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ollowing evaluation of a number of

options, the University of Southern

Mississippi (USM) decided to locate

its new short game facility on an area of

wooded land that was available to them at

the prestigious Hattiesburg Country Club,

just a few miles from their main campus

in the city of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Their challenge was to accommodate

a large short-game green and separate

practice putting green into the 3.5 acre

site adjacent to the club’s driving range,

without negatively impacting the wetland

that cuts through the property.

After studying the land with USM men’s

golf coach Jerry Weeks, golf course

architect Nathan Crace, ASGCA Associate,

proposed to make best use of the space

available by designing a long meandering

short-game green near the middle of

the property, that can be approached by

fairways on both sides.

One fairway extends from the short

game green toward the northwest corner,

giving players up to 110 yards to play

shots into the green. The other fairway

goes in the opposite direction, towards

the club’s chipping green and practice

tee. With two fairways, players have more

practice options, and can take shots to

the green from multiple different angles,

distances, lies and elevations.

Originally a large drainage pipe was

planned for the lowest area of the land,

which would have allowed for that part of

the site to be used for added fairway and

a new road to the maintenance facility.

The discovery of the wetland forced the

relocation of that original road, but meant

that funds planned for the large drainage

pipe could be saved. Crace adapted his

plans accordingly, improving the wetland

to create an aesthetic feature that not only

provides separation between the short

game green and the new putting green,

but also creates a natural filter for runoff.

The completed short game area is a

resounding success. The USM men’s

team won their first event after the facility

opened, with players crediting their

success to the improved practice available

on the new facility.

USM short game facility




Golf course architect:

Nathan Crace, ASGCA Associate

Watermark Golf/

Nathan Crace Design

Project summary:

The University

of Southern Mississippi wanted

a new short game facility on

a 3.5 acre parcel of land

at Hattiesburg CC that was

wooded and dissected by

wetland. The design made the

wetland a key feature of the

facility and incorporated two

fairways to maximize the options

available for practice.


Landscapes Unlimited

(construction); Rain Bird

(irrigation); Advanced Drainage

Systems (pipe)

Short game success

A new short game practice facility for the University of Southern Mississippi

men’s and women’s golf teams is helping to improve their performances

Photos: Nathan Crace