Golf Course Architecture - Issue 67, January 2022

The global journal of golf design and development I S S U E 67 J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2

of the earth...for the spirit.® ROBERT TRENT JONES II, LLC USA +1-650-475-0329 • gol f • A LEGACY OF INNOVATIVE RENOVATION Renovation of Vidauban Golf Club, (Formerly Le Prince de Provence) Vidauban, France. Visit our new website for updates on other recent openings and projects in development: Hole #17, Vidauban Golf Club, France | Photo: Courtesy of Vidauban Colf Club

1 WELCOME ADAM LAWRENCE Heath revival American golfers, for whom large-scale course renovations, often costing millions and seeing courses closed for a year to complete the works, are now relatively commonplace, often look askance at the way courses in the UK go about improving themselves. But there is much to be said for the British way of slow and steady. Golf in the UK has never been as big a money business as in the US, and so, for most British clubs, the thought of closing the course for a full year and spending seven figures on it is a complete impossibility. And it is notable that the very few ‘American-style’ renovations carried out in this country (I’m thinking about the recent projects at Loch Lomond and Chart Hills primarily; the work at Stoke Park following its recent acquisition by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani might fit the bill, but that project is so shrouded in mystery that no-one really knows what is going on) have been carried out at courses whose business model – one a recently sold proprietary club and the other a super-private luxury retreat – is a long, long way from the traditional members’ club. As the article on historic Woking GC in this issue explains, though, it does seem as though the Brits are starting to catch up with the Americans in terms of the ambition of their renovations. Woking’s ongoing work to enhance its heathland is, along with the current restoration of Addington by Clayton, DeVries and Pont, clear evidence that British golf clubs are serious about renovation. As we have said many times in GCA, heathland, the location of the first great inland golf courses ever built, is a fragile landscape that requires careful management if it is not to revert to poor quality woodland. Heath was a landscape created for grazing; once there are no more animals eating the tree seedlings, it needs greenkeepers to step up and do the job. So I applaud Woking, and Addington, for being brave enough to recognise that and embarking on major projects to allow the heathland to shine. And I congratulate the architects, course managers, owners and committees involved. I hope it sets a trend.


Great driving range facilities lie in the hands that build them. The industry has accepted the need for innovation to provide solutions for the many challenges it faces. Modern driving ranges require beautiful designs and ‘out of the box’ outfields to practice every shot imaginable, with a performance that ‘wows’ every golfer. Our Company leads the charge in engineered synthetic turf systems creating the perfect balance between exceptional performance and stunning visuals. Historically, the connection for people between synthetic solutions and beautiful driving ranges has been difficult to make…until now. We prove that our knowledge and skill coupled by our artistic passion makes it today’s reality. KEVIN HOLINATY President, Southwest Greens Construction. Driving Range Solutions +34 616 582 787 • • SWG Construction, construction arm for SWG International, a Division of Shaw, a Berkshire Hathaway Company Mastering the Art of Synthetic Turf Installations

ASIA’S LARGEST PRODUCER OF CERTIFIED TURF GRASSES Our new Zoysia grasses offer: • Outstanding playability • Stunning aesthetics • Low inputs = less fertiliser & mowing • Environmental friendliness = Less water & chemicals • Extreme salt tolerance Sports Turf Solutions is also a leading supplier of Floratine Products Group, Bernhard Grinders, Wiedenmann Turfcare Machinery, Trimax Mowers, Shibaura Machinery, Tru Turf Rollers, E-Z-GO, Durabunker and SandTrapper throughout South East Asia. Distinguished Zeon Zoysia projects include: Hoiana Shores Golf Club, Vietnam | KN Golf Links, Vietnam | Myotha National Golf Club, Myanmar Seletar Country Club, Singapore | Laem Chabang International Golf Club, Thailand | 99 East Langkawi, Malaysia West Lakes Golf and Villas, Vietnam | Parahyangan Golf Club, Indonesia | Plus over 20 more projects at various stages of development. +65 6484 3640 | Find us on:

PEFC Certi ed This product is from sustainably managed forests and controlled sources PEFC/16-33-576 Golf Course Architecture is published with the support and guidance of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, the European Institute of Golf Course Architects, and GEO Foundation. 7 ISSN: 1745-3585. Printed in Great Britain by Micropress Printers. © 2022 Tudor Rose Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be stored or transmitted or reproduced in any form or by any means, including whether by photocopying, scanning, downloading onto computer or otherwise without the prior written permission from Tudor Rose Holdings Ltd. Views expressed in Golf Course Architecture are not necessarily those of the publishers. Acceptance of advertisements does not imply official endorsement of the products or services concerned. While every care has been taken to ensure accuracy of content, no responsibility can be taken for any errors and/or omissions. Readers should take appropriate professional advice before acting on any issue raised herein. The publisher reserves the right to accept or reject advertising material and editorial contributions. The publisher assumes no liability for the return of unsolicited art, photography or manuscripts. It is assumed that any images taken from sources which are widely distributed, such as on the Web, are in the public domain. It is recognised though that since such images tend to be passed freely between sources it is not always possible to track the original source. If copyrighted material has ended up being treated as public domain due to the original source not being identified please contact the publisher, Tudor Rose. Toby Ingleton Publisher Benedict Pask Publication & Sales Manager Ritwik Bhattacharjee Circulation Stuart Fairbrother Production Manager Subscribe Tudor House, 6 Friar Lane Leicester LE1 5RA Tel: +44 116 222 9900 Published by Tudor Rose Adam Lawrence Editor Richard Humphreys News Editor Ryan Book Contributor Bruce Graham, Libby Sidebotham, Dhanika Vansia Design Chris Jackson Website Development ASGCA, Country Club at Castle Pines, Tripp Davis, Faldo Design, GCA, Harris Kalinka, Jaeger Kovich, Brian Laurent, La Zagaleta, The Legacy Club, Les Bordes, Letsche Golf Design, Jason Livy, McConnell Golf, Lukas Michel, Angela Moser, novoLGCA, Premier Aerials, Punta Mita, Rae Golf, Keith Rhebb, Forrest Richardson, Evan Schiller, SchmidtCurley Design, Scioto Country Club, Fabian Sixt, Jeremy Slessor, Soukaina Benchekroun/ Pixlove, Kahu Tataurangi, Tilander Golf Design, Verdura Resort, WAC Golf Photography

