26 TEE BOX Olympia Fields hires Andy Staples for master plan FROM THE ARCH I VE Olympia Fields Country Club has selected Andy Staples to create a master plan of renovations for its South course, originally designed by Tom Bendelow in 1915. Staples has recently completed a renovation of Meadowbrook Country Club – a 1916 design by Willie Park, Jr., who designed Olympia Fields’ North course – and a master plan for University Club of Milwaukee, a 1921 Bendelow design. In an interview with GCA , Staples said: “To me it seems like my proposal had all the pieces Olympia Fields was looking for, and the timing couldn’t have been better. There wasn’t another single person alive that had done more research so recently than I had on Park Jr., Bendelow and Watson [who worked at Olympia Fields from 1916 to 1919], and the club recognised that. “Our focus will be on making the South course more playable during times of prolonged wet periods through increased drainage, addressing tree growth and some ongoing shade issues, improving bunkers, and looking for ways to make the course more enjoyable for members.” Since the last renovation of the South course, which focused on improving bunkers and adding length, the club has acquired photographs dating back to the 1920s. “We’re going to compare the current course to those original course photographs to see where we can bring back the best parts of Bendelow’s original design,” said Staples. “Bendelow placed much of his attention on the approaches to the green, and how the slope and contour of the putting greens can give a hole its strategy, and we’re hoping to reintroduce much of this philosophy.” Planning for work on the South course is now under way, with any construction likely to begin after the 2020 BMW Championship, which is played on the North course. Read GCA’ s full interview with Andy Staples at www.golfcoursearchitecture.net .