Golf Course Architecture - Issue 58 October 2019

39 I also went about reallocating the positions of bunkers, removing some of the greenside ones to add variety at the green while adding some fairway bunkers elsewhere to improve strategic considerations on the golf course. Was the project purely a bunker renovation? We also needed to repair severe erosion on the slopes of the drainage channel that ran along the length of the short par-five eighth hole. Corey and his guys completed all of the erosion improvement work. Because this was going to impact the entire length of the hole along the right side, the decision was also made to completely redesign and rebuild the green. The green was very small, only about 3,900 square feet, and it had a small front shelf with a general pitch from the front-edge back towards the middle. With the approach shot being uphill and with a fronting bunker, it was an impossible hole location. The club couldn’t afford to have a third of the green being virtually unpinnable. Vegetation had also grown up over the years to the point that it created a virtual wall along the right edge of the fairway that would serve to keep players and carts away from the edge. Any ball hit to the right was instantly lost in the deep vegetation. The first part of the renovation project was the complete removal of the vegetated ‘wall’ of trees, which opened the view of the creek channel and opened airflow and visibility throughout the hole. Stabilising the slope removed the liability concern that the club had to worry about while also creating some additional playable space along the right and reducing the frequency of lost balls that the players dealt with previously. Three oak trees short-right of the green were removed and replaced with two small bunkers cut into the upslope. The fairway approach was expanded down the slope to the right of the green, and the fronting bunker was put back in at the front-left of the green. The green was then enlarged with the surface shaped so that the front plateau above the bunker was shaped and sized to accommodate an effective and challenging hole location. What has been the reaction since the completion of the project? The most substantial renovation that impacted the overall quality of the hole was on the eighth. I like that we were able to take probably the most unpopular hole and make it really interesting – it will be fun for all members to play with all of the options they will now be able to consider. I am very happy about the improved visual impact of the bunkers on the golfing experience. The members have been amazed at how visible they are now, even as you gaze across the property from the various high spots. It has completely changed the visual character of the course. Art Schaupeter has improved bunker visibility, as seen here on the fifth (and inset, before the renovation)