Weibring-Wolfard Golf Design has completed a bunker renovation at WeaverRidge Golf Club in Peoria, Illinois.
Jim and Carol Ring and their daughter Vickie and son-in-law Kevin Brinkman, who own and run Metamora Fields Golf Club, purchased WeaverRidge in June 2019 with the aim of restoring it to its former glory as a top 100 public course. They hired Metamora Fields designers D.A. Weibring, a five-time winner on the PGA Tour, and partner Steve Wolfard, to develop a bunker renovation plan.
The duo was, however, delayed in starting work at WeaverRidge, first because of a 100-year flood event a few months after the acquisition, which caused several thousand dollars’ worth of damage.
“As we geared up to start in spring 2020, the pandemic hit, changing the way we would do business for the next two and a half years,” said Matt Rogers, general manager at WeaverRidge. “We were forced to make the tough decision to delay the bunker renovation and focus on smaller projects in the clubhouse. We opened a second restaurant featuring two aboutGOLF curved-screen simulators in fall 2021. The simulators have been a big attraction to golfers in the winter and has brought in much needed off-season revenue to the club.”
Dallas-based Fleetwood Services began bunker work in June 2022, reducing the overall bunker area from 145,000 to 58,000 square feet and adding Better Billy Bunker liner and OhioBest white sand.
“Our bunkers were holding together as good as you would expect those over 20 years old to do,” said Rogers. “D.A. and Steve’s plan was to focus on three things: playability, visibility and maintainability. The new design reduces the overall bunker square footage by a huge amount, although you wouldn’t know it.
“The old bunkers used to be deep, and most of them were no longer visible to the golfer. The new design allows for maximum visibility of the bunkers from all angles on the course.”
The rebunkering was completed in late November and the club has also undertaken irrigation and cart path upgrades. Director of agronomy Robert Bruce and his team will now focus on the course’s turf with plans to regrass areas in distress.