Golf Course Architecture - Issue 70, October 2022

The global journal of golf design and development I S S U E 70 O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2

WELCOME 1 ADAM LAWRENCE Herb Kohler, who died recently, made a massive contribution to golf through the courses he built and owned. Kohler was the first key mover in the development of his home state of Wisconsin into one of America’s best golf destinations, and, along with Pete Dye, created four highly respected golf courses. It is interesting to ponder what might have been, especially in the case of the flagship course, Whistling Straits. Kohler famously told Dye that he wanted the derelict airfield along Lake Michigan to look as though it was in Ireland. No-one can question the success of the course, which has played host to three majors and a Ryder Cup. But here’s the rub: it doesn’t look Irish. Irish links courses are principally fescue. Whistling Straits’s fairways were originally grassed with fescue, but the area’s hot summers and the consequent need to irrigate the course mean that they are now mostly a mix of bents, rye and poa. They don’t bounce and roll like an Irish links. And, most obviously, Dye’s design – with allegedly over a thousand bunkers – does not look like an Irish links. Dye was an architectural genius. But the essence of his genius was his grasp of strategy. It has long been noted in golf design circles that the great architects who got their start working with Dye – most obviously Bill Coore and Tom Doak – did not take their sense of aesthetics from their mentor. And the simple fact is that golf design and construction teams are a lot better at building courses that look like links now that they were 25 years ago. Only a few years after Whistling Straits opened, the Kyle Phillips-designed Kingsbarns raised the bar for what totally constructed golf courses could look like. Kingsbarns developer Mark Parsinen’s later Castle Stuart course, done with architect Gil Hanse, is another obvious example, as is the more recent Dumbarnie course in Fife. Rolf-Stephan Hansen’s Budersand in Germany was similarly a ‘former links’ – like Whistling Straits an ex-airbase, but in this case surrounded by natural dunes. We should perhaps note that all four of these courses were built on sandy ground, which Whistling Straits was not. Perhaps in the end, that is the key lesson. No matter how much sand you truck to the site, you can’t defeat nature. Kohler’s legacy


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

ISSN 1745-3585 (print), ISSN 2754-9828 (online). 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. 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. 5 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 Contributing Editor Richard Humphreys News Editor Rob Gavarkovs, Robin Hiseman, John Holmes Contributors Bruce Graham, Libby Sidebotham, Dhanika Vansia Design Chris Jackson Website Development AirSwing Media, Mark Alexander, Artisan Golf Design, Carnoustie Golf Links, Brandon Carter, Darnall Photography, Tripp Davis, Erbil Hills, Google Earth, Vaughn Halyard, Harradine Golf, Harris Kalinka, JCB Golf & Country Club, Andy Johnson/The Fried Egg, Jason Livy, Lukas Michel/CDP, Kevin Murray, OCM, Pelz Player Greens, Pelz Golf, Peninsula Papagayo, Stirling & Martin, Schmidt-Curley Design, St Mellion Estate, Royal Wellington, (re)GOLF, Ricky Robinson, RTJ II, Talking Stick, Terras da Comporta, Troon International, Doug White, Fernando Herranz Sánche, Photography

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.

SPONSORS 7 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. 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.www. Clayton, DeVries & Pont CDP is a partnership of three of the world’s foremost regional architecture practices: Clayton Golf of Australia, DeVries Designs of Michigan, and Infinite Variety Golf Design of the Netherlands. 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. 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. Hanse Golf Course Design Formed in 1993 by founder Gil Hanse, who was joined in 1995 by partner Jim Wagner, Hanse Golf Course Design has patiently nurtured its reputation and its craft to arrive at a position of designing and restoring some of the finest golf courses in the world. Harradine Golf Donald Harradine founded the family’s golfing practice in 1929. Harradine Golf has designed, remodelled, constructed or supervised construction of more than 200 courses in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Many have won awards and some host PGA tournaments. Kyle Phillips Golf Course Design The Kyle Phillips design philosophy stems from the belief that golf courses should have their own character and personality derived from the site’s existing natural features, as well as its location and history. 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. Rees Jones, Inc Rees Jones, Inc is internationally recognised for its customised design and construction supervision of new courses for private clubs, resorts, real estate communities and public facilities, as well as renovating, restoring and updating existing courses for everyday play and major championships. Schmidt-Curley Design Founded in 1997 with offices in Scottsdale, Arizona and Hanoi, Vietnam; Schmidt-Curley is a fullservice, international golf course architecture and master planning firm with more than 150 layouts in 25 countries. 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. Stirling & Martin Blake Stirling and Marco Martin have successfully designed golf courses for 30 years. With a motto of ‘SM-art Golf ’, the firm provides clients with a complete range of design services, construction supervision and budget control, ensuring high levels of satisfaction. 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 G O L F C O U R S E D E S I G N KYLE PHILLIPS