Designing for sweet afternoons down South — and everywhere else +1(407) 876-1068 Magnolia Course, The Landings / Georgia

SPONSORS 9 Arnold Palmer Design Company With a storied history of projects in over 37 states and 25 countries, Arnold Palmer Design Company senior architects Thad Layton and Brandon Johnson bring an unparalleled depth of knowledge, expertise and Mr Palmer’s influence to every project. Art Schaupeter Art Schaupeter offers full design services for both newbuilds and renovations of existing courses, working closely with his clients throughout the design and construction process. Atlas Turf International Atlas Turf International provides turf on a global scale as a worldwide distributor of the highest quality turfgrasses for golf courses and sports fields. European Golf Design European Golf Design was established in 1992 and is the golf course design company of the European Tour. Golf Course Architecture By Caspar By Caspar is the design firm of golf architect Caspar Bay Grauballe, whose aim is to help improve the beautiful game of golf by creating and refining exciting and spectacular golf courses. By Caspar aims to develop golf courses with a clear and unique signature – a signature that enables clubs to attract more players. Golf Optimum Golf Optimum’s Michel Niedbala has over 30 years of experience in golf course development worldwide. Golfplan David Dale and Kevin Ramsey have designed over 200 courses across the world, providing clients with market-oriented design solutions through an approach that is innovative, user-friendly, and environmentally and financially sustainable. Harradine Golf Donald Harradine founded the family’s golfing practice in 1929. Harradine Golf has designed, remodelled, constructed or supervised construction of 200+ courses in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Many have won awards and some host PGA tournaments. Hunter Industries Hunter Industries manufactures innovative irrigation systems and solutions. Family-owned and based in San Marcos, USA, it offers over 1,000 products including a spectrum of water-efficient solutions for golf, sport turf, commercial, residential and high-end irrigation systems. Kafka Granite Kafka Granite’s most popular solution for golf courses is its Wax Polymer Pathway Mix. This resilient, nonerosive wax coated aggregate can create an aesthetically pleasing, durable, and dustless pathway. ProGolf ProGolf is a boutique golf course construction company with international experience, building some of the world’s finest courses for some of the industry’s most selective clients. The firm takes pride in being personally involved in every project. Pure Seed Pure Seed is the global leader in turfgrass genetics. With award-winning plant breeding, Pure Seed is dedicated to developing the world’s best turf varieties. Rain Bird Since 1933, developing and manufacturing innovative irrigation products has been Rain Bird’s sole focus. Rain Bird Service Team’s sole focus is irrigation and water conservation. We call it The Intelligent Use of Water. Robert Trent Jones II With headquarters in Palo Alto, California, Robert Trent Jones II Golf Course Architects is a global golf design firm that has created more than 275 courses in over 40 countries on six continents.. Southwest Greens Construction The official construction arm for Southwest Greens International, responsible for all major golf course construction projects. The Southwest Greens product is the preferred putting surface for more than 40 professional golfers on the PGA and LPGA Tours. Sports Turf Solutions Sustainable Turf Farms is a subsidiary company of Sports Turf Solutions and is the largest producer of certified turf grasses in South East Asia. Tee-2-Green For over 50 years, Tee-2-Green has led the field with game-changing bentgrass like Penncross, the A’s and G’s, and Pure bents. We set the standard for quality and purity with groundbreaking varieties bred to improve playability, resist disease and tolerate extreme conditions. Toro The Toro Company provides innovative, efficient solutions to help homeowners and turf care professionals worldwide enrich the beauty, productivity and sustainability Whitman, Axland & Cutten Whitman, Axland & Cutten (WAC Golf) is an international design-build practice with more than 90 years of collective experience specialising in thoughtful, field-driven solutions. Arnold Palmer Design Company

