Golf Course Architecture - Issue 62: October 2020

34 PGA Tour player Zac Blair has acquired a site to create his own golf course located just outside the city of Aiken in South Carolina. Blair will co-design the course with design firm King-Collins, who will also supervise construction. The 407-acre property, described by architect Rob Collins as “sandy, rolling terrain and in the ‘don’t mess it up’ category”, is an existing tree farm. “When Zac and I first toured the property, the names he and I were thinking about were Pine Valley, Morfontaine and Pinehurst No. 2,” said Collins. “Given its current usage, the course will have trees on it, but we’ll clear out under the trees and we’ll have very natural transitions from fairway to unmaintained ground.” Collins confirmed that the course routing is basically by Blair. “Full credit for the routing goes to Zac. I drew what he laid out – an 18-hole golf course, clubhouse and some cabins,” the architect said. “But he is very aware that drawing a plan is just part of the battle – that’s why he hired us. We’ll collaborate with him to make sure we nail the details and fully implement his vision.” The site has around 60-70 feet of elevation change, and Collins said the Coore & Crenshaw restoration of Pinehurst No. 2 had provided a lot of inspiration for the design thinking on the Buck Club. Blair’s original plan to build the course in his home state of Utah had to be abandoned, as land and construction costs made it impractical to complete TEE BOX Zac Blair collaborates with King-Collins for Buck Club project in Aiken COURSE BLUEPR INT Many holes, like the first and fourteenth, have connected or shared fairways The course closes with a 265-yard par three followed by a 300-yard short par four