Golf Course Architecture - Issue 68, April 2022

24 TEE BOX Photos: Arnold Palmer Design Company APDC focuses on playability for Seattle renovation Seattle Golf Club in Washington state will hold a grand reopening of its 18 holes in May following a renovation completed by Thad Layton of Arnold Palmer Design Company. In 2017, the club identified the need to renovate greens, greenside bunkers, and surrounds to improve playability, drainage, and aesthetics. Layton was appointed to prepare a master plan and oversee the work with Tacoma-based golf contractor Ridgetop Construction. “Years of sand splash buildup from greenside bunkers had eliminated some of the most interesting hole positions,” said Layton. “On these greens, we restored the old perimeters and elevations to increase pinnable areas and promote drainage. We also completely rebuilt five greens to permanently solve playability issues that arose from severe internal slopes.” To complement the new strategy at the greens, Layton made fairway bunker modifications on the second, third, fourth, and tenth holes. Several new tees were also constructed on holes one, five, nine and sixteen to add distance options. “Our objective was to maintain Seattle GC’s storied past while enhancing the strategic options and beauty of one of the most iconic clubs in the Pacific Northwest,” said Layton. “That amounted to a three-pronged approach of restoration, renovation, and remodel. We tightened up the relationship of greenside bunkers and eliminated sand in key areas to increase recovery options. We also replaced organics in the approaches with sand to get the ball rolling in what can be a very wet climate.” Top, the new fairway bunker complex on the par-four second and above, the resculpted bunkers set up a new green on the par-five ninth