11 MA I L BOX Dear Editor Bifurcation. Who uses the term outside of science and golf? Just whisper bifurcation in a golf setting and the room ignites. Golf ’s bifurcation proposes to resolve a gap in player expertise by adjusting the specifications of the equipment based on how that equipment is used. If you are a tour pro or high level competitor, perhaps your ball will travel a little less far than the ball used by players in a Saturday skins game. This is proposed to tighten the professional field of competition while enhancing the recreational player’s golf experience. We already bifurcate in golf architecture. We are uniquely able to offer the casual player the opportunity to play the same venue as the world’s top professionals via design and architecture. Golf courses are configurable in ways that allow for the delivery of recreational entertainment and stiff ‘competition’ within the same footprint. John and Jane Doe-Public cannot wander onto Wembley Stadium or Lambeau Field in Green Bay and spark up a game. In our game, anyone with the green fee is free to play multiple iconic places such as the Old Course at St Andrews, Pebble Beach, Bandon Dunes, and other championship venues. Golf bifurcates some of its best playing fields to enhance the experience of all skill levels of player. With the joy of bifurcation comes opportunity and responsibility. We don’t know how long the golf boom is going to last but if golf is to leverage and extend the glow, it should focus on consistent delivery of excellent experiences across golf ’s largest point of entry, the public golf course. The time is now to imprint positive golf experiences in the minds of new golfers of all abilities, demographics and genders. If you are selling more rounds than ever, tune up your architectural features and conditioning. Continue to force excellence into the municipal sector. Cobb’s Creek in Philadelphia, the multiple programmes housed at Houston’s Memorial Park, investments in the Forge by the city of Bettendorf, and the Wee course at North Berwick are all showing the way to celebrate the positive quality of life aspects of publicly accessible golf. Golf ’s bifurcation of accessibility is fantastic and unique. Its benefits are magnified when with a focused effort to deliver great golf and conditioning. In closing, if all countries of the world remain free of pandemic-enforced lockdowns, and as long as we are up and running, let’s keep the newcomers and returnees with a commitment to use the spoils of the boom to fix bad golf and expand the good. Vaughn Halyard Milwaukee, Wisconsin We are delighted to receive letters from readers, and the best in each issue will be rewarded with a golf shirt. Send to 6 Friar Lane, Leicester, LE1 5RA, UK, or email us at Sandy was in Portugal last time out, on the par-five sixth hole of the RTJ II-designed Atlântico course at Penha Longa outside Lisbon. A number of eagle-eyed readers figured it out, but congratulations to Christopher Mack Fisher, who was first out of the hat – the shirt is on the way. It’s back to his favourite habitat, the links, for Sandy in this issue. Golf has been played over this land for the best part of 200 years, though the club that now controls it celebrated its 150th birthday quite recently. As ever, if you know the hole, and you’d like one of our sought-after GCA golf shirts, email your entry to, GOPHER WATCH

13 58 Adam Lawrence pays a visit to Les Bordes in France, which has recently opened its Gil Hanse-designed New course 64 We report from Woking in England, where superintendent Andy Ewence and architect Tim Lobb are overseeing a heathland transformation 70 Verdura Resort in Sicily has worked with Kyle Phillips to reimagine its two courses after extensive flood damage 76 We hole out on this issue with a look at a dramatic new putting course at a Colorado club 14 This issue’s Tee Box opens with news of Andrew Green’s renovation of Scioto, and includes reports of recent projects from around the globe 44 Are fescue grasses the ideal choice for areas between holes? Ryan Book considers the example of Laurel Links, where they have taken an alternative approach 48 We speak with six young golf course architects to find out how their careers began and what they consider to be the keys to developing a career in the industry CONTENTS ON THE COVER The sixth hole at Woking Golf Club in England. Read more on page 64. Photographed by: Jason Livy

Andrew Green has completed work at Scioto Country Club in Upper Arlington, Ohio, that focused on restoring the design intent and interest of the course that was originally designed by Donald Ross in 1916. “The course has always held its original Donald Ross routing and hole sequence but lost a great deal of its uniqueness when Dick Wilson and his team renovated all the greens and bunkers in the early 1960s,” said Green. “In the process, a great amount of fill dirt was brought from the state house parking garage. This soil was used to elevate every putting surface and reshape a good deal of the natural topography. The results of this work reduced the elements of the ground game and transformed the course into a more modern presentation.” Green’s goal was to bring back the originality and variety of the 1916 design, which played host to the 1926 US Open and the 1931 Ryder Cup. “Every green has been lowered back closer to its original grade – where only soil from the immediate area was utilised to create the golfing elements,” said Green. “The relationship between the ground and golf has been reintroduced and now the golf course will ask the player to execute a range of shots – it also provides a wealth of options for all skill levels to enjoy the game.” One primary resource for the renovation was a 1920s drawing by Ground game comes to the fore at Scioto 14 Andrew Green completes renovation of Ross design in Ohio TEE BOX NEWS EDI TOR : R I CHARD HUMPHREYS

15 Green has reconnected the putting surface on the par-five eighth to the water along the left side Photo: Brian Laurent

PGA REACH is the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America For more information or to donate, visit PGA JR. LEAGUE is a game changing opportunity to bring family and friends together around fun team golf experiences. PGA WORKS leverages fellowships, scholarships, career exploration events, and the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship to inspire and engage talent from diverse backgrounds to pursue key employment positions across the golf industry and beyond. PGA HOPE introduces golf to veterans with disabilities in order to enhance their physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being. © 2021 PGA OF AMERICA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. PGA REACH IS A TRADEMARK OWNED BY THE PGA OF AMERICA. IMPACTING LIVES THROUGH GOLF

