By Richard Humphreys
Wed 18 Aug, 2021
Drew Rogers will return to Plum Hollow Country Club in Southfield, Michigan, in September to continue renovation work.
“The project is mostly a bunker and tee renovation, but there will be lots of tree removal and some floodplain remediation,” said Rogers, who was selected to create a 10-year master plan in 2019. “Our work this fall is the biggest chunk of the project, but we worked on several holes back in the spring to get a jump on things.”
Floodplain remediation work was completed in winter 2019/20 and Rogers oversaw renovations associated with the impacted floodplain holes in spring 2021, to get them back in play for the 2021 season. MacCurrach Golf Construction is executing the renovation work while Plum Hollow’s superintendent David Makulski is leading the team on the ground for the club.
“The spring work included several tee complexes as well as some fairway and greenside bunkering,” said Rogers. “However, the heavier balance of the work will carry on in earnest on the remaining holes, including substantial tree removal, fairway realignment, as well as all of the remaining bunkering and tees.
“When complete, our hope is for the course to be much more stimulating to the senses through the use of greater scale and depth with the bunkering, greater variety of playing options from the teeing grounds and a much more dynamic presentation of fairway angles. On top of that will be the resulting approach options all created through the restoration of the playing corridor widths and the complementary fairway and bunkering treatments as well.”
The course was originally designed by Hugh Alison in 1921 and has hosted a range of tournaments, including the PGA Championship in 1947. “Plum Hollow is a rather well-kept secret in Detroit, what with the likes of Oakland Hills, Country Club of Detroit, Detroit Golf Club, Orchard Lake and others, so this was a chance to uncover something of significance and help the club reposition itself,” said Rogers.
While the project is a renovation, Rogers will be respecting Alison’s original design intent. “The greatest challenge with this direction relative to Alison is that we had very little information available to study what Alison originally built at Plum Hollow,” he said. “Much of his work was impacted not long after the course opened, and that trend of architectural influence and change continued until the present day. So, that really placed the onus on the vision of our plan, to channel what we know about Alison’s work, his tendencies, the character of the forms he produced, and how he inspired golfers to think their way around the course.
“Our hope is that our work will help the course look, feel and play much more like it was probably intended by Alison in 1921, but with the benefits of modern construction and heightened management of the turf.”