CONTENTS 56 Toby Ingleton reports on a new Stirling & Martin course that will open in Madrid next year, almost 25 years after the initial routing 62 John Holmes explains how an Abu Dhabi club employed interseeding to help address its water supply issue 64 Rob Gavarkovs says that synthetic turf could provide a solution to some of golf ’s pressures 68 We finish this issue at Prestwick, where golfers will have the chance to play the club’s 12-hole routing from 1860 12 Our Tee Box sections opens with news of Schmidt-Curley’s 36-hole golf project in Cambodia 42 Robin Hiseman of European Golf Design considers when, how and why a course might need tweaking just after opening 44 Adam Lawrence explores the role out of bounds has in the game and how it has been used as a legitimate strategic hazard 52 We hear from superstar golf architect Tom Doak about how he is trying to find a new way of working ON THE COVER Out of bounds on the fourteenth at Royal St Georges. Read more about the most penal of hazards on page 44 Photographed by: Jason Livy 9

MA I L BOX Dear Editor The driving range – forgotten land… or is it? It comes as no surprise that the design of the golf course is ‘king’ when it comes to golf developments. Architects are paid to focus on the showpiece – the course. So where does the driving range come into play? There are many magnificent driving ranges and practice areas around the world which will make one salivate! But truth be known, the driving range and practice area are the last piece of the puzzle. What becomes of this very expensive acreage? A range that could double as a polo field. An undersized tee line. A green that mirrors the Himalayas. Bunkers that get little use. The tide is shifting with an emphasis being placed on world-class driving ranges, practice areas, and learning centres. This bodes well for the sustainability of the game. Driving ranges are becoming a centrepiece of golf clubs and courses. Innovative range technologies are providing ‘entertainment plus performance’. This increased use results in new-found revenues for the range, the pro shop, instruction, club fitting, and food and beverage. Attention is being paid to the placement and size of target greens and bunkers. Even the cutting pattern delivers an experience that replicates what golfers find on the course. Features rarely seen previously include advanced tee lines, viewing monitors, seating, automatic ball feeders, fans, heaters and music. Expanded practice areas are becoming prerequisites. Learning centres and academies are becoming commonplace. Then we’ve got extralarge putting courses, designated short-game areas, indoor and outdoor coaching studios, putting labs, and more… all these amenities necessary in today’s modern golf environment. What used to be a forgotten piece of the property is becoming a focus. Member attraction and retention, plus improved revenues from food and beverage, pro shop, and instruction are welcomed by-products. Designing an integrated complex that addresses the requirements of the modern club takes a different type of experience. Ted Simons Scottsdale, Arizona 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 Ireland in the last issue, in front of the third green (‘The Castle’) at Tralee Golf Club. Congratulations to Jordan Anderson, from Nottinghamshire in England, who figured it out and whose entry was the first out of the golf cap. This month, a bit of a change of scene for our rambling rodent. Sandy has fetched up on a very famous spot in a very famous location. Originally for lady golfers, this issue’s venue is now enjoyed by golfers of all ages and genders. If you know where it is, and you fancy a GCA golf shirt, send your entry to GOPHER WATCH 11

12 TEE BOX New 36-hole project begins in Cambodia NEWS EDI TOR : R I CHARD HUMPHREYS Construction has started on two eighteen-hole golf courses, designed by Brian Curley of Schmidt-Curley Design, and scheduled to open in 2024 at a new club in Phnom Penh City, Cambodia. The East course will be a formal, parkland layout, while the West will feature a more rugged and natural design centred around large expanses of sand, dotted with islands of native grasses and groves of date trees. Detailed shaping is in progress on the East, while the West is still in the rough grading process, and the work is being handled by an in-house team along with Martin Moore’s Flagstick Golf Course Construction. There will be limited residential development around the property’s perimeter. “Our clients have decided to place the golf experience first and foremost to create the best courses in the country,” said Curley. “There is also a strong desire to create two distinctly different layouts, so every effort has been made to optimise this wish. “A massive amount of earthmoving was undertaken to create large bodies of water for irrigation use, and the excavated dirt was used to lift grades above f lood levels. The design and grading efforts were also used to create vast, sweeping open views across the lakes, establishing a distinct character