17 cartoonist Dudley Fisher Jr, titled ‘As the Dodo Bird Views the Scene of the National Open Championship 1926’. “It is stunning in its detail and relevance,” said Green. “We know he utilised an aerial photo or an actual trip up in a plane to create the image. It does a great job of laying out the shapes and positions of the critical golf features. In overlaying the drawing on a modern aerial, we were able to confirm the work as authentic, as the spatial relationships worked out beautifully. This became our guiding document, as we did not have any drawings from the hand of Donald Ross. We paired this dodo bird drawing with photos from the air and ground. “History was a primary focus of the green complexes – shapes, sizes and surrounding elements. Fairway bunkers and other features along the line of play were inspired by history but situated to make the modern player think. We had very few historic documents for the green contours. We used a few photos from the 1931 Ryder Cup programme to aid in the development of the green slopes and concepts, but a good portion of this work was interpreted and developed from what each hole was asking the player to accomplish.” With contractor McDonald & Sons, all tees have been levelled or rebuilt using existing greens mix, while fairways were adjusted to widen Image: Scioto Country Club A 1920s drawing by Dudley Fisher Jr proved to be a valuable resource for Andrew Green’s renovation Green slopes and contours now better reflect what Ross’s original design intent Photo: Brian Laurent

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19 landing zones. All bunkers were rebuilt with liners from Better Billy Bunker, and to ease access. Approaches have been capped with greens mix and have internal drainage, while a new irrigation system, designed by Mike Kuhn, has been installed by Leibold Irrigation. Green was also assisted by Scioto’s course superintendent Bob Becker and his staff throughout the project. “The player will find the golf course to be a very interesting and dynamic golf experience,” said Green. “Each hole and green complex will ask a different golfing question and provide such a wealth of variety that was not part of the previous version. The reintroduction of unique elements on the par threes will make them stand out, including the restored version of the Postage Stamp seventeenth green. This hole was written about a great deal leading up to the 1926 National Open and was often considered a great part of the lore of the club.” Chris Brooks, green committee chair and project leader for Scioto, said: “One of the things that stand out was Andrew’s ability to recapture some of Donald Ross’s quirkiness and early architectural features while still being mindful of the modern game as seen in the placement of remnant bunkers, cross bunkers and hummocks. I also feel like Scioto now has one of the strongest sets of par threes anywhere in the country. “The reaction from the membership has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s been especially interesting to see some of our members’ viewpoints and opinions change as the project progressed throughout the year. I feel confident that the level of excitement will continue to rise among our members and golfing community once we are open for play in 2022.” Photos: Brian Laurent Bunkering (as pictured at the sixteenth and, right, eighteenth) has been renovated with one eye on history and the other on the modern game

20 TEE BOX The newly opened Tīeke Golf Estate course near Hamilton, New Zealand, was designed by Brett Thomson and Phil Tataurangi. This photograph by Kahu Tataurangi shows the new ninth hole in the centre, with the parthree third (left) and the eleventh (right) alongside the river. Tīeke was established following the merger of two clubs, Lochiel and The Narrows, and NZ Transport Agency’s subsequent decision to build a new expressway through the site of The Narrows course. With a sale agreed for The Narrows’ land, the club has reinvented itself around a complete redesign of the Lochiel course. “The rerouting enabled a simpler and more instinctive flow to the order of the holes,” said Tataurangi. “The old jinked and jived a bit and in doing so had a few awkward holes and transitions. “We now have an interior front nine and an exterior back nine. A handful of new holes were created to enable this but being alongside New Zealand’s longest f lowing river, The Waikato, we could reveal this to golfers later in the round, making it a more memorable experience. “The ninth is one of several holes that plays down through 50-yard-wide valley corridors. It’s a medium-length par four on which, despite all the sandy waste around the tees, hitting the fairway is not as challenging as it appears. We extended short grass as far as we could up the escarpments to enable as much play as possible from short grass. There’s a slight turn to the right with the approach but we pulled the green down into the valley, providing a gathering or ‘members bounce’ from the left side for the running ball.” Read more about the Tīeke Golf Estate course on the GCA website THE B IG P I CTURE

Photo: Kahu Tataurangi 21


The Costa Navarino destination in the south-west of Greece will open two new golf courses, created by Olazábal Design, in February. The 6,961-yard International Olympic Academy course and the 6,867-yard Hills course are part of the Navarino Hills development at Costa Navarino, joining layouts by European Golf Design and Robert Trent Jones II to give the resort a total of four courses. “Our brief was to create two eighteenhole golf courses and state-of-the-art practice facilities that blend seamlessly with the wonderful surrounding macchia/garrigue Messinian nature,” said Olazabal Design lead architect Toni Ortner. “We drew inspiration from the already existing Dunes and Bay courses as well as from tree-lined heathland courses such as Sunningdale Old and Liphook. Instead of the well-draining sandy turfs of typical heathland courses we faced heavy clay on top of rock on the Hills site. “Existing rock walls and rock outcrops have been incorporated in the design. Virtually every hole is played in splendid and beautiful solitude, and in harmony with nature. There will be subtlety, a part of drama and a richness of the one fundamental ingredient: pleasurable excitement.” Both new courses overlook the Bay of Navarino and offer panoramic views of mountains, valleys and the Ionian Sea. “The setting at Navarino Hills is one of the most spectacular that I have seen,” said José María Olazábal. “The characteristics of the site are wonderful for golf, and it surely ranks among the most beautiful properties we have ever had the chance to work on. “The International Olympic Academy golf course is the longer and tougher of the two. It’s more compact and, in style, different to the Hills course, which is set in the valley and has more room, especially off the tee.” A new clubhouse, located between the two new courses, has recently been completed, and the Navarino Hills practice facilities will include a driving range with capacity for 60 people and a short-game area. Costa Navarino prepares for opening of new Olazábal courses The International Olympic Academy golf course offers views over the Bay of Navarino and the Ionian Sea, as seen here on the par-three twelfth Image: Fabian Sixt 23

