Golf course architect Eric Iverson of Renaissance Golf Design is in progress with a project to renovate and regrass the entire course at Washington Golf and Country Club in Arlington, Virginia.
Iversen describes the project as more renovation than restoration. “The course evolved from a Donald Ross design on a surprisingly small amount of land, with lots of very short holes taking advantage, or yielding to, pretty severe topography,” he explained. “It was later expanded by William Flynn, with an additional 40 acres purchased by the club. That course remained essentially intact into the 50s, but at some point soon thereafter, Flynn’s version began to be undone by numerous renovations by the club.
“Many of the changes make it impossible to put the Flynn course back in its entirety, but the photos and aerial map of his course is our first point of reference when rebuilding the holes. We are not married to what we know to be his, because so much of the rest has been changed beyond recovery, but we are giving a nod to his style in building greens and bunkers.
“The entire property is being re-grassed, with new greens, tees and bunkers,” said Iverson. “There are a couple of routing changes involved to remedy what was clearly the worst hole on the course, the former par-five fifteenth.
“The real standout feature of the course is the topography. It’s a short course, somewhere between 6,300 and 6,400 yards even after we’ve stretched it out but configured in a way that makes it play much longer than that. It’s also pretty snug, but the hillsides keep wayward shots in check. It’s a short, very sporty course that we think will be even more fun once we’re done.”
Former intern-turned-architect Mike McCartin introduced Renaissance Golf Design to the project. “Mike began playing Washington in high school and has known the course intimately for a long time. He has been a tremendous help in the design process, and getting things built as well,” said Iverson.
Corey Haney, course superintendent at Washington, is helping to run the project and is also handling the agronomic details including turf types and soils management. LaBar Golf Renovations is the golf course contractor and Landscapes Unlimited is installing irrigation. Blake Conant is helping the design team with shaping.
The course closed in June 2018, with grassing expected to be completed by Autumn. The course is scheduled to reopen in Summer 2019.