Golf Course Architecture - Issue 54: October 2018

COURSE BLUEPRINT Sand Valley Tee Box 22   Golf Course Architecture Lester George to upgrade practice facilities at Country Club of Florida The Country Club of Florida is upgrading its practice facility with the help of golf course architect Lester George. Opened in 1957, the Robert Bruce Harris-designed course near Boynton Beach features a ridge running through the property at the highest elevation in south Palm Beach County. “When Lester did the renovation of the golf course in 2006, it really changed the members’ perspective of how the course plays for all levels of golfer. It was terrific,” said green committee chairman Doug Kannapell. Since the initial renovation, Lester has visited the course on an annual basis, acting as the club’s design consultant. His consultancy has led the club to update its practice facility, which will include an expanded driving range, short game practice facility and teaching facility. The upgrade is scheduled to coincide with a renovation of greens and regrassing. The club also plans to reconstruct bunkers with a modern liner system. “Lester is the best,” said director of golf Chris Kushner. “He has so much experience navigating the waters of design from start line, to concept, to the finish line. It’s an enormous blessing to us that Kinloch Golf Club is Lester’s baby. Kinloch is the preeminent practice facility in the country, and other clubs look to that as a model to create their own practice facility.” Kannapell said: “More people are utilising the practice facility than ever before. Members will come in and practice for an hour, then come back later in the week when they have a full day to play the course. During tournaments, the range gets very crowded, so we’re going to expand the driving range.” Golf course superintendent Jeff Klontz said: “Lester takes a lot of pride in his work and reaches out to everyone involved in the project for their input. We’re always trying to further enhance the playing ability of our members, and with this renovation, we can alter the short- game area to reflect the shots members will find on the golf course.” Sand Valley Golf Resort in Nekoosa, Wisconsin, has hired golf course architect Tom Doak to design a fourth course at the resort. The new course will be located next to the back nine of the original Sand Valley layout and will be routed within a restored sedge savannah. Doak’s routing measures 6,100 yards with a par of 68. He discusses the routing for the new course with GCA . Did you specifically set out to create a relatively shorter-than-usual course? Yes, this routing was a deliberate attempt to find a shorter course with par less than 70, with the client’s blessing and encouragement. That’s a barrier that means little in the UK – there are several great courses that are par-68 or 69 – but it is much more frowned upon in the USA, and I’ve always wanted to find a client who would let me break it. We think keeping the course shorter overall will significantly improve the walkability and the intimacy of the golf course, and of course Sand Valley is walking-only on all its courses now. It’s really Photo: The Bausch Collection at Image: Tom Doak, Sand Valley Golf Resort Lester George has worked as a design consultant for the club since 2006. He will work with the club on its practice facility as well as other course improvements