24 Development group Cabot has acquired World Woods Golf Club in Brooksville, Florida, and will transform the property as part of a major redevelopment. The 45-hole public facility will be renamed Cabot Citrus Farms and its two 18-hole courses, Pine Barrens and Rolling Oaks, and nine-hole par-three layout, all designed by Tom Fazio in the early 1990s, will be completely renovated, beginning with the par-three layout, putting green and practice facilities. “I couldn’t wish for a better location for our first US development,” said developer Ben Cowan-Dewar. “The property is a nature lover’s paradise that rivals the most spectacular sites I’ve seen across the world.” Architects have not yet been chosen, but a decision is expected to be made by the end of March, with Cabot intending to select a separate designer to work on each course. The facility, which will continue to remain open for play and operate as World Woods until June, when it will close for around 18 months while renovations take place. The developer also plans to build accommodation, a new clubhouse, shops, restaurants, a spa, fitness centre and a farmer’s market. Cabot’s growing portfolio of destinations includes Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, Cabot Saint Lucia, which will open in late 2022, and Cabot Revelstoke in British Columbia, which is expected to open in 2024. Cabot acquires WorldWoods and plans redevelopment TEE BOX Photo: Evan Schiller

25 Schmidt-Curley Design has developed a renovation plan for Wildcreek Golf Course in Washoe County, Nevada. Originally an 18-hole course by Phelps Benz & Associates, until a large portion was used for a new high school, Wildcreek is now nine holes and has been transferred to First Tee’s Northern Nevada chapter, with Mazz Golf Management in charge of operations. Curley says his new design, which he hopes will enter construction in 2022, will not bear any resemblance to the current layout. “Apart from three corridors, the rest are new holes on land not previously used, or playing over old golf terrain at a different angle,” said Curley. “The change is substantial.” The new course will be a par 34 of 3,200 yards, with an emphasis on walkability achieved through simple green-to-tee connections. “The course works its way up to a higher elevation with commanding views of downtown Reno and then descends back to the clubhouse,” said Curley. “This begins at the sixth, a par four featuring a dramatic drop shot to a half-hidden but wide landing area. “There will be an emphasis on solid, visually stunning golf holes that feature ‘find-your-ball’ turf areas before transitioning to native in a welcoming manner to speed pace of play. Bunkering will be visually evident but not too extensive or penal.” Curley’s plan also calls for a new 1.5-acre putting course, some renovations to the executive course, a new double-ended driving range and an extensive short game area. Schmidt-Curley draws up new plan for Wildcreek course The sixth will play from an elevated tee towards a wide but slightly hidden fairway Image: Harris Kalinka Image: Schmidt-Curley Design

26 TEE BOX GCA spoke with Lassi Pekka Tilander about his new par-three course for Rae Golf near Tallinn, Estonia “ Players will be able to get very creative out there” THE INTERV I EW with Lassi Pekka Tilander How has this opportunity come about? The idea of a short course was part of a development plan I created in 2017. A good amount of land was left close to the clubhouse and for the new owner, it was important to have facilities that attract new golfers. Somehow the f lat, treeless and compact area reminded me of the Himalayas putting course at St Andrews. During golf architecture studies, we spent hours studying its forms and soul. This led to the idea to make the course look like a huge putting green. Tilander recently created a new par-three eighteenth hole with an island green for the club’s main course Photo: Tilander Golf Design

27 The short course project follows the various renovations we completed on the club’s 18-hole course in 2019, including the new eighteenth hole, new ninth green, two new practice greens, new short game area, and new driving range. What can golfers expect from the short course? We’ll have holes varying between 70 and 260 metres. This makes it a good option for beginners as well as for those who do not have the time to play the 18-hole course. Our plans call for natural grass greens that will be around 310 to 450 square metres in size. Teeing areas will have a hybrid artificial turf mat, with players also having the option to play from a grass tee. The six-hole course gives a good test for golfers at all levels. A ball can be kept in play easily – even with a putter – but good scoring will require soft hands and precise strategy. What is the timeline for the project? Construction began in early December with heavy earthworks to be undertaken this winter and finishing work will start in spring. The course will be open for play for the 2023 season. The main contractor is Modo Golf from Riga, Latvia. Their latest work has included my Tbilisi Hills project in Georgia and Nicklaus Design’s Jurmala project in Latvia. What makes the project special? Although there will be marked holes on the course, if the situation allows, players will be able to get very creative out there. A fun golfing experience is ensured by short-cut surfaces and strong shaping of the entire area. A sand and peat mixture covering all playing areas will guarantee optimal playability in all conditions. In Baltic countries golf is still a very young sport and an 18-hole round is seen as the only way to practice. A golf course like this can really be an eye-opener. Image: Rae Golf