13 Images: Harris Kalinka that will be drastically different from other courses in the marketplace. “There is plenty of cross slope on many fairways and a strong reliance on surface drainage, not catch basins. Much of the dirt was placed under the golf holes as opposed to creating mounds framing each hole, as so many courses do. There was a emphasis on creating landforms, not mounding, so the courses feel as if they were laid out upon a naturally golf-friendly terrain.” Curley says the excavation of lakes enabled them to lift the courses out of the f loodplain. “While the lakes are a very dominant feature of the landscape, there was a strong effort in the design to incorporate the water features into play, but always with more than adequate width. We have made sure to not have water in play hole after hole. The concept was to create wide views over water but without a relentless attack of demanding shots with water in play.” The greens will feature significant contour, both within the putting surface as well as drop-off edges, backstops, feeder slopes and ridges. “Standout holes on the East include the driveable par-four seventh with multiple tee options and a long, thin, fall-away green,” said Curley. “And the par-five eighteenth, which plays from a massive landform creating an elevated tee shot looking back to the clubhouse. Visualisations of the East course (left), a formal parkland layout, and the West (above), which will have a rugged design and feature large expanses of sand

“The West will be highlighted with a strong variety of holes with massive sandy waste lows and the occasional landform that sometimes blinds tee shots to the wrong side of the wide fairway. As with the East course, the par-five eighteenth also plays from the same massive landform offering long views across the landscape. I also expect the long par-three sixteenth to be a pivotal hole, but I am focusing on variety within a common playbook to make the courses as memorable as possible.” An island-green nineteenth will lie between the two finishing holes. The green will be directly beneath the clubhouse and reachable by boat, making for an exciting all-or-nothing bonus hole for either course. “I am very pleased with the design we have established and the innovative elements we have incorporated, and I believe the courses will soon become the most favoured in the region,” said Curley. Grassing of the East course has started, with Zeon Zoysia being used for short grass areas and bahia will be used for rough. TEE BOX The clubhouse will overlook the closing holes of both courses and a bonus nineteenth hole, a par three featuring an island green, accessible by boat Image: Harris Kalinka 15 Image: Schmidt-Curley Design

“ We want the player to think their way around the course” Jim Wagner of Hanse Golf Design tells us about the renovation of Narin & Portnoo Links in Ireland Narin & Portnoo Links, founded in 1905, is set on the Donegal coast in north-west Ireland. In 2017 the club contacted Hanse Golf Design and the firm has since completed a spectacular renovation. We spoke with design partner Jim Wagner to find out more. What work has been completed at Narin & Portnoo? The original course, when it was a par 69, had six great par threes, which led to our interest in getting involved in the project. We ended up with five par threes as we restored two of them and added three new ones. They all run in different directions and, wind dependent, all range from a wedge to a three iron. We combined holes, added new tees, renovated all the greens which allowed us to rework and create interesting surrounds. With the nature of the site, adding any ‘quirk’ wasn’t really needed. The project was more about trying to do less to show off the uniqueness of the property along with the natural beauty of the site’s location. We also tried to show off the site’s personality and character by adding sandy blowouts around the property which tend to lead to quirky lines of play. From a timing standpoint, these changes allowed us to decrease the round by 30 to 45 minutes. TEE BOX THE INTERV I EW with Jim Wagner Photo: AirSwing Media 16 Golfers can choose a short or long route to the tenth green

17 Can you tell us about some of the specific changes? We moved the second fairway left away from the f lat, wetter ground to incorporate the light, choppy and interesting linksland. The relocation of the green on seven makes it driveable but only if you can successfully navigate the humps and hollows to take the ball onto the green. Pushing the eighth green back to the property’s sharp drop-off, while raising it to overlook the rocks and beach, has had a dramatic impact. The new par-five tenth hugs the coastline and has both a short and long way to a unique green, depending on which tee players are hitting from. The eleventh was designed as a typical linksy par three with a small green wedged between two sand dunes. The hole can play from a wedge to a three iron, but more often than not with the right wind you have a great chance to make a hole-in-one. There have been a few! The par-three fifteenth is an amazing hole as it sits on one of the highest – and playable – sand dunes on the property with fantastic views of the sandy beaches and rocky coastline. The green is set behind two large dunes and is somewhat blind. We were able to create sandy blowouts into the foreground dunes to help with the visuals while tying together the property’s natural feel. The green site is probably the most dramatic on the property and that is saying something as the course has several greens set on the edge of the amazing site. What playing experience can golfers expect at Narin & Portnoo? We want the player to think their way around the course and try and execute the challenging line of play as the course and mother nature allow. We have interesting green surrounds with subtle runoffs that never existed before, challenging lines of play that take on natural features (existing and created), and green contours that f low from the fairways through the approaches and onto the greens. The contours promote the ground game and allow for creative shotmaking skills that the Irish weather demands. Who else was involved in the project? Narin’s management were instrumental in keeping things moving and we were fortunate to have worked with two of the best contractors in Europe. SOL Golf completed phase one and Atlantic Golf Construction did the second phase. Our team was headed by Neil Cameron from our Caveman Construction group. Neil set the table and enhanced the shaping that was done by me and Gil, along with helping to rejuvenate some incredible architecture. The eighth green has been pushed back to the coastline and raised to overlook the rocks and beach Photo: AirSwing Media

