Golf Course Architecture - Issue 68, April 2022

20 Design duo seize opportunity for total rebuild of Kentucky course Brian Ross and Colton Craig have completed a redesign of the 18-hole course at the former Cave Valley Golf Club in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Now named Park Mammoth Golf Club, the layout will open on 28 April. The course was purchased in late 2019 at a bankruptcy auction and in January 2020 the owners appointed Ross and Craig to oversee a small renovation project, which included adding the first bunkers to the layout. A plan was approved in February 2020. “They began clearing trees the next day, but it was not long before the project scope grew,” said Ross. “By mid-March, the project had evolved from a small renovation into a total rebuild. It can’t be overstated how big of an opportunity this turned out to be for two architects whose respective businesses were, at the time, both less than one year old! “The decision to rebuild all the greens gave us the opportunity to make the course markedly better so we took the ball and ran with it. As we were already under construction, every design decision from that point forward was made in the field, on the f ly. I personally shaped the golf course features – with an assist from Jay Smith early on – and we finished many of them by hand, along with our two interns, Scott and Lawson. “The client allowed us to build whatever we felt was best for the golf course. Our only instructions were that it had to be fun to play and that it would keep people coming back again and again. It remains to be seen whether we achieved those goals, but I believe we did!” The major aspect of the project has been the rerouting, which has included the nines being switched. The architects have also extended the course from 5,884 to 6,165 yards. The original opening three holes have now become holes ten to twelve. “I really disliked the old first, a 299yard par four with a 100-degree dogleg that required you to thread your tee shot through a 17-yard gap between two large trees,” said Ross. “I came up with a proposed routing that would completely alter the layout of these three holes, and we pitched the idea at a site visit in early February 2021. Fortunately, the owners unanimously agreed to make the changes on the spot! This was, in part, what eventually led to the dramatic increase in the overall project scope, too. “I believe the changes we made vastly improved this section of the course. While it’s not the opener anymore, the new tenth hole is now a 336-yard par four with a great riskTEE BOX