Roosevelt course reopens following Richardson restoration

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  • Roosevelt course

    The nine-hole Roosevelt course in Griffith Park has reopened following a restoration

  • Roosevelt course

    Forrest Richardson has restored bunkers, green sizes and tees at the California municipal

  • Roosevelt course

    “The course doesn’t make you feel as if you’ve hiked the Alps, yet you become totally lost in the hills,” says Richardson

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

The nine-hole Roosevelt course in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, California, has reopened following a restoration completed by golf course architect Forrest Richardson.

Richardson worked with Heritage Links to restore bunkers, green sizes and tees as part of the eight-month project on the municipal course, as well as adding new forward tees.

Extensive irrigation work along with feature and landscape restoration has been completed by the city of Los Angeles’ Golf Division.

“Many people have learned to play golf at Roosevelt,” said Richardson. “Bringing the course back into shape as it once was, became a labour of love for those of us involved.”

Read more about the project from our article in February 2019.

Golf in Griffith Park dates back to 1914 and the architectural timeline includes work by Tom Bendelow and Billy Bell. The existing layout was completed in 1964 by landscape architect John Ward, who, it is thought, sought assistance from Billy Bell Jr.

“Whether the younger Bell had anything to do with Roosevelt remains a mystery,” said Richardson. “What we do know is that the course winds around the famous hillsides below the Griffith Park Observatory, and it does as a result of a great routing. The course doesn’t make you feel as if you’ve hiked the Alps, yet you become totally lost in the hills. It’s actually a great walk.”

Part of Richardson’s work was to open views to the city by working with the city’s forestry department. “Original photos show trees, but probably half as many and we inherited,” said Richardson. “As part of the project, the city now only removed dead and dying specimens, but added back many trees at the edges of the course to screen roadways and trails that serve Griffith Park.”

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