Golf Course Architecture - Issue 72, April 2023

“Members are ecstatic about how it plays: it feels different every day, is not overly penal and is very thought provoking,” said Jones. “They’re saying it’s a fairer test, too,” added Swanson. “They’re not getting the hard rub that was there before. Some of the greens had too much slope or were difficult to hold.” “I think we really corrected that situation,” said Jones. The front nine has consecutive par fives, the fifth and sixth, that play to a similar length and in the same direction. New fairway bunkering gives the holes strong individual character, and the reveal of the sixth green alongside a pond has been heightened by opening up the view of the water. The putting surface has been tilted towards the player and a new bailout area created to the left, making shots to the green less penal. Jones highlights another par-five, the fourteenth, as an example of how their work has created more playing options. Two bunkers directly in front of the green have been removed to open up the entrance to the green, with new hazards in the approach area cutting into the fairway and giving the player various routes to the green. “I think the par threes are very interesting too,” says Swanson. “They vary greatly in terms of length from the short third to the long thirteenth, that plays alongside water. It was nearly impossible before and we’ve been complemented on making it challenging, but manageable.” 35 The par-four eighth has a new fairway bunker, and the green has been lowered and rebunkered Photos: The Preserve at Ironhorse