, but they also put a heavy emphasis on playability,” said Shawn Smith. “By providing width off the tee and open approaches to most of the greens, we were able to present players with a variety of options. This in turn makes the holes more fun and engaging and more memorable in the end.

“In a fun way, the new holes are a bit of a crash course in golf course architecture and template holes. We have renditions of the Short, Punchbowl, reverse Redan and a reachable par four with a Biarritz green. Combined with the other holes, the new nine should be a lot of fun to play.”

Read more: Shawn Smith spoke with GCA about the project during construction in late 2018

“One of the challenges of a project that spans a number of years is continuity and ensuring the character of the new holes matches those of the original nine,” said Smith. “We accomplished this in a variety of ways. First, holes ten and eleven are down in a wooded floodplain, similar to holes seven-to-nine, which creates a natural connection between the two nines.

“Secondly, when the course returns to higher ground on the twelfth, we took advantage of the sandy soils to create large waste areas similar to what is found on holes one-to-six on the original nine.

“Lastly, we rebuilt the bunkers on the existing nine in conjunction with the construction of the new holes, so we were able to create a consistent bunker style throughout.”

The bunkers were rebuilt using Capillary Concrete and modified to create an irregular sand line. Turf Drainage Company of America is assisting with drainage, while Golf Maintenance Solutions is helping to maintain the course.

“This is a truly exciting time for everyone at Plantation Lakes and we’re thrilled for the membership who have anxiously been looking forward to the completion of the second nine,” said Smith. “Having started this project almost 15 years ago, it will be especially gratifying to see the members play the new holes and discover the nuances of the design.”