Before and after imagery from renovation and restoration work
The following images exhibit how a golf hole can be transformed through renovation. Some are quite dramatic - bold strokes that redefine the hole. Others are more subtle and involve sharpening of basic elements to bring the original design intent back to life.
Manor Country Club Renovation - Hole #10
The goals were to sharpen the shot values and enhance the drama and appearance of the hole. What was a straight-line alignment was refined with a "kink" to make it a slight dogleg right - using fairway lines that follow the existing terrain. The green was rebuilt to its original size and character. The old bunkers were washed out and flat - no resemblance of faces or containment. Grass faced bunkers on the left, along with the dramatic hollow on the right now provide a formidable contrast and reinforce the strategic options from the tee.
Country Club of Columbus - HOLE #1
Notice in the first image, the tin-roofed maintenance building and hedge row behind the green. The maintenance facility previously located in the middle of the golf course would be relocated to a more perimeter spot within a large grove of trees; more out-of-site. This vacancy allowed for slight lengthening of the hole by moving the green back and the creation of a small supplemental pond for much needed irrigation storage. The pond is not really in play behind the green. Donald Ross's original design had to be sympathetically modified here in order to properly fit the terrain and evolutionary influences.
COUNTRY CLUB OF COLUMBUS - HOLE #10
The left image indicates a rather plain looking hillside green complex on a short par four. Donald Ross intended deeper, bolder bunkering to be cut into the facing slopes while slightly elevating the green. Bunkers were intended to guard the pushed-up green entirely, given the relatively short, aerial approach that most players will face. By cutting around the green, the green is now effectively elevated in appearance. The shaping behind the green was also integrated into the reconstruction of the tees on the following 11th hole.
Manor Country Club - HOLE #5
The fifth at Manor Country Club is a mid-length, downhill par three. Notice in the left image the green does not relate to the creek or bunkering. It is all rather mundane. Efforts to bring the green and the creek together were squelched by the regulatory agencies and a required buffer width along the creek. So instead, the green was raised and pushed into the back hillside a bit, tying into some fill that was placed to extend and raise the tees on the next hole. The result is a tiny, wedding cake green, guarded by deep bunkers on three sides. The hole now plays downhill at 173 yards from the back tees. This improvement produced an instant "wow!" factor.
Royal Poinciana Golf Club, Pines course - HOLE #16
Not only was this hole redesigned but it was also repositioned to gain better alignment with adjacent holes for their benefits as well. The green was shifted to the back and right; the tees to the back and to the left; raised and realigned. The bunkering is now broken up with more accent, allowing more bail-out and accessibility from the path on the right side. The green surface was softened for improved cupping and enhanced with an extended collar on the left and back edges. The hole received its finishing touch with a native "Old Florida" landscape treatment that serves as a frame for the hole and extensively reduced the overall maintained turf.
manor country club - HOLE #1
The first thing to notice in the left image is the width of the hole; the lack of playable width between the trees. A significant number of trees were removed here to open the hole up for playability purposes and also to enhance the growth of turf, otherwise inhibited by shade and roots. As a result, the fairway and left rough were were widened, fairway bunkering was restored and length was added to the hole by shifting the green back. Tees were rebuilt, realigned and added. Today the members are greeted with a much more welcoming and appealing opening hole.
RoYAL POINCIANA GOLF CLUB, PINES COURSE - HOLE #8
Improvement here is all in the details. In the left image notice the misalignment of the tees and the distance of separation between bunkers and green. Those elements were basic to the plan, along with improved cupping on the green, the addition of a forward approach deck with the green, enhanced native landscaping, aquatics and the incorporation of a lagoon on the left side (out of play). The overall turf area was greatly reduced here, creating habitat for both waterfowl and upland species.
Country club of columbus - HOLE #5
This long slightly downhill par three had a tired appearance, mainly the bunkers, and bore little resemblance to Ross's original plan. The green surface was enhanced to incorporate a collection trough in the front, center of the green. The bunker on the left was omitted - as it was never intended to be there and otherwise compromised a walk-off point. The right bunker was intended to be deep; conforming the the right edge of the green. Ross also drew a cross-bunker out 100 yards from the tee. We chose not to build it because of the slight downhill slope and there was no landform in place to suggest it former existence. It may have otherwise been an unpopular contrivance!
COUNTRY CLUB OF COLUMBUS - HOLE #15
When I saw this hole for the first time it struck me as odd that there was not a fairway bunker in the left hillside. Much to my delight I would find that Ross indicated a bunker in his plans for this very spot. The bunker fit ideally into the slope, with perfect placement in the landing area and visibility from the tee. It is still unclear to me whether that bunker was ever built, but we made sure that is is there today. At the green, Ross never indicated any bunkers. The one on the left was eliminated and the one on the right was deepened and enlarged to catch balls off the steep green slope before they catch the hill down to a lake. Strategically and visually, the right greenside bunker works. It's a classically beautiful golf hole today.
COUNTRY CLUB OF COLUMBUS - HOLE #12
Sometimes, things just have a way of working out! You take a bad thing and turn it into a good thing. In this case, the Club was faced with a need to widen their entry road on the top of the hill (right of the green). So much so that there were some safety concerns with the green location. Given also that the approach shot was blind, we took the opportunity to move the green away from the entry drive and carve it into the hillside slope. Not only did we address the safety issue, but we also created an attractive and visible target for the green and a beautiful backdrop setting.
manor Country CLub - Hole #2
The images here pretty well tell the story. In order to make it all come together, the green was lowered approximately 2' and the left bunker was brought in against the green, moving +/-20'. The old bunker location may have been more effective 80 years ago, when approach shots were played from further left and back down the fairway. Today it's location is no longer an effective feature on the hole, hence it's reposition against the green. Notice also the support off the back right of the green - that roll is part of the base that supports new, higher, lengthened tees on the following hole.
country club of columbus - Holes #11 & #12
Another instance here where you can take the worst part of a golf course and make it into one of the best. The left image indicates an area that is the lowest point on the site - where all the water collects. No air moves in there, it was susceptible to flooding - it was just stagnant, wet and overgrown. The membership also stated that the 11th hole was their "signature hole".
Obviously a perplexing challenge, there had to be a way to truly make this area into the showpiece the members so desired. We removed all the vegetation to open it up effectively for light and airflow. We enlarged the pond, installed new control measures and aeration. The 11th green was rebuilt with a proper stacked stone retaining wall in it's front which also tied into a majestic Augusta-like pedestrian bridge. From dreary to dreamy, these "bottoms" are now the pride of the Club.
Old Elm Club - Hole #7
The first image is from 1913, when the course was being finished. The 7th at Old Elm is a par three with a subtle ridge between the tees and the green; partially obscuring the green surface. From this photo, the green was nearly entirely obscured due to a long, trench-like cross bunker that was cropped up along the ridge, running completely across the hole. The second image is from July, 2010, where we find the cross bunker is missing and the green surface is wholly visible.
In addressing the desire by the Club here and on other holes, we restored the original cross bunker designed by H.S. Colt and constructed by Donald Ross, as seen (3rd photo) in June 2011. Notice in particular that the green is still visible, particularly on the left side, and also opens to allow play from a modern forward tee on the left side on the ridge. This is a case where we can restore original design intent while adapting to modern day member desires and needs.