Golf Course Architecture: Issue 53 JULY 2018

27 Vestavia Country Club in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, has reopened following a comprehensive renovation project by Lester George of George Golf Design. The club has renovated tees, greens, fairways, bunkers and cart paths on all 18 holes, 10 of which were entirely rebuilt, added water features, created a new driving range and introduced a new irrigation system. The Better Billy Bunker liner system has been introduced on all bunkers. George has employed template concepts throughout the golf course, including a Redan green on the thirteenth and a Biarritz on the fifteenth. New mowing patterns are giving the club at least 20 percent extra fairway width. “I knew we had a chance of somethng special when I saw the first draft of Lester’s drawing,” said Alan Coshatt, long range planning committee chairman at Vestavia. “He made a few tweaks in the field, and it actually is better than we hoped! It’s wide, fun, fair, and still a challenge for all levels of play. And the best part is it’s sitting on one of the most beautiful pieces of property in our region! We have created something truly spectacular. A project of this size has its challenges as we had 40 inches of rain in our most exposed point of the project. But we weathered the storm and created an awesome, fun and beautiful golf course. This is a very exciting time for our club.” Vestavia reopens following major renovation Tee Box Photos: Lexi Kwak 3 2 7 6 4 8 5 1 9 13 14 12 18 10 11 15 16 17 PLAYGROUND The par-four third hole, ‘Playground’, tempts long hitters to take the direct but risky route to the green. A more conservative play to the left fairway leaves a short iron approach. PURGATORY The impressive three-hole closing stretch begins with a difficult par-four sixteenth hole that doglegs around a huge scrape of a bunker to a skyline green. GAMBLE The ninth once again presents a risk-reward option from the tee. Take on the green at this short par four and the deep revetted front bunker lies in wait. PRINCIPAL’S NOSE The drive on the eleventh hole is dominated by a large Principal’s Nose bunker in the centre of the fairway, forcing golfers into a decision: left, right, short or long.