Renovation work gets underway on course at Kinloch Golf Club

Renovation work gets underway on course at Kinloch Golf Club
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

A renovation project is underway at the Kinloch Golf Club near Richmond, Virginia.

Originally designed by architect Lester George and design consultant Vinny Giles, the course at Kinloch opened in 2001. 

Having hosted the 2011 USGA Senior Amateur Championships, a master plan of improvements for the course was put together in 2014. The master plan addresses issues around strategy, aesthetics and playability on the course.

Both Lester George and Vinny Giles have been working alongside the club to help make the necessary changes in accordance with the master plan.

“The little tweaks we make each year require more thought and planning than I could have ever imagined, but it never ceases to be fun,” said Giles. “We are extremely proud of what we have created and will continue to make the minor improvements necessary to make Kinloch even better. Working with Lester on the original design and ongoing improvement plan for the golf course has been a real privilege.”

George explained that some features of selected holes will be rebuilt to offer more visibility and strategic options.

“New back tees will accommodate longer hitters, offer additional options for play, and help disperse divots,” he explained. “Repositioning the right fairway bunkers on the twelfth hole will increase the demand on the player and potentially alter driving strategy.”

Landscapes Unlimited is carrying out this phase of the work, which also consists of adding new walkways, cart bridges and tee boxes on holes three and six. Left greenside bunkers will also be added on the fifteenth hole.

Staff at the club have faced maintenance challenges in recent times due to foliage growth.

“A pine tree canopy over the fourth green was casting shadows at the exact time of day when the green needed sunlight for photosynthesis,” said Trevor Hedgepeth, golf course superintendent at Kinloch. “The select clearing was a delicate project because the tree line framed the fourth green beautifully. Lester George hand-picked the trees we removed so we could accomplish our agronomic objectives without damaging the overall look of the hole.”

Jonathan Ireland, Kinloch’s general manager, added: “We want to do everything within our power to provide our family of members a truly special club that exceeds their needs and expectations. Continuing to invest in golf course enhancements is a crucial component of what has come to be known as the Kinloch experience.”