TEE BOX 28 Whitman, Axland & Cutten (WAC Golf) has completed the first phase of a renovation project at Brantford Golf & Country Club in Ontario, Canada. The club commissioned WAC Golf partners Rod Whitman and Keith Cutten in 2018 to study its course and recommend renovations. Their proposals focus on improving infrastructure, ensuring the course is fit for modern players, and bringing back a look and feel that celebrates the original design style. Brantford was laid out by Thompson, Cumming and Thompson – a partnership of brothers Stanley and Nicol Thompson and George Cumming, the head professional of Toronto Golf Club – in 1919, following the purchase of land to expand the historic club’s nine-hole course above the Grand River. A major renovation by Robbie Robinson in the 1960s included some rerouting, new greens and the addition of fairway bunkers. “In combination with holistic irrigation system upgrades by the experienced Tim Fredericks, WAC Golf ’s plan focuses on improving the quality, playability, continuity, sustainability and maintainability of the golf course,” said Cutten, adding that the work comprises “a thoughtful combination of green expansions and surrounds upgrades, improved mow lines and angles of play, and additional teeing areas. “Furthermore, a bunker style more consistent with the course’s design pedigree will be restored. The strategic value of the bunkering scheme will be greatly enhanced, yet they will be more maintenance friendly and accessible for golfers, plus the visual impact of bunkers will be heightened.” The first phase of WAC Golf ’s work has focused on rebuilding greens and bunkers at the sixth (pictured, below), sixteenth and seventeenth holes, which the architects felt were the most flawed. Work will continue in 2022 and is expected to be complete in autumn. Image: WAC Golf WAC Golf renovation to bring original design character back to Brantford Photo: WAC Golf

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New bentgrass delivers firm and consistent greens for Raleigh CC Raleigh Country Club in North Carolina is enjoying positive feedback after becoming the first golf club to introduce the new Pure Eclipse creeping bentgrass exclusively from Pure Seed, powered by Tee-2-Green, on its greens. “It was risky, but we wanted to be trendsetters,” said the club’s longstanding superintendent Billy Cole. The new surfaces were introduced as part of a 2020 renovation overseen by Kyle Franz that, in addition to expanding and resurfacing greens, included work on bunkers, the irrigation system, tree removal, and new tees to add length to the course. “RCC greens are well known as being very demanding and I am highly confident that our reputation will remain in place,” said John McConnell, president and CEO of McConnell Golf, which purchased the club in 2003. Cole selected Pure Eclipse following several visits to the Pure-Seed Testing East facility in Rolesville, North Carolina, to view bentgrass trials. He says the membership likes the firm, consistent surface of Pure Eclipse and he’s able to mow it low. “Management-wise, I can only build on the foundation of the great genetics of this bentgrass,” he said. “I look forward to seeing how it performs as it matures in years to come.” “The new greens at RCC were seeded beginning in the late spring 2020, through late July,” said Cole. “The grow-in went well and the first year has been very successful.” Photo: McConnell Golf TEE BOX 30

w w w . b y c a s p e r . c o m T e l . + 4 5 2 6 1 4 3 4 3 4 c a s p a r @ b y c a s p a r . c o m Creating and Refining Classics of the Game “Having been brought up and lived most of my life in Denmark I have been influenced by many of the great Danish designers and architects integrating functionality and aesthetics. Combining this with a strong inspiration from the links courses I have worked on creates fun and practical golf courses I design with a strong passion for getting the absolute best possible solutions for my clients - fair, fun, and sustainable golf courses. My mission is to develop golf courses with a clear and unique style that enables the clubs to attract more players”. Caspar Bay Grauballe

32 El Caballero Country Club in Tarzana, California, has reopened its golf course following a nine-month restoration project by Rees Jones. All turfgrass on the 18-hole El Cab layout has been replaced with hybrid bermuda grass that, alongside the expansion of native landscaping areas, will save the club more than 35 million gallons of water per year, a 30 per cent decrease. Jones and his design associate Steve Weisser sought to retain the challenge originally laid out by Robert Trent Jones Sr, while adapting the course to modern players, equipment and maintenance practises. “Steve and I looked at every feature and made decisions on what we should modestly change, dramatically change and what we should just leave alone,” said Jones, in a panel discussion to celebrate the course’s grand reopening. Comparing the restored course to his father’s original design, Jones said: “I think our green contours are much like how my father would have intended: sections, with contours and sweeps. But some of the harder holes don’t have severe contours, so it’s a change of pace, whereas I think my father built tough contours in his greens on every hole. Green contours are what the members will find different, probably more manageable. The green speeds when my dad worked here in the 1960s were around six or seven on the Stimpmeter. Now they will be around nine-and-a-half to 12, so you have to really consider the contours of greens when you restore a golf course like this.” Construction work, which was completed by contractor Wadsworth Golf and lead shaper Steve Crotty, included some tree removal, regrading fairways, repositioning bunkers and redesigning all greens. The total length of the course has increased to just over 7,000 yards. Jones highlighted changes that were designed to make the layout more playable. “We opened the entrances to a lot of greens because we wanted to allow, for the player that doesn’t hit the ball very far, a better chance to access the greens.” El Caballero restoration expected to make 30 per cent water saving TEE BOX “ There are a lot of minor changes that make a big difference”