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

19 Heritage in Mauritius plans new course for 2023 Heritage Golf Club in Mauritius is planning for a new course, La Réserve Golf Links designed by golf course architect Peter Matkovich with Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, to open in December 2023. Featuring panoramic ocean views from every hole, La Réserve will join the resort’s other eighteen-hole layout, Le Château. The new course will feature elevated tees and greens to give plenty of vantage points to look over the country’s tropical bays and southern shores. “It’s a challenging course and not for the faint-hearted,” said Oosthuizen. “We’ve worked with the land to create a strategic, undulating course that plays in the traditional links style, with running fairways, pot bunkers and long grasses. The location is breathtakingly beautiful with incredible views of the Indian Ocean.” Matkovich said: “I have always had the desire to create a true links golf course, having played many famous venues in the United Kingdom and Ireland. We do not have the natural dunes of a traditional links at La Réserve, but we certainly have the natural shaping, a links feel, and it will require the strategies of playing a links course to score well. “We have also created six sets of tees on each hole, with the course extending over 7,300 yards from the back tee. There are no courses in Mauritius like La Réserve Golf Links and it will undoubtedly have huge appeal to international golf travellers.” The environment has been carefully considered for this project with La Réserve located alongside a Unesco Biosphere Reserve. Former sugar cane fields have been sensitively cultivated with native island grasses, creating new, species-rich grasslands, encouraging ecological diversity and valuable carbon sequestration. All work is also being monitored, with a view towards GEO Certified Development status. La Réserve will be reserved for members and Heritage residents only and the the club plans to host a DP World Tour tournament in 2023. TEE BOX A visualisation of the proposed eighteenth hole at La Réserve Image: Harris Kalinka

20 TEE BOX Bloomfield Hills restoration leads to membership surge Bloomfield Hills Country Club in Michigan has a multi-year waiting list for memberships following the restoration of its golf course by Clayton, DeVries & Pont. Originally laid out by Tom Bendelow in 1909, Bloomfield Hills was redesigned four years later by Harry Colt to make use of an extra 50 acres of land. In 2019, armed with newly discovered historic materials, Mike DeVries and Frank Pont were hired to oversee a restoration of the course. “To the best of our knowledge, Bloomfield Hills is virtually unique in that it is an American Colt course that wasn’t heavily inf luenced by Alison,” said Pont. “Across town, Colt created the original Country Club of Detroit, but Alison subsequently redesigned the course. As far as we can tell, Alison never worked at Bloomfield Hills.” Pont and DeVries had access to the club’s minutes from 1909, an irrigation map from the 1920s, aerial photography from 1930 onwards, and a wealth of information from the club regarding work completed on the course through the years. “We gathered and studied all relevant information to understand the changes that had been completed,” said Pont. “Often, changes happen for particular reasons, and we try to piece together the valid ones that may have affected the course positively and negatively. We then compared that with what is ‘on the ground’ to determine the direction forward.” LaBar Golf Renovations began work in August 2020, with DeVries on site almost every day while Pont assisted remotely given the travel restrictions of 2020. “The club essentially decided to do everything in one go,” said DeVries. “Perhaps the biggest change came at the first and eighteenth holes – both were par fives with trees between the holes. The trees separating the holes were at the end of their life or already dead, and they were non-native species. Our concept was to remove the trees and make a joint fairway, which Colt did at Photo: Lukas Michel/CDP Greens have been expanded to restore original perimeters and pin locations

