Golf Course Architecture - Issue 63, January 2021

27 TEE BOX Golf course architect Paul O’Brien, a partner at design firm (re)GOLF, died in December. Known for his warmth and good humour, and a popular and active member of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects, Paul’s legacy includes design work at Gowran Park and Naas Golf Club in Ireland. His career began as an intern for Jeff Howes Golf Design: “It was clear from the very first time I met Paul that he loved the game of golf and had a fantastic sense of humour. Those attributes never waned, in good times and bad,” said Howes. His colleagues at (re)GOLF, Jeff Lynch and Christian Lundin, said: “It is a massive loss to us as Paul always strived to make us better and more professional. He loved the game of golf and had a passion to help others. Our hearts are broken, and we will forever honour him and his passionate approach to work.” Paul O’Brien, 1968-2020 Crace completes bunker project for Tamahka Trails Nathan Crace has completed a renovation of the golf course at Tamahka Trails Golf Club in Marksville, Louisiana. The club is located at the Paragon Casino Resort and Hotel, which is owned by the Tunica Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana. The main aim of the renovation was to overhaul the bunkers – the club has been unable to host top state amateur golf tournaments for almost 15 years due to their condition. Crace oversaw the replacement of all drainage lines and sand, re-shaping to eliminate steep slopes, converting around 40,000 square feet of bunkers to grass, adding small pot bunkers to four holes, and implementing the Better Billy Bunker system. New forward tees allow the course to be played from a total as low as 4,000 yards, while other tees were added and repositioned throughout, including seven new championship tees that extend the maximum course length by 150 yards. “Tamahka Trails is the best kept secret in golf in the state of Louisiana,” said Crace. “There simply is no piece of property in the southern part of the state that has the unique topography and feel that this property has. With these new upgrades it should be on everyone’s must-play list, regardless of skill level.” Photo: Nathan Crace