33 The design team’s work on bunkers focused on playability and improving access, so members are able to walk more easily into them. The intention was to still present the same degree of difficulty, but without them being quite as deep. “Members will still recognise the course but there are a lot of minor changes that make a big difference, and there are some major changes like the sixth and tenth greens that are dramatically better and receive shots more readily,” said Jones. “The tenth hole was really tough; you’d hit the right side of the green and your ball would disappear. We added a lot of fill to the left side of that hole, now you can hit short, there’s a bailout area, there’s a little pocket before the bunker, and now we’ve got this upsweep at the back of the green. El Cab is now quite different from other California courses because of these backboards and sideboards that we’ve introduced.” “The course’s redesign will give players a state-of-an-art experience, providing them with the tools they need to improve their skill level,” said head golf professional Tasha Bohlig. “We are excited to relaunch El Caballero and position our championship golf course for the future, especially in light of recurring drought conditions in California and the need to be a responsible environmental leader in the golf community,” said general manager Phil Lopez. “Now more than ever, we all need a sense of community and shared experiences to sustain us during these challenging times. We know our members feel that at El Cab.” The green on the par-four fifth has been expanded to provide a tricky new back-left pin position, while new bunkering leaves space for ground-game approaches Photos: Premier Aerials

35 When Michel Niedbala found himself, like most golf architects, spending more time at home than usual because of pandemic travel limitations, he took the opportunity to put pen to paper and spell out (in both his native French and English) what is effectively a manifesto for his personal philosophy of golf course design. The resulting self-published book, illustrated with sketches, plans and photography of his projects (as well as his painting of rock legend Jim Morrison!), is a fascinating perspective on one man’s approach to the craft. As the title suggests, Niedbala’s core pledge is one of balance between golf and our natural environment. He delivers a strong argument for the positive impact of golf, on the planet, our society and culture. “In my view, every project ought to be a place of innovative social experimentation,” he writes. In the section of the book devoted to the new Le Golf De Roissyen-France course in Paris, a project we profiled in the January 2020 issue of GCA, we see how these principles have been applied in practice, to create a public golf course with the aim “to reach out to all social and economic sectors of the population”. Niedbala says: “There is much more to what we are doing than simply laying out a golf course.” His book gives us a compelling insight into what that is. €75 plus shipping To order, contact Michel Niedbala at: Golf Course Architecture is the Art of Embracing Nature GOOD READ Construction has started on the new Seven Mile Beach golf course in Hobart, Australia, for tour professional Mat Goggin’s development group, The Golf Preserve. Mike DeVries is co-designing the 18-hole layout with Mike Clayton, and will be on site for the next six months. “The reveal of the site without trees has reaffirmed my suspicions of its greatness,” he said. “The diversity of the landscape combined with the views and intimacy of the routing will make for a compelling and lasting golf course.” Construction and seeding will continue during 2022 with the opening set to take place in 2023. “Walking over the site in its cleared state and seeing the holes from tee to green has confirmed our hopes,” said Clayton. “This is the rarest and most beautiful of sites. I am convinced that it can be worked into a truly worldclass course.” Construction begins on Seven Mile Beach Co-designers Mike DeVries (left) and Mike Clayton ponder design decisions on the Seven Mile Beach site Photo: Lukas Michel

The difference between getting the job done and getting it done right usually comes down to something simple: Like adding a Tee-2-Green interseeding program to your aerification routine. It’s fast, cost-effective—and it can be worked in each time you aerate without any downtime. Increasing playability and sustainability with less stress has never been simpler. Learn more at interseeding IF ONLY EVERY DECISION WAS THIS SIMPLE. | BENTGRASS. IT'S ALL WE DO.

37 Members of Medinah Country Club near Chicago, Illinois, have voted to approve a renovation of its #3 course by OCM Golf, the Australian design firm led by Geoff Ogilvy, Mike Cocking and Ashley Mead. Their proposals aim to ref lect the best elements of the course’s history and current layout, while widening fairways and significantly rerouting the closing stretch. Four of the final six holes will play along or across Lake Kadijah. These include an entirely new par-three thirteenth hole (pictured) alongside the lake, a short par-four sixteenth where golfers will cut off as much of the lake as they dare, and new seventeenth and eighteenth holes. This work will also free up space for a six-hole short course, The Camel Trail, close to the clubhouse. OCM will also address the course’s infrastructure, with the aim of enhancing playing conditions and supporting professional tournament operations. The renovation “encapsulates a continuing vision to provide compelling tournament play and a world-class golf experience for members, guests, and the professional tournament player,” said William Kuehn, club president. The #3 course was originally designed by Tom Bendelow and redesigned by Rees Jones. It has hosted three US Opens, in 1949, 1975 and 1990, two PGA Championships, in 1999 and 2006, and the Ryder Cup in 2012. “We feel incredibly humbled and honoured that the Medinah Country Club membership voted in favour of our plan,” said Cocking. “It’s a huge sign of confidence that the members are as excited with our concept as we are, and we can’t wait to get planning started in 2022.” Construction work will begin in late 2022 so the course can reopen in 2024, allowing the club to prepare for its hosting of the Presidents Cup in 2026. OCM gets go-ahead for Medinah #3 renovation Photo: Harris Kalinka A visualisation of OCM Golf ’s proposed par-three thirteenth hole +1 314 443 9029 Arthur Schaupeter GOLF COURSE ARCHITECTS Photo: Russell Kirk Maximizing value for our clients Creating unique adventures for golfers Photo: Devin Sena TPC Colorado ranked #89 on America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses – Golf Digest 2021