21 a number of places. It also gave us room to expand the range and create an open vista from the clubhouse looking out to the golf course. “The joint fairway now has bunkers and, in the distance, some old mature oak groves. The work on these holes was really a game changer from a visual standpoint.” The project also included rebuilding three greens, two of which (the par-three ninth and seventeenth) were severe and problematic from a playability standpoint. “The third and fourth had also been changed,” said DeVries. “Originally three was a long par four and the fourth was a long par three of around 250 yards. We think sometime between 1925 and 1945 the fourth had been changed. The fifth is a par three as well so I think the club was opposed to having two par threes in a row. They were very difficult holes. So, they basically made a medium par four of the third hole and a short par four out of the fourth, and neither were great. “We decided to restore the original balance to the routing by shifting them and making a long par-three third and a long par-four fourth, building a new green for the third and expanding the fourth green.” Bunkers were a key part of the project, with some removed and others restored to a Colt style. “We followed Colt’s concept of doing bunkers asymmetrically with an odd number of sand hazards around greens rather than two f lanking bunkers,” said DeVries. Better Billy Bunker liners were installed in all. The project also included re-establishing green perimeters to match the ‘push-up’ style seen elsewhere on the course. XGD had previously been installed, and the greens were turfed with Pure Distinction bentgrass sod that was grown on site. Some greens have been expanded to restore original pin locations while surrounds were expanded to bring back a wider variety of recovery shot options. These recovery areas have 007 bentgrass for playability and maintenance. Fairways have also been widened too. Tree management has included the planting of native species to screen the perimeter of the golf course from nearby development and roads. Thielen Turf Irrigation has installed a new Toro irrigation Photo: Lukas Michel/CDP A joint fairway has been created for the first and eighteenth holes

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23 TEE BOX system, which has been designed by Mike Kuhn Associates. “So, essentially we did the entire golf course,” said DeVries. Some more complex tasks are being considered for the future, including on the ninth tee, which is being compromised by a pond. “It was an old creek that was made a pond sometime in the 1920s or 30s,” said DeVries. “There’s a barrier wall on the tee that’s failing and needs to be worked on, but it is complex – when you’re dealing with water, it is always a challenge. “The eighth is a big par five in the lowest part of the property and the pond is adjacent to it… there’s a lot of water there now. We’ve had a look at replacing the drainage, but the old tile drainage is working really well. The opportunity to restore the creek and create a dual fairway is there, but from a timing standpoint, it wasn’t going to happen due to the complexity. That may happen in future. “We’re also analysing the potential of some modifications to the new parthree third green. The hole stretches 265 yards and it’s right on the property boundary and there are some failing trees there, too. We’re trying to figure out the best solution for that area.” Feedback from members to the changes has been positive with Bloomfield Hills now having a full membership and a multi-year waiting list for golfers wanting to join. A notable change has been a surge in demand for junior memberships, for which the club has a waiting list for the first time. “We were fortunate enough to have old photos of the golf course dating back to the first years following Colt’s work,” said the club’s green chairman and incoming president, Geoff Piceu. “It is amazing just how much the golf course had been tweaked and changed over a century. And it is breathtaking to see the property returned to its original state of undulating waves of land, unimpeded by trees and seemingly needless or misplaced impediments. “In addition to being an exceptional restoration of Harry Colt’s original work, the course is far more attractive and fun to play. One objective of the project was that the course become more challenging for the expert and more forgiving for the novice. We were very pleased that the USGA ratings of our golf course from its four different tees ultimately affirmed that this objective was achieved. One USGA rater said, ‘Congratulations’ before beginning their initial tour, to which I replied, ‘Thank you… but for what?’. They said, ‘We have already determined that this is the bestlooking opening hole in your region.’” Photo: Lukas Michel/CDP Bunkers have been renovated to a Colt style, as seen at the fourteenth

24 TEE BOX Landmand Golf Club in Nebraska, photographed by Vaughn Halyard, was designed by King-Collins and opened for play at the start of September. The 315-yard seventeenth (on the left, with tees visible on the hillside beyond) is a downhill par four with a 34,000-square-foot green that draws inspiration from Alister MacKenzie’s famous creation at Sitwell Park in England. The par-five first (on the right, playing from the opposite direction) has an extremely wide fairway and heavily contoured THE B IG P I CTURE

25 Soluptatis ea ilignie nducid modi odi dolum vendem esciant harumenetUptatia vidit etur, optatem porion et queitius erundae rsperum quostrum que audigenisci si recus Photo: Vaughn Halyard green, attributes that are common throughout the course. “We believe that the total amount of earthmoving to build the course was in the region of two million cubic yards,” says principal Rob Collins. “That is an enormous volume, but it was necessary to create a walkable, playable course on terrain of this severity, traversing as it does the towering Loess Hills of eastern Nebraska. I believe it will be something that golfers have never seen the like of before.” The 580-acre site is almost four times larger than the average 18-hole course. Landmand can play to 7,200 yards and has 84 acres of maintained turf, four acres of bunkering and over six acres of green surface.

