Golf Course Architecture - Green Pages 2021

18 GEORGE GOL F DES IGN Strategic review Lester George provides an insight into the progress of his plans for Aspetuck Valley T he Hal Purdy-designed course at Aspetuck Valley Country Club in Weston, Connecticut, is undergoing a renovation by Lester George, following a long-range master plan that the architect created for the club and surrounding campus in 2017. In addition to improving the functionality of the golf course and its features, George considered the various skill levels of players in his plan. The architect aims to enhance strategy, playability and functionality while eliminating holes that are either poorly draining, highly criticised or unsafe. “We chose to renovate the eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth holes first because they were the most poorly draining and least-liked holes on the back nine,” said George. “The greens were also relatively small, and the fairways simply could not stand the summer heat and the accompanying traffic. “The par-four thirteenth was the most maligned on the course because it had a narrow fairway with poor drainage on a hole that dog-legged severely uphill on the second shot. If you didn’t reach the corner of the dog-leg, you had no shot because of the densely wooded hillside on the left. If you did have a second shot, it was a blind shot to an extremely small green that was on top of a hill some 40 feet above the fairway. The hill was so steep, there was no fairway to play to the green, which made it a forced carry! Universally considered the worst hole on the course, that’s where we wanted to start our renovation.” George’s new thirteenth (pictured below) addresses those issues, with the architect having cleared the hill, widened the fairway, given players additional forward teeing options, and moved the green back and down the hill, creating a driveable 310-yard par four with two strategic options for play. For more on George Golf Design , turn to page 40 o r visit Image: George Golf Design Photo: Evan Schiller