Rockland Country Club in Sparkill, New York, has reopened its course following a comprehensive renovation overseen by golf course architect A. John Harvey.
Harvey’s master plan, approved in February 2019, called for the renovation or creation of 76 bunkers, a new green at the first hole and significant regrading on the first landing area and approach on the eighteenth.
The project was required due to a deterioration in quality over the 23 years since the last renovation, which was undertaken by Harvey while he was with the Roger Rulewich Group.
“At that time, the bunker liner industry was really in its infancy and incorporating liners in the construction was not even discussed at the time,” said Harvey. “Over time, bunker sand had become contaminated with sub-soils, drainage gravel and organic material. One important factor that the club wanted to address was deepening the greenside bunkers to allow more of a ‘blast’ shot from new lowered sand elevations to the green surfaces. We've been rebuilding the first green to soften the surface slopes to create more usable pin areas, while redesigning the eighteenth hole to promote enhanced strategic options off the tee and approach shots on this par five also help bolster aesthetics in an exciting culmination to a round of golf at Rockland.”
Harvey continued: “It has been really enjoyable working with Matt and the club again as we recaptured the spirit of the golf course with a delicate and sincere purpose to everything we did, setting the stage as a nice refreshing test of golf for the membership for years to come.”
Construction on the 2019-20 project began in late September.
Better Billy Bunker liner has been installed in all sand hazards.
“Prior to the installation of gravel on the approved bunker floor, the contractor sodded the surrounds of the bunker to help protect feature from stormwater erosion,” said Harvey. “Once the gravel was installed and the weather conditions were right for spraying, the contractor would spray the gravel floors. After adequate drying time, the specified bunker sand was installed and compacted to the depths determined by my plan.”
“Overall, I’m very pleased with the results. We’ve had a great team and a really wonderful partnership with the club with Matt Ceplo as the project owner’s representative, Turco Golf Course Construction and AJH Golf as the renovation architects. All the feedback that we’ve received to date from the pro Bobby Everett, board members and a few members has been very positive. Optically, the course is more visually stimulating!”
The course reopened on 1 April with only two pot bunkers on the eighth needing to have a PermaEdge bunker revetment system installed.
“As the project was winding down the course was still closed but enough bunkers were built that you could get a ‘taste’ of what things were going to look like,” said Ceplo. “You could walk around but not play. To be honest I was extremely surprised to see so many members taking the time to walk the entire course and look at the work being done. All the members commented on how good things looked and everyone loves the changes that John has made. Because of John’s design style and Turco’s attention to detail this has definitely brought a sense of excitement to the club.”