39 TEE BOX The regrassing of the nine-hole CCC Country Club Playa Palmas course in Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico, with Pure Dynasty seeded paspalum has delivered consistent and robust playing surfaces. The new grass was introduced during a redesign of the layout by Greg Letsche, who worked alongside Atlas Turf International on the project. Letsche said it was “a no-brainer” to collaborate again with John Holmes of Atlas, having worked with the grass supplier on projects around the world for over 20 years. The architect said the project at Playa Palmas “has been another success, with members and guests enjoying the updated course and playing surfaces”. “John’s focus has always been on the site and the scientific data when making grass selection,” added Letsche. “That is why his grass selection excels even more in remote regions, and the paspalum has really made the difference at Playa Palmas. There wasn’t room for a turf nursery, the course previously had a mixture of grasses that didn’t really perform well, and we were basically on an island two metres above sea level with a lot of salt intrusion and wind, but the grass selected by John performed excellently.” Letsche’s redesign involved changes to holes four, seven and eight to improve safety following the introduction of a new residential component alongside the course. All par threes were also adjusted and now play in a different direction, and greens and bunkers were redesigned. “It’s nine holes, but we have alternate tees so there is a lot of different shot values for players,” said Letsche. “Golfers are enjoying the updated green complexes and bunkering. Previously, all the greens were somewhat elevated, so we lowered them to give players the chance for more bump and runs and f lop shots. It’s more user friendly now.” Regrassing project delivers highperformance surfaces for Playa Palmas Photo: Letsche Golf Design Greg Letsche has redesigned the Playa Palmas layout in Mexico Image: Letsche Golf Design

40 TEE BOX Tripp Davis begins transformation of Atlanta Athletic Club’s Riverside course Tripp Davis has started work on the renovation of the Riverside course at Atlanta Athletic Club in Georgia. The project aims to update the course infrastructure and reimagine how to use the land in the best way possible. It includes work on tees, bunkers and greens, a new irrigation system, sandcapping and the subsurface drainage of fairways, enhancing surface and subsurface drainage across the course, installing new turf, and adding some new cart paths. “We are taking advantage of the fact that everything is being rebuilt as new to move the strategic elements of the course – tees, bunkers, fairways, greens – to create a more strategically interesting golf course that will be very fun to play for the entire membership, while being f lexible enough in set-up to be as challenging as they want,” said Davis. “One of our objectives is improving the f low of the course. The current first hole is a par five, with the third being a shorter par five that is too tough for the average player due to a lake forcing a long carry to the green. This is currently followed by two mid-length par fours that don’t fit the land well. We are going to change things around to make the new third a short par three that sits in the landscape better, followed by a nice par four that plays to a new green location sitting right by the Chattahoochee River, with the new fifth being a mid-length par five that winds through the trees and rolling Davis’s sketch of the seventeenth, where the green will be redesigned to better fit the flow of the land Image: Tripp Davis

41 The cover story of the latest issue of By Design magazine – produced for the American Society of Golf Course Architects by the team responsible for GCA – explores whether the golf industry is ready to embrace golf courses that do not comply with the 18-hole norm. “With land and water becoming more expensive, alternative golf options are a resourceful way to be successful and introduce people to the game of golf and provide a wider variety of options for future members and potential customers,” said Jeff Lawrence, designer of the 13-hole par-three Mountain Top course at Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri. The Winter issue of By Design also includes an interview with new ASGCA president Jason Straka and profiles of the golf course projects that have been recognised in the 2021 ASGCA Environmental Excellence Awards. To download the latest issue and subscribe to By Design, visit “Alternative golf options are a resourceful way to be successful” GOOD READ ground in a much more natural way. These new holes use the land better, and they create a more interesting and varied f low to start the round.” Davis is also transforming the existing par-four twelfth, par-five thirteenth and par-four fourteenth into a short risk-reward par-five twelfth, a par-four thirteenth that has a closer relationship to the river, and a potentially driveable par-four fourteenth with the river more in play. “With these changes, and through placement of strategic features around the rest of the course, we are focusing on giving the course a more interesting f low from start to finish that will see some holes becoming better opportunities for players most of the time, while some holes will become more challenging at strategic points in the round,” said Davis. Landscapes Unlimited began construction in January with the support of club superintendent Lukus Harvey, his assistant Trent Inman, and Davis’s shaper Jason Gold. “Being an Atlanta native, the opportunity for me to have this relationship with the Atlanta Athletic Club, a club Bobby Jones called home, is a dream come true,” said Davis. “I am pretty much moving to Atlanta for most of the project.” The course is expected to reopen in late 2022. Image: Tripp Davis A sketch of the proposed new short par-three third hole