26 TEE BOX AK Bars Golf Resort in Kazan, Russia, has held a soft opening of its new course, designed by Harradine Golf. The project began in October 2020 when the Harradine team visited several sites in and near Kazan, ultimately choosing one that was mostly f lat. “The saving grace was that most of the perimeter is surrounded by trees and a long line of trees crosses the land,” said Peter Harradine. “They were naturally kept and used in the design. The second great advantage was that it was adjacent to the ‘mother of Russia’, the Volga.” With most of the available Volga shoreline to be used for real estate, Michael Harradine – who led the project with help of his father Peter and colleague Matt Osborne – could only design two holes next to the river, the 163-yard downhill seventeenth and the 359-yard par-four eighteenth. For the seventeenth, the Volga provides a backdrop to a green that has bunkers guarding the front and left side and a large bailout area to the right. Club selection will be an important factor with winds in this area being strong and changeable. The eighteenth doglegs to the left with the entire fairway running alongside the Volga. “Our biggest problem was that most of the site was below the Volga’s high water mark which meant that it had to be raised by an average of two metres,” said Harradine. “Around 800,000 cubic metres was dredged from the Volga to reach the required levels and improve the uninteresting topography, although more fill was taken from the three artificial lakes.” Engo Group, under the supervision of Arne van Amerongen, began construction in late April 2021. The project progressed despite snow and freezing conditions until the last hole was completed in late June 2022. “We have created a mixture of open spaces, tree-bordered holes and water hazards,” said Harradine. “There are also large grass and bailout areas where a golfer can play a more conservative game. Angles were used as much as possible, mainly due to the lack of elevation change. The angles apply to the holes themselves but also to the various hazards placed in strategic locations. If all the right ‘Tiger’ lines are chosen and played correctly, a low score will be on the cards. However, if a golfer bites off more than they can chew, bogeys and double bogeys can quickly ruin a scorecard.” Harradine describes the par-four sixth, which doglegs sharply to the left, as classic risk and reward. “The more golfers can chew off by playing over the trees and bunkers, the closer they will get to the green,” he said. “Big hitters must beware of the lake on the right side; club selection and player strategy will be very important! The green is guarded by a bunker on the left and a lake on the right, which will require precision even if the golfer has a short second shot into the green.” On the opposite side of the lake, the par-five third has been designed to meander between existing trees. “The integration of trees has turned the hole into a double dogleg instead of a simple and straight corridor,” said Harradine. “Existing trees guard most of the green and a lake behind the putting surface adds an additional challenge.” The par-four fourteenth has a narrow lake f lanking the entire left side. “The golfer has a long carry from the back tee, and they can decide how close to the water they want to land the ball,” said Harradine. “The riskier shot will be rewarded with a shorter New Harradine course in Russia has soft opening

27 approach into the green. There are no bunkers on this hole due to the lake, which provides more than enough problems for players.” Harradine also highlights the 574-yard parfive sixteenth, which winds its way between a lake on the left and rolling mounds on the right. “The straightest line to the green is up the left of the fairway, which hugs the entirety of the lake and makes the hole reachable in two for the big hitters,” he said. “The sensible strategy is up the right, but that decision lengthens the hole quite considerably and makes it unreachable in two. A bunker guards the right hand of the green, which challenges a safe play up the right side of the hole especially if the pin is behind the bunker.” Harradine’s last visit to AK Bars was on 30 August. “I must say that the two visits I had this year were extremely easy and uncomplicated,” he said. “The political situation did not inf luence completion. In fact, life is very normal at the airports and did not affect my travels to and through the country.” Images: Harradine Golf Fill dredged from the Volga and excavated from the three lakes at AK Bars was used to raise the site and add contour The par-three seventeenth plays directly towards the Volga

