Golf Course Architecture - Issue 75, January 2024

76 REPORT Parkland Golf and Country Club weaves its way through a real estate community in the city of the same name in south Florida, alongside the northeast border of the Everglades. The course was laid out in 2004 and has seen just one significant project – to reduce bunker sizes – since. “The renovation has been a long time coming,” says Joe Postel, the club’s director of agronomy, explaining that the club decided it was time to revisit the design. Florida-based architect Greg Letsche was selected for the project. “The members were drawn to Greg, due to his body of design work and the fact that he is a local guy and would be very hands on.” While the renovation plan came together quickly and the course closed for the project to begin in April 2023, a last-minute change was required. Construction was originally planned to begin on the eighteenth hole but, thanks to a burrowing owl choosing to nest in one of the bunkers, work began elsewhere. The club’s members embraced ‘Bunker the Owl’ and even set up a webcam so others could follow its progress. But the owl and some heavy rainfall aside, work moved at pace. Parkland has several attributes that are common in Florida: homes adjacent to almost every hole, water featuring throughout the layout and minimal elevation change, so Letsche had to focus his creativity on the individuality of holes. A primary goal of the project was to make holes more memorable. “Several holes used to be too similar to one another, so it felt like you would be playing the same hole multiple times,” said Postel. “Greg did an outstanding job in giving every hole more of an Making memories Photo: Parkland Golf and Country Club Letsche’s work on the par-five eighteenth included reshaping the tee complex, bunkers and green Greg Letsche gives individual holes a stronger sense of identity at the Parkland club in south Florida.