29 TEE BOX Peninsula Papagayo to reopen back nine in November Thad Layton of Arnold Palmer Design Company has worked in tandem with Central American-based golf contractor Steve Watkins to complete the back nine portion of an eventual 18-hole remodel at The Four Seasons Peninsula Papagayo Resort, located in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica. The project scope included a full bunker remodel, tee expansions, recapturing fairway and green areas, and the removal of overgrown tropical vegetation to restore width and regain dramatic ocean views. In line with the client’s emphasis on sustainability, ten acres of maintained rough was exchanged for drought tolerant native grasses. A new Rain Bird IC system was also installed for more precise application of water. “We started with a very solid foundation,” said Layton. “The existing course unfolds one of the most beautiful natural landscapes you could hope for. In many cases, our task was only to peel back the layers of jungle that had obscured views and throttled down playing corridors.” The tenth hole is a prime example of that treatment, where treetops and vegetation in a ravine short of the green were pruned, revealing the putting surface from the left half of the fairway. Selective clearing has also opened vistas of the nearby Santa Rosa National Park archipelago and the Pacific Ocean, making it evident to golfers that they’re playing golf in Central America. Bunker work has also been a big part of the remodel. Every hole on the back nine has had changes to its bunkering, whether it has been the addition of new ones, removing existing bunkers or relocations. Layton says that combining a trio of small fairway bunkers into a much more imposing hazard on the twelfth, while adding a cluster of bunkers further afield has injected strategy and vitality, lending a classic S-shape to this previously straightaway, uphill par five. Green surfaces, which had contracted in size since the course was originally built, have been expanded to restore old hole locations. “Cresting the ridge in the middle of the eighteenth fairway, you’ll clap eyes on the biggest improvement,” said Layton. “A completely reimagined green with a mammoth bunker encircling the lake and a larger, more receptive green with a prominent ridge feature that divides the green into two distinct sections.” Work on the front nine and practice area will begin in spring 2023. Photo: Peninsula Papagayo

TEE BOX 30 Course prep work lays foundation for Knollwood renovation Drew Rogers is renovating the Hugh Alison-designed golf course at Knollwood Club near Chicago, Illinois. In 2017, having renovated tees and bunkers and regrassed greens, Knollwood hired Rogers to develop a master plan for future work. “Our primary and immediate focus was directed at the site itself… the setting for the holes,” said Rogers. “To us, that stood as the key missing piece from earlier efforts – and those elements would ultimately make the difference in how the course should be restored.” Rogers studied old plans and aerials. “We sized up Alison’s early design touches, assessing the effects of scale and proportion and, of course, the plant materials that would best fit the intended design expression and complement the pastoral site,” he said. In September 2018, Rogers began working with superintendent Drew Barnett to implement the plan, including the addition of forward tees and some initial work in restoring Knollwood’s prairie-like landscape. That winter, tree removal and thinning of invasive buckthorn undergrowth began opening hole corridors that were more aligned with Alison’s descriptions and intent. “We removed all the lower quality trees that disrupted views and covered up higher quality trees,” said Rogers. “We also took steps that would allow for better playability and visibility within most hole corridors, and across the site as a whole – this essentially paved the way for future course improvements, including the rebuilding of bunkers and regrassing fairways, plus their widening and realigning. “When we could finally feel the holes, presented again in full scale, we then started to address some of the spacious void in a different way, by introducing native fescue spaces in out of play areas. So now, along with the thinning of trees, including retaining old specimen elms, oaks and hickory, we also have another layer of texture and colour with the grasses – all balanced with the new fairway lines and grand bunkering.” Barnett said: “The work has been positively accepted. The slow maturation process of the fine fescue did cause heartache for some members, but with full maturity of Photo: Andy Johnson/The Fried Egg Initial work has focused on restoring Knollwood’s prairie-like landscape

31 these areas the membership has almost fully embraced the concept. The tree removal was also contentious at the early stages but now the membership enjoys the expansive views throughout the property. “The reduction in primary rough has improved our maintenance practices by allowing us to spend less time cutting rough and a reduction in fertiliser and pesticide usage in the rough. Even with the ever-rising costs of plant protectants and fertiliser, our budget has remained the same due to lower inputs in these areas. Our staff can continue with detailed items throughout the property instead of simply mowing over 100 acres of primary rough.” In August 2022 work turned to tees, fairways, bunkers and greens, and is expected to be complete in November. “The work on fairways and bunkers would not produce nearly the same effect if not for all the pre-planning and ultimate reset of the landscape,” said Rogers. “The before and after photos stand to tell the stunning story as well as anything we can possibly say or write… those images will speak for themselves.” Previously, fairways were a mixture of six different turf varieties. The regrassing will produce a slightly different alignment on several holes to accomplish Rogers’ design intent, while bunker work and the remodelling of two greens are being completed to better ref lect an original Alison design aesthetic. “The initial course prep step is one that is often disregarded or skipped entirely,” said Rogers. “After all, tree removal can be rather controversial. But when the site isn’t properly treated to accommodate the design, then all the elements will ultimately be in conf lict and the desirable opportunities to do the right thing will be missed. The golf course work is more the ‘given’ in terms of expected scope, but the site work is every bit as important if we are to achieve a proper balance.” 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 – sees architects discuss projects to rebuild golf courses that suffered from storm damage. “The flood created new landforms and dramatic, eroded inlets near the coastline,” says Kyle Phillips, who rebuilt both courses at Verdura Resort in Sicily, Italy, following a flood that damaged 14 holes. Other subjects covered in the Fall issue of By Design include the impact Frederick Law Olmsted had on golf course architects, a regrassing project at Columbia CC, and what makes a good partnership between architects and constructors. To download the latest issue and subscribe to By Design, visit “ The flood created new landforms and dramatic, eroded inlets near the coastline” GOOD READ Rogers carried out tree removal and landscape work to set the stage for renovations of golf course features (eighth hole, pictured) Photo: Andy Johnson/The Fried Egg

32 Classic Golf Club COURSE BLUEPR INT Benjamin Warren of Artisan Golf Design will start a redesign of Classic Golf Club in Fukuoka, Japan, in January 2023. The Classic’s 27-hole layout – comprising the King, Queen and Prince nines – was laid out in 1990 by Shoichi Suzuki and Yuzo Tanimizu. The redesign begins with the King and Queen nines, an eighteenhole configuration that has hosted professional events, including the 2020 Japan Women’s Open. The project will see a move from the traditional Japanese layout of two greens per hole to single greens grassed with modern species that can offer yearround playability. “Redesigning from two greens on each hole will lead to a substantial reconfiguration of the Classic,” said Warren. “Including practice putting greens, the club is currently maintaining a total of 56 greens, every day, for its twenty-seven holes. Material and manpower costs are high. Reducing the maintained area of the greens will be a sustainability win. “But it is the opportunity to transform the playing experience which is most exciting. The redesign to one-green architecture will enable us to reroute golf holes and create new angles of play. A full rebunkering will add a new layer of strategy to the Classic. “Our new greens will take inspiration from some of our favourite golf courses in the US and the UK. DNA from North Berwick, National Golf Links of America, Crystal Downs, Sand Hills and the Old course at St Andrews will be evident in our work.” For the fifteenth green, Warren drew inspiration from the Road Hole at St Andrews The eighteenth tee moves across the lake to create a dramatic short par five and an eagle opportunity The par-four fourteenth presents a riskreward approach to a Cape-like green

33 The green of the par-four sixth will have Boomerang characteristics The fourth green, like the first, is protected by contour rather than bunkers At 213 yards, the seventh is the longest of the par threes The redesigned course features simple transitions from green to tee Moving from a two-green system has given the architect opportunities to open up new angles of play

The Art and Science of Golf Course Architecture Nara Binh Tien Golf Club – Vietnam USA +1-707-526-7190 • • Golfplan

35 TEE BOX GEO Foundation hosts first ever Sustainable Golf Week GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf has hosted the first ever Sustainable Golf Week to ref lect, celebrate and accelerate the efforts towards a more sustainable future for the golf industry. The inaugural event, hosted on 3-9 October, was centred around the theme of ‘Driving the Green’, encouraging several mainstream and social media initiatives to support the sustainable work that has been carried out across the industry. Sustainable Golf Week celebrates the eco-friendly actions of golf courses, developers, designers, tournaments, players and communities in more than 75 countries, as well as promote actions and steps to help deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Prior to the event, Jonathan Smith, executive director of GEO Foundation, said: “Sustainable Golf Week provides an opportunity for people across the sport to connect around a common purpose – to make sure that golf becomes established as a credible global leader in sustainability and climate action. “It is about helping to bring some stronger collective focus to the issues, as well as building ever greater energy and momentum to golf ’s contribution. We are excited about the ways in which this week can go on to be an ever-stronger catalyst for more action and visibility for golf and sustainability around the world.” Suzann Pettersen, sustainable golf champion and captain of the 2023 Solheim Cup, said: “Many environmental issues are fundamentally important to our quality of life. So, whilst taking action is vital for the future of golf, we also have to play our part amongst communities, in business and also with governments. We have to be at the forefront of the global movement in sustainable sport.” Read about Sustainable Golf Week at or follow @sustainablegolf on social media Royal Wellington in New Zealand is one of the pioneering courses that has been GEO Certified for many years Photo: Royal Wellington